On Tuesday 9th January, the children in Y4 visited The British Museum.
We went there to learn more about the Mayans and Aztecs. The Mayans and Aztecs played an important role in the history of chocolate. Chocolate is our topic for this half term.
Did you know 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.
In Y4 we are learning about the digestive system. We looked at the journey of food.
We placed a cream cracker, banana and orange juice (which represented stomach acid) into the plastic sandwich bag. The bag represented the stomach. Then we squeezed all the air out and sealed the bag. We then added water, which represented saliva. Squeezing the bag for 2 or 3 minutes smashed up the mixture inside. This mimicked the action of our stomach walls breaking down food. Then we placed the plastic sandwich bag and stocking over a tray. Cutting a small hole in the corner of the bag, we transferred the contents into the stocking. The stocking represented the small intestine.
After we squeezed the food through the stocking. The liquid that ended up in the tray represented the nutrients that are absorbed by the body and used for growth and energy. The food that remained inside the stocking represented the waste that couldn’t be absorbed by the body.
Then we cut the toe off the stocking and squeezed the remaining food out of the end and into the plastic cup. The cup represented the large intestine. Finally, pushing the food (waste) through the bottom of the cup. This represented going to the toilet.
It was so much fun and it helped us understand how the digestive system works.