Thursday, March 27, 2014

History Elective Period B, 3/25/2014

Students continued to discuss their progress with their games and receive feedback and instruction. The class also brainstormed ideas for the end of the year show in the remaining time that they had.

Come prepared to show a completed (not necessarily final) game board with instructions.

Music Elective Period B, 3/25/2014

The Wind Instruments: Woodwind Family
History, Make, and Playing of the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, and Bassoon
Observation of other Wind instruments from the Cornet to Bagpipes - Panpipes and Pipe Organ

Experiment with blowing and “Reeds”

Work on Idea for own Instrument Invention/Creation
Choose Instrument for Poster
Memorize Psalm 150 Verse; finalize musical dramatization of verse

Both Classes’ Instrument Poster assignments will be due at class on 4/8;
Information sheets were sent home this week with each student.They will need to find information on all the following:
Photo or Drawing of Instrument
Where Instrument came from
When Instrument was made
What the Instrument is made of
How the Instrument works/What it sounds like
Interesting Facts about Instrument




Music Elective Period A 3/25/2014

The Wind Instruments: Woodwind Family
History, Make, and Playing of the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, and Bassoon
Observation of other Wind instruments from the Cornet to Bagpipes - Oboes

Experiment with blowing and “Reeds”


Work on Final Performance Pieces
Work on Idea for own Instrument Invention/Creation
Choose Instrument for Poster
Bring in Kitchen Item for Song
Practice singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and “Heaven”

Both Classes’ Instrument Poster assignments will be due at class on 4/8;
information sheets were sent home this week with each student. They will need to find information on all the following:
Photo or Drawing of Instrument
Where Instrument came from
When Instrument was made
What the Instrument is made of
How the Instrument works/What it sounds like
Interesting Facts about Instrument

Drama Elective Period B, 3/25/2014

 We are delighted to report that this week we blocked the entire presentation!  So far, the kids have done a great job with memorizing their lines, please encourage your student to study the lines before & after theirs so they know when to come in. And if your lines have just been posted, please work hard to memorize them. We only have 2 weeks until the presentation. Sincere apologies for any issues in getting the script out. If you are still unable to view it, please let us know & we will do our best to address it. There should be lines accompanying the Louisiana Purchase heading. Cassia, Charlie, Jonathan, Annika & Ellie are in this section.

  Please ask your student about their roles and have them bring in any costume pieces and props they have for next week. We need to start incorporating them into the show. We have some explorers that need to look "swash-buckling." Some of the students have dual parts as soldiers and settlers. Soldiers don't necessarily need uniforms because they are re-enacting Valley Forge so presenting the "remnants" of a uniform, with or without shoes (ask your student if they need any) would be much appreciated.  That said, if you have something that looks like a colonial uniform that we can borrow, that would be very helpful. As far as settlers go, we will need some packages & bundles to carry to look legit, so any idea that you have that could be brought in would be great.  If you need clarification on any of this, please let us know. Many thanks for your help ahead of time....

Drama Elective Period A, 3/25/2014

This week in Drama everyone made plans to finalize their "movies."  Most of the groups have finished their shooting as of the end of the class period and all that remains is to edit.  The class expectation is to have all the movies finished, edited and ready for viewing by next week's class so we can incorporate them into our final presentation.  Popcorn will be served and some gluten free cookies. If any parents would like to contribute a snack for our movie event, please let us know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Aztec Conquest - History A

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire saw the Catholic army of Spain decimate 15 million Aztec people.   During the campaign, Cortés rallied many rivals of the Aztecs, to join him.  These forces arrived in Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519, where Cortez was welcomed by Moctezuma, leader of the Aztec people. 
Trust between the two leaders was precarious.  Fear and anger eventually led Cortez to take Moctezuma captive in his own palace and use him as a puppet ruler. The people eventually realized what was happening and stoned their own leader as a traitor.  This resulted in a massacre at the Main Temple of Tenochtitlan.  Cortés and his men had to fight their way out of the capital city, however, the Spanish later returned with reinforcements and laid siege to the city, leading to the fall of Tenochtitlan a year later in 1521.

In class activities 3/25/14:
  • Learned about the fall of the Aztecs to Cortez
  • Built Aztec temples out of clay
  • Made clay hearts to remind us of the religious practices of the Aztecs
  • Built wooden bridges for our Tenochtitlan models
  • Played telephone to discover the difficulties that Cortez faced when using multiple translators
  • Added to our history notebooks

Optional lesson extension activities:
Horrible Histories - Angry Aztecs is a funny way to review all that we have learned about the Aztecs.  I couldn't find a single link to the entire show, so forgive the long list of links.  Each video is only a few minutes long.
  • Draw a picture of Cortez setting fire to his own ships.  Write a sentence or two explaining why he would do such a thing. (Additional information available here)
  • Review your timeline

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Drama Period B - 3/18/14

This week we were able to rehearse the first portion of our script!  Thank you to all the parents that have already begun to work on memorizing with their students!!  We did make it a little farther into the piece, you will find the updated script here.  Along with our rehearsals each week we are learning some fun tidbits of added history, make sure you ask your kids about what happened to Magellan ;)  
Please keep working on memorizing!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Music Elective Period A & B, 3/11/2014


Strings: Part 2 – The Violin Family
History of the Violin: 1500’s, Italy, Mr. Stradivarius
Parts of the Violin
Differences/Similarities with the Viola/Cello/Double Bass

Coloring Sheet/Violin Parts Worksheet
Playing a Violin
Experimenting with sounds using different “bodies” and “strings”
Finish painting banjo/bass parts
Performance Songs



Period A:

Practice “Heaven” Song with rhythm and “I’ve been working on the Railroad”


Period B:

Memorize parts from Psalm 150, and create illustration/drama idea for assigned verse to present to class next week.

Verse 1 – Mitchell

Verse 2 – Adalie

Verse 3 – Kylie

Verse 4 – Sophia

Verse 5 – Kylie

Verse 6 – Entire Class

Practice “Requiem for a Dream” melodies on personal instrument

If anyone has any instruments from the brass family that you could bring in next week for us to use in music class, that would be wonderful!


Period B History 3/11/2014

We discussed what we learned from creating the games. We talked about the lessons learned from working in groups and applied that to the founding of our government and the Evangelical transformation of England through the use of Societies.

 Team 1 played the game created by team 2 and team 2 played the game created by team 1. At the end each student offered a short evaluation of the game.

 Assignment steps for the next 3 weeks – Finish as many of the steps below as you can this week and bring all of your materials to class so we can work on them with you.

In the next three weeks you (each student or group of students) will create a game that will be fun and teach those that play it how to communicate the good news about Jesus to a specific group of people. In our games we will assume that a 20 – 40% of those who hear the gospel will respond positively.
1. Choose a group of people that need to know Jesus. The more familiar you are    with the group, the more likely your game will work. The less you know the more you will have to ask people for information that will help you understand how you        can reach the group. The group must be one of manageable size. Too small a group and it could be difficult to create a game. Too large a group and the details will drown you.
Example of groups – a Town or City, the State of NH, 100 Children in an After School Program, families without fathers, parents who have lost a child
2.To accomplish your goal of reaching this group, you will need to enlist the help of other people. Just like the Evangelicals used Societies (people who all agreed to work to achieve the group goal), you will have to decide what groups to create to achieve your goal.
Examples: The Bible Society agreed to print and give Bibles to everyone who needed one. The Abolitionists agreed to find ways to limit and end the slave trade. If you chose “parents who have lost a child” then you would create a group or groups to help them with that loss. It won’t be you alone doing everything!
3. Identify the problems/obstacles you will have to solve to achieve your goal.
4. Identify ways the problems can be solved/methods that can be used.
5. Begin to design the game.
Class time will be used to help you identify obstacles you missed and discover ways to overcome obstacles as well as help with any step where you are having difficulty.

Period B Art 3/11/2014

We began this week with a lesson on the history of sign making. Oh, what a rich legacy American sign making holds. The outstanding American sign was at once purposeful and artistic - even poetic. It announced the personality of a shop or an inn even before one entered - bidding the customer welcome, or the weary traveler rest. All was made clear through picturesque words and images that inspired imaginations.

We had a group discussion on the general use of signs and their function in early American society such as attract attention or provide clarity to those who could not read or as a means of simple advertisement. We talked about how many inns and taverns had colorful and descriptive names. And we discussed trades of the early 19th century to get the creative juices flowing for our assignment.

Class activity - we sketched out a sign for an imaginary business, encouraging colorful and descriptive names/wording. They sketched the shape of their sign to most appeal to others and added symbols and pictures.

Assignment: Make a color wheel with the primary and secondary colors in any way they choose (colored pencils, markers, crayons, watercolor, etc.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Period B Drama - 3/11/14

We were so excited to begin our blocking of the first few scenes!  We will be continuing to work through this each week and we are also working on getting finished up the second half of our show...please stay tuned.  Each student should have a printed copy of the script at home and to bring to class each week.  Please be working with them on memorizing lines!  If you need a copy the document is here, if you cannot print a copy, please let me know and i will make one for your child.

Period A Drama - 3/11/14

In class we learned about the planning and some execution techniques for shooting the first segments of the final presentation they have been working on!  This week they are working hard to get time to get together and shoot the footage they will need for editing next week.  Parents, please know that any planning of times outside the classroom is only temporary until all parents have agreed!  I will do my very best to keep you all informed as soon as possible after the end of co-op on Tuesdays.
I am very excited to see all the work coming together, I am sure each of the students is as well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fall of the Inca - History A

Parents: Please thank your children for their excellent behavior today.  I lost my voice, and they had work very hard to be quiet in order to hear me and complete their projects.  They did a fantastic job!
On November 16, 1532, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro lured the Incan emperor, Atahualpa, into a trap. With fewer than 200 men against several thousand Inca, Pizarro placed his cannons on a rooftop and hid his horsemen and soldiers in buildings around the square. When Atahualpa arrived, Pizarro sent a priest out to meet with him with a Bible. After leafing through it and not recognizing its words (the Inca had no written language), Atahualpa disdainfully threw the book on the ground. 

Angry at this sacrilege, the priest called on the Spanish to attack. Instantly the square was packed with horsemen and footmen, slaughtering natives and fighting their way to the royal litter.  Pizarro's men captured Atahualpa and used him to control the Incan empire, forcing his people to pay a ransom.  The gold delivered filled a room to over 8 feet high.  The Spanish went back on their word, and rather than release Atahualpa after the ransom was paid, they forced him to convert to Christianity before eventually killing him.  

Fighting between the Spanish and the Inca continued, but Pizarro's bold victory over Atahualpa effectively marked the end of the Inca Empire.
In-class activities 3/11/14:
  • Assembled display boxes for our Aztec and Inca miniatures
  • Painted Inca Warriors
  • Watched "Conquest of the Incas" 
  • Added to our history notebooks
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Find a Bible verse about greed and copy it in your nicest handwriting.  Write a sentence or two about how this applies to the Inca's willingness to pay Atahualpa's ransom or Pizarro's behavior.
  • Practice your timeline

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Music Period A and B Elective 3/4/2014


String Instruments: The Guitar and Its Family

The origin, design, and workings of the instrument


Guitar Coloring/Parts Worksheet

Painting of Banjo/Bass Parts

Work on performance songs



History Elective Period B 3/4/2014

History Elective Summary:

The students created functional copies of their games and played for about 20 minutes.

Assignment: Each team is to make finished copies of their games and bring them to class ready to play. The goal will be to work out all the kinks and begin working on their individual games during the second half of the class period.

Art Elective Period B 3/4/2014

We did blind contour drawings of a still life set up in the center of the room. Continuing to train their eye to draw what they see. I paired each boy in the class with a girl in hopes they would really look at each other as they drew sections of one another's face. My plan mostly backfired as it was too silly to look at each other for an extended period of time...lesson learned :) We discussed how acrylic paint is different from other paint mediums and what we can do with it in our paintings, such as layer it because of it's thickness and quick drying properties, mix colors to create other shades and hues and value. After sketching a section of our partners face, we used acrylic paint to finish, practicing with mixing colors which is a real challenge when only primary colors are provided. They did a great job creating what they needed!

Assignments: Take the opportunity while traveling in the car to talk about signs that you see....road signs, store signs, signs on homes, etc. and why we have signs. Have them draw a sign of choice in pencil and bring to class.

Art Period A for 3/4/2014

Thanks to Mrs. Ford for filling in on such short notice!  She said you all did a fantastic job in class and also came with wonderful tree drawings in your nature journals.  Keep up the good work.

 Last week we did blind contour drawings which is a drawing exercise that teaches your eye and hand to work together.  Often if we look at what we are drawing on the paper as we draw we forget to study our object!  This trains the eye and hand to move together and figure out proportion and distance while drawing.  It is a quick exercise that can be done easily.  Simply use paper and pencil and set an object in front of you.  Take 5-10 seconds to draw the object without looking at your paper and without lifting you pencil.  Yes it may look funny but it is helping you learn to draw.  We also did some larger sketching of birds using charcoal and graphite sticks standing up.  This helps you be more free in your arms and hand movement as you draw. 

 We did blind contour drawings of fruit to warm up and then really observed the object and the way the light hit the fruit.  I demonstrated shading using lines and discussed how different kinds of lines can be used to achieve a different feel in the drawing.  Vertical lines create a rustic mood, horizontal lines create a peaceful mood, diagonal lines create an active or fresh drawing (like on a tree), and shadow modeling are a series of lines that go around (like a finger) and these best express form. I also showed them value using a diagonal line diagram.


The students observed from where they were sitting, the still life of fruit set up in the middle of the room that was partially lit. They used watercolors and expressed beautifully different gradations from light and dark in their work. For the background they used a wet on wet technique.  Wet on wet is simply the process of applying pigment to wet paper. The results vary from soft undefined shapes to slightly blurred marks, depending on how wet the paper is. The wet on wet technique can be applied over existing washes provided they are thoroughly dry. Simply wet the paper with a large brush and paint into the dampness. The soft marks made by painting wet on wet are great for subtle background regions of your painting.


Assignment:  Come with a color (not black and white) picture of a bird that you want to use for a painting.  If it is in a book it may be helpful to have a copy made of it so it can lay flat while you look to draw it.  Keep using your nature journals to record something you see out the window!  I saw robins and even a red-bellied wood pecker today.  What have you seen flying around your house?




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Incan Empire - History Period A for 3/4/2014

At first, the Incans were simply a small tribe that lived in the city of Cuzco. They worshiped their leader, the High Inca, and the Sun. Around 1430 C.E, a neighboring tribe attacked the Incas, but the Incas won. That was the beginning of the Incan Empire.
The size of the Incan Empire grew over the next 100 years. They were able to build a vast empire by demanding loyalty from conquered people. The Incans had one of the most highly developed governments of all time. At the height of their power, the Incan Empire was 2,500 miles long, 500 miles wide, and home to 12 million people. These people called themselves the people of Tavantinsuyu which means “the Four Quarters of the World.” 

In class activities:
  • Built our own incan walls using stones as tools
  • Learned about the differences between the Maya and Inca
  • Made quipu detailing our age and birthorder
  • Studied Llama and had a special opportunity to pat a mom and baby alpaca
  • Learned about Incan communication and ran our own slow motion relay race
Optional Lesson Extension Activities:
  • Pretend you are an Inca.  Try your skill at this online game.  
  • Disney made a fun movie LOOSELY based on the High Inca.  Take a look.
  • Write a sentence or two explaining who used the Incan roads (for additional information go to  - be sure to click the roadrunner link at the bottom of the page also)
  • Review your timeline

Drama Period A - 3/4/14

Progress is coming along in all the groups!  We are working towards next week when we will begin to schedule our first round of video shooting.  The teams are settling into working together and finding the way that works best to stay in contact all week long.  Some have made plans to chat and video chat this coming week, I am not sure the times each has set for this week, so please make sure the kids remind all members of the group so as many as possible can be involved!
Please remember that in class on Tuesday we will need to hear/see all the work you have set into place to be ready to shoot!  All dialogue/narration written and approved by Mrs. Baggs, props and costume lists (items you have and those you need)  actors, scenes to shoot, shoot location.

Drama Period B - 3/4/14

This week in class we had the opportunity to read through the first set of scenes we will be working with!  It was very exciting to hear the ideas that came from hearing the words.  Please print the entire script at this link...every child should bring it with them to class each tuesday!  Please stay tuned for more next week (if your child does not have lines in this section, they do in the second section, please print anyway!)
Thank you!