Thursday, December 29, 2016

Art : Trailblazers and Explorers:

Week 9, Nov. 8: We studied Leonardo DaVinci. We looked at a video of the Sistine Chapel on "Garden of Praise" which is a nice website to look at artwork. I read a story to the kids of Leonardo as a boy. We created a sea creature drawing an insect or sea creature and looking and drawing very carefully, like Leonardo. The kids were amazing! Their artwork was so well done! The following week, some brought them home, some let me keep them for the end of the year art show. We outlined the very outer edges with black pastel to make a clear boundary for painting the background. 

Week 10, Nov. 15: We studied Michelangelo. Again, we looked at the website " Garden of Praise", to see some of his work. Some of the kids have seen these works. We finished our creature pictures from last week. We did a wash with watercolor for the background and then dripped alcohol into it to create bubbles in the water. Some worked better than others. I think it cam out better when the paint was watery. But, not all the children seemed to keep it watery. That is always a challenge. Some like to lay it on thick; no pun intended!

Week 11, Nov. 29: As it was our last week before Christmas, we made candles to give as gifts or keep to light for Christmas! The kids did very well following directions as this is all good for them. They prepared their molds, chose their style of candle and chose the colors. It was a big hit with all!

Monday, December 5, 2016

FAITH Timeline

Remember to keep practicing during break!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Marco Polo - History 1&2, Explorers and Trailblazers

November 29, 2016

 Explorer and merchant Marco Polo captured the imagination of the many with his book detailing his travels. His adventures with Kublai Kahn and the people of the “East” were so fantastic that many of his contemporaries believed his tales to be fantasy.  Over time much of what he detailed has been verified.

In class activities:

  • Discussed the idea that cultural learning happens in two directions
  • Mapped the silk road and Marco Polo's route
  • Folded origami animals
  • Discussed God's plan vs our own in relation so Marco Polo's time in jail during which his book was written.

Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Read or watch Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to better understand the issues faced by Marco Polo and his fellow traveling businessmen during this time period
  • Try your hand at more origami.

Our Christmas performance is next week.  No history lessons are due.
Enjoy your holiday! See you in the new year!

Assignment due 1-3-2017:
Read history cards MA 20-23

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Art - Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, November 15

The students did an AMAZING job on their Coat of Arms project from last week!! It was impressive to see all the colors and details that each student put into their individual shields and coat of arms.

The Renaissance Art Period was a rich art period where the art had really developed into detailed and magnificent pieces. Part of this was the progress made in human faces and figures- they were a lot more accurate, emotional, and detailed. Many of the artists from this period made it their goal to master the human body. One of these was the famous Da Vinci. His Vitruvian Man is a prime example of how he worked out the math behind the amazing human anatomy.

We had so much fun doing our own "human sculptures"! But we obviously took the easier, less messy route with using aluminum foil. How fascinating it was to see the students' creativity take hold as we saw a variety of figures in various poses get molded into shape.

Go to the following link and view all the Medieval Nativity Art pieces on this page. Feel free to read the author's notes and comments.

Then answer the following five questions:
·       -What people/characters are featured in these works?
      - How is Baby Jesus portrayed?
         (Observe size/positioning)
 - How is Mary portrayed?
    (Notice clothing/expression)
 - What type of Backgrounds/Scenery surrounds the characters?
   (Notice how some artists’ take liberty and creativity)
 - Which work did you like the best? Why?

Magna Carta - History 1&2, Explorers and Trailblazers

November 15, 2016

I am so thankful for the amazing children and parents at FAITH.  A family emergency kept me away from class, but with only a few hours notice Mrs. Cross stepped up and made sure that the kids had a fun and educational lesson.  I also heard great reports of the children making her feel welcomed and appreciated.  What a fantastic community!

In class activities:

  • Listened to the story of King John and the Magna Carta
  • Discussed bullying 
  • Looked at what God says about bullying
  • Watched a video about the Magna Carta
  • Made "important documents" using basic calligraphy and sealed them with wax
Assignment due Nov. 29th

  • Read history card MA19, Marco Polo
  • Practice your timeline  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Music - Navigators - 11/8

     The Rise of Polyphony
  • One of the most important developments in the history of Western music, was the emergence of polyphony, which occurred in the Middle Ages. Polyphony combines two or more simultaneous melodic lines. With this development, the flexible rhythms of the Gregorian chants disappeared and the use of regular meters increased. This enabled the different voices to stay together.
  • Polyphony also created a need for music to be written down more precisely, to indicate both rhythm and pitch. A more exact notation system arose, very similar to the one we use today.
  • Leonin was one of the first composers known to us by name. He was very influential in the increased use of polyphony.

     The Early Medieval Motet
  • Perotin was a composer who studied under Leonin. He expanded on the polyphonic technique by writing for three or four voices.
  • A Motet could be sung in two line of Latin or one in Latin and another in French!
  • The Motet was in triple meter because, to early Medieval listeners, this symbolized the perfection of the Trinity

Music - Pathfinders - 11/8

     Pathfinders continued talking about Hildegard of Bingen, and also the development of musical notation. In the early Middle Ages, music was passed on from generation to generation orally. But, as the number of musical compositions grew, and the pieces got more complicated, the need for written notation arose. The kids agreed that it would be pretty hard to memorize 3,000 songs this year.
     The class worked in groups, composing a melody and accompaniment for a Bible verse. Each group had 3 or 4 hand chimes to work with. The songs all sounded pretty good, each group had a different technique for composing and for recording the notes(they weren't allowed to use our modern musical staff).

Music - Explorers/Trailblazers - 11/8

     Today we studied the life and music of Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard was a nun, so we talked about life in the Medieval Convents. She saw many visions, which she recorded, and some she put into her music.

     She wrote a lot of music during this time, one of which was 'Columbis aspexit'. As the kids listen to, and analyzed this piece, they drew an illumination to put at the top of their musical notation. After listening to the medieval piece, they used hand chimes to compose their own songs.

     In the early Middle Ages musical notation was still being developed, so the kids came up with their own ways to record the music they composed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Art - Pathfinders & Navigators

Tuesday, November 8th Class

COAT OF ARMS and FAMILY CRESTS can be very interesting; it was fun to watch the student's enthusiasm as they shared their family's coat of arms with the whole class!

HERALDRY was an art that came around in the middle ages. It is believed to have begun during the Crusades with the individual shields of the knights. These decorate shields then made their way onto flags to identify a knight, his family, and his followers. As time went on, these developed Coat of Arms were carried into tournaments, where HERALDS would announce the knight it represented. Theses coat of arms can still be seen today, predominately throughout Europe.

Together we talked through and sketched out the parts of the Coat of Arms. These include:
-The Shield
-The Crown
-The Helm
-The Torse
-The Crest
-The Mantling
-The Motto
-The Compartment
-The Supporters

Students are to create their own personal Coat of Arms that represents them/their family. They are encouraged to feature all the various parts. Coat of Arms usually featured TWO dominant colors with sometimes the use of other colors. Please complete the coat of arms in full color; markers is the encourage media to use at it captures the solid, bold colors used in the Coat of Arms. 

Bring in completed Coat of Arms to class next week.

The following links have great information behind the colors and symbols used in Coat of Arms:

Heraldry Animals and Positions

Herald Shield Dividing

Heraldry Color, Patterns, and Symbols

Shield Shapes

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Crusades - History 1&2, Explorers and Trailblazers

November 8, 2016

The Crusades were a series of tragic wars fought between Christians and Muslims for control the Holy Land. 

The city of Jerusalem (Palestine) was the center of faith for three major world religions. It was conquered by Islam in the 600s A.D. In 1095 Pope Urban II called for a crusade to free Jerusalem from Muslim control.  

Side note: The word crusade comes from the word Crux, which means cross in Latin. Those who volunteered were called crusaders, meaning that they took the cross of Jesus upon them, literally wearing a red cross on their clothing.  

Crusaders were promised that they would receive an indulgence (ticket to eternal life) if they died while fighting for Christianity. As a result, many died, including Jews, during their two year journey to Jerusalem. When they finally laid siege upon the city, they had to surround it for months. When the city fell, the Crusaders thought they had won, but they were unable to retain control.

Eight more crusades followed, but the Christian hold on the area continually weakened. In 1291 A.D., Muslims captured the last European hold-out in the area and the Crusades came to an end. 
In Class Activities:
  • Viewed an animated map of the world, showing the spread of major religions - took particular note of the region of Jerusalem
  • Reviewed the differences between the church in Western Rome and the Byzantine empire
  • Named the three religions of the Holy Land, and discussed why the land was important to each
  • Learned about the migration of the Seljuk Turks
  • Discussed the closing of Jerusalem to pilgrims
  • Mapped the geographical issues that made maintaining Christian control of Jerusalem difficult
  • Made red crosses to add to our history notebooks
  • Continued weaving our blanket
Optional Lesson Extension Activities:
Assignment Due 11/15/2016:
  • Read History Cards MA 16-18
  • Practice your timeline

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Art class: Trailblazers and Explorers

We looked at artwork by Jan Van Eyck and talked about his work being important because he was really one of the first to use oil paints and he loved to tell stories with his pictures. The kids have a coloring page of one of his works, that I asked them to finish at home. We also looked at stained glass from the Middle Ages and then the each designed a stained glass drawing on translucent paper and colored it in with markers. When finished, they should look fine hanging in a window.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bayeux Tapestry - History 1&2 Explorers and Trailblazers

Tuesday Nov. 1, 2016

Around 1000, vikings began to settle in the Normandy area of France.  In the next few years they adopted the culture and language of the people they conquered, becoming “civilized” Normans.

When the King Edward III (the Confessor) of England, died in 1066 without leaving a son, several men, including William, Duke of Normandy, saw an opportunity to seize the throne.  The war story of the Norman Conquest of England is told in a captivating piece of medieval art, the 231 foot long Bayeux Tapestry. 

William, who later became known as William the Conqueror, brutally invaded England.  After landing he quickly built motte-and-bailey castles to shore up his position.  Medieval castles were not the luxurious palaces we imagine in fairy tales.  They were built first for advantage of position and defense, and rarely with comfort in mind.  The castle was a stronghold, a place where all the people could retreat for protection.

In class activities:
  • Reviewed the history of the barbarians & vikings
  • Learned about castle structure
  • Briefly summarized the Norman conquest of England
  • Discussed the idea of history from the point of view of the victor
  • Looked at many pictures of the Bayeux tapestry while we read the story of the Norman Conquest from The Bayeux Tapestry by Norman Denny
  • Began collectively weaving our own blanket and discussed the difference between a tapestry and embroidery
  • Learned about the uses for fabrics in medieval homes
Optional lesson extension activities:
Assignment due November 8th:
  • Read history cards MA 14-15, Cathedrals in Europe, The Crusades
  • Practice your timeline.  We have a new video up covering this period's hand motions.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Art - Pathfinders & Navigators

Tuesday, November 1

When you hear the word GOTHIC, you might immediately begin to think of something dark, black, sober, and even creepy... Though the Gothic Art Period began to expand outside of religious topics and into mythology, and included some art that was morbid, it actually began to get brighter in it's colors.

A large part of Gothic art was architecture: it grew quite tall and was very symmetrical. A huge type of art that came from the Gothic period was STAINED GLASS. This was much more then a mere piece of art- A lot of these were massive works that took years to complete!

While students created their own stained glass using colored pasta as our "glass", they learned the basics of how stained glass would have been created during Gothic time.

-Look up your family crest/coat of arms (Depending of surname origin, feel free to use other family names to find one that has a family crest.) If possible, bring in an image of your family crest, and be prepared to explain some of the meaning behind it.

A good source to began at is:

FAITH Timeline @ 11/1/2016 - keep practicing!

St. Augustine Converts to Christianity
Barbarian Invasion and the Vikings
St. Jerome Completes the Vulgate
The Council of Chalcedon
The End of the Western Roman Empire
St. Benedict and Monasticism
Justinian the Great
Mohammed and Islam
Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, and Charlemagne
Alfred the Great
Otto and the Holy Roman Empire
The East-West Schism
The Feudal System
William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Feudalism - History 1 & 2, Explorers and Trailblazers

During the Middle Ages, the feudal system was the primary form of social organization.  Under feudalism all land was held by the king. Scattered throughout the king’s land were many small villages, each ruled by a noble or vassal who was granted this honor by the king in return for their help in fighting wars.  Villages were filled with serfs (peasants) who farmed the land and gave a portion of their crops each year to the lord in return for protection and in payment for the use of the land.

Freemen who lived in towns worked for and took care of themselves.  Guilds began as craftsmen formed partnerships based on their trades, and agreed to support one another in adversity and business.

In class activities:
  • Created our own feudal system triangle using our chairs, and participated in assigned roles as food moved up toward the peak and land moved down toward the base.
  • Discussed who truly had the most power during the middle ages (military leaders) and discovered the purpose for knights pledging loyalty to the king through a code of chivalry
  • Reviewed the way that the church was intertwined with politics during this time period
  • Made paper crowns (in-class for explorers, take-home for trailblazers)
  • Signed our own pledge of loyalty and added it to our history notebooks
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Learn more about the age of chivalry
  • Watch a video detailing the origins of the feudal system
  • Two Disney movies took place during Medieval times: Robin Hood and The Sword and the Stone.  Consider watching one and writing the names of the characters in the correct place in the feudal system hierarchy (worksheet)
Assignment due Nov. 1:
  • Read History Card MA - 13 William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings
  • Practice your timeline

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Art - Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, October 25

Today's class finished up a two week project of Romanesque Medieval Tiles. As we now are in the Romanesque art period, we are beginning to see how the art is branching out into other mediums and types of art.

Last week in class the students created their tiles from clay by molding and cutting it to shape. It was fun to see all the creativity as various pasta was used for imprinting a design into the tiles.

Today in class, students took their now dried tiles and painted them. A characteristic of the Romanesque art is that the colors began to get brighter, and also, gold began to be incorporated into the different arts. However, the colors were still simple. So students were offered a simple palette of the three primary colors - red, blue, and yellow - along with gold; with encouragement to mix the colors how their creativity led, we ended up with a beautiful array of tiles!

Want to see more of how these tiles would have been made?
Here is a special LINK that shows a great video of how medieval tile would have been made:

-Research the characteristics of the GOTHIC art period
-Look at examples of Gothic Stain Glass. Come to class next week with an idea for your stain glass project.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Music - Navigators - 10/18

Students completed a quiz on the first Unit - The Elements of Music.

And then, we spent the rest of class working on their Music Projects.

  • Email me your paragraphs for the Music Project
    • this was the paragraph assignment: Write a few paragraphs on the music that is important in your life. Talk about how the music affects who you are. Focus on the music that relates to you, and speaks about who you are. Why do you love it? And what does that say about you? Or what do you hope it says about you?

  • If you have not put your 4-6 songs onto a computer with the Audacity program, please send me your song choices. I will put them onto mine for next week.

  • Listen to 2 different Gregorian Chants. Find the composer, and research/compare what the 2 chants are about.

Music - Traiblazers/Pathfinders - 10/18

Students did an awesome job this week, creating their own instruments! Each one was unique and creative. Each student had a chance to share what their instrument was called, and demonstrate how it was played. And then we put them all together into an orchestra of our own.

We also worked on the 6th element of music - Form. Using 'The Happy Song' the students learned how to pick out the different parts. And then demonstrated the form using different motions for each part.

This week students need to review all the elements that we have studied in preparation for the quiz tournament next week.

  •  Melody - Harmony - Rhythm - Dynamics - Tone Color - Form
  • Also review - Sound & Pitch

Music - Explorers - 10/18

Yesterday's class was all about Tone Color - the quality that distinguishes one voice or instrument from another. Each voice and instrument has its own tone color, which is the reason you can recognize someone's voice on the phone.

The kids listened to a story about the instruments of the orchestra. And practiced picking out the sounds of different instruments in the music.

Next week - please have your child bring in some recycling-containers, boxes, egg cartons, cardboard tubes, etc. We will be creating instruments in class together.
Explorers and Trailblazers:
This week we looked at more paintings by the Limbourg brothers and reviewed that they were hired by the Duke of Berry to create paintings for his Books and a type of calender called The Book of Hours that depicted the castle and acivities of the seasons. We noticed many details including the colors they used. For an activity I showed them how to shade a cylinder shape and make it "pop" off the page. We also made a cone shape and shaded it. From there we made a new castle drawing including shading on the towers and rooves. The children did very well. They have the responsibility of bringing their notebooks with them each week. I have incorporated this because sometimes I need them to finish things at home and I want them to keep their artwork together as much as possible. Moms, if you could help them out, only by giving them a notebook and checking it occasionally to see if they need help keeping it neat! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Explorers and Trailblazers Art class:

Tuesday we actually did three fairly quick projects. First we looked at pictures by The Limbourg Brothers. They were artist brothers that worked for the Dukes during the 1400's, doing paintings in the castles and creating a popular thing called a Book of Hours. This was a hand written book, usually including inspiring word for each hour of the day. First, we put gold trim o a photo copy of a painting from these men, since they embelished their paintings with real gold! Then, we worked on a color wheel, learning how to mix colors. Finally, we began a page from a cal lender, somewhat like what the Limbourg Brothers would have painted. For Homework: They are to finish these callender pages. They should draw, then paint a picture of their home in the fall, using their color-mixing skills as best they can remember. They can write in what month it is and add any special dates. Also, they should bring their notebooks!

Music - Navigators

Navigators brought in their own listening samples for Harmony. A few even created their own samples of harmony.
In class we covered the last 4 basic elements of music-texture, form, tempo, and dynamics. For each element we listened to some great pieces of music to demonstrate the points covered.

By next week, students need to have 4-6 songs chosen for their Music Project. They need to either put these songs on a flash drive to transfer to my computer, or put them onto a laptop that they can bring to class and use for the project.

Music - Trailblazers/Pathfinders

After reviewing the elements we have learned so far-rhythm, melody, harmony, & dynamics- we began looking at tone color.
Tone color is what makes two different voices sound different each other. It's the reason you recognize someone's voice on the phone. Instruments also have different tone color. The sound that a violin makes is different from the sound of the trumpet.
The kids had fun identifying the different instruments that they heard in Wagner's Lohengrin, Prelude to Act III & Duke Ellington's C-Jam Blues.
They also sorted the instruments into their different Instrument Families.

Assignment: This week the kids are to create their own instrument, using recycled objects from around the house. Next week they will need to bring it to class. They'll need to share the name of their instrument, which Instrument Family it belongs to, and show us how it's played!

Music - Explorers

The Explorers got to hear the story of Peer Gynt that comes from Grieg's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King.' The first time listening to the piece, they came up with their own great endings to the story. And then they did an awesome job picking out the tempo and dynamics changes, that make this piece so interesting.
They also began working on a Medieval Christmas song - Personent hodie- for our Christmas Presentation.

History 1&2 - Explorers and Trailblazers

Hi friends, I took off for Mexico without remembering to add my class notes. Sorry about that! I'll log back in and update this space when I return.

For now, just know that Kristina will be teaching next week, and you will need to read the history cards for Otto the 1st and the Holy Roman Empire , and the East/West Schism.

See you soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Art - Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, October 11

Today we finished our FRESCOES with the painting of them. Students began by getting their prepared plaster wet with a spray of water. 'They then took their egg paint that was made at last week's class, and painted a Bible story of their choice.

We made the bridge today from the Byzantine art period into our new adventure in the Romanesque period. Looking at images of two frescoes, we saw some of the changes- how colors were becoming brighter, and the art was extending into the architecture.

-Research what are the characteristics of the ROMANESQUE art period.
-View images of romanesque/medieval TILES
-Bring in a variety of pasta (shapes and types- a little bag full) to be used to create imprints into clay at next week's class.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Rise of Islam, History 1&2, Explorers & Trailblazers

Islam is not just a religion, but a political entity. It began when, at the age of 40, Muhammad believed he was hearing from God in the form of visions.  His revelations were later written down by a follower into the Quar’an.  

Muhammad was called prophet. His strong military leadership along with his promise of peace with God united the local tribes.  He then led these tribes to conquer Medina & Mecca, and continue expansion. Throughout much of the Middle Ages the Byzantine Empire fought the Muslims for control of the eastern Mediterranean. 

In class activities:

  • Reviewed the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, & the subsequent re-expansion under the Byzantines
  • Learned about the origins of Mohammed and his rise as a powerful religious and military leader
  • Mapped the expansion of the Islamic empire and compared it to the Roman and Byzantine empires
  • Discussed various forms of government and added the Islamic State to the list.
  • Compared Christ's "one way to the father"John 14:6  vs. the pillars of Islam
  • Carved our names into soap to remind us that God has engraved us on the palms of his hand.  Isaiah 49:16  We can do nothing to earn our way into heaven.

Optional at-home lesson extension activities:
  • Read The Golden Age of Islam by Linda George or a similar book from your library
  • Click through this interactive map showing the powers in control of the Mediterranean region
  • Watch a 10 minute Crash Course video explaining the basics of Islam and discuss it with your parents
  • For more advanced students (or curious parents): This professor at Yale does an excellent job of explaining why this particular religion has such a significant impact on politics:
  • Read timeline cards MA8 & 9
  • Practice your timeline

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Art - Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, October 4th Class

A FRESCO was a major type of art created during the early medieval/early Christian art period. A Fresco consisted of painting on wet plaster with paint, allowing the paint to actually become part of the wall or ceiling these frescoes were done on.

As we get ready to branch out of the BYZANTINE art style, students looked at and compared two different Madonna and Child Frescoes:

One of the frescoes was done by CIMABUE, a famous artist of the Byzantine art period; we saw how his painting consisted of several of Byzantine characteristics:
-The painting was one dimensional, lacking detail and depth
-The colors were sombre
-The faces were all front facing, and all similar, lacking any emotion or expression.

The other fresco we compared it to was by Cimabue's student, GIOTTO:
-The painting had depth and more detail
-The colors were brighter and had more variation
-The faces were facing different directions, and were different from one another with more expression

To capture the most authentic experience of painting a Fresco that we can in our limited art class space and time, students began the first step today by making their own paint. Paint from back then was made with egg and pigments. Students began by grinding up their own "pigments" (Chalk Pastels). They then had a blast - with a few "EWWWWS!" - separating their eggs to preserve the yolk for the paint. We look forward to using this collection of homemade paints next week as students' paint their own frescos!

Students need to fill in the index card they brought home with the title of their favorite Bible story that they will be featuring in their fresco. Please sketch out a simple drawing of this story on the card, as a plan of how it will be painted on the fresco next week.

Music - Navigators

The Element of Harmony: Musical Space

To the movement of melody, harmony adds depth. Harmony pertains to the movement and relationship of intervals and chords.

Listening Samples:

Major tonality - Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusick
Minor tonality - Beethoven: Symphony No 5, First Movement
Consonance - Handel: Messiah, "Hallelujah" Chorus(No 44)
Dissonance - Ligeti: Disorder, from etudes for piano


1. Send me your own song/composition with harmony. Please send it to me by Monday.
2. Continue working on your paragraphs for Music and Identity. Put your song selections onto a flashdrive in mp3 form. Or bring them in on your computer for next week.

Music - Trailblazers & Pathfinders

Melody & Harmony

Melody is the tune of a piece-a series of notes and pitches adding up to a recognizable whole. Melodies have phrases, just like sentences. And they have a beginning, move in a particular direction, and come to an ending place.

The kids tried putting together melody puzzles. Each group had 4 songs that were all mixed up. They had to sort them out by following the direction of the pitch and putting them in the right order.

We explored pitch with water filled glass bottles. A different amount of water in each bottle creates a different pitch. The kids got into groups and created their own song, using the different pitches as well as experimenting with different parts of the bottle.

Music - Explorers

All About Rhythm

We started out with a clapping game - Double This Double That. The kids had fun trying to learn the pattern and keep it going.

We talked about rhythm patterns and started making rhythm patterns with body rhythms.

We talked about note values - especially the half note, quarter note, eighth note and quarter rest. And then we practiced following written rhythms with rhythm sticks.

Finally, we used monster rhythm cards to create our own rhythm songs, which the kids got to bring home.

They also brought home their Aquarium pictures from last week. So, if you want to have some fun with them, find 'The Aquarium' from The Carnival of the Animals on youtube, and listen together while your child describes what they drew from the song. :)

Pathfinders and Navigators History Homework



Study Cards 8 and 9, Charlemagne and Alfred the Great, for the oral quizzing.




Study Cards 8 and 9, Charlemagne and Alfred the Great, for the oral quizzing.


Write a BRIEF report and prepare an oral report on Alfred the Great answering the following questions; who was he and what did he do that caused people to call him great?


Here are some websites to consult


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call. Please note that from Tuesday morning on I am not at home and may be unavailable for last minute questions so please try and get to me before Tuesday morning or contact Pastor Huntley directly at his email address above.

Have a great week and enjoy this beautiful day.


Mrs. Klekar


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Art for Explorers and Trailblazers:

This lesson I introduced the artist Giotto. He was important during the late Middle Ages/early Renaissance, because he made people look realistic. He is interesting because it is thought that he began drawing well as a child and was discovered and became an apprentice to the artist we learned about last week, Cimabue. As a child, Giotto was a shepherd boy, who drew pictures of sheep on rocks with sticks. So, we tried our hand at scratching a picture in pastels. The children should bring their notebook every week for art, and have their pictures neatly organized and colored. rewards are for bringing notebooks and sitting quietly and working diligently on the projects.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Drama for History of the Middle Ages {Explorer and Trailblazer Edition}

    Our first purpose in this class is to glorify God and to enjoy Him. This past month, we have sought to accomplish this very goal. We have delved into many different speech and drama techniques to help the students feel comfortable speaking and expressing with their peers. In the process, we have helped cement a Biblical worldview concerning certain historical events.

     We began with the fall of Rome for our first lesson. The students sat in a semi-circle to imitate Roman theatre. One by one, they all gained the opportunity to be Roman orators. For their impromptu exercise, they pretended they had time machines and decided which time period in history they would go. The students gave so many creative responses to this assignment.

    The next week, the students morphed into Vikings ready to tell sagas around a roaring fire. They were each given fearless Viking names to help them practice dramatic facial expressions. They learned that they could choose and control their attitudes for speech and drama presentations. The verse of that week was from Philippians: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." This verse reminds us that confidence ultimately comes from God. He created us with adrenaline that gives us energy. This mindset will transcend natural shyness and fear.

    We also practiced correct speech posture using kinesthetic sense. Other speech concepts like eye contact and attention-maintaining introductions were discussed. During the last week in September, the students displayed their new skills with a prepared speech.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Music - Navigators

We first listened to each students selections for Melody. Each student explained why they chose this melody.

We started working on the Music Projects in class. Students wrote down a few compositions that they listen to on a regular basis, and began thinking about how that music relates to them. They will be continuing this assignment at home this week.


1-Listen to the Listening Examples for Rhythm, be ready to discuss next week

2-Write a few paragraphs on the music that is important in your life. Focus on the music that relates
    to you, and reflects who you are in some way. Why do you love it? What does that say about you?
    What do you hope it says about you?

3-Raid your music collection. Use the thoughts and comments you wrote above, and try to find the
    music that best illustrates those ideas. Remember, you will be making an audio collage - so, be
    thinking about the sounds and feelings that you want in your final project.

Music - Trailblazers/Pathfinders

Trailblazers & Pathfinders continued working on Rhythm.

We learned a game called Rhythm Train, which helped us fine tune our rhythm reading & playing. Each student had a boarding pass with 2 rhythms on it. The first was theirs, the second was another students. Players had to listen very carefully for when their rhythm was played, repeat it and 'call' the next person.

We also spent a good deal of time listening to 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' composed by Edvard Grieg. This piece is from a suite called The Peer Gynt Suite. So, first we listened to the legend of Peer Gynt(the children's version) almost to the end. After listening to the piece the kids came up with their own ending to the story. Throughout this piece the same motive is repeated many times, and so we discussed how the composer used a changing tempo and dynamics to make the piece exciting.

Music - Explorers

The Explorers continued exploring melody and pitch.
  • Using bells we played high and low melodies & accompanied a song we sang together
  • We listened to 'The Aquarium'(from The Carnival of the Animals). The children listened carefully to the way the melody moved up and down. And they described what they heard-bubbles, octopuses, and lots and lots of fish. And then they worked very hard putting what they heard into an aquarium picture.
  • Using 4 notes each child composed their own melody to play on the bells

Byzantine Empire - History 1&2, Explorers & Trailblazers

The term Byzantine is used to refer to the Eastern half of the Roman Empire after it was divided. The peak of the Byzantine Empire occurred after 527 during the Justinian Dynasty. Justinian I (Justinian the Great) took on many projects including reviewing all of the existing Roman laws re-writing them into a single book often called the Justinian Code. Under his rule the empire gained territory and maintained peace through tribute pay-outs to the Persians. This caused them to continually increase taxes, eventually leading to discontent among the people.
 In class activities:

  • Learned about Justinian's origins as a peasant
  • Discussed the influence of the Demes, chariot racing teams who had great political power
  • Divided ourselves into blue and green parties, and discussed what would happen if we only took care of the people on our side
  • Literally stitched Rome back together, showing how Justinian attempted to rebuild Rome
  • Wrote our own book of laws
  • Watched portions of a cartoon explaining Justinian's influence
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Read history card MA - 7 and discuss the topic of Islam with your family
  • Practice your timeline

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Art: Pathfinders & Navigators

Tuesday, September 27

Students jumped right into class by starting back to work on the MOSAICS we began in class last week. It was fun watching the random, colorful shapes that were cut out last week take shape!

As students worked on their own mosaics, we looked at photos of mosaics from the early medieval time. A couple of mosaics from the catacombs featured the Christian symbols we had discussed in our first class. We also looked at an image of a huge, detailed, and amazing mosaic in one Rome's oldest churches. In each of these mosaics, we discussed how some of the characteristics of the Byzantine art period are seen in these works.

-Be prepared to explain and describe what a FRESCO is.

Today in class we began learning about GIOTTO, an early medieval artist. We will continue to look at some of his works in the next class. Here is a great link that shares a lot about his life and works:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Music - Navigators

In this class we began to discuss what music is, and what it was created for. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be comparing the basic elements of music to our own lives...what is the melody of your life? Melody was the main theme for this week. We discussed the characteristics and structure of a melody, and then spent some time listening for these things in some different pieces of music.

    Listening Samples
    • Gregorian Chant: Haec dies
    • Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
    • Schoenberg: Pierrot lunaire, No 18
    • Bach: Cantata No. 80, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, No 2
    • Send me your own music sample for melody
    • look up and start getting familiar with 'Audacity' for your project
         Create a 2-3 minute audio collage about the music you like and what it says about you.

    ART - Pathfinders & Navigators

    Tuesday, September 20

    Today in class we began working on MOSAICS, a type of medieval art. Each student chose a Christian symbol and two colors to be featured in the creation of their mosaic; the significance of these symbols and colors from early Christian art were discussed last week in class.

    We began a discussion on the Byzantine art period, and what were the characteristics of this period:
    -It was simple, and one dimensional
    -Colors were somber
    -Human figures were almost always front facing, and featured long, narrow faces with little detail
    -It was Pietistic (Christian) in subject matter
    -Religious members such as monks made up a large percent of the artists of this period
    -Sculptures were forbidden as they were considered idols

    Next week we will look in closer detail at some mosaics from this art period as students will finish working on their personal mosaics.

    -Research the artist Giotto di Condone, and learn about his life and works. CORRECTION: Giotto di Bondone - works & biography

    Music - Trailblazers/Pathfinders

    What is rhythm and how does it work? What's the difference between the rhythm and the beat? These are all questions that we answered together in class. Using rhythm sticks we found the rhythms and beats in the songs we sang and listened to.

    Next we reviewed note values, and playing written rhythms. And we practiced reading rhythms with a Rhythm Telephone Relay.

    Trailblazers worked on a Rhythmic Inventions page, figuring out the rhythms of syllables, words and phrases.

    Pathfinders learned about polyrhythms, which is the simultaneous use of two or more rhythmic patterns. And then, in groups of three, they started composing their own polyrhythms.

    Music - Explorers

    All About Melody

    The melody is usually the part of the song that we remember. To demonstrate this, the kids were each given a song to hum. As they hummed their tune, they also listened for what songs others were humming, and tried to find people who were humming the same tune.

    A melody is the tune of a piece, and it is made from different pitches, some high and some low, put together in a particular order. To see the way pitch works, we made maps of a melody(Amazing Grace) on the floor, and then we started composing our own melodies.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    End of Western Rome - History 1&2, Explorers & Trailblazers

    After Jesus died followers spread the word that He was, and is, God.  This process was facilitated by the order and shared language of the Roman empire.  Sadly, Roman authorities believed that the worshipers of Jesus were dangerous and enslaved or killed many believers. 

    Persecution continued until 313CE when Constantine the Great ruled that Christianity was legal.  
    Christianity eventually became the official state religion, spreading it throughout the empire.  This ran counter to traditional Roman rule, which declared the emperor to be one of (or equal to) the gods, and was one factor in the decline of Rome, in addition to many others.

    In 330CE, the Empire was intentionally split into two parts: the western half centered in Rome and the eastern half centered in Constantinople. This defenensive move did not prevent repeated attacks of Rome by the barbarians who eventually conquered Western Rome.

    In class activities:
    • Learned the meaning of the ichthus and made our own scratch art fish
    • Reviewed the words barbarian and vandal in both their original and modern definition (the kids thought it was hilarious that pants were considered barbaric in Rome)
    • Discussed the "hard words" on this week's history cards including "vulgate" and "council" - discussed why our timeline handmotions help our brains to remember the meaning of what we are saying.
    • Played a game in which we tried to defend a large area from invaders
    • Learned about persecution & Constantine
    • Located Rome on a world map, and then highlighted the extent of the empire on regional maps
    • Discussed cardinal directions & marked the portion of Rome that fell to barbarians
    • Added to our Medieval Notebook
    Optional lesson extension activities:
    • Read history cards MA 5 & 6 (St Benedict and Monasticism & Justinian the Great)
    • Practice your timeline

    Explorers and Trailblazers Art

    We reviewed who Cimabue was and what was special about him. We  colored in the" gold plated" area around Jesus head on a copy of his famous painting. We, then painted our castle drawings with watercolor. I reviewd or introduced them to the proper way to set up supplies and prepare your watercolor. We put our Cimabue picture into the notebooks. 
     Homework! finish coloring the Cimabue picture of Jesus and make sure you have a notebook for art history.

    Monday, September 19, 2016

    Explorers and Trailblazers Art class
    I read a story about an artist from the Middle Ages, named Chimabue. He was the first to try making people look realistic by turning their heads sideways or tilting them. He also used gold to accentuate certain things, like halo's.We drew a castle and added gold enhancements to it.  Sometimes kids are intimidated about drawing buildings.So, we broke down the parts of a castle drawing with shapes, so they could experience success. I think they were mostly pleased with the results. This week we will paint these amazing drawings that the kids made!

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    Music - Navigators

    The Navigators Class this year is a great group who seems very ready and willing to learn and experience music. Since this class is a little older with many varying degrees of musical understanding, I will be slightly changing the plan. We will still be doing an overview of the fundamental elements of music, but we will be focusing much more on listening and appreciating many different styles of music, which of course, will include Medieval and Renaissance.

    Students will be asked each week to bring in their own samples of music that relates to each topic that we are working with. And there will also be a cool project called 'Music as Identity'.(more details on the project will be discussed next week)

    Please come to class next week with a notebook & folder


    Music - Pathfinders

    Concepts Discussed:
    • Music is a variety of sounds arranged in an organized way
    • Sound is created from vibrations
    • Rhythm is one of the basic elements of music. It is the organization of time in music, and it gives shape to the melody or tune of a piece.
    • We started exploring the difference between the rhythm and the beat
    • Note Values diagram

    Assignment - review the note values and be ready to play some rhythm games next week

    Music - Explorers & Trailblazers

    It was a great start as we began learning about The Building Blocks of Music. We went over the 6 basic building blocks and their definitions:

    Melody - the tune of a piece
    Harmony - when more than one note is played or sung
    Rhythm - repeated patterns of beats and sounds
    Dynamics - the volume or loudness of the music
    Tone Color - the sound of a voice or instrument, each one sounds different
    Form - how a song or composition is put together

    In class we also talked about what sound is and how it travels, and then we listened to a musical story called 'Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo'

    History Navigators and Pathfinders 9/13/2016

    The Roman Empire, prior to the Middle Ages, had been one of the greatest in the known world at the time. The Roman army was one of the most successful and most feared. The Romans began to live lives that were centered around pleasure and excess. In keeping with this mindset they also began to have fewer children. They eventually resorted to recruiting slaves and soldiers from the surrounding countries in order to replenish the dwindling supply from their own people.
    The Barbarians were among these recruits. Ultimately these tribes and others invaded and conquered the Roman Empire. Pastor Huntley shared a brief slide show of weapons used during that time.

    Prior to the fall of Rome, Christians were still heavily persecuted. However, very often these Christ followers would willingly martyr themselves both in the Coliseum as well as being crucified. Their courage and reliance on, as well as devotion to, Christ strengthened other christians and the movement as a whole. It had the opposite effect that the Romans had hoped for which was to destroy it.

    During the Barbarian rule christians continued to venture where others would not. Often they could be found entering places where plagues and disease were present. In stark contrast to those fleeing these places, they would move in to care for the sick and dying.

    This is the way of the Cross - people willing to die to self and live (and die) for Christ.

    Mrs. Cross introduced the students in the Navigators class to the story of Perpetua, a Christian martyr whose personal account of what she went through was the first recorded account of a martyr's experience. You can read more about it. I have included a link to Christianity Today

    After the class, the students went outside to the parking lot where several of them were "crucified".

    Homework: Please read Cards 3,4,and 5 for next week. For those who do not have the cards yet images will be sent to your email.

    Pathfinders and Navigators Drama Day 1!

    Our first week was successful in many ways!  The children were engaged and fabulously flexible as I filled in for the new drama teacher who was unfortunately called away to serve on Jury Duty.

    We reviewed rules of audience etiquette and respect for all as we dive into the very personal world of performing.  The children were able to meet their fabulous TA Mrs. Baglio!  We jumped right into  being on stage as they shared one fact about themselves.  Many drama skills are acquired through play so we spent the remainder of our class playing games! 

    In one 45 minute period we discovered things about each other we didn't know, worked together without verbal communication, performed together under a time crunch, and enjoyed one another!

    Thank you to each of the children in these classes for being gracious, respectful, and kind!  You are a treasure and I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again!

    Barbarians & Vikings - History 1 & 2, Explorers and Trailblazers

    The term Barbarian does not describe one specific people group.  It means outsider, or people who were foreigners to the main ruling countries (Greece, & later Rome).  This included the Huns, Franks, Vandals, Saxons, and Goths, Visigoths. They were thought of as uncivilized and uncultured people.  During the Barbarian invasions (also known as the Migration Period) from 400 - 800, these feared warriors conquered many lands including the Roman empire.  

    The Vandals' descendants later became known as the Vikings.   Because they had to depend on the sea, the Vikings became expert boat builders who lived as traders and settlers.  They launched ferocious attacks on Europe, looting and pillaging before returning to the sea.

    ___In class activities:
    • Discussed the words barbarian and vandal and learned about their origin
    • Thought about how foreign languages sound to those who don't speak the language and discussed the impact that lack of communication can have
    • Built a Viking longboat
    • Started creating a Medieval notebook
    • Played the viking game Kubb
    • Studied maps of the Barbarian homelands
    • Discussed misconceptions about Vikings (they did not wear hats with horns)
    ___Optional lesson extension activities:
    • Read Viking Ships at Sunrise (Magic Tree House #15) by Mary Pope Osborne (96p.)
    • Read Adventures with the Vikings by Linda Bailey (48p.)
    • Learn about the martyrs - the Torchlighter videos are fantastic and they come with printable activities. For this week the ones covering Augustine and Perpetua are highly recommended.


    • Read history cards MA 3&4, and NT32
    • Practice your timeline

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    Art - Pathfinders and Navigators

    Tuesday, September 13

    Class Overview
    It was great to see everyone back and eager for a new season of classes! We started the new semester with an overview of our theme for this historical period: art in the church. Medieval and Renaissance art found a large percent of it's inspiration and display in the churches. We began our journey of early Christian church art in the Catacombs.

    The artwork found in these tunnels featured Bible narratives or Christian Symbols. We discussed the importance of colors in these works; because of the limited selection and often tedious paint-making process, the simple colors held great meanings. For example, blue meant heavenly grace or favor; this is why Mary, the mother of Jesus is often portrayed in blue clothing. Students created a reference sheet of the meaning of these colors, and also a list of various Christian symbols to be used in upcoming art projects.

    -Select a Christian Symbol and 2 or 3 colors to be used in next week's mosaic project.
    *Students might find it helpful to look up images of mosaics, both historical and modern.
    - Bring in an old magazine or catalog that can be cut up.
    - Research the Byzantine Art period; be prepared to share characteristics of this period.

    I have found the following website to be a good wealth of info regarding Medieval and Early Christian Art:

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Planning for 2016/2017

    FAITH parents,

    We have so enjoyed working with your students this past year!  Registration forms and policies are now available for the 2016/2017 session.  Please take a few moments to print BOTH out and return them as soon as possible.  Any open slots will be offered to new students, and we don't want you to miss out!
    • REGISTRATION DEADLINE - Please print and return the paperwork by May 15, 2016 if you plan to return to FAITH.  Please include the registration fee of $135 which covers materials, offering for the building, and liability insurance.
    • TUITION REMAINS THE SAME - Tuition for the year per family remains the same.  $375/family unless you only bring one child.  (In that case tuition is $200/family)
    • FIRST DAY OF CLASSES - September 13, 2016 - The full calendar will be available in the next few weeks.  We may have a few changes and want to provide the most up to date details for you to plan with!
    • VOLUNTEER SPOTS - Please feel free to provide feedback about where you prefer to serve for the coming year - We try to accommodate schedules and requests if possible.  THANKS!
    The leaders and teachers of FAITH are hard at work planning for the 2016/2017 session of FAITH, and we are excited to jump into all things castle and sword as we delve into the Middle Ages!  It will take us a few weeks to finalize this year's plans, but you can see a copy of our previous  Middle Ages syllabus (from our 2012 session) to begin putting together your own lessons for the coming year.

    As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.