Grade 4 Students Explore Ancient Samarkand

The students in Grade 4 are currently inquiring into how artifacts from around the world help us to learn more about the people who created them. To deepen their understanding of what artifacts found in Uzbekistan might teach us, the grade 4 teachers and students spent a long, exciting and informative day together in Samarkand on Friday, April 11.

The first visit was to the Samarkand – Bukhara Silk Carpets factory where TIS parent Mr. Badghisi explained how for generations his family has been making the beautiful Bukhara silk carpets, which are famous around the world. The patterns are representative of the region and the children discovered how the value of carpets is dependent on the time it takes to make them as well as the materials used. Only natural products are used to dye the silk and the children were all given lessons in the intricate practice of carpet making.

The next stop was to visit the handmade Paper Centre Meros factory where paper is made from the bark of mulberry trees in the same way that has been practiced for hundreds of years.

After this the students and teachers went to Shah-i-Zinda (the living king), where they explored the mausoleums, which date back to the 9th century.  Ms. Shakhnoza told the students the popular legend that surrounds the cousin of the prophet Muhammad, who was allegedly beheaded for his religious faith, but took his head and went into the deep well (Garden of Paradise), where he’s still living now!!

The forecast of thunderstorms in Samarkand held off until the TIS group was back on the bus on its way to Registan Square, which the children learned means ‘sandy place.”  On Friday during their visit, the square it was an extremely noisy and dusty place as it is under major reconstruction. The students were able to see a number of madrassas and the tiger mosaics on the face of the madrassas, which can also be seen on a 200 soum bank note.

The TIS students are incredibly lucky to be learning from each other about the many different cultures from around the world. The field trip to Samarkand also allowed students to explore the  richness that Uzbekistan has to offer while at the same time supporting the learning that is going on in the classroom.


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