Earlier this year, Class 6 enjoyed an English-Science(-Math) unit delving into modern and traditional origin stories. One particularly memorable achievement was an incredible piece of collaborative storytelling, in which the group worked together to create a to-scale timeline of the evolution of life on Earth.
Having studied the concept in the classroom, the students plotted the scene of their demonstration to the outside world: from the neck of Jhamtse’s driveway to the first switchback bend. First, we measured the terrain. Second, we worked through a series of calculations to establish our million-years-to-paces ratio, then dozens of multiplications later the students determined how many paces from our origin each placard needed to be situated.
When we returned to our expansive canvas, students were challenged to work together and problem solve to affix their various markers along the path. At first, things were a little aimless and chaotic, as the group struggled to establish a rhythm, but very quickly students stepped forward into various dynamic roles: some took charge of subtracting one marker location from the next, establishing how many additional paces a measurer would have to walk before the next paper should be placed, as their peers simultaneously emerged as energetic pace counters. Other students sorted through papers, while still others, with remarkable resourcefulness and creativity, constructed an impressive variety of signposts upon which to display their evolutionary milestones.
All in all, a striking and engaging project, awesome collaborative process, and finally a product they were proud to show off to their teachers and friends.
The team sorts their papers at the origin of life on Earth
Lobsang Yudron measures paces to our next landmark
Tashi Yangzom B shows off the dawn of landplants
Tashi Yangzom B, Lungta Sangmu, and Tenzin Tashi rifle through evolutionary milestones
Lungta Sangmu calculates our next step
Tashi Yangzom B and Lungta Sangmu deliberate and delegate
Tsering Pema and Tenzin Tashi welcome earthworms to the planet
Therchung Tsering marks the birth of flowering plants
Kunsang Drolma and Therchung Tsering put a stake in the ground
Lungta Sangmu, we’ve made it to the present day
11- Several billion years later, a job well done