Thursday, August 27, 2020

Kennewick Man: Which Right is Right?

Essential Question: Should scientists be allowed to study the remains of indigenous peoples?

Engage: What would you think if a scientist dug up the remains of an ancestor to study?

        own words as well as draw a picture of what that word means to them.
  • On occasion, archaeologists have dug up the remains of ancient Native Americans.
  • Should scientists be allowed to study these remains?
  • Native Americans feel such remains should be immediately reburied according to Native
        American customs.
  • Scientists worry that if reburied, the remains will deteriorate and lose their value
        for present and future scientific study.




  • How did this story evolve over time?
  • What eventually happened to Kennewick Man?
  • What should have been done with the remains?
  • What would you want to have done with the remains if they were your ancestor?
  • According to the map below, what indigenous people group use to live here in southwest Missouri? 
  • What should you do if you find the remains of an indigenous person?

    Do You Know the 50 States?

     It is rare that you get a real life example of why learning something in class is worthwhile. This isn't the only, or even best reason, to learn where countries are, but it might keep you from being embarrassed as an adult.

    If you are unfamiliar, Geography Now is a great resource to learn facts about countries. Unfortunately there is no video on the United States yet, they are working alphabetically down the list, we are lucky a video was created on the 50 states. We will watch this about mid-way through today's lesson. 


    The first activity will be for you to label a paper map of the 50 states. Afterwards play the game below and see how well you do. Let me know what your first score is so I can record it.

    We will take an assessment of the 50 states next week. Make sure you spend some time reviewing, you don't want to end up looking dumb in a Jimmy Kimmel video, do you?

    EQ: Can you identify the 50 states?




    • Label a map of the 50 states


    • Where are the 50 states located?


    • Post Assessment 50 States Quiz

    Internet Safety

    Picture of Netsmartz Video Page

    Today we are discussing safety again, but this time it is about being safe online. After this lesson you should know how to be safer online with your presence and also what you should do if you experience cyber-bullying. 


    • What are some ways students can keep safe while online?
    • What should a student do if they are being cyber-bullied?


    • What are some of the rules you follow when online?
    • Have you ever been cyber-bullied or witnessed someone else being cyber-bullied?



    • Classroom discussion

    Wednesday, August 26, 2020

    Foot Soldier of Birmingham


    In this lesson we are using the podcast The Foot Soldier by Malcolm Gladwell to discuss inherent bias.

    In this lesson we will look at the above picture and try to decode it. What are we seeing happen here? Then we will listen to the podcast by Malcolm Gladwell. Is what we believe to have happened what actually happened?

    After the lesson you will need to answer these questions:
    1. Can the art we create be used to influence belief systems? 
    2. As we examine the story as well as look at the statue and the picture from which the statue comes, what can we learn about ourselves and how we react based upon what we have learned?
    3. How will this change your view of historical artifacts as we move forward?

    Essential Question: Does the Foot Soldier of Birmingham statue have historical value?




    • The statue is a misrepresentation of the facts. Does this matter as an art piece? 


    Tuesday, August 25, 2020

    SOPE Class Information

    SOPE 2020-21

    We are excited to open enrollment for SOPE 2020-21! SOPE-Discovery School is open to McDonald County students in grades 7th and 8th. This program immerses students in the local natural and cultural environments of McDonald County, and engages students in studying how society and the environment are intertwined. Students will be enrolled in either a Fall or Spring session. Each session consists of three separate weeks: a week in September, October, and November for the Fall Session, and January, February, and March for the Spring Session. The Fall Session is open to 8th Graders and will focus on the Elk River Watershed and how McDonald County citizens have used the resources in this area over time. The Spring Session is open to 7th Graders and will focus on the many cave connections of the county, including cave formation and ecology, water quality, bats, and interactions with the above ground systems. The specific dates have not been determined at this time, but we will be getting that information out to you as soon as possible.

    This program should not be viewed as a way to get out of school. In fact, your student will be engaged in much more rigorous research and investigation. Many of the activities your student will be doing are incredibly physical, and you can expect your student to be exhausted by the end of these weeks. They will be doing a lot of work in outdoor environments. This means they will be exposed to rain, sun, heat, cold, and local wildlife, both small and large (read: lots of ticks). Your student will be expected to dress appropriately and with necessary supplies for that day. The weeks activities will be shared prior to the first day so you know what to expect for the week, and any changes will be noted as quickly as possible.
    Academic work is also more rigorous. Students will demonstrate understanding of the concepts through a variety of methods, including writing, designing and giving presentations, videos, and developing plans for local projects. 

    You can view the activities from SOPE 2019-20 at If your student is selected for SOPE 2020-21, we will contact you to get additional necessary information. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Keith Jones at
    If you are interested in applying please click this link: SOPE Application

    Monday, August 24, 2020

    The Mystery of Skippy's Tombstone


    Photo by Me

    This is a tombstone that resides in my yard. It has been there as long as I can remember (45+ years). Today we will be looking at this artifact and try to learn as much as we can about it.

    Your assignment is to come up with 20 questions that I will be able to answer with a yes or a no. I will then answer 20 of these questions for you. You will then write down everything you know about this artifact. 

    I will finish by telling you all I know about this artifact, and some of the conclusions I have drawn about it. Will what you write match my story?

    TSW examine an artifact and create appropriate questions to ask to learn more information about that artifact


    Essential Question:

    • Why are historical artifacts important to us? (5 minutes)


    • Having a tombstone in class should be pretty engaging.  (Ordinarily I would bring in the tombstone, but with all of the Covid concerns we will just be using the picture)


    • The students will examine a tombstone that I brought in to class. (5 minutes)
    • They will create questions to ask me about the tombstone that can be answered as yes/no. (5 minutes)


    • I will explain what I know about the tombstone as well as what I do not know. (5 minutes)


    Making a World Map


    In this lesson you will take a quick pre-assessment to see how many continents and oceans you remember. Then you will hand draw the continents and label them and the oceans. You will finish up by coloring them. 

    Essential Question: Can you label the continents and oceans of the world?

    • Hand draw, label and color a map. Identify the continents and oceans.