On Monday 30th January, the children in Y4 visited The British Museum.
We went there to learn more about the Mayans and Aztecs, after learning in class that they played an important role in the history of chocolate. Chocolate is our topic for this half term.
During this topic, we discovered that the Mayans are believed to be the first to discover cocoa as early as 900 AD. Mayans learned that the beans inside the cocoa pods could be harvested and made into a liquid that would become a treasured Mayan treat.
In fact, the word ‘chocolate’ is said to come from the Mayan word ‘xocolatl’ which means ‘bitter water.’
The Aztecs also had their own word for chocolate: chocolatl (cho co LA til).
At the museum, we had an introduction to the world of the Aztecs through objects and materials, exploring topics including daily life, religion, trade and warfare.
We had an wonderful day and used this opportunity to write some recounts.
Have a look at the one below written by a child in Y4 Saffron.
There I was. There I was at The British Museum. There I was at The British Museum standing at the entrance.
Before I arrived, there were a lot of unanswered questions running through my mind:
Who were the Aztecs?
What was a ‘mosaic’ serpent?
Who were the Aztec gods ? How do they differ from each other?
My heart raced with excitement – I couldn’t wait till I entered and explored.
Entering room 27 (the Aztecs room), I caught a glimpse of 3 turquoise statues in a blue case and they looked amazing, so I left my class and rushed to it. There was a turquoise ‘mosaic serpent and two turquoise ‘mosaic’ masks. Did you know that in the Aztec language ‘serpent’ was pronounced ‘Nahuatl’? The turquoise serpent was double headed.
I found out that the term Aztecs has been around for centuries. They loved drawing and used a wooden spear for hunting Americans.
Another fact that I learnt was that one of the 5 gods was called ‘Tezcatlipoca’ and he was the god of the night sky and of the night wind. He is linked with obsidian, a black stone.
After we finished, we went to explore the Egyptian gallery and let our minds run free. I saw a real mummified body in a coffin and a lot more perplexing things!
Now my unanswered questions were all answered.
If you want to visit The British Museum, it is located on Tottenham Court Road, so be sure to visit it.