Tuesday, January 20, 2015

September 11 - History 1&2

Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization hijacked and crashed 4 airplanes in coordinated attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001.  2996 people died.  The United States responded by declaring war on terror and invading Afghanistan.  The goal was to remove the Taliban who was hiding and protecting al-Qaeda.  Bin Laden was killed in 2011.

In-Class Activities:
  • Learned about the word complacency
  • Heard the story of Al-Quaeda and Osama Bin Laden
  • Read Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (Picture Puffin Books) 
  • Older class only - discussed the reasons why the Gettysburg Address was read at the 9/11 dedication
  • Mapped the flight of the planes
  • Made city scenes with holes for the twin towers
  • Completed our History Notebooks
  • Discussed the continuation of history and the "end of the story" in Revelation
Optional Lesson Extension Activities:

  • Watch a 5 minute cartoon covering September 11 at Brainpop.com
  • Ask Mom & Dad to tell you the story of where they were on 9/11/01 
This was the final Modern History Survey class.  There are no assignments for next week, but please make sure to register for electives with Kristina as soon as possible.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Treasure Hunters

Focus: World War 2

Discovery: We learned about submarines and the part they played in the war including the German U boats. We talked about which countries were involved and the sides they were on. The children enjoyed seeing how a submarine floats and sinks using a carrot and baking powder. They also colored a picture of a submarine.

Literature: We read The Journey That Saved Curious George, The True Wartime Escape Of Margaret And H.A. Rey by Louise Borden

The story was of a Jewsish couple that escaped the German army as they flee with their children's book manuscripts, which later becomes the Curious George books. Their dangerous journey included bicycles ( even trying a tandem bike) and trains eventually landing them safely in New York.
We took a gentle approach with the explanation of Hitler and the Nazi army.
We also discussed what it means to be a refugee during wartime.

Music: The children practiced rhythm cards using instruments and also worked on their presentation song for next week.

Project: We made submarines using paper tubes, straws and Easter eggs.

Questions to ask:What were the German submarines called? A. U boats
                             What is a refugee? A. A person trying to escape war

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Drama Summary Explorers and Pathfinders, 1/6/2015

The class periods were taken up with memory refreshment and rehearsal for the performance next week.  I was amazed at how well the students remembered their lines and blocking.  We are looking forward to an entertaining presentation next week.

Art Summary Navigators and Pathfinders, 1/13/2015

Photography: The Basics
Together in class we looked at the basics of good photography from holding the camera, to understanding the different modes for shooting photos.

Photo Scavenger List: Students had fun taking the cameras they brought in to class to accomplish a list of different photo shots, using the different tips and techniques we talked about.

Art Summary Navigators and Pathfinders, 1/6/2015


Art of Photography Part 1: The History of the Camera

Starting back as far as the middle ages was the “camera obscura”. In the early 1800's, two Frenchmen took this simple concept and developed the first camera, creating the first photographs. Over the next few decades, the camera was further developed with lenses and film and eventually color! We talked about the importance of light, fun photograph facts, and the amazing concept of how the camera replicas God’s design of the human eye.
Watercolor and Salt: to understand how salts were used in photo processing, we saw the affects of salt with watercolors.

Art Summary Trailblazers and Explorers, 1/13/2015

We continued our creation of a magazine cover for the Saturday Evening Post. Last week we began by making 3 rough drafts and then during the week, they were supposed to make some drawings from real life. We did the final drafts for The "Saturday Evening Post" magazine covers, using colored pencils and crayons. They also experimented with a drawing exercise that required them to draw a person from life using contour lines and not looking at their paper. This exercise helps us to study the subject and concentrate on telling our hand what to draw. It is great for training the brain and hand to work together to draw better.

Art Summary Trailblazers and Explorers, 1/6/2015

We studied Norman Rockwell(1894-1978)

Norman Rockwell has evolved into one of the most beloved artists in American history. His paintings seem capture the very heart of America, especially during and after WWII. Many of his paintings and illustrations depict a time and era where family,hard work, patriotism and goodness were the priorities of the land. 

We are drawing and coloring a cover of a magazine in Norman Rockwell style; that tells a story and might have some family or other familiar scene from the kids lives.

Art Summary Trailblazers and Explorers, 12/2/2014

We briefly discussed the history of Christmas cards and created our own, using paint fingerprints. The children created three different designs for their cards to give to others.

Art Summary Trailblazers and Explorers, 11/18/2014

We looked at artwork by Andrew Wyeth and talked about  landscapes and cool colors.  We used large paper and, using only cool colors, made a landscape drawing. We needed to learn about the horizon line and how to create distance in pictures. We wet the entire paper with sponges, then colored the landscape with colored chalk. This created a unique effect. 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cold War - History 1&2

The Cold War was not a true war, but a period of time after World War 2 during which rival nations competed to determine whether Democracy or Communism was superior.  The fight was led by the US and Soviet Union, who raced to develop superior arms (weapons) power and space technology.  Though America and the USSR did not officially fight one another, they were  on opposite sides of wars such as Korea and Vietnam. The Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

In Class Activities:

  • Learned about the origins of the Cold War
  • Defined the Marshall Plan and discussed its impact
  • Played a leaning game to demonstrate the fears each nation had of stepping away from the conflict
  • Reviewed the Arms and Space race
  • Briefly overviewed the Korean and Vietnam wars
  • Discussed the end of the Cold War and Built replica Berlin Walls with cylindrical tops such as those seen in this photo (the wall had many portions that were designed differently)

Optional Lesson Extension Activities:
  • Read History Cards #31 & 32
  • Practice your timeline

History Timeline (Entire Year 4 - Modern)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Treasure Hunters: The Great Depression

FOCUS:  The Great Depression...
What a topic to teach the kids.  We tried to look at it more from a child's perspective because it would be easier for them to relate.

DISCOVERY: newspapers - they used newspapers to create something fun.
Here are some of the things they came up with:
Rocket, Paper dolls, puzzles, bookmarks, crosses, snowflakes, boats, diamonds, paper airplanes, and scenes- 3 crosses on top of Mt. Calvary
 They also learned to darn wool socks that had holes in them - since nothing would've been thrown away during this time.

LITERATURE: "Growing Up in the Great Depression" by Amy Ruth and excerpts from Cobblestone Magazine "Tough Times - Surviving the Great Depression".  We talked about different things they would've eaten for dinner such as dandelion greens and clay for minerals.  We talked about (and tasted) inventions that were made of food that would last without being refrigerated: Ritz Crackers and chocolate chips.  We also discussed that a large percentage of Americans lost everything they had and were homeless.

MUSIC: practiced song for next week's presentation

PROJECT: made a couple of toys from household items that kid's would have played with - Spool racers and clothes pin wrestlers

Questions: Why did they sew holey socks?  What was that called?
Ask them to show you and explain the toys they made and brought home.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Music 1/6/15 - Pathfinders/Navigators

Over the break the kids were supposed to pay attention to when, where, and how often they heard music. In class we discussed the results of this little study, and how much our lives are affected by music. We also discussed what life would be like without music, not just on the radio, but everywhere.
Music affects our lives in general, and it also affects our brains. We looked at a study that shows some specific ways that our brains our affected by music.
The study showed that listening to a particular type of music(happy or sad) can affect the way we percieve certain situations, or interpret people's expressions. Even if they are nuetral, we may see them as happy or sad based on the music we were listening to. Listening to loud music can impair your creativity, but so can silence, moderate level music seems to be just right to get the creative juices flowing. We also talked about the connections between music we like to listen to, and our personality.

Music 1/6/15 - Trailblazers

What would life be like if there was no music? This was the question we discussed at the beginning of class. The kids had lots of great input, they really put alot of thought into their answers. One student even pointed out that "computers and ipads would probably get used alot less".
And then we had some fun with a Super Hero Rhythm game. The kids broke into teams, and had to sort all the Super Hero names into the correct Rhythm categories.
We also had some fun with an origami craft, tying in rhythm patterns, dynamics, and instruments, of course!

Music 1/6/15 - Explorers

What's the difference between the beat and the rhythm? That's what we discovered in class, with the very familiar Nursery Rhyme- Hickory, Dickory, Dock. Each student was so focused as they tried to keep the beat while the rhythm was going, and then tried to keep the rhythm while the beat was going. After playing with the beats, the kids built and decorated a tall clock, and made lots of mice scurrying up and down. This week at home the kids need to create their own instrument to add to the nursery rhyme, so we will have a musical clock.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WWII - History 1&2

The 2nd World War is often considered an unavoidable result of the 1st World War which stripped Germany of much of its territory and forced it to pay steep fines, despite economic suffering.  The war started in 1939 when Germany, under Adolph Hitler, invaded Poland and tyrannized Jews and other minorities.  Great Britain and France responded with force.  Most of the countries in the world were eventually involved in some way. The War finally ended after the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Japan, forcing surrender.

In Class Activities:

  • Looked at Historic images
  • Discussed the link between WWI and WWII
  • Learned about the timeline of major events in WWII
  • Took apart the word Tripartite and discussed the members of the Axis powers
  • Discussed the role of the USA in the war
  • Stitched yellow "Jewish" Stars of David and discussed the fear that many people lived in.

Optional Lesson Extension Activities:

  • Get a better visual understanding of where the battles happened with Animated Maps
  • Look at Nazi propaganda to learn more about their views of racial purity & peace.
  • The following books are fun and accurate portrayals of the period for this age group, without delving too deep into the horrors of the holocaust.

“This excellent introduction to Pearl Harbor and World War II opens with Secretary of State Cordell Hull angrily greeting Japanese representatives on December 7, 1941, even before news of the attack has reached him. What he does know is that Japan has been deceiving the U.S. Krensky goes on to describe the history of Japan’s economic and political expansion in Asia, the European war, President Roosevelt’s willingness to assist the Allies, and how continuing recovery from the Depression limited the U.S.’s full participation in the war prior to Pearl Harbor. He explains the purpose of the attack and Japan’s belief that the U.S. would be unable to retaliate. The pen-and-ink and pastel-wash illustrations on every spread are realistic and detailed; the scenes of destruction leave no doubt about the devastation, but are not disturbingly graphic.”
“How did the Allies plan and execute the most massive and daring invasion in military history? Read all about it in the DK Reader that explains in thrilling detail how the Nazis were defeated on the beaches of France.  Stunning photographs and engaging, age-appropriate stories.”

Assignment:  Read History Card #30