Monday, October 19, 2015

You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands; take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it." ~ John Updike

The term geography literally means "earth description." It defines what a particular location or region is like and how and why some places on Earth are alike or different from others. A enormous array of physical features characterize our planet -- climate, landforms, natural vegetation--and human beings. 

Human and physical characteristics of geographic regions have influenced the development of a vast number of distinct and diverse cultures  (the way of life that characterizes a group of people).  

This is what we learn about; it defines the connection between the Social Sciences and the Physical ones.

OCTOBER 19 - 23


Monday & Tuesday:  Sumerian Mythology and Human History

Let's watch the video (below) to learn about Sumerian writing and Mythology. We'll learn about the first great super-hero, GILGAMESH.

We'll also LEARN TO WRITE IN CUNEIFORM!  (Try THIS INTERACTIVE to write your name!)

ASSIGNMENT (of which there are two choices) Due Friday:

Intensely Inventive Choice:  Create an advertisement for an eternal youth potion like the one Gilgamesh sought.  What does it look like? How much does it cost? What must you do to get it?  Look at other advertisements to see how the use of color, visuals, and word choice, font, and placement all add to the allure!

Creatively Cooperative Choice:  Gilgamesh is the oldest story ever written! Use your thespian talents to [plan, practice, and] act out the story of Gilgamesh. (The gods created the hairy man Enkidu in the exact image of Gilgamesh.  Then a goddess dressed him in her clothing and sent him to earth. (Remember costumes!)
Ideas found here.

OK, creatively cooperative playwrights. . .

Feel free to use information found here: 

An excellent summary:

Lower Mesopotamia is located the modern country of Iraq, 
while Upper Mesopotamia is in Syria and Turkey.

For your listening pleasure:

Wednesday & Thursday:  

Hamurabi, King of Babylon, 
and his Code of Laws

Hammurabi (1810 BC - 1750 BC) was king of Babylon for 43 years.  He was a "warrior king" who conquered all of Mesopotamia, creating the first Babylonian Empire. Once his kingdom was established, he turned his attention toward improving the way of life for the people in his kingdom, embarking on many construction projects such as huge public buildings, tall temples, canals for irrigation, and aqueducts for carrying water.  

Hammurabi was the strong head of a strong government that ruled over its people with a tight grip.  He became most famous for enacting a new set of laws that he collected from all over Babylon and compiled into what became known as the Code of Hammurabi. These laws (There were 282 of them!) were famous not so much for what they said, but for what they did. They made clear for everyone what the laws were and how people who broke those laws would be punished.  No more could people claim that they didn't know what the laws were -- they were carved into stone columns called stelae that everyone could read and understand.

Some of his laws were extremely harsh! You can find all 282 of them HERE!

Now, there's no way we're going to have the time to go through them all, strange, gross, harsh, unbelievable that they may be, so. . . We'll spend class time analyzing some of these laws in cooperative groups and sharing what we learned with our classmates. Get ready to have some fun! 

Hammurabi's Code of Laws can be found HERE. Some particularly touchy situations can be found HERE.
FOR MORE FUN:  You think Hammurabi had some strange laws?  Our country has some pretty bizarre laws, too! Look HERE to read a few. . .  

HOMEWORK:  Now that you know a little more about Babylonian law, here's an assignment for you: Create a list of 5 laws and their punishments for the classroom. Hmm. . . 

Remember, the punishment is supposed to fit the crime (or will it be "an eye for an eye?).

How's your ZIGGURAT coming along?  Remember, it's due on the 6th!

Don't forget to complete your INTERVIEWS!  NOW DUE MONDAY.  Here's some cool information about Mesopotamian inventions you might like to read!  Check THIS out!

SPEAKING OF INVENTIONS. . .OK--this is hilarious!  
Check out 25 truly RIDICULOUS inventions!


Do you like scary stories?  
Me, toooooooo!

In case you didn't notice, we humans are hard-wired to tell, listen to, and react to stories of all kinds. Informational, fictional, realistic, or fantastical, stories intrigue us, entertain us, enlighten us, explain us. Everything's a story. . .

This Week:  Writing Your Own Scary Stories (oooooohhh!)

Writing a scary/mystery story is one of the most exciting ways to improve writing skills. Think about it--it's the kind of fiction you love; the characters are like you, the plot has lots of puzzles to solve, and ooh, the suspense! Well, this genre is just hard to put down!

Need a little ambiance to get those creative juices flowing? (Geesh, suddenly that expression sounds creepy!) Here's a little mood-enhancing sound effects  to put you in the MOOOOOD. Keep it low for best results. . .  


San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

On the morning of April 18, 1906, at precisely 5:12 a.m., the ground began to shake violently, rousing the residents of San Francisco, California.  After the initial tremor, the shaking paused for about 20 seconds, then resumed with catastrophic results.  The earthquake shifted the ground at an estimated 4 to 5 feet per second, and the earth ripped open--the rupture traveling at about 5,900 miles per hour. Though it was over in less than a minute, the earthquake and subsequent fires killed an estimated 3,000 people and left half the city's 400,000 residents homeless.

The San Francisco Earthquake is considered one of worst natural disasters in American history and one of the most significant earthquakes of all time.  As destructive as the earthquake was, however, the fires that burned for three days and three nights, some reaching as hot as 2,700 degrees, were more disastrous than the earthquake itself.

Estimated at between 7.8 and 8.3 magnitude, the earthquake was a result of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates sliding past each other by more than 15 feet (instead of the annual average of 2 inches). This phenomenon baffled geologists for more than 50 years until tectonic plates were more fully understood.

Tuesday:  What was it like?  Read the following accounts to find out what people heard, felt, and saw.

100 Years After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Wednesday:  Health
Thursday:  Final drafts of Lab Reports must be completed at home.         

Monday: 6.NS.B.4  Multiplying Fractions
Essential Question: How do you multiply fractions?
Assignment: Share & Show, pgs. 85-86

Multiplying Fractions

Simplifying Fractions


Tuesday: A Lesson of Choices - How to simply simplify! (Sort of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of lesson.)

Essential Questions: 
  • What are two strategies we can use to simplify fractions?
  • What is a useful technique for simplifying fractions before multiplying?

#1:  Simplifying Fractions Using Prime Factorization

#2:  Simplifying Fractions Using GCF

#3: Simplifying Fractions BEFORE Multiplying
by Using Cancellation

Need a little more help with Equivalent Fractions?
Click HERE for a cool way to use your multiplication chart to find equivalent fractions.  Click HERE for a multiplication chart.

For those caught up on all previous units, you have a week off.  For everyone else, you know what you have to do. Let's get it done!

Bud Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis

Along with classroom discussion/activities:

Monday:  Chapter 6, pgs. 45-52. Complete Exit Ticket.
Tuesday:  Chapter 7, pgs. 53-59. Complete Exit Ticket.
Wednesday:  Take-a-Boo-Break: 
Read-Aloud: Chapter 6 of Wait Till Helen Comes
Thursday & Friday: Chapter 8, pgs. 60-87. Complete Exit Ticket. 



You can read Bud, Not Buddy online HERE. 

and the audio can be found HERE!

Week of 12/1   Basketball starts for 3/4 and 5/6 (both coed).
Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-630, for 5/6. Coach is Laura Paquette

Dowling, Mike. "Gilgamesh."  Updated July 15, 2015 .  Web. October 19, 2015 Earth & Hands  Leaf design   Ancient Mesopotamia illustration   Hammurabi pointing  Man walking donkey  bouncing     Hammutabi lesson San Francisco fires Magic Potion bottle  Gilgamesh  Hammurabi  question marks