Monday, October 31, 2011

An Internet "Harvest": Egyptian Websites

We are just hours away from entering the fascinating world of Ancient Egypt. While we anxiously await the start of our next unit, lets get prepared by getting in the Ancient Egypt mindset. This place is loaded with fascinating things like the sphynx, mummification, Nile River, and religion. It is a place that witnessed the building of the most amazing project in the history of our world, the pyramids. It is a place that once you enter, you don't want to leave until you've learned as much as possible. For the next two days, while we get started with Ancient Egypt, I want you to scour the internet for great ancient Egypt websites. Before you run to Google and start searching, some things you need to know. First, you can search for broad sites about Egypt by simply searching "ancient Egypt" or, you can get more specific and search for sites about certain things like pyramids or mummification. Our goal is to create a solid list of interesting Egyptian websites. I also want you to search for Ancient Egypt games or online activities. Search for YouTube videos that we could share and watch, search for cool pictures.
Some websites might not offer very good information.

Use this guide to help you:
.com sites: anyone can have these websites. Some info might not be good.
.gov sites: these sites would be produced by a government agency and should be good.
.edu sites: these sites are produced by colleges or educational agencies so they are good sites
.net sites: these sites are also trustworthy sites

Task: Search the internet for great Ancient Egypt websites. Search for informational sites, videos, pictures, online games and activities. When you find one you want to share, post a comment with the Link AND a short description of what the site is and why you think its good.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WSG Live! Mesopotamia

Water for Sixth Grade Live! is back and better than ever. With the overwhelming success of the first edition of WSG Live!, I have decided to once again offer this very unique opportunity. I want to do everything in my power to help you study and prepare for your Mesopotamia test. To do that, I am going to use my most powerful tool: Water for Sixth Grade. Being in my class, you have the advantage of opportunities like this, so please, take advantage and get yourself ready! It's like I am actually at your house with you helping you study, but only if you participate. Once again, I will remove "comment moderation" which will allow us to blog to each other instantly. No waiting for comment approval. Last time, we discovered that this is a very fast paced thing, so when you sit down at your computer, buckle up because its going to be a 30 minute frenzy of activity and blogging. To see the new comments, simply post a comment yourself or just click the refresh button on your internet. I will remove "comment moderation" at 7:30 sharp, so get ready to go. I hope to see each and every one of you tonight, on "Water for Sixth Grade Live! Mesopotamia."

Time Window:
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Mesopotamia Test: Friday, October 28th, 2011.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ultimate Student Collaboration: Prezi Mesopotamia

This week, we have a unique opportunity to work together to produce a dynamite product. Picture this: 130 students working together on the same piece of poster board. What do you see? Well, if you are like me, you would see a lot of chaos. It would be way too crowded, not enough room for people to work, people complaining that they aren't getting a turn, just overall not a good situation. So, lets avoid the chaos but still work together. To do that, we shall turn to Prezi. I have attached a Prezi to this post AND the link for YOU to edit it. That's right, the Mesopotamia review Prezi is a clean slate, waiting for you people to work on it and turn it into a dynamic review tool. You can work on this in school or outside of school. All you need is the internet. Multiple people can work on this at the same time. Whatever you add to the Prezi, include your first name and last initial so we all know where the info came from. Add information, add pictures, you could even add a YouTube video about Mesopotamia. The possibilities are endless. Can't figure out how to do it? That's okay, just try your best and if you still can't figure it out, see me at school. This is not a grade, but my hopes would be that we all participate and make this a quality product.
Add to this Prezi (then click "Edit Prezi")

Task: Add Mesopotamia information to the Prezi. Use your notes to get information. Add pictures of all the major things from Mesopotamia such as Ziggurats, Rivers, Cuneiform, wheel, irrigation, etc.

Review Tool Product.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Educating Andy: Mesopotamia

To start the second quarter off in a good way, I thought it would be a good idea to offer some extra credit if you would please help me educate my friend Andy, who is terribly inept when it comes to Mesopotamia knowledge. Luckily, we have been studying Mesopotamia for the last four weeks, so we have plenty of knowledge to share with him. I'm sure Andy is sitting in his dorm room right now at college with absolutely no idea what is going on. We might not be able to help him with his overall life, but at least we can teach him about Mesopotamia.

Task: To gain extra credit for Social Studies, educate Andy about Mesopotamia by telling him 5 things about this ancient world. In order to get the extra credit, you must have your comment posted by Midnight on Thursday. Also, to gain extra credit, you MUST tell him 5 things in a list format. (use 1. 2. etc.)

Good Luck and Thank you for helping me out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wax Museum: It Begins...

Faithful WSG bloggers, I would like to introduce to you a project like no other you will complete during your time in the Middle School. It is called the "Wax Museum: People of the Past" and it will happen on April 24th, 2012. This is the Wax Museum's third year, and its going to be bigger and better than ever due in large part to you, the student, who actually makes this project what it is. With this project, not only will your life change, but the lives of the people you will affect in April. There are many reasons for this project: researching, writing, reading, speaking, performing, and making a difference. You will select a famous person of the past, research them, write a paper about them, and then become that person in April for our Wax Museum Performance. During the big night, you will be positioned throughout the school and give a speech whenever someone walks up to you and drop coins in your bucket. You will never give your speech in front of a huge crowd. But, you will give your speech multiple times in front of smaller crowds of about 4-5 people. What happens to the coins dropped in your bucket? It is all gathered together and donated to a charity that we choose in class. Last year, it was the Make-A-Wish with a grand total of $4,200. The big night is in April, but time will go by fast, so make sure you are working hard on this project. It will be a night you will never forget. Trust me. Check the "Wax Museum" link above for all your Wax Museum information and announcements.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hammurabi's Code: Fair or Cruel?

We have discussed Hammurabi's Code in class. We talked about the need for laws, what it would be like in our world without laws and the type of laws Hammurabi came up with. While listening to some of the laws, you probably thought one of two things: 1. it's fair or 2. its cruel. Well, for today's blog post, you will be sharing your thoughts and opinions on whether you think Hammurabi's Code was fair or too cruel. A link is attached that will give you a brief overview of Hammurabi's Code and give you some examples of a few laws. The link will also give you reasons for both sides of the argument. Hammurabi brought order and stability to the lawless people of Mesopotamia, but was it too cruel? Let the debate begin...

Task: After reading through the link, post a comment on whether you think Hammurabi's Code is fair or too cruel. Make sure you explain why you believe the way you do. Do NOT simply say, "I think Hammurabi's Code is too cruel because it's not fair." You need to share specific reasons that support your beliefs. MINIMUM of 5 sentences. Anything shorter than this would not do a good job explaining your beliefs.

In-Class blogging.

Stone Age Super Specie Vs. Mesopotamia Warrior

In our second edition of "Deadliest Warrior," we have the Stone Age Super Specie taking on the Mesopotamian Warrior in a match to see who is the ultimate warrior. For the Stone Age, we have combined the neanderthal and the Cro-Magnon to make the Stone Age Super Specie. This super specie will face off against the Mesopotamian warrior, who will introduce new weapons into the battle. For this edition of "Deadliest Warrior," you will be the ones writing the scenarios, not me. After you have written down all the items for both sides in your packet, post a comment with a scenario. After these comments have been posted, we can read them and try to figure out who would win each scenario. What would happen if these two people faced off? We are about to find out.
Stone Age Super Specie Vs. Mesopotamian Warrior

This blog post is a three part activity: 1. write down the lists in your packet. 2. Post a comment with a scenario that you made up between the Stone Age super specie and the Mesopotamian Warrior. 3. Read through the comments, pick one or two, and post another comment about who you think would win that particular scenario.

IMPORTANT: Like we did with the Stone Age Deadliest Warrior, the scenarios do not have to all be battles/fighting. Be creative.

In-Class blogging. Optional.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weird State Laws of the USA

Hammurabi's Code is quite harsh. One might even say its "weird." However, be careful about rushing to judgement on Hammurabi's Code being too weird because right here in our country, the good ol' USA, we have some weird laws as well. How weird? Well, very weird. A few of them were shared in class but to take this a step further, a link has been attached to this blog post for you to browse to read about all of them. These are actual state laws in our country. This is not a joke or made up. Your task? Simple. Pick out the one "Weird State Law" that you think is the funniest, weirdest, or most interesting. Share your thoughts. Luckily, most of these state laws are no longer enforced. But, they are still on the books as actual laws.
Weird State Laws

Task #1: Read through "Weird State Laws" and post your favorite one.
Task #2: Answer this question: What would the USA be like if these laws were still enforced?

Completion Blogging. Do it. Thank you.

I don't think students are told this enough, so let me take this opportunity to say it: "You matter. You are important. You are valuable."

Monday, October 17, 2011

People of Mesopotamia

Unlike the Stone Age, in which the only famous person was Otzi the Iceman, Mesopotamia had a lot more famous people. With this prezi, you are going to get introduced to four of them. Each of the four people above is unique in their own way, so advance through the Prezi and discover what these people are famous for. After you have learned about all four people, there will be a Grand Finale! so make sure you advance to that. It is a music video that has a very 'catchy' tune.
Task: Advance through the Prezi, watch the video, then post a comment with the answers to the five questions at the end.

Completion Task. Do it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chapter 3: I Invent Farming

Johnny passed the Stone Age world by discovering how to control and use fire effectively. For that, the lives of the Stone Age people will never be the same. They now possess fire, which gives them the ultimate weapon and power. Johnny earned his first golden coin, now he will go after #2 in Mesopotamia. The people in Mesopotamia are struggling to farm in a desert. With each failed harvest, they become more and more desperate. Though they have the mighty Tigris and Euphrates, they are unable to use it to their advantage. Read as Johnny enters Mesopotamia and tries to help these people.
Johnny has one coin. He is 7 coins away from the Tiger...

Read: Chapter 3: I Invent Farming

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ultimate Mesopotamia Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the World of Mesopotamia. Today, you will be traveling around the Fertile Crescent, or Mesopotamia, to learn about this wondrous place. Your travel tool today is a Prezi, posted above. You need to click through the Prezi and complete the tasks in your NOTEBOOK. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT lose your notebook sheets because the information gained from this project will be valuable for other projects and for the test. It is stuff you need to know about this ancient civilization. All work today will be done in your notebook. Label your notebook section: "Mesopotamia Scavenger Hunt Prezi" and in your notebook, be sure to label each section. Write in COMPLETE SENTENCES so you can use this information later without having the Prezi.
Your final task for this blog post, which will come after you complete the Prezi, will be to post a COMMENT right here telling me about five things you learned throughout the "adventure."
You will use these sites during the Prezi:
So, in summary:
1. Go through the Prezi with your Notebook.
2. Post a comment of 1 paragraph (five sentences) of things you learned.

On Tuesday, you will have a chance to continue working on this, so it is not something you have to do over the weekend.
Your notebook will be checked for completion on: Friday, October 14th in class.
Your comment will be check for completion on: Friday, October 14th at Midnight.
Good Luck. I know you will do great.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Fabulous Four

Mesopotamia, being the first civilization of the world, had the unique opportunity to invent many things. A lot of "firsts" occurred in Mesopotamia, which you will see in this third White Shirt Production called: "The Fabulous Four." What you will be watching is NOT how the inventions actually came to be, but, it will show you how important each one is. All four inventions of the Fabulous Four are used everyday in our world. For this video, you have 3 tasks. See below.

Task #1: What are the four "fabulous" inventions? Explain how the video showed the importance of money, wheel, and irrigation. For writing, what was the "secret message"?

Task #2: Which of the four inventions do you think is the MOST important in our world?

Task #3: What would the world be like without these inventions?

In-Class blogging.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I would like to congratulate Hannah on having her idea of "Ancient Quest" get selected for my new book title. I appreciate all of the efforts of everyone. There were many, many good ideas, but I could only choose one. So, once again, Congratulations to Hannah!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Scrapbooking the Ancient World

Students, we are about to embark on a major project. This project is called "Scrap-booking the Ancient World" and it's going to be epic. In the past, I have always followed the same format: study an ancient civilization, take a test, throw away all the material, go to next ancient civilization, take a test, throw everything away, move on to next place, etc, etc, etc. I do not like that method because at the end of the year, we open up our social studies folder and have nothing. I want to do something to help you learn and remember all the important things we study during our time together. At the end of the year, I want you to have something that you can look through and see all the things we have studied. That, my friends, is your Ancient World Scrapbook. In class, I covered the basic requirements that you need to have in your Ancient World Scrapbook. However, you need to know that this is YOUR scrapbook. You need to help it reach its potential and to do that, you need to add extra things. Make your scrapbook cool. Make it something you can be proud of. Be creative, be imaginative, be a thinker. With this blog post, I will include the BASIC Requirements you need for this project, as well as some ideas for "Extra" things. I also want YOUR help in coming up with other "Extra" ideas for students. So, post a comment with ideas that you have of other "Extra" items that we could use or make to put in our scrapbook to make it as cool as possible. I can't wait to see what we come up with for these Scrapbooks. Rock this project, people!

EXTRA Ideas:
-I Series Stories
-Glogster print-outs
-Pictures printed off the internet
-Word Collages from Unit
- Interesting Facts


Monday, October 3, 2011

I Need a Book Title. Please Help...

Hello Students. Glad the weekend is over and we are back to school. I hope to see you and your parents at conferences so I can tell them how cool I think you all are. Anyway, I need your help. As you know, we are reading stories this year from the "I Series." This is a book I wrote to help you learn about major things in each unit we study. Johnny Rawten is the main character once again as he goes on another adventure to the ancient worlds. This time, however, is different as Johnny must complete a specific task in each world. Doing so will free the Tiger he killed in the Colosseum when he was a 6th grader. Failing at his tasks results in getting stuck in that ancient world for all eternity. Okay, lets get to the part where I need help. I have a few ideas but I want to hear from you because I think you are creative and smart. I need some suggestions as to what I should name the book? This is your chance to be a part of my book. If your book title gets picked, your name will go into the book, giving you credit for coming up with the book title. When thinking up ideas for a title, think about what the book is about overall, and what he's trying to do. I anxious await your ideas...

I am finalizing the book this week, so it will be ready for publication soon. I will select a title in 2 days.