South Orangetown Central School District

Fifth graders at Cottage Lane Elementary School have been learning about the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica including the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. On Thursday, CLE teachers Jessica Sky and Megan Osso invited Dr. David M. Carballo, a professor of Archaeology, Anthropology and Latin American studies at Boston University, to speak with their class via Zoom to ask him questions as they are researching these cultures. 

“This is a unit in social studies and we have also tied in our current reading and writing units to make a multidisciplinary experience for our class,” Sky explained. “We have been immersed in researching and understanding these amazing cultures for the past few weeks, and we are writing feature articles that share our insights and learning from our research.”

After Sky and Osso connected with Dr. Carballo, he agreed to meet the class via Zoom to help them with their research and students submitted their questions to him leading up to the meeting. Students asked questions on a variety of topics regarding each civilizations including their language, the types of food they ate, sports, religion and their calendar systems. 

As Dr. Caraballo answered their questions, students took notes to help them with their articles as part of their journalism writing unit. “We are going to teach the class how to incorporate quotes from an expert into their feature articles as well, just as real journalists do,” Osso added.

CLE fifth graders speak with archaeology professor