Friday, February 28, 2014

Conquest of the Maya - History A

In 1502 Columbus first made contact with the Mayan Indians.   By that point the great cities of the Mayan empire had already been abandoned.  The Maya were organized into a large number of independent states, which the conquistadors subdue one by one, a process which took 170 years.  

Particularly in the early stages, a prime motivating factor for the conquistadors was their interest in gold.  Since the Maya lands were poor in these resources, they held little initial interest for the Spanish, who moved on to other areas. However, with the prospects of new land grants and the acquisition of labor forces, they returned to the Maya region.  The Spanish did not ever fully eliminate the Mayan people.  Many cultural traditions still exist among descendants of the Mayan people today.  

In Class Activities 2/25/14
  • Covered our sugar cube pyramids with "stucco," then added moss to make them look abandoned
  • Painted Mayan soldier figurines
  • Looked at images of the decline of the Mayans and the later Spanish Conquest
  • Reviewed the timeline of Mayan events
  • Discussed the intentions o the Spanish
Optional Lesson Extension Activities:


  • Write a sentence or two finishing this sentence:  It took the Spanish ____ years to conquer the Maya because...  (Parents, read the introduction to your child only if they cannot answer on their own)
  • Review your timeline

Thursday, February 27, 2014

History Elective Period B, 2.27.2014

We reviewed how the Evangelicals turned England around from a godless to a god-fearing nation. We talked about the rules for making a board game. The kids choose which of two game designing teams they wished to work with and began the process of designing one of two versions of the game - How the Evangelicals Conquered England or some such thing:)

Homework: Work with other teammates to continue designing and refining their team's version of the game.

Music Elective Period A and Period B for 2/25/2014

Instruments: Percussion Part 2

How percussion instruments can be categorized:

Pitched vs Unpitched, and Membranaphone vs Idiophone

 The Origin, Material, and Usage/sound of various percussion instruments: Timpani, Cymbals, Gong, Castanet, Bells, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Triangle, and more

Younger Class: Coloring sheet, Xylophone Creation and Experiment with Sound Making castanets Performance Songs

 Older Class: Categorizing percussion intsruments Xylophone/Chime creating and experimenting Water Glass: Xylophone style, tone pitching, and the Glass Harmonica


 Younger Class:

Each student needs to bring in either a plastic cool whip/sherbet bowl with lid (if making a banjo) OR a large metal coffee can with lid (if making a Bass) to next class.

Practice singing and rhythm of performance songs- "I've been working on the railroad" and "Heaven is a wonderful place"

 Older Class:

Each student needs to bring in either a plastic cool whip/sherbet bowl with lid (if making a banjo) OR a large metal coffee can with lid (if making a Bass) to next class.

Listen to and play on personal instrument "Requiem for a Dream"


Art Elective Period B 2/25/2014

We did blind contour drawings of different animal figurines to put on the totem poles we started a few weeks ago.  These types of drawings are a great way to train the eye to draw what it really sees than what it thinks it sees.  When making a blind contour drawing, the eye is not watching the hand as it draws on the paper.  Our pictures came out pretty silly, but that’s okay, it’s a warm up exercise J

We finished our totems and some students still had some work to do on theirs, so I sent home some squares of precut paper for them to draw, color, cut, and glue their remaining animals on.

I forgot to bring back the framed reflection drawings, so there is something to look forward to next week. 

For those who were absent and everyone else who wants a little more of a look at contour drawings, please check out this link if you get the time. Click here for link.

If you like, you may draw the animals you wanted to have on your totem pole and we can glue them on next week.  

ASSIGNMENT:  Look in the mirror and do a blind contour drawing of self.  Try to add as much detail of self (eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, hair, anything really that you can see in the mirror.) Try to stay as still as possible and no peeking :)  Check out the link below of a blind contour tutorial.  *Instead of using the paper, they can use the mirror and draw themselves.  Have fun and bring to class with you next week.  There will be rewards for those who remember!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Drama Period A - video

This week we presented our visions for the segments we began to work on last week.  All groups came with some wonderful ideas and during class we began to flesh them out and began the details needed to bring them to life!

Bunker Hill group - has a chat planned for thursday morning at 10, please do your best to remember to log into gchat and make some great progress :)

Pilgrams - i believe you had a chat today, if you need more help please let me know!

Song - please continue to talk this week and keep up the steady progress (please remember to pass along to me any new decisions)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

History Elective Period B

We discussed the homework questions and listened to a case study of the Evangelicals who turned England from a pagan to a Christian nation between 1800 and 1860.

Choose a group to convert to Christ.
Make a list of all obstacles you might encounter in helping them to convert to Christ
Brainstorm possible ways (methods) you can overcome the obstacles.
Make a list of results, changes in the peoples' lives if they convert.

Art Elective Period B

We discussed totem poles, specifically Western Native American. We began drawing our animal designs for poles and began construction of physical totem poles with paper towel and practiced drawing animals.

Practice drawing the animals you will use for totem poles. Also find three pictures of totem poles for reference ideas when drawing.

Music Elective Period A & B

Percussion Instruments Part 1: The Drums

History -   What drums were used for throughout time, where they came from, the parts of drums and what they are made of.

The Different Types of Drums and how they work and sound:

Bass, snare, bongos/conga, table, steel drums



Coloring sheet/Worksheet

Drum Experiments : Understanding the science behind their sound/vibrations

Experimenting with different shapes, sizes, and materials, made a personal mallet.

Art Elective Period A

We reviewed the work of Charley Harper and used collage to recreate a bird of choice for the front cover of our nature journals.
Over the weeks to come the plan will be to have the students work in their journals during the week at home, teaching them to observe and draw from nature.
The first assignment for this week is to choose a bird either from a bird guide book or from looking out the window.  Draw the bird in two different mediums, for example, one pencil drawing, or one colored pencils, marker, paper collage. 
Encourage them to date their pages as the use their journals.
Next week I will be sharing another two artists known for nature journaling and animal artistry.
Also, we will be preparing for the backyard bird count which happens February 14-17.  Please review information
Taking time to do the bird count will improve your child’s ability to notice the different species of birds at your feeder, also noting other factors like precipitation, snow cover, temperature, and daytime. 

 For Class:
Do two bird drawings in nature journal in different mediums. 
Bring nature journal to class every week.
Visit the library and check out some bird books (children’s section or animal section of adult has all the bird guides)  A fun one to listen to bird songs is the Bird song Bible.  Bring a bird book to class.
Enjoy journaling!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Period B Drama - 2/4/14

This week in class we worked on creating a story based on one prop, a cloak.  Each group had 15 min. to create a piece that involved all the actors, a cloak, and a full story (beginning, middle, end).  The results were wonderful!  This also gave us all an opportunity to be good audience members J 

The stories we are going to be telling in our year end presentation was read to the children in class.  We are all very excited about the many different roles and possible “cool props”!  Roles coming soon, stay tuned.

Period A Drama - 2/4/14

We have broken into groups and begun work on the first of two video segments that each team will be producing for the year end production.  In class they began to talk over a vision and started research, storyboarding, and even made plans to connect and continue this work during the week! 

Group 1: Asa, Oren, Rachel K.. Kylie, and Adalie
The 2nd Great Awakening (take note, this is a switch from the 1st Great Awakening)
The Pligram’s landing and settlement

Group 2: Jacob, Suzie, Sophia, Curtis, and Mahayla
Lewis and Clark
Explorers of the North East
13 Colonies Song

Group 3: Mitchell, Rachel G., Eden, Abigail, Caroline
Founding Fathers
British lose at Bunker Hill
Group 2, please remember you have planned to be in contact via email this week to continue your work.
Group 3, please remember you have planned a gchat on Saturday at 2pm.  This video is a helpful tutorial…

Homework: Each group will need to be prepared to present their vision to the rest of the class on Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Maya - History 1&2 - 2/4/14

Mayan civilization existed long before the birth of Jesus.  In the Classic Period, from AD 250 - 900, the Maya created a remarkable civilization full of enormous architecture built entirely without metal tools.  They were an incredible people, skilled in math and astronomy.  Religion affected every area of their lives.  It was the priests who created a complicated system of glyphs to write down their history, and these same priests who studied the stars and created an extraordinarily accurate calendar. For unknown reasons, beginning in AD 800-950 they abandoned their large cities.  The surviving people moved into the jungle where they formed small villages.  Then, suddenly the Maya began building cities again.   By the time that the Spanish arrived, the Maya were again living in the jungles.

In class activities 2/4/14:

  • Learned about the history, religion, and architecture of the Mayan people
  • Built our own pyramids out of sugar cubes and glue
  • Discussed the difficulty of building large structures without metal tools
  • played the Mayan ball game Pok-a-tok
  • Added true/false cards to our history notebooks

Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Write one or two sentences describing the religion of the Mayan people.  (Parents: feel free to use this site for more information)  Don't forget to include your name and bring your paper to class next week.
  • Review your timeline