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Week 8: KID Museum, Inca Civilization, Quipu, Capoeira, and "The Great Inka Road" at The M

This week, City Kids went to KID Museum and learned how to make string instruments! They worked in the woodshop room, building their instruments with hammers, nails, wood, tin cans, and different kinds of wires and strings. After they built their instruments, the kids tested them with an amplifier. The sounds of the instruments were all different depending on the material the kids used for the strings and how tight the strings were. We all developed an appreciation for how difficult it is to make even the simplest string instrument!

We continued our unit on South America with a lesson and activities about Inca Civilization. Our kids learned how ancient cultures, like the Incas, used simple technologies to make sophisticated systems and structures. For our first activity, our kids looked at images of Inca walls, and then designed their own.

As a second activity, the kids learned how the Incas built sophisticated suspension bridges with strong grass that they would twist and weave together. Here is a link to the video our kids watched about how the Incas built these amazing bridges:

After watching the video, the kids had a lesson on how to properly twist and weave the grass for bridge building.

For those of you who would like to further explore Incan engineering techniques, below is a video about how in Q'eswachaka, Peru, people still use the technique of twisting and weaving strong grass to rebuild the same suspension bridge every year. It is a feat of engineering and cooperative work!

Continuing our activities about Inca civilization, our kids learned about Quipu, an Inca method of counting and recording massive amounts of information. One of our parents showed the kids how to record their birthdates according to this method.

Once the Quipu is finished, it looks like the picture below. O.K., ours didn't look like this, but Inca civilization wasn't built in a day, either.

Today was the first day of our official Capoeira instruction! The kids met their new instructor, and they had a fabulous time warming up, practicing some moves, learning about how Capoeira started, and listening to Brazilian music. The kids' enthusiasm was fantastic, and it was a beautiful day to have class outside!

For our field trip this week, and to continue the kids'lessons and activities about Inca civilization, our kids visitied the exhibit, "The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire" at the Museum of the American Indian. One of our parents introduced the concept of iconography, explaining how it can tell us what was important to people we cannot talk with directly. The kids also looked at pottery, quipus, and a section of a rope suspension bridge installed in the exhibition. Afterward, the kids made royal foil jewlery based on the Inka's repousse adornments.

Looking at an interactive map of Cusco!

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