We have a new lesson plan, written by Jim Schulz, on Making Atlatls and darts from wooden dowels, duct tape, finishing nails, and scrap wood (or 2x4s). Want a hands-on exciting way to end your school year? Consider working with students to build this modern version of an ancient hunting tool--and then practice throwing at a target.
Jim, who many of you know through his educator workshops, is a master at having students learn through doing--and combining science (in this case the physics of fulcrums) with history.
He also understands the value of having students DO things.
This is the second lesson Jim's created for us. Years ago, he wrote up "Motherlode Gold Mining," which was what he called his "no fail" lesson--one that worked for over 22 years, with all types of students. The lesson plan involved science (students learned about the density of minerals), math *students had to create a budget to purchase their stake), and history (they learned about the importance of merchants in a mining town and the fact that very few placer miners struck it rich). And it was fun. Students got to actually pan for "gold" using plastic stream tables, metal pie plates, screens, and sand salted with gold-painted lead shot. (You can find the lesson plan on page 32 of the Gold, Silver and Coal--Oh My! Hands-on History Footlocker User Guide.)
Panning for gold might be another great activity on a warm spring day!
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