In U.S. History, we’ve finished our unit on the American Revolution. Students completed ISN packets on the 13 colonies, examined the Declaration of Independence, and explored the Battle of Yorktown (Capture the Flag game pending due to rainy weather).
In World History, we learned about the Roman philosophy stoicism and created posters called “Stoicism and Me!” Students had to relate the ancient philosophy to their own lives today. Also, we’ve wrapped up our first unit on the Middle Ages discussing the Great Schism of 1054, the repercussions of the collapse of Rome, and the dire need of western Europe for feudalism.
Both classes also had the opportunity to attempt their first BreakOUT Edu kit. Students were tasked with the challenge of breaking into the kits only using the clues provided to them. Students had to work together and think outside of the box to get inside the box! Although students were unsuccessful, they had a blast playing and did a fantastic job working together as a group. More BreakOUT Edu challenges to come. . .
In U.S. History, we’ve finished a unit on the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The culminating project was to create a rap song using primary source quotes from the seven debates. It was a long project, but with great results. Students, not only learned quite a bit about Lincoln’s views on slavery, but they impressed me with their creativity in producing a catchy and memorable rap song.
In World History, students wrapped up their unit on the Roman Empire. They had an opportunity to explore the political environment – changing from a republic to an empire, the daily life of a Roman citizen, and the origins and spread of Christianity. Along the way, students debated on major issues, such as “Did the benefits of Roman expansion outweigh the costs?” It proved to be heated, but in a good way. Students were respectful and engaged.
P.S. For those still interested, I have completed the student production of “The Odyssey.” I will be setting up a date shortly when we will be viewing the film in class. All parents are welcome to attend the Viewing Party. Popcorn will be provided
In U.S. History, we’ve jumped ahead. Students have examined the Medal of Honor and defined the character values in their own words. With these definitions in mind, we’ve been reading about Lincoln and relating the character values to examples in his own life. As we work along, students have been focusing on the essential question: How were Lincoln’s views on slavery nuanced and complex?
In World History, we’ve wrapped up our first unit on Ancient Greece by holding our very own Greek Olympics! Each class period competed in their own city-states (Athens, Sparta, Megara, Corinth, and Argos). We awarded winners for each period, as well as, one overall winner for all my classes.
The results were:
In U.S. History, we’ve been immersing ourselves in what it would be like to be a sailor in the 1600s. Students have been tying bowline knots and learning about the two imperial powers – Spain and England. We’ve discussed Spain’s route to the New World and colonization of New Spain as well as England’s early failures and eventual success in Jamestown. Also, we’ve been learning about the Puritans, the Mayflower, and the Colonial Wars.
In World History, we’ve been learning all about Ancient Greek culture. Students have been learning about the gods and goddesses, the religion and mythologies of Greece, the architecture, and even competing in our own Polis groups. Also, students have created Greek alphabet books and scripts of “The Odyssey.” In the next week or so, we will be screening our production of “The Odyssey” in class (popcorn included).
The school year is officially in full-swing. Last week, both of my classes completed their first assessments of the year.
In U.S. History, we’ve been learning about Pre-Contact America. This unit began with an investigation about how the first peoples made it to North America ending with analysis of Christopher Columbus’s letter to the King and Queen of Spain.
As you can see above, students worked in groups to create a poster that summarized the main ideas from the Columbus letter.
In World History, we’ve been learning about the unique geographic challenges Ancient Greeks faced. Students completed digital interactive notebooks that covered the main concepts from the textbook culminating in a drawing activity where students created their own children’s books that featured the main ideas of the unit.
As seen above, you can see some examples of the children’s books students made about the geography of Ancient Greece.
It has been a real pleasure getting to know my students. Tons of personality in the room – I think we’re set to have a fun-filled year.
In U.S History, we have completed a Bucket List activity, which helped me get to know my students better. This culminated in an introductory speech where students got the opportunity to introduce a classmate and share their heroes (dead and alive). Also, we studied 9/11 and wrote a constructed response that attempted to answer the essential question: What is the difference between history and memory?
In World History, we completed an introductory speech that asked students to introduce a classmate using their favorite color and three adjectives to describe that color. This resulted in lots of laughter. Since, we’ve started our unit on Greece attempting to answer the essential question: How did geography influence settlement and way of life in Ancient Greece? Students are currently working on completing their Interactive Student Notebooks (ISNs) on the Chromebooks.
Welcome students and parents/guardians to a new school year at South Middle School! I’m excited to be here and I hope you all are too! It’s going to be a fun-filled year full of exploration, inquiry, and debate on the many significant eras of World and U.S. History! In order for our year to go smoothly, there are several things I need for you to complete prior to the first day of school (if at all possible).
My students do such great work throughout the year that I can't keep it all to myself.