Thursday, October 30, 2014

History Timeline @ 10/28/2014

Below are the current timeline elements; be sure to practice! Check back for updated videos as events/people are added in the coming weeks...

Monroe Doctrine
Traveling the Erie Canal
Jacksonian Democracy
Cotton Gin Establishes the South
Slavery in the South
Trail of Tears
Remember the Alamo
Westward Expansion
War with Mexico
'49ers and the California Gold Rush
Opening of the Oregon Territory
Lincoln - 16th President
War Between the States
The Battle of Gettysburg
Great Generals of the War Between the States
Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad
Reconstructing the South
Black Leadership Emerges in the South

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


After the Civil War, the South had to deal with worthless Confederate money and local governments in disarray. This presented a wide range of economic and political opportunities for ambitious northerners who were often referred to as carpetbaggers. The southern states were gradually admitted back into the Union and damaged areas areas were rebuilt. During reconstruction racism was still a strong force. In an effort to get around laws, many southern states began to pass Black Codes. These were laws that prevented non-whites from working, owning land, voting, and even going to school. In the West the reconstruction treaty of 1866 granted the railroads the right to lay track across Indian Territory, resulting in the first transcontinental railroad in 1869.

 In Class Activities:
  • Learned about the conclusion of the Civil War
  • Discussed Black Codes
  • Created our own metal embossed buffalo decorations
  • Drew trains meeting at the first continental railroad 
  • Learned about carpet bags and Carpetbaggers
  • Discussed the effects of railroads on Native Americans
 Optional Lesson Extension Activities:

  • Read timeline card #19
  • Practice your timeline

Monday, October 27, 2014

Assignments due 10/28/2014

Level 1 - Explorers
Art: No Assignment
Music: TBA
History: Read History Cards 17 and 18, practice timeline
Drama: No Assignment

Level 2 - Trail Blazers
Art: No Assignment
History:  Read History Cards 17 and 18, practice timeline
Drama: No Assignment

Level 3 - Pathfinders
Art: No Assignments
Music: TBA
History: Written and Oral reports as usual – Grace-Teddy Roosevelt, Sophie-Billie Sunday, Nathan-Orville and Wilbur Wright, Andrew-Booker T Washington, Mahayla-William Jennings Bryan, Alison-Buffalo Soldiers, Ana-Forming of the NAACP, Luke, America Identified as a Melting Pot, Elise, Panama Canal, Lauren-Plessy vs Ferguson, Acacia-Spanish-American War, Abigail-Sherman Anti Trust Act of 1890 (see outline below)
Drama: Find 3 interesting facts about the Roaring Twenties era.  Write on a paper to hand in.

Level 4 - Navigators
Art: No Assignments
Music: TBA
History: David-Teddy Roosevelt, Jacob-Billy Sunday, Ellie-Wilbur and Orville Wright, Rachel-Buffalo Soldiers, Zoe-Plessy vs Ferguson, Eden-Spanish American War. Rebecca Curtis and Ryan-The following are left- Booker T. Washington, William Jennings Bryan, Forming of the NAACP, America identified as a melting pot, Panama Canal, Sherman Anti Trust Act of 1890. Go ahead and pick one but let us know so you each do not pick the same topic.
Drama: Finish writing your scenes.

What is the Event _________________________________________________
When____________________________ Where__________________________
Who was involved in this event?
What happened?
How did it change the United States?
How did it change the world?
In what ways did this invention show American Exceptionalism

Biographical Report on ______________________________________________
Date of Birth___________________ Date of Death__________________________
Places lived
For what is this person known (important only)?
How did this person's life shape, change, or improve our country or the world?
How did this person's life affect other people?
In what ways did this person show American Exceptionalism? 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

TREASURE HUNTERS & the Transcontinental Railroad

FOCUS: The Transcontinental Railroad
EXPLORE: building train tracks with bridges and turns, driving trains around tracks
LITERATURE: "You Wouldn't Want to Work on the Railroad" by Ian Graham
        "Train Song" by Diane Siebert (a book read to the rhythm of a train chugging down the tracks)
We drew a large map of the United States and placed train tracks from Nebraska to California.
MUSIC: continued with our surprise song
PROJECT: cutting, folding, painting, assembling, gluing = 3-D model of a train engine

QUESTIONS to ask your child: Who worked on building the railroad?  Where did the train start and end? (Nebraska to California)

Drama 10/21/14. Pathfinders & Navigators

The Pathfinders and Navigators warmed up with an ice breaker called 'Conveyor Belt'.  They mirrored each other in movement and poses, promoting team work and creativity.  As usual, they spent time practicing vocal skills.  The Pathfinders spent most of the class performing their fractured fairy tales.  Then we discussed the Roaring 20's.  The students were given an assignment to find 3 interesting facts about that time period to incorporate into a scene next week.

The Navigators spent most of the class period writing their scenes of their Historical period.  Their assignment was to finish the scenes by our next class.

Drama 10/21/14. Explorers & Trailblazers

The warm-up exercise for the Trailblazers and Explorers this week was an activity where they assembled scenes from their history lessons with themselves!  The favorite for both classes seemed to be the California Gold Rush, as they each became a part of a scene from that time and froze, as if in a photograph.  After the vocal excercise, the Trailblazers worked on signs for their silent scenes.  The Explorers worked on Emotions and how to change from one to another in a believable way.  They then practiced how to act different ethnic groups in preparation for the Immigration scenes they will begin working on next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

History Timeline Video @ 10/21/2014

Below are the current timeline elements; be sure to practice! Check back for updated videos as events/people are added in the coming weeks...

(Click on the video below or click here to watch if it's not working on your computer.)

Monroe Doctrine
Traveling the Erie Canal
Jacksonian Democracy
Cotton Gin Establishes the South
Slavery in the South
Trail of Tears
Remember the Alamo
Westward Expansion
War with Mexico
'49ers and the California Gold Rush
Opening of the Oregon Territory
Lincoln - 16th President
War Between the States
The Battle of Gettysburg
Great Generals of the War Between the States 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Civil War

In response the tension over states rights and the election of Abraham Lincoln, 11 southern states decided to leave the US and form their own nation called The Confederate States of America. The northern states, however, did not agree that these states had the right to leave, and decided to fight to restore the Union.  

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;” Did you notice that?  It only freed the slaves in the Confederate States; 500,000 of the 4million US slaves.  Of course, the south ignored the order, but it did pave the way for the eventual creation of the 13th amendment.  

The Battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point in the war and by 1865, the Union had the upper hand.  The Civil War was by far the deadliest war in American history with well over 600,000 people killed.

In Class Activities:

  • Read the letters of a Civil War soldier and his family
  • Discussed the reasons for Lincoln freeing the confederate slaves
  • Made our own simple Civil War timeline
  • Learned about fan language and folded our own fans
  • Defined the word secede and discussed the difference between cede and secede

Lesson Extension Activities:

  • Read history cards 17 & 18
  • Practice your timeline

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tues. 10/21 - Gift card orders due for 1st round of Scrip Fundraising Program!

Tues. 10/21 is the deadline for our first round of FAITH scrip orders! The gift cards you purchase and use for groceries, gas, food, home improvement, and more directly benefit the FAITH Fine Arts Program - thank you! (Remember - there's no additional or hidden cost for you - if you order a $100 gift card to Old Navy, you'll pay $100 for the $100 gift card - but Old Navy gives 14% of your purchase price, or $14, to FAITH. Percentage donations vary by company + are subject to change.)

Holiday gift giving is coming; order your gift cards today!

(2) options for placing your order:

1. Complete the printed order form picked up at FAITH in recent weeks, give to Kim Murdoch on Tues. 10/21 with a check for your total order amount.

2. Order online at by 11:59 PM on Tues. 10/21
- Click "Register"
- Join your group's program
- Enrollment code: 3C9129F74L695

Questions? Contact Kim Murdoch at 603.369.7889 (call or text),, or in person at FAITH (usually stationed in the kitchen, but will be in nursery for last 2 periods of 10/21).

Here's just a small sampling of gift card options - thank you in advance for blessing FAITH with your regular shopping + gift giving! 

99 Restaurant
Dunkin' Donuts
Pizza Hut
Whole Foods

Gulf Oil
Jiffy Lube


Home Improvement/Decor
Ace Hardware
Pottery Barn
The Home Depot
West Elm

Best Buy

Dick's Sporting Goods
L.L. Bean

J. Crew
Lands' End
Old Navy

American Girl
Barnes & Noble
Jo-Ann Fabric
Oriental Trading
Williams Sonoma

Avis Car Rental
Budget Car Rental
Choice Hotels
Clarion Hotels
Hyatt Hotels

Upcoming Order Deadlines: 10/21, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Drama 10/14 Pathfinders & Navigators

The warm-up exercise for these classes was called "Moment to Moment".  It helped the students work on concentration and focus.  Then, as usual, we practiced our daily vocal exercises for articulation and projection.  The Pathfinders then spent the class working on mini-scenes on fractured nursery rhymes.  Teams worked on scenes depicting events that followed the information of the actual rhyme.  They came up with the characters and story line and had great fun practicing their scenes.  We will be performing them at the next class.
There were only 2 Navigators in class this week.  However, they both came prepared with not only their own facts of their assignments, but also some of their team mates' facts.  We discussed how they could take the interesting facts and work them into a scene with defined characters and plot.  They will be working on those with the returned students next week.

Drama. 10/14. Explorers & Trailblazers

The warm-up exercise this week was building a rainstorm with sounds produced with our hands.  We sat in a circle and started a sound, with each child joining in after the person on their right.  It was extremely challenging to wait to start on one's turn.  The sound of the full circle was very close to the sound of a storm!  The children practiced vocal exercises, working on projection and articulation.Then the Explorers worked on a short scene called Humpty Dumpty.  Partner groups rehearsed and then performed for each other.  This activity was to get them used to doing scenes being a character inter-relating in a pretend situation.  Ask your child to tell you about it.  It proved to be a delightful exercise.  The Trailblazers fine tuned their Silent Scene.  The students have really taken their roles seriously and put in effort thinking through their characters and motions to make the scene understandable and fun to watch.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Assignments due 10/21/2014

Art:  Bring in something to use in our pointillism project: either some type of cereal, beans or seeds. Color would be good, but not necessary. 
Music: TBA
History: Read History Cards 12-15, practice timeline
Drama: none

Art: Bring in something to use in our pointillism project: either some type of cereal, beans or seeds. Color would be good, but not necessary. 
Music: TBA
History: Read History Cards 12-15, Practice your timeline
Drama: none

Art: None
Music: TBA
History: Written and oral report- Lauren-Andrew Carnegie, Ana- John D. Rockefeller, Luke-Henry Ford, Grace-Crazy Horse, Nathan-Sitting Bull, Sophe-Doc Holiday, Allison-Mark Twain, Abby-Louis Pasteur, Mahayla-Anne Sullivan, Andrew-Buffalo Bill Cody.
Drama: None


Art: None
Music: TBA
History: Written and oral reports-Jacob-John D. Rockefeller, David – Henry Ford, Ellie-Crazy Horse, Rachel-Buffalo Bill Cody.
Drama: Get in touch with your team members and discuss ideas for a scene using the historical facts you researched last week.  We will be writing those scenes in class next class time.  The teams are: 1) Becca, Curtis, Ellie.  2) Ryan, Rachel, Jacob.  3) Eden, Zoe, David.

History 10/14/2014, Navigators and Pathfinders

The Reconstruction post-Civil War was discussed in terms of why it was unsuccessful.  Andrew Johnson’s impeachment and why the Radical Republicans did not achieve their aim or removing him, Ulysses S. Grant, his character as well as issues he had within his government that hurt his reputation and the relationship that both Lincoln and Grant had with the South and how they were “friends of the South” were also reviewed.

The Ku Klux Klan, its inception and founding leader Nathan Bedford Forrest was discussed as well as the origin of the donkey and elephant symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties. Finally, the events surrounding the election of Rutherford B. Hayes were discussed.

Hstory 10/7/2014, Navigators and Pathfinders

The students presented on their topics. Each week I am seeing real improvement in both their content and delivery. I talked about the major reason why the war lasted so long - the South had competent, skilled, intelligent generals while President Lincoln struggled to find a general who could lead effectively. We talked about the tremendous loss of life on both sides. Skilled leaders are necessary in all areas of life.

Art 10/14/2014, Navigators and Pathfinders

Symbolism: 1880s through early 1900s

This art period not only found its roots in France, but also Denmark, Finland, and Russia. We looked at how Symbolism was not about a certain style or technique of painting, but was about the meaning the painting was to portray.
We also took a little side journey into the folk art of quilting, and learned about the symbolism that could be found in the designs of quilts.
 Each student made a “block” for our wire quilt.

Art 10/7/2014, Pathfinders and Navigators

Pointillism: 1880

In our overview of pointillism, we learned that it is not so much an actual period of time as much as a style and technique. We looked at some artists and artwork that featured pointillism and discussed the distinct features of this style.

Pointillism Art: Using circle cereal as the medium, students used these “dots” to create on paper a representation of a piece of fruit or object of their choosing. As part of the project, we learned how colors are very rarely just a solid color but a variety of colors to create blends and depth.

Art 10/14/2014, Trailblazers and Explorers

We learned a little about and artist named Grant Wood. We read about his life and looked at some of his paintings. He liked to paint ordinary people in his homeland of Iowa. His paintings were generally cheerful compared to the historical paintings that we looked at last week. His most famous painting was "American Gothic", which was the painting we've all seen of a farmer and a woman standing in front of a house holding a pitchfork. We practiced drawing people using a diagram and talking about proportion. Then we made a drawing of two people from the shoulders up to cut and paste onto a photo of the actual house that was in the actual painting.


Art 10/7/2014 Explorers and Trailblazers

We looked at three different paintings of The Trail of Tears and  talked about different artists  representation of the same historical event. The first painting was by Robert Lindneux. The second was John Guthrie and the third was mine, in order to show that we can all have a different ideas about how to tell the story. As we looked at the paintings we talked about perspective and color. The children then created a painting of the same event from their own creativity.

 We looked at painting from the three historical events that they learned about in history. Again, we noticed color and how the artist showed perspective. We talked about contour lines and what they are. Our project was to arrange some leaves on paper and draw contour lines around them and color only the background, or "negative space". 

Pioneers - History 1& 2

 In the 1830s a few eager pioneers made the long and dangerous trek out to the west coast in pursuit of good farmland.  This was not American land.  England claimed this territory as well as Russia, yet by 1843 long wagon trains traveled west along the Oregon Trail.  

In order to solve this territory conflict, in 1846 the US made a compromise with Britain, called the Oregon Treaty, extending the US/Canadian boarder straight along the 49th parallel. Further extending the border, Mexico agreed to turn over a large portion of land to the US after the Mexican American War in 1848 in exchange for $15 million.

The flow of pioneers dramatically increased in 1848 when gold was discovered.  Some of the miners found gold, but most were disappointed.  The quick settlement these vast lands so recently acquired, firmly established the west coast as American.

In class activities:
  • Reviewed the Monroe doctrine and manifest destiny
  • Read the story of a pioneer family and the tragedies they faced
  • Learned about land treaties
  • Mapped the new boundaries of the US
  • Discussed the Oregon Trail
  • Had our own gold rush! Searched for gold (painted rocks)- discussed how some struck it rich, some found fool's gold, and some found nothing at all
Optional lesson extension activities:

  • Remember the game Oregon Trail?  It is now available as an app.  Consider buying it ($4.99) and allowing the kids to learn about the hard choices pioneers had to make.
  • Look at historic photographs of the gold rush
  • Read about Gold Fever 
  • Read history cards #12-15
  • Practice your timeline

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Treasure Hunters- Gold Rush

Focus: The Gold Rush of California
Exploration Table: The children learned the Chinese symbol for gold. They painted with water colors pictures of Chinese workers and American miners panning for gold.
Literature: Gold Fever! Tales From The California Gold Rush by Rosalyn Schanzer, Gold Fever California's Gold Rush - a Close Up Guide by Oakland Museum Of California, and Chang's Paper Pony by Eleanor Coerr
Discussion: How people came from all over the world seeking their fortune. Why did the cost for goods and supplies go up and who benefited. Also how did one go about finding the gold.
Project: The children sewed burlap sacks ( including buttons!)to hold their gold.
Activity: We panned for gold using tin pans and buckets. The children really enjoyed finding those nuggets! ( gold painted rocks)
Music: We continued working on our surprise song
Questions to Ask: What was the Gold Rush? Who came for it? What were some ways they got it out of the ground?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Assignments due 10/14/14

 Explorers - Level 1
Art: TBA
Music: Write a folk song-either a story about something that happens this week, or a simple, playful tune(just a couple lines like "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut"
History: read history cards 10 and 11, practice your timeline
Drama: Memorize the poem "All God's Chullun".  It was sent home with them.
Trailblazers - Level 2
Art: TBAMusic: Write a folk song-either a story about something that happens this week, or a simple, playful tune(just a couple lines like "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut"
History: Read History Cards 10 and 11, practice timelineDrama:  
Pathfinders - Level 3
Art: Each student needs to choose a SYMBOL* of their choice, such as the Christian fish, Infinity, Medical Symbol, Star of David, etc.  Students need to draw an image of the symbol on paper to show the class, and be prepared to explain the meaning of the symbol, and any history behind that symbol.
 *I realize there are many symbols from occult/pagan backgrounds so please feel free to help your student in researching a symbol to avoid controversial subjects.
Music: Find out what country your family came to America from. And then write down the name of a traditional song from that country, we will be listening to them in class next week.
History: Prepare a written and oral report on your topic. Sophie – Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, Acacia-Moving Picture machine, Grace-Brooklyn Bridge, Andrew-Jesse James, Nathan-Ku Klux Klan, Elise-barbed wire, Mahayla- telephone, Luke-dynamite, Abigail-typewriter, Lauren-traffic lights, Allison-Carpet sweeper
Drama: memorize "Erie Canal".  Sent home with them. 
Navigators - Level 4 
Art: Each student needs to choose a SYMBOL* of their choice, such as the Christian fish, Infinity, Medical Symbol, Star of David, etc.  Students need to draw an image of the symbol on paper to show the class, and be prepared to explain the meaning of the symbol, and any history behind that symbol.
 *I realize there are many symbols from occult/pagan backgrounds so please feel free to help your student in researching a symbol to avoid controversial subjects.
Music: Find out what country your family came to America from. And then write down the name of a traditional song from that country, we will be listening to them in class next week.
History: Prepare a written and oral report on your topic. Ellie-Moving picture machine, David-Jesse James, Ryan-Alexander Graham Bell, Rachel-Ku Klux Klan, Eden-microphone, Rebecca-typewriter, Jacob-blue jeans with copper stress points, Zoe-telephone
Drama: research the topic given to them for 4 or more interesting facts to be incorporated into a scene.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Treasure Hunters: The Alamo

FOCUS: The Alamo
DISCOVERY: time to play with lots and lots of soldiers, create own battles, or sort by color
LITERATURE: "Susanna of the Alamo" by John Jakes
             To enhance our story, the kids used keva planks and wooden blocks to create an Alamo fort.  We then had them strategically place soldiers in and around the fort.  Four major people we talked about were: Santa Ana (the Mexican general), Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Sam Houston.
MUSIC: Erie Canal, surprise song, continued with notes and rhythms
PROJECT: Alamo facade with edible elements

Questions to ask:  What do they remember about the Alamo?  What were the people fighting for?
                                Who was Santa Ana?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Drama 10/7. Pathfinders & Navigators

The warm up activity for these classes was called 'Tell me about the time you...'.  They stood in front of the class and made up a creative narrative about unreal situations.  We also worked on tongue twisters for articulation and projection.  The Pathfinders spent the rest of the period Rehearsing and polishing a dramatization of the Erie Canal.  The Navigators took time to discuss which part of this historical time-line they would like to interpret dramatically.  They broke down into teams of three and picked one topic to research to come up with several interesting facts to communicate.  Future classes will be focused on producing an effective scene on their topics.

Drama 10/7. Explorers & Trailblazers

Our beginning activity was a fun game called Bippety Bop to warm up each class and give them practice to think on their feet.  Tongue twisters was our next task, working on articulation and projection.  The majority of the class period was taken up with rehearsal on the scenes we are working on presently.  The Explorers are memorizing and polishing "All Gods Chillun".  The Trailblazers are working hard on their characters in a silent scene about the Inventors.  Both classes are a delight to watch, portraying their characters with great fervor and creativity.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Music - Pathfinders/Navigators

There was a lot of great feed back today about the Hutchinson Family's song-"Get Off the Tracks". Many of them were even humming the tune as they came into class.
Today we looked at the lives of two composers who were both actively playing and writing music at the same time and in some of the same circles. Stephen Foster and Fanny Crosby both were very popular song writers, and wrote many tunes that are still familiar to us today, but they lived very different lives. Both faced many hardships and difficulties in life, and both faced them in different ways.
Stephen Foster wrote songs like "Camp town Races" and "Oh Susanna". Although he and his music were very popular, he seemed to live under a lot of financial and emotional stress. He died tragically at the age of 38, with $.38 to his name.
Fanny Crosby went blind when she was 6 weeks old, due to an inexperienced doctor, but she lived with joy and a strong determination to experience things despite her handicap. She started out writing popular songs like Stephen Foster, but after truly coming to Christ when she was 30, she began writing many of the hymns we sing today. She wrote over 8,000 hymns, and died when she was 95.

Music - Explorers/Trailblazers

The kids have learned a lot of music so far. As of today, they now have a Native American Song, an Early American Patriotic Song, a Sea Chantey, and two folk songs.
Every culture and every language has its own folk music. It originates from ordinary people, describing events and experiences from their lives. We looked at two songs specifically today. The first is "Sweet Betsy from Pike", which tells the story and trials of a Pioneer Woman named Betsy. And the second is "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut", which is a child's play tune that can be changed around for fun.
This week the kids will be coming up with their own folk song, either a story about something from their everyday life, or a simple play tune like "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut".

Mexican American War

The areas that we think of as Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico were all originally part of one huge 2000 mile long colony that the Spanish had taken from the Aztecs.  In 1810 northern Spanish colonists took advantage of the turmoil caused by Napoleon in Europe to rebel.  They failed at first, but in 1821 an Independent Mexican Empire was established.  They requested admission to the US in 1836 but were rejected. 

In 1845 Congress passed a resolution calling for the admission of Texas to the Union. President Polk ordered troops into disputed lands.  When the first casualties fell, he announced “We have tried every effort at reconciliation … but now, after reiterated menaces Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory, and shed American blood on American soil.” 

In class activities:
  • Learned about the differences between eastern English settlements and Spanish colonies in the midwest
  • Discussed whether annexation was legal or not
  • Looked at the war from Mexico's perspective
  • Learned about Davy Crocket
  • Built our own giant paper Alamo
  • Made our own Republic of Texas flags
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Read history cards #10 & 11
  • Practice your timeline

Monday, October 6, 2014

Treasure Hunters study the Cherokee Trail of Tears

FOCUS: the Cherokee people and their forced removal from east to west.
EXPLORATION TABLE:  replicating patterns using stringing beads, then coloring a pattern by number and graph on paper.
LITERATURE: The Cherokee and their history; If You Lived With the Cherokee, Sequoyah, and The Trail of Tears by Dennis Brindel.  
DISCUSSION: The Poem, Trail of Tears by Mojomike8, Cherokee culture, Cherokee written language, moving/travel.

MUSIC: Continued with "Blue Jello Rhythm Cards", including half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes and quarter rest.  We worked on several songs including the Erie Canal and surprises!  

PROJECT:  Beadwork depiction of the Trail of Tears.
QUESTIONS to ask your child: 
What was the Trail of Tears? 
Which people followed The Trail?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

History 9/30/2014, Navigators

Class time was spent instructing the students as to how to prepare an oral report from their written reports. I covered creating an intriguing title, a thesis sentence, three main points and conclusion while suggesting how to develop the main points. Some of their titles were quite fascinating!

Please see the Pathfinder summary for this week to get an idea of the class summary.

History 9/30/2014, Pathfinders

A summarization of the time Period between 1848 and 1860 was presented to the children for discussion. The summary included the Compromise of 1850 which led to the Fugitive Slave Law Act, the 1852 publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, whose author felt driven to write shortly after the Fugitive Slave Law Act was passed. The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act which was unsuccessful and led to clashes between pro- and ant-slavery proponents. The 1857 Dred Scott Decision by the Supreme Court Justice Tanney indicating that a black man was only to be considered three-fifths of a white man. The 1858 Douglas-Lincoln Debates, each of which Senator Douglas, a pro-slavery politician, lost. John Brown’s Raids created such anti-Northern sentiment in the South that indeed, they finally did what they had threatened all along, seceded from the Union. The Whig Party was no defunct, the Democrats considerably weakened, and finally, in 1860, Lincoln, a Republican, was elected President. While he did not campaign on an emancipation platform, nonetheless, his presidency would span some of the worst and greatest moments in American history.
The students presented their oral reports - doing a fine job at it too! All in all they seem to really enjoy the research, written reports and oral reports. I will begin teaching them the difference between reading a written report and delivering an oral report next week. By the way, those who provide pictures have added understanding of their subjects for the other students.

History 9/23/2014, Pathfinders & Navigators

The students came prepared, presented their reports well and answered questions about content they had not included in their oral reports. Excellent work. We discussed the overall significance that the Monroe Doctrine, the Battle of New Orleans outcome, the Missouri Compromise and other events in the 1836-1848 time period.

Drama 9/30/2014, Pathfinders & Navigators

Warm up activities began our classes once again.  The students are practicing presentation and strong vocal techniques (e.g. projection and articulation).  The main lesson for the Pathfinders was rehearsing the dramatic interpretation of a poem on the Erie Canal. The Navigators worked on creative thinking and improvisation.  They were given props that were to be used in any way but the way they were meant to be used.  Then the students were given parameters for scenes in which they had to come up with content and dialogue.  The activities are preparing the students to think outside the box for future assignments.  In the weeks to come, the students will be creating scenes of specific historic events to bring those time periods to life.

Drama 9/30/2014, Explorers & Trailblazers

We started with warm up activities for creativity and voice.  The students seemed to thoroughly enjoy dramatically dying.  In both classes we are working on a dramatic piece of specific historic events.  The Explorers are practicing a dramatic interpretation of the Negro Spiritual "All God's Chillun's Got Wings".  The Trailblazers have each been assigned an inventor to portray in a "Silent Scene" which is taking a lot of (fun) work to put together.  Both classes have enthusiastic, eager participation!

Drama 9/23/2014, Pathfinders & Navigators

Good Communication Skills Help You In Life

Once again the students discussed how dramatic skills could be advantageous to them in every area of life.  We talked about how having the ability to speak loudly and clearly, with poise and confidence will help anyone be successful no matter what they do in life.  

Both classes worked on learning the names of the areas of the stage.  Then the Pathfinders rehearsed a dramatic interpretation of the song "The Erie Canal".  The Navigators did an activity that worked on focus and thinking on their feet, skills that are vital for any good performance.

Drama 9/23/2014, Trailblazers & Explorers

The Purpose of Learning Drama

There were several segments to class, this week.  We began discussing why we learn and practice drama skills and what value performances could have.  The students seemed to have a good understanding, after the discussion, of how dramatic performance is a form of communication.  When it is done well, it is an effective venue for communicating anything you want.  We practice so we can do it well!

After working on skills, we practiced the first performance pieces they will be working on.  The Explorers will be rehearsing a dramatic interpretation of the Negro Spiritual "All God's Chillun's Got Wings".  The Trailblazers began working on a Silent Scene (pantomime) of The Wright Brothers and other Inventors.  It will be performed to music.

Art 9/30/2014, Pathfinders & Navigators

The Post-Impression Period: 1880 – early 1900

Class discussion included and overview of how artists took the painting freedoms started in the Impressionism Period, and began to go in many different directions as far as styles and themes.

We completed Part 2 of the Acrylic Skins Project which included crafting the skins into hanging mobile designs.

Art 9/23/2014, Navigators and Pathfinders

Discussion of the Impressionist Art Period: 1860-1880 included the style of painting, the artists of that time period as well as their paintings.
Students began Part One of the Acrylic Skins Project

Art 9/23/2014, Explorers & Trailblazers

We read a story that introduced Mary Cassatt and her famous painting "Girl in a Blue Chair". We learned about her as she was an American artist that lived during the 1800's. She studied Impressionism and became an artist during a time when it was unusual for a woman to do such things. We looked at some of her paintings and talked a little about Impressionism and the color that she used. We also learned that she made Monoprints. We made a monoprint of the "Girl in the Blue Chair". Some of them were successful. Some were not. Then we used colored pencils to color some pictures of some of her artwork.