The Mead School

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Social Studies Exercise- The Expanse of Time

The 5th and 6th grades Social Studies class engaged in a hands-on experience as teachers built an exercise to understand the expanse of time.  Time can be a very abstract concept for students to understand, especially when learning about ancient civilizations, Common Era and Before Common Era.

On the main stairway, teachers actively demonstrated the idea of moving through time.  Each step represented 1,000 years.  The steps were marked from 4,000 CE in the future to 12,000 BCE.  Students then identified events during the Stone Age that have been studied, and were also able to locate landmarks of civilizations that will be studied such as the Egyptian Pyramids and the Roman Colosseum.  The students were fascinated to learn that Lucy, who archaeologists believe lived 3.5 million years ago, would have lived the equivalent of approximately 8 football fields deep in time using the staircase model timeline.