Monday, March 25, 2013

"This day I have sent couriers to every part of our country, to every city and village. They carry this decree. That I have set a task for Egypt. . ."

". . .which in any other land would be impossible on the desert sands. You will raise a pyramid, a structure greater than any in the world. This pyramid shall be resting place for the second life. Each man has a covenant with me to work as man has not yet worked in all time. And as the living God of Egypt, I promise you that each man by his labor shall secure for himself a place in the life to come."  ~William Falkner's Land of the Pharaohs 


We continue our study of Ancient Egypt through the completion of our Mini-Books and Research Reports.  As you will see, assignments are a little different now, since much more time is given to students demonstrating their understanding of the concepts we've covered throughout the year. Working independently and with each other, they are creating and polishing projects of interest to them, gathering ideas and insights -- and help in problem-solving -- from their peers.   

The first is a Mini-Book of facts about the everyday life of Ancient Egyptians. This project not only covers reading for information, highlighting important facts, effective note-taking, and compiling information into a visually appealing, polished document, it also demonstrates students' understanding of informational text features.  In fact, each book is required to include at least ten.

This project will be due on Friday, March 29th.

The "Pharaoh Report" is a major research project.  Written in first person, it recounts the lives of some of the greatest kings of Ancient Egypt. Students scoured the internet and printed off three documents that they found most helpful -- to be used as the basis of their report.  They read, highlighted information that they were required to include in their report, took notes, and began the writing process -- one paragraph at a time -- in class. In no time, students were seeking additional information on their own, and were identifying relationships with one another's pharaohs as they began to unravel the history of each of the great kingdoms through a continuum of dynasties. Awesome.  
This is to be an academic paper, complete with bibliography written in APA format.  Ask to see your child's syllabus.  In it, I outline each of the parts of the report (which will become the rubric for grading) as well as the timeline for completion.

MARCH 25-29 


Monday: Begin work on COVER -- an Egyptian scene utilizing the artform known as frontalism.  The words ANCIENT EGYPT will be written in hieroglyphs. We will work on this again tomorrow, after which any unfinished work will need to be completed at home or during study hall in the afternoon.

Tuesday:  Complete cover (include color) and work on any other unfinished aspects of the project.  (Remember "Presentation Quality!")  After today, you're on your own to complete and turn in your project no later than Friday.

Wednesday:  Center Square Activity

Thursday:  Complete Center Square Activity and put finishing touches on this month's Writer's Notebooks.

Friday:  Share Mini-Books, turn in Writer's Notebooks for March.

Monday:   Mrs. M.'s class completed the concluding paragraph/s (death and legacy).  All the paragraphs should be organized onto one document -- the second draft of the report -- and turned in for feedback.

Tuesday:  Mrs. D.'s class is a day behind.  We will work on accomplishments and interesting facts paragraphs. 

Wednesday:  We'll share our reports with our peers and seek their advice.

Thursday:  Mrs. D.'s class will complete the concluding paragraph/s (see Monday's assignment above). 

Friday:  No class. 

SPELLING, GRADE 6 (No task cards this week!)

Monday: Art got in the way; we'll catch up tomorrow.

Tuesday:  191-194

Wednesday:  195-196

Thursday: 197-200

Friday: TEST


Monday --> Friday:  
  • Concepts of Comprehension activities
  • Independent Silent Reading
  • Study Hall (lots of informational reading is associated with projects in most subject areas)
I hope this week will be productive and fun as project work becomes increasingly creative and students work more freely with peers to critique and complete them. 

“ my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.”   ― Howard Carter, Tomb of Tutankhamen

Ancient Pharaohs illustration:
King Tut illustration: