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