In 5th grade we study the diversity of cultures and we go to Toledo

The 5th of Primary pupils have been working on their first unit of enquiry “Who we are” of the PYP (IB), a topic that was dealt with in a cross-disciplinary way in different subjects. Specifically in the second strand “The passage of time creates new structures”, understanding why it is important to know about the coexistence between cultures and how cities have changed over the years.

For example, in Religion and Values we wanted our students to understand the positive aspects of the transformation of a place based on cultural diversity.
To do this, we contextualised the 11th century in Toledo, when Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures lived together in peace, enriching each other culturally, socially and economically.

– In the tuning in phase, the 5th graders were given a symbol, which corresponded to the cultures they were going to work with. They had to investigate which culture the symbol belonged to.
– In the finding out/sorting out phase they had to research about that culture: what is the meaning of their symbol, how they dressed, and what they ate.
– In the going further phase a workshop took place in the school where they were given the following situation: we are in 11th century Toledo and the representatives of the three cultures meet to decide where to put a fountain, taking into account the needs of each culture and where they were located in Toledo. They had to agree and defend their positions in solidarity, as Toledo was an example of coexistence. Each one wore the appropriate clothing according to the religion and culture they represented.

In this way, the pupils understood a little more about the cultural richness of Spain, which is intimately linked to the symbiosis of these three cultures and how this situation in the 11th century led to the creation of new, richer and more positive structures for all.

In addition, to enrich the learning of this unit and line of enquiry, an excursion to Toledo was organised. The activity aimed to further investigate the impact of the three cultures living together in Toledo during the 11th century and how we still have memories of those years today. They were able to visit the Synagogue of Transit, the Cathedral, the Museum of the Councils and the Mosque of Light, an excursion that certainly helped them in their learning!