Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Archaeology - Rosetta Stone

Before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, Ancient Egyptian (both hieroglyphic and demotic) writing was a mystery to historians.  The stone was carved in 196 BC, but was torn down and used as a building block for years until its discovery by French soldiers in 1799.  Over the next hundred years, many different people worked to decode the writing on the Rosetta Stone.  Jean-François Champollion is credited with finally discovering the connection between Coptic and the ancient writings, thereby making Egyptian writing understandable to modern scholars.

In class activities:

  • Watched portions of Ancient Mysteries of the Rosetta Stone
  • Discussed how not all archaeological discoveries are made by archaeologists
  • Reviewed the difference between pictographs and phonetic writing
  • Learned about the importance of ancient writings to understanding history
  • Excavated multiple layers in our dig site
  • Compared our discoveries to existing documents to try to decode the meaning of a tablet we discovered
  • Documented results
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Finish watching Ancient Mysteries of the Rosetta Stone
  • Type up several phrases in a simple hieroglyph translator, and see if you can come up with a complete alphabet (without typing the alphabet letter for letter).  Notice how several sounds are represented by one symbol, and several symbols can be used for a single sound.  How would this impact translation attempts?
  • Make a list of all the archaeological tools and systems you have learned.  Try to write an instruction manual for future students.  
  • We will be working on artifact restoration next week.  If anyone has a hot glue gun, please bring it with you!  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

History Elective Pathfinders and Navigators 3/29/2016

The media presented the summaries of the candidate’s positions. The different media people uniquely summarized the position of each candidate with respect to the issues discussed in the previous debates. They were all well done.

The class then split into two groups. They were given the exercise of creating a new government. They had to come up with; 1. Ideas that their government would be based on and 2. How those ideas would put be into practice within their new government.       

The assignment for each of the students in the group is to go home and take the material from their group and fill in any holes that remain. Next week your group will explain to the class what your government stands for and how they will put those things into practice.                                            

Monday, March 28, 2016

Art- Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, March 22

Today in class students finished the painting part of the clay crosses we had created last week. This included two different techniques: distressed acrylic painting and watercolor using chalk pastels.

-Lookup and sketch out design for Crayon Melting Art we will begin in next class; good resources are Google Images and Pinterest.
IMPORTANT Each student needs to bring in a hair blow dryer to Tuesday, March 29th class to use for their project.
Also, if you have an extra hair dryer or extension cords, it would be great if you can send those in as well! Thank you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Archaeology - Terra Cotta Warriors

The first emperor of China, Qin (Chin) Shi Huang Di, wanted to live forever, and take his army with him.  Rather than kill all of his officers upon his death, as previous leaders had done in his area, he decided to build a massive life size army out of clay.  Each soldier was crafted differently, and placed by rank with the appropriate arms and supplies.

This massive army was unknown until a farmer, working near the known grave of Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di, attempted to dig a well, and accidentally discovered the ancient pottery.

In class activities:

  • Learned about religion during the warring states period
  • Discussed the major advances made by Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di
  • Discussed the impact of replacing killing soldiers with building clay soldiers
  • Looked at images of terra cotta soldiers and hypothesized about the many missing weapons
  • Read portions of an archaeological field manual
  • Learned how to properly label both clay and other items
  • Worked on our own dig sites, uncovering pottery and intrusive items
  • Documented our finds
Optional lesson extension activities:

History Elective Navigators & Pathfinders March 22, 2016

Today the class listened to various media reports from last weeks debates. We then watched the video Learn Our History - Election day - Choosing our President.  Pastor Huntley briefly discussed the some of the things brought up in the video and we briefly looked at the differences in the Democratic Party's stance on certain issues then and how much they have changed today.

Next Tuesday, the 29th, each candidate will have 30 seconds to present their position statement. They should be writing a document to pass out that outlines their position on the following: guns, the economy, jobs, marriage and right to life. These are mandatory. You may also include immigration, healthcare including the drug epidemic and the first amendment.

The media people are expected to summarize what each candidate has said about their positions on the topics presented in all of the debates so far.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Art- Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, March 15

Today in class we worked with clay, and learned to appreciate the time, skill and patience that really does go into it! Students were encouraged to create two different types of clay crosses - one with impressions from a variety of objects they experimented with, and a second cross with more molding work.

-Look up online "Bible Art Journaling"; Google Images and Pinterest is a great place to see some examples.
-Underline/highlight your favorite verse on the photocopied Bible pages given to you in class. Add in your own doodling, art, and color to your verse. Bring back to class next Tuesday.

Archaeology - Mt Lassois Fort & Vix Grave

Mont Lassois is a Celtic hill fort from the late Iron Age in Britain (approx. 520 BC) consisting of several large banks of earth protecting a settlement at the top of the hill.  The discovery of archaeological material in the area of Mont Lassois began in April 1930 by amateur treasure seekers. Progressively systematic work over the following years revealed a variety of both small finds, and large building remnants including post houses, pit dwellings, hearths and storage areas.

The nearby Vix burial mound was excavated in early 1953 by René Jouffroi. He discovered the untouched grave of a woman wearing a crown.  Her tomb contained many valuable items including a chariot and an enormous metal krater (wine urn) which was obviously made in Greece, indicating trade between the two areas.

In class activities:
  • Learned about hill forts and discussed the advantages that height provides
  • Looked at images of archaeological sites, paying attention to how changes in soil color and compaction can indicate buildings
  • Noted the Lady of Vix's crown and discussed the changes in social heirarchy that happened as people settled together
  • Discussed how trade impacts the items that archaeologists find
  • Learned about Sir Mortimer Wheeler and the Wheeler method of a grid system for systematically digging while preserving a nearby vertical cross-section of undisturbed strata.  We compared this to the way that layers can be seen when the kids dig straight down while playing Minecraft.
  • Excavated our indoor dig-site and documented the discovery of gems.
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Learn how archaeologists use geometry as they set up their grid squares:
  • Try using your archaeological knowledge in Minecraft!  Create a new world in creative mode, and dig a test pit following all the rules you have learned.  Make sure to leave a section so that you can see the strata.  Pull out the archaeologist's favorite tool, a pencil, and draw the layers that you see.  Make a hypothesis about whether the layers will be the same if you dig another pit several blocks away.  Dig the second pit.  What did you discover?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Archaeology - Tutankhamun

British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 in the Valley of The Kings, Thebes, Egypt.  The tomb had remained virtually undisturbed for over 3000 years.  The intact setting allowed archaeologists to not only view priceless treasures and significant artifacts, but to examine the mummy in its multiple coffins.  Modern scientific research is still being conducted on this remarkable find today.

In class activities:
  • Learned about Howard Carter's profession as an archaeological artist
  • Discussed Edwardian society, and how Lord Carnarvon was a necessary funding source for the excavation of King Tut's tomb
  • Discussed clustering and how the Valley of the Kings pervious tombs gave archaeologists clues about where to dig for future discoveries
  • Conducted a playground sweep.  Searched for topical clues (milk jug "stone blocks" and different colored sand) that would indicate where we would most likely find artifacts.  Excavated and documented our finds.
Optional lesson extension activities:

Art Elective-Pathfinders and Navigators

Tuesday, March 8

For the last couple of classes, students have been working on their typography project: taking words from their favorite song and designing them into artistic type, on the boards previously made with sheet music. Students have learned that a lot of time can go into sketching, designing, and laying out their design.

As students have prepared their typography through the different steps, we have discussed basic principles behind good font design. This includes understanding the different font types, mixing fonts, and using different sizes and weights. Plus typography is more fun then just good handwriting! You can add in all kinds of shading, shapes, special touches, and even artwork.

Please bring in any selection of items that you think will make a great imprint/stamp design into the clay projects we will be starting next week. This can be anything from pine branches from nature to a cheese grater from the kitchen!

History Elective First Period March 8, 2016

Over the past few weeks, the history elective with Pastor Huntley has turned into a real live race for the presidency! During the classes Mr. Huntley has taught, in detail, the aspects of what happens during an election year. Topics covered have been addressed in terms of what they are and why they are important. The steps a candidate takes before he announces that he is running and the subsequent campaign, primary elections, the general election, the Iowa Caucus and super Tuesday have been covered thus far.

The practical part of the class has included the four presidential candidates and their campaign managers studying up on the issues important to the current campaign. Issues that have been debated range from Terrorism (ISIS specifically), illegal immigration, Planned Parenthood funding, the national debt, job growth, Second Ammendment rights and the economy.

Each class begins with our various media reporters playing or reading their report on the previous week's debate. We have television, radio and written reports and they have done a great job. Then the candidates are put on the spot to answer questions from the media on whatever topic the media chooses. They are kept on their toes but they are all doing super!

Today, after the debate, Mr. Huntley took a part of the class to teach the students about the economy, specifically how cutting taxes and regulations on business actually produces wealth.

A guest parent, Selectman LaCasse, had previously asked the candidates what they thought of the federal reserve printing more money. He graciously explained to the students the history of the Federal Reserve's printing of our currency, how our dollar previously was valued by the backing of gold and silver as well as the changes in this in recent years. He explained how the influx of more printed money into our economy drives the value of our dollar down and how this will affect the retirees and older population's savings.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March 1, Art-Younger group: The last two weeks of class we:
-Did some drawing exercises from "Drawing with Children"
-Talked about silence being helpful in the creative process
-Learned how to prepare a watercolor wet on wet paper
-began our books on the days of creation by creating the first four pages
     The watercolor techniques we used: preparing the paper by wetting it and "stretching" it, layering colors to create a desired look, using a clean, dry brush to separate two colors of paint, dry-brushing to make a desired effect.
-Did some more drawing exercises from "Drawing Textbook" McIntyre.