Thursday, September 25, 2014

Colony to Country Unit

Starting next week we will begin our unit on the American Revolution. Sometimes it is important to start with the end in mind with students and teacher understanding. After our two plus week unit, students will need to exhibit evidence of their learning of the American Revolution. Roughly we will be examining the years from 1754-1783. Those years represent the time
period where the colonists start to move away from Great Britain and eventually attain independence from the "mother country". That does not mean we as a class will be "stuck" in that historical time period and will constantly make connections to modern revolutions like the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East. These are the essential questions we will be answering and wrestling with as a class:

*Were the colonists justified in resisting British policies after the French and Indian War?

*What impact did religion (Great Awakening) have on the American Revolution?

*Was the American War for Independence inevitable?

*What role did Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" and the Declaration of Independence have in moving the American Colonists closer to revolution?

*What impact did the institution of slavery have on the American Revolution? Did slaves fight for independence or was there any incentive to fight for the British side?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Three Cultures Collide

Starting this Monday, students will start a new academic unit on identity and the development of the colonies in the Americas.  This time period ranging from pre-Columbus (before 1492)  through  1740s with the "Great Awakening" religious movement in America, which had a tremendous impact on the American Revolution.  This will bring us very close to the beginning of the seeds of the American Revolution.  Also in this time period three cultures that interact and clash are the Native American, African and European.  This interaction and sharing of ideas will be a theme and emphasis in the coming week and a half.

Africa - students will explore and learn about western Africa before slave trade and building on what they learned in previous grades about the ancient kingdoms of Africa and the highly developed learning community of Timbuktu.

Europe - students will be able to understand what political and religious movements like the Protestant Reformation and English Reformation, which caused wide panic and a lack of stability in this region and spurred colonization in other parts of the world.

Americas - students will be able to understand what the Americas were like before European colonization and development.  Students will learn that over five hundred nations or tribes existed in the Americas before Columbus.

Mr. G