Homework for the Week of 3/31

Monday: Students need to write a 1-page paper, “What government means to me.” This is simply a free write; students should identify what government does, what it is, and how they feel about it. Typed responses should be 250 words. Written answers should be 1 page.

Wednesday: Students need to Illustrate what life would look like “in a state of nature,” something we talked about in class. Students need to draw an illustration or picture, then write 3 sentences describing what they’ve drawn.

Thursday: Read and outline Textbook pages 248-251, please.

Friday: Little Books are Due! They’re on the 6 goals of the Preamble, and each page must include:

-Title (Goal)
-Picture supporting/describing goal
-Sentence describing picture/goal


Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

My two favorite Irish blessings, courtesy of my grandfather:

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
the foresight to know where you’re going,
and the insight to know when you’re going too far!


He who loses money, loses much.
He who loses a friend, loses more.
He who loses his faith, loses everything.

"John Adams" on HBO

Wow… what a great series so far. I’m only an hour into it, but so far so goo. Few videos are both interesting and informative, as this seems to be. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s rated PG for mild language and mild violence, but I do highly suggest that parents watch it FIRST, as there are some “questionable” scenes that you might want to reconsider before letting your child watch (the ratings people seem to have missed a few things :(. They’re relevant to the story, but I still suggest it. This is a 7-week mini series, ending in late April. Seeing that it’s an HBO “film,” I’m sure it will be available On Demand and re-broadcast repeatedly on their 12 channels.

John Adams is often referred to as the “forgotten” founding father, when compared to his fiery cousin Samuel, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, not to mention others who have a stake in history (George Mason, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock) and are more well known. By most accounts this is a very accurate representation of the Revolutionary era. It’s based on the book of the same name, by David McCullough.

Also recommended: the website that I linked above, and also here. It’s interactive with a timeline, episode synopsis, interviews, and primary source information related to the Revolution.

This video will revolutionize the way this unit is taught (pun intended, sorry!), as we can use it to walk-through the events so much more clearly. I’m very happy with how the pieces of this unit are falling into place, not just now, but for the future. I’ve already begun drawing up next years plans to use this video, as well as a far more comprehensive and lengthy unit using primary sources. I’ve got great stuff on the Boston Massacre, Continental Congresses, etc., and we’ll use them along with this video. It will be a nice addition, though I’m sorry it didn’t make it to this year, current students!

American Revolution Test

Studying hard? If so, here’s your reward: 10 sample questions, as well as the short answer preview. I’ll repost later today/tonight the answers. I’ve been sick this weekend, so if I’m late, be patient, please!

Multiple Choice:
1. The French and Indian War starts this Revolution… what is the cause of it?
a. Native Americans are frustrated with British settlers taking their land.
b. The French and British are at war all over the world, and their rivalry spreads to America.
c. The Americans want independence.
d. The French had a friendly relationship with the Native Americans, while the British did not.

2. After that War, thee British passed a law called the (blank), forbidding colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains.
a. Stamp Act
b. Proclamation of 1769
c. Sugar Act
d. Proclamation of 1763

3. After that War, the British were left with this problem:
a. How do they stop the Colonists from getting Independence?
b. They’re broke from years and years of fighting
c. How do they stop the French from taking more land?

4. The first tax passed by the British:
a. Stamp Act
b. Sugar and Molasses Act
c. Townshend Act
d. Patriot Act

5. The Colonists’ biggest problem with these British taxes was:
a. They didn’t want to pay extra money.
b. Such taxation without representation.
c. They were placed on its most popular items to sell.
d. Taxes were just plain unfair.

31. Song played by the British after they suffered defeat and surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown. The World Turned Upside Down

32. America’s “First Traitor”. Benedict Arnold

33. A spy for the Americans, and former teacher. Executed after being found sneaking British troop movements out of camp in the soles of his shoes. Nathan Hale

34. New style of warfare used by the colonists; sneaky hit and run attacks. Guerrilla

35. Two different treaties that ended the French and Indian, Revolutionary Wars, but shared the same name! Treaty of Paris

Short Answer: You only have to do ONE of these on the test.
51. Explain what Ben Franklin meant when drawing the above cartoon (“Join or Die”). What was the intended response?

52. Identify which tax/act this pamphlet (from Before the Revolution Notes) protested, and Describe how it does so. Use 2 pieces of evidence to describe it!

53. Recall your “perspective” from our class activity (Slave, Woman, Patriot, Trader, Loyalist, Soldier); Distinguish what your group wanted to get out of the war, citing one specific example from the primary source selection. Remember – you’re the expert!

American Revolution Test – Monday, 3/17

Our test covering the American Revolution will be on Monday. Students were given study guides nearly 2 weeks ago, have made notecards to review vocab, and have been coming to me to ask questions. This is a 50-60 question test, so it’s important that students prepare for it seriously. They should study nightly beginning tonight, so they can resolve any problems that arise. The Test is simple in format – Multiple Choice, Matching, Map Recognition, and Chronological Order. In reference to the textbook, this test covers Chapters 5 and 6.

We’ve done a great deal of discussion and activity on this topic. It’s hard to “cram” or just look at stuff to “study.” Instead, this test is designed to measure a student’s work over an entire unit of work. You can’t cram for this test as many traditional tests are. I encourage students to review their notes, their goals, and class activities to be sure they’re knowledgeable of everything they should.

I’ll be checking my e-mail intermittently this weekend for any questions.

The State of Spartan Basketball

I don’t use the website for basketball very often, but I think today is a good day to. Our Varsity Girls Basketball team lost a playoff game last week, a game I don’t think we should have lost – to a team we’ve never lost to. I was so upset that our season was over – with a loss – that I think I made a mistake and overlooked another great comeback by the girls, and what was almost a glorious come back. Down 22-6 midway through the 3rd quarter, we came back to lose 27-24. That’s an 18-5 run, and under pressure, too. I’m personally disappointed that I missed a chance to praise my girls for such a finish. That’s the thing any athlete takes away with them (or should). This game should give us a great work ethic and a refusal to quit. My girls have that, and I’m very happy they do. That’s a product of their home environments, their own attitudes, and so on.

10, 20 years from now, what will they take away from this last game? I hope that it was “just another game” they fought valiantly in. That became our trademark, making teams sweat! We took Jefferson to halftime – twice – just a basket away. We came back from being down 18-1 to Old Quarry, cutting it to 27-21. Jefferson averaged over 40 points a game – we held them to 27 once and 32 another. We lost to Old Quarry by an average of 5 points over 5 meetings. What’s so special about that? Those teams are a combined 27-3 in conference! And 45-5 over the last 2 years!

We shot only 6% against a team last week, and held them to 18 points. We lost that game, but still held a team below 20 points and got the ball back enough to take 7 good shots inside the last 30 seconds. We lost another two a team that has already played 30 games together as a travel team, but only after trading the lead for 36 of the 40 minutes during that game.

Despite a loss, or a couple in a row, we ended our season fighting. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my girls for that. 10, 20 years from now, I won’t remember our record, or our trophies, or shooting percentages, but what great girls they are… what great workers, fighters, and teammates they were. They’ve set a standard for other girls to follow. All future Spartan teams will be held to their standard. They had fun and worked hard. Is there much more to basketball than that?! To Jackie, Anglea, Raven, Jamei, Maura, Bridget, Maddie, Malak, Maddie and Amber – you’ll be missed… great season(s), girls!

I’d also like to reference another great coach’s blog, which inspired this post, and can also be found on the blogroll directly to the right of this post.