This week we continued to kick off the second case study of our homes expedition. After our mystery piece gallery walk, we spent the week revisiting images and videos from Maasailand. Friends inferred that the images must be from Kenya or Tanzania. They then dug deeper, making inferences about the climate and environment and how they impact life there. To confirm their inferences, friends then dug into books, articles, and videos about the savanna’s climate.
After a week of researching and learning about the climate in the savanna, we were ready to move into expert groups. Today, we kicked off four weeks of intensive research in expert groups. Each group will become experts on how the Masaii meet one of four needs: play; clothing; food; and shelter.
Today, the food experts traveled to the zoo with Ms. Henighan and her class’s food experts to see and touch cows and learn about how to take care of them. Tomorrow, the clothing and play experts will kick off their work with jumping contests and cloth dyeing.
Meanwhile, the shelter experts teamed up with the shelter experts from 2B and Ms. Yamamoto, our garden coordinator, to build a bamboo tunnel for the Pre-K garden.
Working in groups of three and four, friends tied two long pieces of bamboo together. They opened them to form a triangle and tied each end to a bamboo base. They learned to tie strong knots by repeatedly making Xs around the two or three pieces of bamboo.
After making many triangles, friends tied more bamboo across the sides of the tunnel to add more support. One friend held the stick, while others tied.
While the Maasai homes are not built from bamboo and twine, friends made many connections during our kick-off. Ashley noted, “All of these shelters start with frames made of sticks.” Natty inferred, “They probably have to make their homes with straw, sticks, and mud, because the land is so dry there that trees cant grow.” Nyla added, “It’s really dry in the savanna so they have to use what the land has to build their shelter.”
In the coming weeks, each expert group will research how the Masaii use natural resouces to meet their needs. We will spend time painting, making mud, cooking Ugali, milking cows, building gameboards, beading necklaces, and more. It will be a big undertaking and we are excited to get started. To pull it off, we will need the support of our second grade family. We are so grateful for your time, cars, and resources!