Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Class Inca Projects

My fifth grade class finished up their Inca projects. You can see the wonderful results in this Animoto video.

For inspiration  we used this book, The Inca: Activities and Crafts from a Mysterious Land (Secrets of Ancient Cultures) by Arlette N. Braman. The projects were a lot of fun and captured my student's interest and enthusiasm. The book was a perfect resource full of interesting projects and background information. I wanted to try other theme related projects like the ones my fourth grade class created last year based on Benjamin Franklin. We had a rewarding experiece making those projects that was even further enhanced when the author of the Benjamin Frankin book we used, Carmella Van Vleet,  found our video and blog online and sent the class a wonderful email about how she enjoyed seeing their final projects. When I read the class the email, they were so excited that they all stood up and gave themselves a standing ovation. I think it was the recognition that their work went beyond just something for the teacher, parents, and school. The fact that the actual author of the book would write to them thrilled them to no end.

I enjoyed this book so much and found it useful for my class that I also ordered the companion book The Maya: Activities and Crafts from a Mysterious Land (Secrets of Ancient Cultures) from When ordering I noticed that for $1.29 more you can upgrade the book to "online access." According to Amazon this means you can:

Start reading the book online while you wait for your physical copy to arrive
Add highlights, bookmarks, notes, or tags to any page or section of text
Print pages, and even copy and paste text from the book
Read your book from any Internet-connected computer, meaning your book is always with you
I did this with the Mayan book and I was instantly able to read it while I wait for my order to arrive. I think this feature is pretty neat, especially for teachers. I did note that you can't copy and paste pictures, but if you need a copy of a page you can print it right out rather than hunt down a photocopier. I also liked the projects in the Mayan book as well as the similar presentation to the Inca book. My class will be working on Mayan projects and I will use both this book and Amazing Maya Inventions You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself series) which I bought last month. This book does not have the online access feature.

No comments: