Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Spanish - History 1&2, 1-28-14

By the time Spain conquered the last Muslim stronghold in 1492, Spaniards had been at war for hundreds of years.  Their people were not only skilled in battle, but they had developed a culture steeped in the beliefs of the crusades.  They were adventurers, entrepreneurs, and warriors, shaped by centuries of conquest and strict religious faith.  

The Spanish Empire, between 1492 and 1892, expanded across most of Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and much of North America.

In class activities 1-28-14:

  • Compared images of the crusades and the Spanish Conquest
  • Discussed the reasons for Spain's culture of conquest
  • Colored maps detailing the region of the Aztec, Inca, and Maya
  • Worked on our Conquistador figures
  • Built paper boats

Optional lesson extension activities:

  • Using a dictionary, look up the word Conquistador.  Write one sentence in your own words that starts with "The word Conquistador means..."  (Parents, there will be weekly writing assignments that will progress from simple to more complex. If your child is unable to write the assignment on their own, feel free to act as their scribe.  The point is to make them think, not to assess their handwriting.  All assignments will be added to the students' history notebooks.  Please make sure that your child has included their name.)
  • Review your timeline

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Art Elective Period A, 1/28/2014

Fellow Bird-watchers, 

We enjoyed our first class together listening to a great story The Boy Who Drew Birds.  All the students had wonderful stories to share about their own experiences with birds, loved it.  We discussed what artists and birders have in common, the need to observe.  I had the students color in a line drawing of a blue jay, trying to copy the colorings of a blue jay photograph.  Then working in groups they compared the style of John James Audubon to that of Charley Harper.  Here are some images of Harper’s art. Click here  for a link to

They did a fantastic job noticing the detail and texture and behavior of the birds depicted in Audubon’s work in comparison to the more abstracted designs of Harper.  We discussed how Audubon’s job was to depict these birds as realistic as possible because he was documenting North American birds some for the first time.  This was before the invention of the camera, this is pivotal in the art world.  Harper lived 100 years after Audubon.
Harper developed an early appreciation and love of animals as well as design. He attended West Virginia Wesleyan College and graduated from the Cincinnati Art Academy, where he also taught for many years. Gradually, Harper began to lose his interest in realism. "I felt shackled by the laws of perspective and shading and decided that the constant attempt to create the illusion of three dimensions on the two-dimensional plane of the picture was limiting me as an artist. Realistic painting persuades the viewer that he is looking into space rather than at a flat surface. It denies the picture plane, which I affirm and use as an element of design. Wildlife art has been dominated by realism, but I have chosen to do it differently because I think flat, hard-edge and simple."
 I then had them draw a blue jay in the style of Harper with simple lines and shapes.  Many found this more difficult.  They then further abstracted their drawings by adding unrealistic colors and textures. 

I look forward to the weeks ahead.  In the meantime continue watching for and identifying birds at home.  I am including information about the great backyard bird count that we can all participate in.  The weekend is coming up in February.  There are simple instructions you can print out or read online.  This would be a great activity to link birding and conservation. 
Click here for a link to

Also, the Audubon site has some fun activities.  One I mentioned was the live bird cam. Click here for a link to the website
This link has some games and the camera links are on the right-side under "Now Playing".






History Elective Period B, 1/28/2014

Summary: We examined cultural differences between groups and how to interpret the words and actions of one group to the other by watching an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies. Then, we discovered Paul's strategy for bring the good news of Jesus to the world.

Group One: Curtis Comrie, Jacob Mitchell, Oren Fultz, Rachel Klekar, Suzie Araldi, Zoe Mailhot
1. What were classes to Wesley and how did he use them? How did this help him to reach more people for Jesus?
Click here for the link to

2.  What did Wesley do that helped him succeed in bringing the good news of Jesus to so many people?
Click here for the link to

John Wesley's Small Group Rules

In the early days of the Methodist Church, members were expected to agree to six common disciplines or "Rules" found in The Works of John Wesley (1816)

  1. To meet once a week, at least.
  2. To come together at the hour appointed, without some extraordinary reason.
  3. To begin (those of us who are present) exactly at the hour, with singing or prayer.
  4. To speak each of us in order, freely and plainly, the true state of our souls, with the faults we have committed in thought or deed and the temptations we have felt since our last meeting.
  5. To end every meeting with prayer suited to the state of each person.
  6. To desire some person among us to speak his own state first, and then to ask the rest, in order, as many and as searching questions as may be, concerning their state, sins, and temptations.

 Group Two: Abigail Mitchell, Ana Hood, Asa Fultz, Caroline Baggs, Eden Locke, Luke Lowne

1. What can you learn from these articles about George Whitefield and the first Great Awakening?
Click here for a link to the website
Click here for a link to the website

2. Please be ready to report on George Whitfield, a "school dropout."

Music, All Levels 1/28/2014

The History and Origin of Musical Instruments: The Human Voice/Singing

The class covered the following topics:

Understanding how the voice works:

The Power Source: Lungs and Diaphragm

Understanding the importance of Air in sounds

The Pipe: Trachea and Vocal Chords

Understanding Vibrations

The Manipulators: Tongue, Lips, Teeth, Nose, and Sinus Cavities



Worksheet/coloring Sheet

Voice Exercises:

Controlled Breathing (Candle Experiment),articulation (Tongue Twisters), warm-ups for the Vocal Chords, Comb Harmonica and Vibrations

Listening to Vocal style and variety in music



Bring in a household object that could be used as a drum

Bring in an item/items that could be put inside a drum that would change the sound of it.

Drama - Period B - 1/28/14

  Today in class the children went through preliminary auditions for drama.  We discussed the importance of volume, cooperation and dramatic presentation before,during & after this exercise. Afterwards we attempted to play cooperation & listening games which included a lot of laughter. Next week we will be assigning roles for the April presentation.  

Drama - Period A - 1/28/14

Today in drama we discussed elements of planning, shooting & editing a video. Students were divided into 3 groups and charged with the task of making a 3-5 minute video presentation based on  a fairy tale.  We began the story-boarding process today and all groups managed to shoot some footage. Over the course of this week, each group will attempt to edit their video collaboratively via gmail.  For those students working on editing...this is the program we saw used during class
Homework: Please forward your gmail address to either Jenna Baggs ( or Tram Fultz ( so we can set up groups for editing. Please discuss this with us if your student is unfamiliar with email or you have any reservations about this process.  We are not hoping to break any family rules about media, hoping to work together to streamline homework and interaction with the students, please feel free to talk with us!

Also let us know if it is possible for your student to have access to a laptop during the Faith Drama time. Finally, please let us know if your student would prefer to be behind or in front of the camera before next weeks class time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

War of 1812, History 1&2, 1-21-14

Often called the Second Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 had roots in the Napoleonic wars.  Both Britain and France were angered that the US was trading with their enemy.  Britain blocked US ports and impressed (kidnapped) sailors into service with the British navy. In addition, the British worked with Native American tribes to halt the westward expansion of the US.  

The war was at a stalemate for two years until the British won against Napoleon in Europe, ending their need for additional soldiers, and freeing them to fight on the American front.  New soldiers arrived, burning the US capital to the ground.  

It had become very expensive to continue this war, and after months of talks both sides agreed to a treaty.  Unfortunately, before news of peace made it back to the US, the battle of New Orleans was fought.  In the end, Canada’s border and the native territories went back to where they were before the war. 

In class activities 1-21-14

  • Discussed the origin of "Uncle Sam" and made our own Uncle Sam jumping toys
  • Considered the idea of land ownership from the perspective of Tecumseh and the  Native Americans
  • Reviewed the major causes of the war of 1812
  • Looked at images of "Old Iron Sides" and learned about the USS Constitution.
  • Discussed the origin of the Star Spangled Banner.

Optional Lesson Extension Activities:

No assignment this week

Timeline Videos - Creation through Missouri Compromise (2011 - 2014)

Here's a look at the 1/21 version of the 2013/2014 History Timeline - be sure to practice!

If you weren't with us for the first 2 years of timeline, or simply need a refresher, click here for the FAITH Timeline - 2011/2012 + 2012/2013 (Creation through John Knox, Scottish Reformer). Students will perform the entire timeline (staring with Creation) in April - now's a great time to practice. 

The following videos served as guides for the hand motions used for our history timeline, and incorporate fairly clear images of the cards with the associated motions - at a slower pace:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Drama 2 - 1/21/14

Last week we took some time to come up with a list of our favorite games from the year.  This week we were able to play two of them!  The kids voted to enjoy another round of "shoe box" and "two person skits".  We had a lot of fun with our imagination in both!  Also, we did a lightening round of remembering some of the things from the classes over that last 15 weeks.  Lots of enthusiasm and great memories!

Drama 3 and 4 - 1/21/14

This week we had some fun with a great game to review all that we studied over the 15 weeks of classes!  I was impressed by the amount that was recalled and amused by the some of the things that were remembered so well :)
I loved having all of your bright and energetic kids in class with me each week!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Treasure Hunters 1/14/2014

The Declaration of Independence was studied before Christmas break and was discussed again on Tuesday.

We read The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh, discussed the Declaration and its dispersement to the colonies by broadsides on horseback.

The children made horses carrying broadsides.   We also mentioned the Liberty Bell and talked of how its signing is remembered when we celebrate on the 4th of July each year.  The kids make 4th of July confetti poppers to commemorate this.
We continue to work with marching songs and rhythms, as well as learning the parts of the Grand Staff.


Music Levels 3 & 4,January 14, 2014

Students spent time completing orchestral instruments Word Scramble and a Search Orchestra Quiz as well as analyzing the music of Orchestra Musical Works.

Coloring the layout of the Orchestra
Listening to and Identifying the Instruments

Research and read the story behind The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem; Read all the lyrics/verses for this song. 

Art for Levels 3 & 4, January 14, 2014

Today in art we discussed the differences between 2-d and 3-d artwork and focused on architecture.  Architecture is different from sculpture in that it is functional and serves a purpose, you can walk in it, be protected by it.   Architecture is a very special art form that combines something that is beautiful with something that is useful.  Thomas Jefferson, our third president, was fascinated by architecture and thought it the ideal form of art for the new American democracy. He was worried that forms of art such as painting and sculpture depended on the patronage of a special and privileged class of wealthy people -- sometimes even kings and queens -- which he thought would be very harmful to the ideals of this country. When Jefferson was still a young man and newly married, he began drawing detailed plans for a beautiful home on a very large piece of land he had inherited in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. Jefferson was inspired by classical motifs he saw while in Europe.  We compared his Monticello with the Parthenon in Greece and the University of Virginia with the Pantheon in Rome.  This new style of architecture is called neoclassical, borrowing elements of classic architecture like symmetry, columns, and domes.

The students were given the assignment to imagine they had been given a large piece of property on which they are to build a town.  They are to reference the architectural styles we discussed in class for ideas (printout they brought home) and come up with a design for the mayor’s home of this new town.  They are to complete a pencil drawing using necessary tools: rulers and compasses.  They are to choose a location for their town and also plan what materials the building will be made with (the design of the exterior).  Next class we will color these in. 

Music for Levels 1 & 2,January 14, 2014

The Orchestra: Part 2 of 2
Understanding the layout of the Orchestra.
Listening to and Analyzing Orchestral Pieces
Coloring the layout of the Orchestra
Listening to and Identifying the Instruments

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Drama 2,3,4 - 1/14/14

This week we culminated in the start of American theater!  The first theater building was built in 1715 in Williamsburg, VA!  During the American Revolution the Continental congress (following suit of many states already) banned theater.  While their motives many have been war effort related, some of the individual states cited religious reasons.  Despite this, the first professional theater company came into being in New York in 1756!

Along with our last look at the history of theater during our time period, we also discussed the need to be vigilant about what we let into our active imaginations!  All theater is not good or good for us.  God has given us the gift of imagination and theater is a wonderful way to use it!  We live in a world that can easily turn God's blessings into something else, stay aware and enjoy the blessing of good theater!

Louisiana Purchase, History 1&2, 1-14-14

Louisiana Purchase 
In October 1802, the Spanish colonial administrator in New Orleans prohibited American crops from being shipped to other nations. Americans believed, incorrectly, that the order had actually come from Napoleon. Fears of French control of the Louisiana Territory grew.
President Jefferson sent envoys to France with a proposal to purchase New Orleans.  They found that with the French army struggling, Napoleon had abandoned his plans for American empire.  He offered to sell the entirety of France's North American possessions.  This was an incredible deal for the United States, costing less than five cents per acre for 828,000 square miles of land.  This deal, now known as the Louisiana Purchase, more than doubled the size of the United States.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led an expedition to explore the west soon afterward. The team, also known as the Corps of Discovery, left St. Louis, Missouri in 1804 and returned to the same spot in 1806. Their travels gave the United States government an understanding of what exactly it had purchased.  

In class activities 1/14/14:

  • Learned about the connection between Napoleon and Lewis and Clark
  • Created a giant map detailing the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Added to our history notebooks
  • Made leaf rubbings to record our own nature discoveries

Optional Lesson Extension Activities:

  • What would you do?  Try this fun online game from National Geographic, and see how you would fare on Lewis and Clark's journey. 
  • Print the fun book about Sacagawea including activities.  

There are lots of fantastic books about this period.  You will probably laugh, but my favorite come from the fun point of view of Lewis' dog.

  • For older students - The Captain's Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe by Roland Smith
  • For younger students - Seaman's Journal: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Patti Reeder Eubank
  • Read the last of your timeline cards - we are going to be wrapping up this time period next week!
  • Don't forget to practice your timeline.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

History Level 3, January 7, 2014

We discussed the answers to the homework questions and looked at important implications. We talked about the separation of powers again and the important reasons for them.

What was the second great awakening?
How did it change the country?
Why was it important?

Here are some sources to help you find the answers:
Click here for the following link
Click here for the following link


History Level 4, January 7, 2014

Three students reported on books they read. Their summaries and presentations were well done. We discussed some of the quotes of our founding fathers and offered contemporary examples for several.

What was the second great awakening?
How did it change the country?
Why was it important?

Here are some sources to help you find the answers:
Click here for the following link
Click here for the following link

Music Levels 3 & 4, January 7, 2014

The Orchestra: Part 1

Older Classes - Instruments of the Orchestra, and their sections, understanding the layout of an Orchestra

 Older Classes - Identifying instruments and their groups and reviewing the chart for the Orchestra Layout.

Other Resources:
These websites have some excellent resources for the study of the orchestra, if there is further interest to explore this topic:
Classics for Kids  Click here for link to
Dallas Symphony Click here for the link to
San Francisco Symphony Click here for the link to

Music Levels 1 & 2, January 7, 2014

The Orchestra: Part 1
Younger Class - Identification of the Instruments in the Orchestra, by sight and sound. Understanding the instrument types and groups

Younger Classes - Coloring and identifying instruments, organizing instruments into groups and listening to the instruments

Other Resources:
These websites have some excellent resources for the study of the orchestra, if there is further interest to explore this topic:
Classics for Kids  Click here for link to
Dallas Symphony Click here for the link to
San Francisco Symphony Click here for the link to

Drama 2,3,4 - 1/6/14

This week we explored the world behind the scenes of the theater!  We discussed the many jobs that need to be done in order for a production to put on the stage.  Along with this, the responsibilities of each job. There are many opportunities to work in any or all of these areas in most theaters.  We talked about the need for duel roles (actor and lighting crew, or costumer and stage hand) in most local theaters.

For a game we enjoyed using some scrapes from my sewing bag to create some fun characters!  Ask the kids about some of the funny people Mrs. Baggs created ;)  This was an opportunity to feel how even just a small piece of a costume can bring out a character!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The French Revolution, History 1&2, 1-7-14

Years of government debt and oppression created an entire class of discontent citizens.  This, combined with failed crops, the Age of Enlightenment’s encouragement to “think for yourself,” and news of the American  Revolution, led to a situation ripe for revolution.  
Groups began to speak out and arm themselves in revolt against their King.  In a search for ammunition, the Storming of the Bastille was the first in a series of victories for the revolutionaries.  
An extremely bloody civil war eventually turned into war with neighboring countries, and many government officials were executed at the guillotine, including the King.

A young general in multiple campaigns named Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris to lead a coup against the newly formed government, and name himself the leader of France.

In Class Activities:

  • Discussed the influence of the American Revolution and Enlightenment on the French people
  • Evaluated the 3 tiers of French society
  • Learned about Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI, and Napoleon
  • Heard about the invention of the guillotine
  • Felted our own tricolour flags
  • Added to our History Notebooks

Optional Extension Activities:

  • A fun music video quickly reviewing the French Revolution through Napoleon.  This topic is impossible to cover without mention of the very bloody nature of the French Revolution.  Therefore, there is a bit of (cartoon) violence in this video that you should be aware of.
  • Crash Course World History has an episode devoted to the French Revolution.  This one is best for older students as it goes into greater depth.
  • Storming of the Bastille online puzzle


  • Read cards 28&29 covering the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Review your timeline!