“What’s the oldest building in the US that’s still around?” my oldest asked me as she was about to fall asleep. “I’m not sure I replied I’ll have to do some research but I’ll let you know.” “Could you please put it in my lunch for me?” she replied. I said “Sure.” So last night and early this morning I did some research.
This research posed some intersting questions did she want the oldest European built buildings in the US? If so then the answer would be the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe built by the Spanish in 1610. If she included US territories and then it would be in Puerto Rico build between 1533 and 1540. If we’re talking non European then it would be the cliff dwellings of the Ancient Pueblo People which can date back as far as 750.
I decided to go with the cliff dwellings of the Ancient Pueblo People printed some pictures along with a hand written description and included that in her lunch. This exercise creates a great opportunity for us to discuss how questions can be interpreted differently, how to do research and how there is not always only one correct answer. All of my answers would have been correct in some way. It also opens up a discussion about indigenous people and the European colonization of continent.
It’s truly amazing how one little question before bed time can create such a discussion and opportunity for learning.