Sixth grade Humanities classes recently completed a study of the Golden Age of Islam (800 - 1100 CE), an era of major advancements in science, art, technology, engineering, medicine, and culture.
Inspired by the podcast "A History of the World in 100 Objects" and guided by a curriculum developed by The New York Times, they learned the technical and stylistic elements of making a successful podcast, and synthesized their research into short, engaging audio programs.
"Our students were really interested in the background work we did on podcasts," says Tara Quigley. "They quickly understood the power and popularity of this medium, caught on to the software, and understood how to 'package' their knowledge in a form that is compelling."
A colorful display outside the Middle School library features posters created by student teams, each with a QR code that links directly to their podcast recordings. Topics include trade, food, astronomy, warfare, math, architecture, jewelry, games, and more.
These audio programs document the achievements of Islam that were remarkable in their time and still impact today's world. They also examine the ways in which this society preserved and expanded on the innovations of its predecessors.
In the process, students refined their inquiry skills, learned how to find and properly cite research sources, and presented their findings in an informative, engaging way.
Kudos to these young podcasters and to their teachers Jamie Atkeson (Technology), Sheila Goeke (Library), Amy Beckford, Cindy Peifer, and Tara Quigley.
– Justin Goldberg