Daily Schedule

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Invention in the Renaissance

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!


Odie Langley said...

An object lesson that they will remember for a long time. I love your school and the way you keep the children excited about learning. I applaude you.

Fran Loosen said...

David *loved* this experience, Susan! He really got into the whole expansion of information that happened with the invention of the printing press. I tried to tell him something about it and he was all "um, Mom, Mrs. Carpenter told us about that" and went on to explain your experiment. Very cool!

Mark said...

We had a great talk about it that night as well, Susan. Thank you for yet another wonderful class.

jillfelice said...

I love the way you illustrate the concepts. I also appreciate the pictures.

danno said...

Love this one. I need to ask Maddy about it, it did not make it into our daily conversation.

We've tried a lot of suggestions on how to drag a daily report out of her, with not a lot of success. We haven't really stuck to it as well as we could have, either. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth, sigh.