These last few weeks of the school year have been a bit hectic, what with the end of year recitals, projects, meetings, and trips, but my favorite part of the whirlwind is when my son came home and announced that he was going to be an Aztec priest and needed a sacrificial knife for his Latin America project. As the culmination of his Latin America unit, his class was putting on an Ancient Latin American Living Museum, and for extra credit the kids would dress up as Incas, Mayans or Aztecs complete with costumes and artifacts from that time period.
As an Aztec priest, he’s responsible for performing human sacrifices to please the sun god and ensure the sunrise every day, and the sacrificial knife is an integral part of this daily ritual. As pleased as I am to see him so enthusiastic about a school project and as creative as this idea sounds, I can’t help but think, ”Now he’s interested in doing extra credit???” I’d been after him all year to do that extra reading assignment or math homework problems, but I guess it takes crafting an ancient tool used to disembowel human sacrifices to spark him into action.
Since there are no Aztec sacrificial knife stores in our neighborhood, we set out to Michaels for supplies. Armed with clay, paint, and mosaic tiles, my son set out to bring history to life.
Here are the photos he used for inspiration to create his knife:
The sculpting process:
The painting process:
Adding colorful mosaics:
The finished project in class (although I don’t think Aztec priests wore Lego watches!)
Other classes stopped in to interview the kids in their ancient Latin American characters – cute! The white T-shirt and bandana were part of the costume. . .
Part of this project included keeping a notebook detailing different aspects of the ancient Latin American experience, including this “diary entry” about a day in the life of an Aztec priest:
This project was a fun and creative learning experience for the class, as well as being a great way to finish off the school year. Goodbye, 5th grade; I wonder what 6th grade will bring?
Photos courtesy of Google Images and Mom Meets Blog