Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big History Origin Stories

As part of the Big History Project the students are learning about different "origin stories" or "creation stories" from cultures throughout history. I decided that the best way to learn about all 7 stories would be to jigsaw them. The students are using their iPads and the app "StoryKit" to create actual story books of their assigned origin story. On Friday the students will share their books with the class.

First, the app is great. It's nothing fancy, but it's really easy to use and doesn't have a steep learning curve, so the students were able to get right to work.

Second, the origin stories have been fascinating. The students are shocked at some of the stories - we had a discussion about being respectful to the beliefs of others since some of the stories are so "out there" to the students.

I have two girls who are creating a book about the Mayan origin story. One of the things they have to include is the age of the earth. We started looking through different websites together and learned that the Mayans do not ACTUALLY believe (as we interpreted it, anyway) that the end of the world is Dec. 21, 2012. So fear not! What we established from the research is this:

Mayans believe that the cycle of the universe can be split into 5 periods of 5,125.36 years. Dec. 21, 2012 is the end of the 4th cycle of the world. Therefore, we actually have another 5,125.36 years before people could really begin saying that Mayans are predicting the end of the world. What we are really approaching is the end of the 4th cycle. Cool, right? This is SUPER news!

I plan to have the students post their stories to their blogs after they are finished, so stay tuned to the blogs listed in my last post to see what they came up with!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you have read much of Joseph Campbell's work, but he talks about the "hero's journey." His main point is that all cultures have basic stories that have a universal theme. Christopher Vogeler has also written a book on how to use the hero's journey tale as a basic theme in movies (think Luke Skywalker in Star Wars).

    This might be an interesting connection to make with this project.