Here are some words about our current Mantle of the Expert work, which is with a class of year 4 students.

In this Mantle of the Expert unit the children are in role as a team of earth scientists who work in a fictional company called 'Geo Ready' (modelled on New Zealand’s real crown institute ‘GeoNet’).

Working in this role children will have jobs and tasks to complete that will lead to learning about:

a. New Zealand’s geological hazards: volcanos, earthquakes, and tsunami

b. Scientific equipment used to measure land movement/activity

c. How earth scientists at 'GeoNet' decide where to place their different monitoring systems. In making these decisions children will have to consider things such as types of land forms and rocks in an area, environmental factors such as weather, read maps, investigate history of land, look at old land records, and investigate land ownership and explore ways to seek permissions from land owners.

The work will involve inquiry research, writing in a range of genres including letter writing and report writing, reading a range of materials including lots of map-work covering a variety of keys and scales, and mathematical skills including measuring, and diagram/graph work.

We hope you enjoy sharing our learning journey and the discoveries we make! You can also read past learning journeys by selecting from 'Previous Mantle of the Expert Work at Muritai School', which is a tab on the right hand side of this blog page.

Detail from a map of Wellington geology

Sorting rocks

3 September 2012


This morning we spent time finishing writing in our Archaeology Log Books about the artefacts we had uncovered last week.  We are going to be using this information in our archaeology work in the last couple of weeks of the term, so we needed to make sure we had all our information recorded carefully and accurately. 

Next week we are going to be working with clay to make some tiles in ‘relief’ style.  ‘Relief’ is a style of sculpture that adorned many of the buildings on the Acropolis in Athens in the Golden Age, especially on friezes around the tops of buildings such as the Parthenon.  We have looked at a few examples of this type of sculpting in our work as archaeologists and we looked at a few more examples today.

An example of a relief style sculpture.
This relief sculpture shows the Goddess Athena.

We talked about what we might be able to show on a series of 20 tiles (making one each).  We quickly agreed that we could tell the story of the Odyssey, using our story maps as a planning guide.  We collectively planned how the story could be represented on 20 tiles and then someone suggested picking numbers out of a hat to allocate a part of the story to each person. 

When everyone had been allocated a part of the story we all went off to plan our tiles. First we agreed on what the size of our tiles would be, (16cm x 16cm), then we worked out what our main shapes would be that would stand out in the ‘relief’ style.  We cut these shapes out to use as templates next week and we also planned what details we would add using tools such as toothpicks. We are now all ready to work with clay next week.

We ended the day listening to the story of how Athena was born out of the head of Zeus – wearing full hoplite armour including an aspis (shield) a dory (spear), and a plumed Corinthian helmet.  We also read about how Athena is not only the goddess of wisdom and strategy in war, but also the goddess of craftsmanship including pottery and sculpting.  Someone made the suggestion that we should call on Athena next week to help us with our clay tile work!

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