The children came into the classroom this morning to read this mystery message:
A p _ _ _ _ _ _ _ p_ _ _ _ w_ _ i_ _ _ _ _ _ _ i_ 1440. T_ _ _ _, w_ a_ _ g_ _ _ _ _ t_ m_ _ _ o_ _ o_ _ p_ _ _ _ _ _ _ p_ _ _ _ !
Of course, it took them only a few seconds to solve it: A printing press was invented in 1440. Today, we are going to make our own printing press!
Maddy immediately was curious - what IS a printing press? Amelia could supply one answer - her dad uses a type of printing press every day when he is printing his t-shirts. However, he uses a computer and other equipment - which we figured definitely wasn't a possibility 500 years ago!
At Read/Write time, I passed out paper and gave everyone a challenge. Could they beat me (the printing press) in writing a word 10 times? I had used a rubber band to put four letter stamps together: C O M E. On "GO!", each child scrambled to print "come" 10 times, but of course I could print my words in a fraction of the time. Then the challenge was M E 20 times. Again, the printing press made quick work of it. This was a great demonstration of the importance of Johannes Gutenberg's invention.
After, I divided the class into 3 groups (since I had three sets of stamps), and they set to work with the letter stamps and rubber bands. They tried to make lots of words. This is sure to be a popular station when we have work stations on Friday!