El Dorado. The city of gold.
Does it exist?
That’s the challenge set to a group of intrepid year 5 and year 6 pupils in autumn 2017.
For 10 weeks, the group will be studying artefacts and researching a variety of sources to find out if there is any truth behind the legend.
Their research has begun with an advertising poster inviting fellow 9 and 10 year olds to apply to take part in the expedition.
Chapter 1: Poster to recruit a 10 year old adventurer
Chapter 2: Diary entry of a conquistador finding Lake Guatavita, Colombia
Chapter 3: Newspaper report: Sir Walter Raleigh's hunt in Guyana
Chapter 4: Non-chronological report: A guide to the Museo del Oro, Colombia
Scroll down to read their accomplished research
The children were presented with a challenge, to devise a poster to encourage all 10 and 11 year olds to apply to be part of an expedition to find out once and for all, if El Dorado actually exists...
We investigated Lake Guativita as a possible location for El Dorado. The Spanish conquistadors found the lake in the 16th century. We studied a number of first and second hand accounts as well as a number of artefacts.
This is Dominic's writing (Year 5). He used his research to write a diary entry, imagining he had seen the lake for the first time.
24th October, 1549
As I gaze into the flames of our campfire, I think about the two worlds that I have witnessed today: my army, ships, religion of my homeland Spain, then: the gold, the emeralds, the unimaginable wealth, the sacrifice and the ceremonies of this new world in the jungle. I wonder if they can live together, or will one finish the other?
My day began with waking from a wondrous dream. I had this dream. I was fighting the Aztecs to take their land under the command of Jimenez de Quesada. We were trying to take the Aztec’s gold, how? What happened? As for the morning, I wanted revenge because of the failed attack last week their wooden clubs were no match for our rifles. They took out two of my close friends. I woke up and realised what lay ahead for the day.
We had planned the journey after hearing about El Dorado from Jimenez de Quesada. He was the brains of the operation. He had planned that we infiltrate the ceremony. The King of Spain had given us orders take all gold we saw. We had heard about El Dorado from a trader we had met a couple of months ago.The only thing we had been told was a lake in the mountains with gold beyond anything we could imagine.
The journey from our base camp took about 2 months. We knew the kingdom was near because we saw jaguars, eagles and many other animals. We thought this would be an omen for what we were going to find today. As I was getting my armour on, I was thinking of the dream and I could remember the palace being ‘Palacio de los López’. I was thinking ‘Such a complicated name, I wonder what that could mean?’ This was going to help me for finding
Near the lake I saw loads of gold as if they were throwing it in, I saw the palace name ‘Palacio de los López’ I knew my dream told me my future. Sword in hand, I thought people would fear me because I was Major Meisaros! 15 years experience in the Spanish navy had taught me a lot.
All of a sudden, the jungle cleared. We climbed the hilltop and saw below us a circular lake surrounded by craggy, green mountains. We made the decision to scale down the mountain. By the lake, we saw what looked like a ceremony. It was very strange. There was a ritual, with priests conducting it. They were wearing strange head dresses, I saw them throwing jewels from a raft, straight into the water. Others were stood around, we had heard that they dressed as eagles or jaguars. As we watched, I was struck with the thought that once the people met us, both our worlds would change. My fellow conquistadors were just describing the gold with eyes wide open. We agreed that we would meet the tribe tomorrow, for now we just wanted to watch. I know that we will meet the chief. Some of the gold and emeralds had been washed up onto the side of the lake, we know because we could see it shimmering in the sunlight. We discussed how to get the gold and emeralds onto the ship, ready for the king.
If we can get the gold back to Spain, then the I am sure the price of gold will fall. We would be the richest in the world. I can do anything! Spain will rule the world!
Next, we investigated Walter Raleigh's expeditions to Guyana. The pupils wrote a newspaper report imagining the day the ship left London on its journey to Guyana to take the gold from the Spanish. Read Maria's work (Year 5)
Please scroll down to read about what our pupils discovered through their research.
This is a summary from Melani.