Lausanne tenth-graders voyaged across the Ottoman Empire as emissaries of Sultan Suleiman, also referred to as the Lawgiver, and came up with solutions to historical problems, all from the comfort of their classroom.
As a part of the MYP “Knowledge and Understanding” curriculum, Upper School History teacher Christopher Sutton set up a large map of the Ottoman Empire that spanned across two rectangular tables and tasked the tenth-graders with identifying historical problems faced by a multi-cultural and multi-religious realm. Once the problems were identified, students had to think through solutions that align with historical aspects of the Ottoman rule.
"Sending our student-emissaries of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman, to solve the problems of the Ottoman Empire has been an exciting and engaging way for students to practice understanding and applying rather sophisticated Ottoman systems of government,” said Mr. Sutton. “Putting oneself into the shoes of historical figures is part of thinking like a historian - and our students do a great job!"
The activity’s purpose is to reinforce and expand their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum students have been learning by immersing themselves in an active learning exercise that challenges them to respond to social changes and political obstacles.
“Students learn best by doing,” said Mr. Sutton. “This is a great way for students to practice the skills of taking in information, comprehending it and demonstrating their knowledge and understanding by using the information effectively.”