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David Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339





Harry Hoag Elementary class learns about ancient writing

One of the earliest forms of written expression began in ancient Sumer (a region in southern Mesopotamia) with characters written on a clay tablet.

Harry Hoag Elementary social studies teacher Cheryl Toomey wanted to give her 70 students in her history class a window into the past, so she and teaching assistant Eileen Kretser created a lesson where students wrote on a “clay tablet,” or formed salt dough.Writinh

The lesson – which focused on early civilizations – featured a hands-on activity, which has become a feature of Mrs. Toomey’s class. The students used the back of spoons to write on the dough, which was donated by parents.

So, what did the students discover?

“The kids discovered that they rather use pencils and paper than to use a clay tablet,” Mrs. Toomey said. “They concluded that today’s alphabet and writing utensils are a lot easier to use.

“But the kids had fun finding that out.”