Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wax Museum 2013 Begins

The Wax Museum of 2013 has begun. It is only fitting that the Wax  Museum, something we dress up in costumes for, begins on Halloween. This is a year long project that ends in April with our big Wax Museum night. Between now and our Wax Museum event, we have a lot of work to do. Our work begins with phase 1: Character selection. It is very exciting to see who each student selects as their character. A lot of students are on the edge of their seat, hoping their top choice doesn't get picked.
This is a long project that requires a lot of work. So, you may ask yourself, "Why do this?" Well, as you will see in the video, we do this for many reasons. To learn, think, write, read, research, speak, listen, make a difference, experience, and be a part of a really good thing.
One aspect of the Wax Museum that makes this a dynamic project is how it's set up. To make our Wax statues come alive, coins need to be dropped in the buckets. This makes the Wax statue come to life and share about their life. So far, in the three year history of the Wax Museum at Brandon Valley middle school, we have raised over $10,000, all of which has gone to the Make-A-Wish foundation to help grant kids their wish. We have sent a two kids to Walt Disney World and sent a kid to Alaska on his dream fishing vacation.
This year, it is your turn to be a part of the Wax Museum and experience a project like no other. It is your turn to make a difference. Take this responsibility seriously and work hard. I am already excited for our big night in April.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rock the Vote: Obama or Romney?

Unless you've been living under a rock the past 6 months, you know that it is Election year, which means on November 6th, the citizens of the United States will elect a president. There are two outcomes of November 6th: Barack Obama will be reelected as President of the United States and serve his second term, or former Governor Mitt Romney will be elected president of the United States. You are in 6th grade, which means you can not vote on November 6th. However, that doesn't mean you can't get involved! In my class, we aren't going to wait for November 6th to find out who wins the Presidency. We are going to find out this week. Before you cast your vote, you must figure out who you want as president. Don't just pick who your parents want! Think for yourself! I have provided a link to help you see where Obama and Romney stand on the issue...

Click Here to see where Obama and Romney stand on key issues

Click Here for a good comparison between Obama and Romney

Click Here to take an online quiz to see who you agree

Click Here to VOTE
(Poll closes Friday at midnight)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Strengthening our Weaknesses GIVEAWAY

Tuesday is your Mesopotamia Test. Wednesday is Halloween. Survival Bracelets are popular. So, let's combine all three things to help us study. There are a couple topics on the Mesopotamia test that we have not covered as well as others. I feel we have covered the Events of Mesopotamia pretty well, but have not covered gods and goddesses and "people of Mesopotamia" very well. So, for this blog post, I am going to giveaway a Special Edition Halloween Survival Bracelet to encourage you to do this post and help strengthen our weaknesses. As usual, I will be drawing the names out of a bucket. So, in order to get you name in the bucket, you must complete the task for this post. 
Task: To get your name in the bucket, you must post a comment with one piece of information. Topics to choose from: Gods/goddesses, vocabulary words, Famous people of Mesopotamia, and items location on the map. Use the study guide and flashcards below to help you. 
-I will be giving away a bracelet to ONE BOY and ONE GIRL.
-You may enter your name in the bucket up to 10 TIMES, but each comment must be different.
-Names will be drawn Tuesday morning during 3rd period.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mesopotamia Study Guide

With our end of the unit test only days away, I wanted to get you the study guide this weekend. Monday, we will review in a variety of ways. The test is Tuesday. Use this study guide to help you study. You will not find all the questions and answers, but what you will find is a "guide" that will point you in the right direction for studying. Also, the ONLINE flashcards are posted on the study guide and on the online flashcards page. Good Luck! 


Crazy Izzy Dances

Friday, October 26, 2012

Here's What I'm doing today...

Hello students. I am blogging from Eugene Fields Elementary school in Sioux Falls, SD. Today, I am talking to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders about Government and how it effects us in our daily life. Just like the air we breathe, government isn't something we think about a lot but something that affects us everyday. I have attached the Prezi that I am using to help show these students how much government affects our lives so you can see what I'm doing today. In the Prezi, I show a picture of something that government does, then show a picture of what it would be like without that government item. (Ex: speed limit sign--without this we would have many, many car crashes)
I hope (and am confident) you are having a good day at school and being respectful to the sub. Look for more posts this weekend, including the VERY important Mesopotamia study guide.
See you Monday,
-Mr. Klumper

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 "Ask the Public" Results Graphs

I sent you out on a mission. It was a mission to find out what the public thought about the four fabulous inventions of Mesopotamia: Irrigation, wheel, money, and writing. The task was to interview six adults, asking them what they think is the most important and least important of the fabulous four inventions in our world today. I think it is interesting to look at these graphs and see what people think overall. As you look at the graphs for overall and for each class period, does anything surprise you? Is it different than you thought? Any reason why the results are what they are? Any feelings or thoughts on the results? I find it interesting that the overwhelming majority of the people said money was the least important of the four, yet MANY people devote their lives to making as much money as they can, their whole world revolves around it, it effects their happiness, etc. So, perhaps people are in denial, perhaps they really think it is important but don't want to seem greedy... Just my thoughts. Think for yourself and look at the data. 

View the 2012 Ask the Public Results Graphs

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blueman teaches the class

The Blueman Challenge: Can you find the Mesopotamia items in the Blueman comic? Post a comment and tell me what Mesopotamia items are in the Blueman comic. (3 items)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Code of Hammurabi and a GIVEAWAY!

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.

Bonus Link: Click here to read about some weird laws of our own country, the good ol' USA!

If you post a comment by 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 23rd, you could win a limited edition WSG survival bracelet!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mesopotamia Events Tournament Results

The Mesopotamia Events tournament has come to a close, but the discussion has just started. In class, we heard from all 12 events. They argued for the event, telling us why they believe their event was the most important event of Mesopotamia. The cool thing about Mesopotamia is that all 12 events can make a strong case for their event being the most important. As sixth graders, you did a pretty good job voicing your opinions, putting together coherent thoughts and being respectful to others beliefs. I must say, I was quite surprised by some of the results of the tournament. Some groups with events that were tougher made very good arguments, which turned the tide of the class and earned enough votes for victory.  With the conclusion of the tournament, let's examine the results and discuss what happened. 

Click here to view the Results of the Mesopotamia Events Tournament

Task: After looking at the Events tournament results and brackets, continue to discuss and voice your opinion. What do you think of the results? What surprised you? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? What do you think should have happened? 
In your comment, I want to hear from you. Not everyone was able to speak in class, so now is your chance to voice your opinions! 

Things to think about when examining the results: Who won the tournaments? How many points did each event score? How many times did each event make it into the championship match? 

Four Famous People of Mesopotamia

Task: Go through this Prezi to learn about 4 famous people of Mesopotamia. At the end, you will see a list of questions. Post a comment with the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Events of Mesopotamia

The civilization of Mesopotamia was shaped by major events. With this blog post, we are going to analyze what some of these major events were and why they were so important to the rise of this civilization. In class, we will be looking at these events even closer as we divide up into groups and conduct a "tournament" of Mesopotamia events. Our tournament will match these events up against one another, creating debate and discussion on which event is more important in not only the rise of Mesopotamia, but in our world today. 

Task: Using the "Events of Mesopotamia Link" I want you to select 6 major events of Mesopotamia and tell me WHAT the event was and WHY that event was important for Mesopotamia. Use COMPLETE sentences. 
The Events: Irrigation, city-state, chariot, money, rise of Kings, bricks, cuneiform, ziggurat, Epic of Gilgamesh, wheel, Code of Hammurabi, Hanging Gardens.
Example Comment:
"Code of Hammurabi: This was a set of laws written down by King Hammurabi. This event was important to the people of Mesopotamia because it brought order and stability to their civilization. It made Mesopotamia safer because the people had to obey the law or face the harsh consequences."
DUE: Friday, October 19. 10:30 p.m.
30 Points (5 points for each event) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ancient Quest: I Invent Farming

We have reached chapter 3 of the book Ancient Quest. Chapter 3 is titled "I Invent Farming" and we once again join Johnny on his ancient quest, back to the ancient worlds, to accomplish tasks. Johnny has to complete one task in each of the 8 ancient worlds he will visit. So far, he has only gained one golden coin. He did that in the Stone Age by helping the people there discover and improve fire. Now, Johnny has arrived in Mesopotamia, where he will struggle to survive and to accomplish his task. The desert of Mesopotamia is a scorching, white-hot section of earth that will push Johnny to the limits. Will Johnny figure out what his task is and succeed? Let's go...
Read: Chapter 3: I Invent Farming

"Ask the Public" Project Details

This week, we are going to work on a different type of a project. It is called "Ask the Public" and it goes along with our Mesopotamia Unit. We are going to go out and conduct interviews, asking the public what they think. You are going to be interviewing adults! This is a great opportunity for you to work on the skill of talking to adults. It is a skill 6th graders overall struggle with, so this will be good practice. You are going to interview 6 adults, asking them about Mesopotamia inventions and inventions in general.  The "Ask the Public" detail sheet is attached, but here are a few main details:
DUE: October 22nd, 2012 in class. 60 points.
Task: Interview 6 people (interview questions included)
Print off a Cover page (details of cover page included with link)

Be respectful and Confident!
Thank each person
Each adult MUST be 25 or older
Only ONE interview can be with a person related to you
Only ONE interview can be with a middle school teacher

Click here to read the full details sheet on "Ask the Public." 
Click here to see an example of the Cover Page

Friday, October 12, 2012

White Shirt Production: Fabulous Four

The Fabulous Four of Mesopotamia from Dan Klumper on Vimeo.
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: Which of the four inventions do you think is the MOST important in our world?
Sign comments with: class period, first name, last initial (ex: 3Dan K.)
In-Class Blogging.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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.

In-Class activity: Information gathering

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures of Meso Larry

In the Mesopotamia Unit, there are a some words that I want you to know. These words, 11 of them in all, are important words to understanding Mesopotamia. For this unit, to help us find the definitions, I created a new social studies character named "Meso Larry" (Mesopotamia Vocabulary, get it?) Meso Larry is a down and out, 62 year-old social studies super hero who is depressed and overshadowed by the popular Blueman and Johnny Rawten. Meso Larry longs for a chance to prove himself worthy and to show everyone that he can do just as much as Blueman and Johnny. Fortunately for Meso Larry, his chance is coming.... 
Task: With the story, write down the definitions to each Vocabulary word in your Mesopotamia Work Packet. 
Read: The Adventures of Meso Larry

DUE for 10 completion points on Friday, October 12th in class.