History – The Silk Road

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We’re on the 2nd half of the Story of the World, Volume 2 – The Middle Ages, and we’re currently studying Marco Polo’s journey on the Silk Road.  The activity book gave me the idea of creating the little stopping points, but I added a little flair to it.

I played the part of the travelers’ (kids’) guide.  Before we started, I set up different spots around the school with signs.  We wound our way through the school, re-enacting the experience of traveling through two deserts.  When we came upon an “oasis,” there would be a snack, like trail mix or granola bars ‘hidden’ there for us.  We also received water from a “kind merchant” (another teacher in a room), and she gave us water bottles (all pre-planned!) to help us on our journey.

Our next stop was the Yellow River.  I had the kids sit on the tables in our classroom, and “row” with brooms and yardsticks.  I also used a fog machine for an eerie watery effect.  *Note:  Make sure you tell everyone else you’re running a fog machine in a school, because it looks an awful lot like SMOKE!  While they rowed, I told them more interesting facts about the Silk Road.

When we finally “landed,” we went down the hall to an unused room that had “merchants” waiting for us with a table of goods to trade.  Before this took place, I asked the kids to bring in about 3 items they no longer wanted.  I didn’t tell them what it was for.  The teacher I asked to help out with the merchant table was phenomenal!  She dressed as an African trader and really made the kids work for their trade!

All-in-all, it was a fabulous class!

Just in case you want to print off the signs and do your own Silk Road expedition, here are the ones I made:  Printable Silk Road Signs

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