Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Purpose and Form of Government (2.1) Day 3

Essential Questions:

  • What is the purpose of government?
  • What are the different kinds of government?
  • What are the characteristics of different kinds of government?


    • To Rule with an Iron Fist (7) Read the passage and create a chart similar to the Types of Government graphic organizer. Fill out the chart for the section on Monarchy.
    • Other Forms of Authoritarian Rule (8) Read the passage and fill out the chart for the sections on Oligarchy, Dictatorship, and Totalitarian State.
    • Direct vs. Indirect Democracy (9) Read the passage and fill out the chart for the sections direct Democracy and Indirect Democracy.
    • By the People, for the People (10) Read the passage and fill out the chart for the sections Unitary Government, Confederate Government, and Federal Government.
    • Types of Government (11) Read the passage and fill out the chart for the sections Presidential Government and Parliamentary Government. 


    • Governments and Freedom: Investigation (3) Read the map and answer the questions.


    • Read the Review carefully.
    • Assessment 

    Film Study: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
    Getting the number five nod for AFI's 100 greatest American movies of all time, Singin' in the Rain is considered to be the greatest American musical ever filmed. The film was directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen and starred Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen. The story was written by the famous comedy partners Betty Comden and Adolph Green

    Gene Kelly, who is considered one of the greatest choreographers of musicals as well as a prolific actor and director, will be seen again soon when we watch the luminescent An American in Paris which ironically is the movie he just finished when he was brought on to head Singin' in the Rain with Stanley Donen. He has an amazing dance scene with the transcendental Cyd Charisse (who goes on to star in the Movie Silk Stockings (1957) which is a remake of the movie Ninotchka (1939) which we will be watching later this year.)  

    Donen, a protege of Kelly, went on to direct a lot of great movies including Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game and Kismet, as well as the troublesome Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He also directed the Lionel Ritchie music video "Dancing on the Ceiling".

    As we watch this movie we want to pay attention to the use of sound in the movies. We will be looking at this article from the Los Angeles Film School to discuss this further. As we watch, try to figure out:

    • How were the tap dancing sounds created during the Singin' in the Rain musical sequence?
    •  How were the voices dubbed in the movie? 
    • Who actually sang the song Singin' in the Rain during the performance at the movie premiere? 
    • How does the music impact the scenes in the movie?
    • What is a Foley artist and what do they do?

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019

    The Conquistador Emoji Project

    Imagine your shock when arrive at your destination, the city you plan to conquer only to realize that is the cleanest, most beautiful city you or any of your fellow conquistadors have ever experienced. 

    You arrived from one of the most powerful nations on earth, having sailed from one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Europe, only to find that it pales in comparison to the city you thought would be primitive, not unlike the people you plan to enslave. 

    How would you feel?
    After reading the article on, put yourself in the place of a Spanish conquistador seeing Tenotichlan for the first time. You will write about your experience, but not using words.

    The pictures above are Aztec script symbols. They use the symbols to share their information. We do something similar with emojis. If using symbols to tell a story was good enough for the Aztecs, it is certainly good enough for you. 

    Your assignment is to write your story using emojis not words as a conquistador first entering Tenochtitlan. 

    Essential Question:
    • How did Tenochtitlan compare to European cities?

    • What did the conquistadors see when they first entered Tenochtitlan?
    • What were the European cities like?
    • Emoji Project Handout
    • Explain what the conquistadors saw when they first visited Tenochtitlan using emojis.

    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Film Study: Algiers (1938) and The Battle of Algiers (1966)

    The first two movies we will be studying are linked by place, but not by impact. Algiers (1938) is a remake of the movie Pepe le Moko (1937) based on the novel by Henri La Barthe, a French journalist, detective and writer. Both movies share the same plot, a wanted gangster hides in the Casbah in Algiers protected by friends and the woman who loves him. Things change when he meets another woman visiting from Paris.

    Algiers (1938)  John Cromwell is the director, he prolifically directed 50 movies during his career including The Prisoner of Zenda and Of Human Bondage . He also directed Anna and the King of Siam which Rogers and Hammerstein later adapted into the musical The King and I, a film we will watch during our unit on musicals. 

    The movie stars Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, and Sigrid Gurie. Boyer, who we will see again in Gaslight during our look at Film Noir, was famous for his smooth charm and wonderful French accent. Hedy, whose first name is actually Hedwig!, made her Hollywood debut in this movie. She had starred in several movies in Germany before coming to the United States. She was also very intelligent and patented a way for changing radio frequencies during radio transmission to stop signal blocking. After making just a few movies, Sigrid transitioned to creating art including paintings and jewelry. 

    While watching Algiers (1938) we want to look at setting. We will book trying to answer the following questions:
    1. What is the Casbah?
    2. Where is Algiers?
    3. Why are the French in charge of the police and military in Algiers at this time?
    4. Is there a political bias in this film? 
    5. What connection does Pepe Le Pew have with this movie?
    The second movie we are going to watch is The Battle of Algiers. This movie will be a completely different style of movie from Algiers (1938). The first is more of a standard film noir, while The Battle of Algiers (1966) is a much, much different style of movie. It is considered to be a neorealist style, which means it seems real, although it isn't.

    Battle of Algiers was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, an Italian film maker. One of the stars, Saddi Yacef, has a very special tie to the film which we will discuss.

    The movie is based on the Algerian War (1954-1962) which eventually led to the departure of French forces and the finish of French control in Algeria. The film depicts accurately portrayed bombings and terrorist attacks from the war. According to Wikipedia, "The Battle of Algiers gained a reputation for inspiring political violence: in particular the tactics of urban guerrilla warfare and terrorism in the movie were supposedly copied by the Black Panthers, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front."

    Again we will be revisiting setting in this film as well as discussing the following questions:
    1. What impact did this film have worldwide?
    2. Which side, as depicted in the film, is morally superior?
    3. how did the style of film affect your understanding?
    4. At any time during the film did you think you were watching real footage from the war? 
    Interestingly enough both films were nominated for Academy Awards. Algiers received four nominations while The Battle of Algiers earned three, but neither won. Which movies won the awards in those nominated categories?

    Conquest of America: Southeast
    St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the continental borders of the US.  Why did the Spanish set up colonies in what is now Florida? What were they looking for and did they find it? Why did France later set up a colony and what happened to it? These are the questions we will be answering with this lesson.

    Essential Question: What countries colonized the land that is now Florida?

    • Can you name which countries colonized the Americas?
    • Anecdotes from my trip to St. Augustine over the summer.
    • Conquest of America: Southeast video 
    • Vocabulary: colony, heretic, mutiny, Divine Right, sovereignty Think/Pair/Share Activity
    • Why did France colonize Florida?
    • What are some good vocabulary learning practices?
    • Vocabulary 
    • Discussion Questions Worksheet

    Wednesday, September 11, 2019

    Purpose and Form of Government (1.2) Vocabulary Day 2


    • Use white board markers to draw a picture of what the word social studies means to you.
    • Observe pictures drawn by other students, see if you can see how that picture represents social studies. 

    1. Write the definitions of the vocabulary words (those in blue with links to explanation page) using your own words. Do not copy the definitions
    2. Draw a picture of the vocabulary word. 
    3. Use the vocabulary word in a sentence that shows understanding of the content you are learning. 
    1. democracy
    2. unitary
    3. parliamentary
    4. federal
    5. authoritarian
    6. direct democracy
    7. executive
    8. confederate
    9. authority
    10. preamble
    11. sovereign
    12. oligarchy
    13. legislative
    14. state
    15. government
    16. dictatorship
    17. executive branch
    18. public policy
    19. representative democracy
    20. presidential
    21. totalitarian
    22. monarchy

    Monday, September 09, 2019

    Hero of History: Columbus or De Las Casas?,_Said_to_be_Christopher_Columbus.jpg

    You will be researching both Christopher Columbus and Bartolomé de las Casas as their stories intersect through the 'discovery' and occupation of the Americas. As you learn about both of these men, how does this affect your feelings about Columbus Day being celebrated as a National Holiday?

    Essential Question: Who should be the 'Hero of History', Christopher Columbus or Bartolom√© de las Casas?


    • Monday, October 14 is Columbus Day, a national holiday. 
    • History Channel Columbus Day video 
    • Are my sources reliable? 
    • Is there corroboration between my sources?
    • Who is more believable as a storyteller?
    • Since de las Casas is responsible for the only surviving journal information from Columbus' voyages, how reliable are those journals knowing de las Casas' prejudices?
    • Which one, in your opinion, is most moral? Why?
    • Is it appropriate for us to judge either Columbus or de las Casas today?
    • Who would you choose as your 'Hero of History'?
    • Create a poster for Columbus Day or de las Casas Day, whichever you believe is most deserving.
    • On the poster draw and color a portrait of the person you choose.
    • Identify the date to celebrate on the poster
    • Include 3-5 facts explaining why the day should be celebrated.

    • Chapter 2 of Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. I have a copy you can use.
    • Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. I have a copy if you wish to peruse it.
    • Abolish Columbus Day Zinn Education Project

    We the People Art Project

    File:Constitution We the People.jpg

    EQ: Who are the people in We the People?

    • When written in the Constitution 'We the People' referred mostly to white men who owned property. What does it mean today?
    • Lead the class in a discussion of what 'We the People looks like today. Who are 'the people' today? 
    • How did the 13 Amendment Abolition of slavery change it?
    • How did the 19 Amendment Women's suffrage change it?

    • Create a picture of what 'We the People meant in 1787 and what it means today. How will you show the changes in meaning?

    Friday, September 06, 2019

    Conquest of America: Southwest
    Francisco Coronado heard a story about the Cities of Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold, from a friar named Estevan. He decided he would mount an expedition to find these cities. What did Coronado plan to do when he found these cities? Did he eventually find them? What controversy surrounds the expedition?

    Essential Question:   Why did Coronado explore the southwest part of North America?

    • What would you do to get rich?
    • Conquest of America: Southwest video 
    • Was Coronado suitably punished for his role in the death of the 'Turk'?
    • Do you think Coronado was a hero or villain? 
    • Vocabulary 
    • Discussion Questions Worksheet

    Thursday, September 05, 2019

    Purpose and Form of Government (1.2) Day 1

    Essential Questions:

    • What is the purpose of government?
    • What are the different kinds of government?
    • What are the characteristics of different kinds of government?


      • Take Me To Your Leader (2) Read the passage  
      • A Social Contract (3) Read the passage and do Hobbes vs. Locke: Venn Diagram worksheet.
      • The American Experiment (4) Read the passage.
      • What Is the Purpose? (5) Read the passage. Watch the videos. Do the Preamble Matching activity. 
      • Defining a Government (6) Read the passage and do Forms of Government: Main Idea Web worksheet.
      1. Write the definitions of the vocabulary words (those in blue with links to explanation page) using your own words. Do not copy the definitions
      2. Draw a picture of the vocabulary word. 
      3. Use the vocabulary word in a sentence that shows understanding of the content you are learning.