with Kim Rodgers
Journey to Medieval India!
We moved on to the Medieval Indian Empire in class on Monday. We learned about the Gupta dynasty and the Golden Age of India. The Gupta dynasty kept peace in the land by banding the people together to drive out the barbarian Huns from their lands. Although they were eventually successful, India was left poor and vulnerable. We learned about Buddha and the monks who attempted to live out his teachings. They lived in the Ajanta Caves, which they sculpted out of the cliffs using a technique in which they chiseled trenches in the rock, added pieces of wood, water, and waited for the wood to swell and break the rock. There were small rooms within the caves, called cells, where the monks could be alone. The cells opened up to wide rooms where they added sculptures and paintings painted on fresh plaster. The paint melded with the plaster to form pictures telling stories from Buddha’s life. Hundreds of years later two hunters came upon the caves, which were in superb condition. Can you imagine discovering such an interesting place?
The students and I talked about what images people would find on cave walls depicting our lifestyle. Pizza, cars, and cell phones were mentioned. We then discussed what would be on our own personal cave wall. What would be painted as a reflection of each of our own selves? With that in mind, each student practiced painting their own picture with watercolors on paper. Once they were done they took a tray of plaster and waited for it to harden a little bit so there was a firm surface. They painted their picture on the plaster. You should have seen these come home on Monday.
Next week we will be looking at The Rise of Islam, where we will learn the five pillars of the faith. For homework there is mapwork and notebooking. See you next week!