Our group projects, "Create a Country", are coming along quite nicely! I was excited to see many of our students getting real detailed in their research. (foods of various areas in the Middle East, religious symbols, oil fields locations, etc...) Others have begun drawing their own flags and maps of their countries! I can't wait to see the presentations next Wednesday and Thursday!
Today was another great day to do some more field research. At the Jewish Museum of Maryland we learned about the Jewish religion, the American Civil War, immigrants into Baltimore and took part in an archeology activity. We will be able to draw upon our knowledge we acquired today in our studies the rest of the year!
At the Civil War exhibit we learned about some of the causes of the Civil War, issues in Baltimore during this conflict, and Jewish influence throughout the war. Students read some primary source documents including a letter from a seven year old girl, Rose, to her father who was out on the battle front. This week we will be "writing back" to Rose as if we were her father. We will also be comparing the American Civil War with other civil wars going on around the world, including Syria.
In the "Voices of Lombard" exhibit students learned how Jewish and other immigrant communities merged with the African American communities that were already in the area over time. As part of the scavenger hunt they explored a tenement building, deli and even an outhouse!
The final stop was the Lloyd Street Synagogue which is the 3rd oldest synagogue in the country. This was the first time ever being inside a synagogue for some of our students. While upstairs we learned some similarities and differences between the Jewish faith and other religions. Just recently they have uncovered some archeological finds in the basement dating back to 1845! Down there we took part in an archeology activity. Students worked in groups to collect, organize and classify various artifacts. Hopefully this will give them a better idea of how we know some much about ancient history!
We had a fantastic day at the Port Fest in the Port of Baltimore yesterday! Our two stops were the NS Savannah and The Pride of Baltimore II. We learned both the history of Baltimore on the international scene and role in the global economy as well as Baltimore's current position on the ever changing landscape.
Our first stop at the NS Savannah was a rare treat! They only open up the Savannah a couple times per year. To me, this nuclear ship from a different era was right out of a 1960s Sci-fi movie. I enjoyed every second of it. More importantly our students learned the pros and cons of nuclear energy and got a wonderful presentation from Stu Tobin on just what globalization is and how we are a part of it. Mr. Tobin talked about the globalization of not just oil, which we have been discussing at length in the classroom, but also Under Armor clothing! It was fascinating! Hopefully this will not only help us in our current project, "Create a Country", as students search for alternative of energy sources to use but also give us a broader view of what countries export and import. This will be invaluable as we continue our studies around the globe the rest of the year. Our tour guides who have been doing this for many years said this was the BEST behaved group they have ever had! In addition the City Schools News interviewed Sophie, Imani, Ericka and Michelle about their visit! We will let you know when they will be on TV!
The Pride of Baltimore II was our second stop. Here we learned about the history of Baltimore's maritime trade as well as the War of 1812. Students learned about Baltimore's role in the war and why the city was targeted for being a "Nest of Pirates". Below deck students compared and contrasted the different points of views of farmers, merchants, slaves, Native Americans, British and American politicians going into the war.
We will be learning more about The War of 1812 in the second quarter. In particular we will focus on its legacy. There is a lot of misinformation about the reasons WHY the United States went to war with Britain. One of the biggest reasons is the right trade around the world. The long term implications of the agreements (Treaty of Ghent) after the war between Britain and the U.S. are still felt today. This ties in directly with what we will be learning about this year.As global citizens we need to understand how exports from the U.S. and imports to our country effect the entire world, not just ourselves. The issue of piracy has resurfaced, as well. The movie Captain Phillips highlights the reason why another "mark" was given to a U.S. company (to be a privateer) for the first time in 200 years! Amazing how some of the same issues we thought were in our past, are indeed cyclical.
A big thanks to our friends at the Baltimore National Heritage Area and the Port of Baltimore for organizing this event!
What do you know now about the Port of Baltimore that you did not know before the visit? What do you know about The War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore now that you did not know before the visit? What do you think was the most difficult task working aboard the NS Savannah? What do you think was the most difficult task working on the Baltimore Pride?
I found another article this morning on CNN that some of you might want to use. The article is titled "6 Ways a Default Could Hurt the World". If our government is unable to pay its bills because the debt ceiling is raised there could be a worldwide financial crisis. This article will lay that out for you.
I have listed a few articles below that some of you may be interested in! I think sometimes we get caught up in current situations around the world and lose sight of other current events that are happening in Science, Archeology, etc... Check out the articles and let me know if you would like to summarize them for your homework due November 1st!
The first article is titled, "Clues to Lost Prehistoric Code Found in Mesopotamia". Did you know some ancient cunieforms from Mesopotamia are just now being decoded! Scientists have called these our "first databases". Amazing!
The second article is titled "The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds". I found this article quite fascinating! It is funny how much we don't know about "The Holy Land" and how much was just recently discovered. Have you ever heard of The Dead Sea Scrolls? I thought they were simply handed down throughout the centuries. I had no idea they were a 20th century discovery! I learn something new everyday! This article might also give you some insight into the current situation in the Middle East and the variety of religions there, as well.
I just came across this article on twitter a few minutes ago. Its a combination of things you are learning in Science and Social Studies. The title of the article is "First Evidence Found of a Comet Strike on Earth". Let me leave you with this little tidbit. Some remnants of the comet were found in King Tut's jewelry!
OK. I have to admit this last one is a bit of a stretch. For the last eight years of my life I have taught "Explorers" to fifth graders. I can't get enough of their stories of travel. Well, since this is European history I am going to make this "fit". Some of you may have read about John Cabot last year. Well, believe it or not a recently deceased "secretive historian" has found evidence about when he actually died, what he actually discovered and just who should be credited for discovering "The New World". The article is titled "Columbus May Not Have Been First to America".
Remember you don't have to use these articles for your homework. They are just some options for you!
Our day will start with a tour of NS Savannah. This is one of four nuclear ship buit by the United States. On board we will aslo be hearing from Stu Tobin, co-owner of Thunderbolt Global Logistics, LLC. Amongst other things, Mr. Tobin will talk about Baltimore's role in the world's economy. This is a very important aspect of our sixth grade curriculum as we learn about how we effect people around the world and vice versa.
After lunch we will be getting on board the The Pride of Baltimore II. This will be a fascinating educational program as we get to learn more about history of maritime trade here in Baltimore. Make sure to click on the links provided. What do you think? Which part of the trip are you most excited about? What do you think you learn and how will it possibly help you in your own "Create a Country" Project or what we will be learning about the rest of the year?
We have 3 upcoming field trips. All of our trips relate directly to what we are learning in the classroom and vice versa. This will be an exciting Fall!.
We will be visiting the Port of Baltimore on October 16th. We hope to make visiting the port a regular part of our curriculum as we learn more about the globalization of the world economy. The theme of our first trip there this year will be “Globalization-Import--Export and the Economic Impacts”. This simply fits in perfect of what we will be learning about this year in all of our units. How do we effect other people around the world and how do they effect us?
Next we will be visiting the Jewish Museum of Maryland. The Jewish Museum has been another museum that I have partnered with through the years. They have been so accommodating in tailoring our trips there to our current studies. While we are there we will be doing an archeology activity. Many of our students have asked how we know so much about ancient times. Through this activity our students will understand how artifacts are collected, organized and classified. We will also be visiting their new American Civil War exhibit. We will compare and contrast the Civil War here in our country that occurred in the 1860s with the one currently going on in Syria. Click here to learn more about past trips and exhibits we have explored at the JMM.
Finally we will be taking a trip aboard the boat the "Snow Goose" with our friends from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. This boat is so important that a year ago CNN did a live broadcast from its deck when discussing the health of the Bay! I have been doing this trip for many years now and each time I learn or see something new and exciting! Through our environmental studies we will learn about the health of the bay (testing for acidity, oxygen and turbidity levels), wildlife and variety of math and mapping skills! Check out the video below to learn more or click on this link to learn about previous trips I have taken with the Snow Goose.
Last week many of you reported onthe Kenyan Mall Attack and wanted more information on the situation. In particular, you wanted to know who was responsible for the attack. The news is still coming in but it looks like U.S. SEALS have captured two of the Al-Queda terrorist leaders who planned the attack. Read the article and answer the questions below. We will be discussing this development all week.
**Who were the two people who were captured?
**Where were they captured?
**Other than the Kenyan Mall Attack, what else are they believed to be responsible for?
**Read this paragraph taken from the article.
The operations were carried out even as polls show Americans are skittish about U.S. military involvement in overseas conflicts. This means, Francona said, that others who might be in the U.S. government's cross hairs could have more reason to worry.
What is your opinion on this matter? How do you feel that the U.S. is involved in military operations in other countries? Was this a good move? Do we have the "right" to find and capture these terrorists? Remember there are no wrong answers! Just support your answer!
Below are some examples of Character Collages from Percy Jackson. Some chose to do them with partners while others chose to do them alone. Students made up their mind on how they wanted to present them and they did a fantastic job!
Yesterday our journal question before reading more of Ch. 3 in Percy Jackson was something that got everyone excited. Specifically the question asked, "Think of a place that puts you most at ease." In other words where are you most comfortable and able to relax. Percy Jackson's favorite spot was Montauk, NY. He and his mother have history there and were able to "get away from it all". We did not get to hear everyone's answers so I promised sixth grade I would make a blog posting about this very topic! Most of our students had more than one place that they wanted to discuss. So have at it sixth graders! Where are your "comfort zones"? Why do you enjoy it so much there?
This page is dedicated to the work and research my students do each day.