Monday, October 03, 2022

Canada Vacation

Mr. C is wanting to visit Canada next summer. He wants you to come up with an itinerary for the trip. His only instruction to you is he wants to see the real Canada, not the one portrayed in movies like Strange Brew!!!'

You will need to come up with 6 places Mr C absolutely, positively, without a doubt must visit while there.  

After watching the video above, what other sources will you use to to find information about 'must do' places in Canada? Here are some of Mr. C's suggestions:

1) Do a Google search of places to visit in Canada.
2) Do a Youtube search of places to visit in Canada.
3) Ask around to see if anyone has visited Canada, and ask them.
4) Ask Mr. C if he knows someone who might be willing to to answer some of your questions about Canada. (Don't wait until Friday) 
5) Visit the library, maybe they have some of those old things called 'books' that might have some information.
6) Check Wikipedia, maybe they have some good information.
7) Do a search for the Canadian Visitors Bureau. 
8) Sit around until Friday and write down any junk you think of. (This one is probably not a very good suggestion, but you know how Mr. C likes to joke.)

Mr. C has worksheet for you to use to gather information. 

Assignment Requirements

  1. Find the 6 most Canadian places for Mr. C to visit.
  2. Use this worksheet to gather your information.
  3. Write down each place with your explanation of why he should visit there.
  4. Add some pictures of each place. Mr. C does require you to cite where you get the picture from and to make sure the picture you picked is copyrighted so that you can use it legally. Creative Commons has a search engine you might want to use
  5. Hyperlink the address where the picture came from.
  6. Create a Google Slideshow using this template 
  7. Share your slideshow with Mr. C when completed
  8. Make sure it is finished on Wednesday. Late work will be accepted, but you will have to do it on your time. Class moves on!
EQ: Where are the most 'Canadian' places to visit in Canada?

  • Students will identify a variety of sources to gather information from with an eye on tourism.
  • Possible choices would be visitor bureaus, wikipedia, youtube etc.
  • On a document, take notes with links to original sites.
  • Name 6 places that epitomize Canada and explain why.
  • Identify pictures to share and create hyperlinks 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Mapping Canada

For this activity, we will be making a couple maps of Canada. We are going to be creating a political, physical, and climate map. First, let's watch this EPCOT video from the Canada Pavilion:

Now that you get a feel for the 'flavor' of Canada, let's do a little learning about the country. You will label the capitals, provinces and territories and then color the climate zones of Canada and create a key which will let me know what the colors represent.


  • What are the major climate areas of Canada?
  • What are the provinces, territories and capitals of Canada?




  • Where are the provinces and territories in Canada?
  • Where are the capital cities in Canada? 
  • What/Where are the physical landforms of Canada
  • What climate zones do you find in Canada?


Monday, September 26, 2022

Colonial House

Colonial House is a television show created by PBS to examine what life would be like in Plymouth Colony circa 1628. 17 people were chosen to be on the reality show, living the life of a settler in a re-created Plymouth Plantation.

Imagine you have been selected to participate in Colonial House. Write journal entries describing about your living conditions. Are you a freeman, indentured servant, or even the Governor? What kinds of things do you do day by day? Are you having trouble keeping the rules? 

Essential Question: What would it be like to live in an early American colony?




  • Watch Colonial House episodes
  • What is your role in the colony?
  • What events took place during the episode?
  • What are your daily chores?
  • Are you a rule breaker or a rule follower?


  • Write a journal entry for each episode watched. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Constitution Study

EQ: How does the Constitution reflect American ideals?




  • Preamble Discussion 
  • What Does the Constitution Say Part 2 Acitivity 
  • Principles of the Constitution Comparison Chart (Printed) Pages 4-9


  • Branches of US Government worksheet (Printed) no digital copies
  • Checks and Balances Worksheet (Printed) no digital copies

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Government Vocabulary


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


  • 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. 
  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. monarchy
  22. totalitarian

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Desperate Crossing

Many of us know what it is like to have to move to a new place. In this activity we are going to find out what it was like for the Pilgrims to have to leave England for Holland and then ultimately for North America. Just as you had many difficult emotions with the changes you experienced, the Pilgrims had them as well. They also had even more difficulty and danger than most of us. 

As we watch this video we will try to place ourselves in the shoes of the Pilgrms and try to identify how we might have felt if we too had to make a desperate crossing. 

EQ: Why did the settlers on the Mayflower come to the Americas?

  • Solicit stories from students who remember moving to Noel. 
  • How did you feel about moving?
  • What were the first days like after you came to Noel?
  • How are things now?
  • The students will watch Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower.
  • Vocabulary: magistrate, manifest, seditious, theology, habeas corpus, tolerant
  • Vocabulary: define, draw and use in a sentence
  • Why the Separatists moved from England to Holland?
  • Why the Separatists moved from Holland to the Americas?
  • Why the other colonists moved from England to the Americas?
  • How did they feel about moving?
  • How were the first days after the move?
  • Examine the Mayflower Compact, what does it create for the colonists?

Monday, September 12, 2022

Immigration Celebration

The United States is a nation of immigrants. The country was founded mainly by Englishmen who were part of the European colonization effort of the 15-17th centuries. After the US was formed immigration continued to be an important part of its world identity as memorialized by the Statue of Liberty.

While you may argue otherwise, the Statue of Liberty mainly celebrates European immigration as we saw it happen at Ellis Island. Below is a video outlining what it was like to come through Ellis Island as an immigrant.

Unfortunately for many of you, the Statue of Liberty may not capture the spirit of immigration from your ancestors, especially if your ancestors didn't come from Europe. I have done some research to see if I can find other memorials or monuments in the United States that celebrate the immigration of those who were not from Europe and they are indeed difficult to find. 

This is your opportunity to remedy that!

You are tasked with the responsibility to create a monument that celebrates the immigration of your ancestors. You should research where they came from, why they came, and what symbols would be culturally appropriate to use as part of the monument. 

If your ancestors, like mine, did come through Ellis Island and are represented very well by the Statue of Liberty you can still participate. Create a new monument celebrating your ancestors too. This is an opportunity for you to make it more specific to your original culture. For example I could choose my Scots Irish ancestry to celebrate or my German/Jewish ancestry. 

Make your monument with the following guidelines:
  • Identify where your ancestors immigrated from 
  • Incorporate symbols appropriate for their original country
  • Create a plaque that celebrates immigration. It doesn't need to be a poem like on the Statue of Liberty, but it does need to reflect your intent for the monument. 
  • Create a drawing of your monument or create a model of your monument. If you make a drawing, make it very detailed and include the words on the plaque. 
  • Show the pride you have in your family and the gratefulness you have for the sacrifices they made to immigrate. 
Essential Question:
  •  How would you memorialize your immigrant ancestors?
  • Where did your ancestors emigrate from?
  • Why did they come to the United States?
  • What symbols should be used to celebrate their coming to the US?
  • Do you feel represented by the monuments you researched?

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 provided on the worksheet, 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. 
  1. Read the story.
  2. Write a story as though you are a conquistador traveling with Cortes into Tenochtitlan for the first time, describe what you are seeing.
  3. Use the Emoji Keyboard to rewrite your story using emoji.
  4. Copy the story and paste it into a Google Document and then share the document with me.

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?

Friday, September 09, 2022

United States Geography Physical Map

: What are the major physical features of the United States?



  • Students will be given them 60 seconds to identify as many physical geography features found in the US.



  • Where are the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, Sierra Nevada, and Cascade Range?
  • Where is the Ozark Plateau, Colorado Plateau, Sonoran Desert, the Great Plains and the Coastal Plain?
  • Where is the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean?
  • Where is the Gulf of Mexico?
  • Where is the Mississippi River and the Rio Grande?
  • Where are the Great Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Superior, Erie, Ontario?


Thursday, September 08, 2022

Conquest of the Americas: The 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.

  • Why did France colonize Florida?
  • What are some good vocabulary learning practices?

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Landform Map of Canada and the US


 EQ: How has location influenced life in the United States and Canada?



  • Physical Features of the US and Canada
  • Political Map of the US and Canada
  • Climate of the US and Canada
  • Vegetation and Biomes of the US and Canada
  • Population Density of the US and Canada
  • Economic Activity of the US and Canada
  • Religious and Ethnic Groups of the US and Canada


  • What are the provinces and territories of Canada?
  • What are the main climates of the US and Canada
  • Where are most of the people living in the US and Canada? Why?
  • What are the major economic activities in the US and Canada?
  • What are the major religious and ethnic groups in the US and Canada?


Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Film Study: Singing in the Rain

Getting the number five nod for AFI's 100 greatest American movies of all timeSingin' 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'ConnorDebbie 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 this PowerPoint from the British Film Institute 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?

Conquest of the Americas:The 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?


  • Vocabulary
  • Students will define the vocabulary word using their own words on worksheet



  • Was Coronado suitably punished for his role in the death of the 'Turk'?
  • Do you think Coronado was a hero or villain? 




Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Silk Road and World Trade

Map of the Silk Trade Route

Marco Polo's Route

Voyages of Zheng He

The trade routes that we collectively refer to as the Silk Road started as far back as 2,200 years ago. Although the types of trade goods were varied, it is called the Silk Road because of the demand created for silk from China. 

While we may tend to emphasize the economic implications of these trade routes including cities created as stopping points that became wealthy, a much more important trade was taking place throughout this period, the trade of culture. Languages, mathematics, literacy and religion were all shared throughout large areas of the world because of these trade routes. 

Essential Question: What led to the rediscovery of the Americas and its colonization?


  • We know that Columbus 'rediscovered' the Americas, but what events led to the need for this exploration?


  • Why did I include the time stamp for the questions on the video questions?
  • What can you tell from the time stamps?
  • How can you use this information to inform how you approach questions over audio/videos?
  • How did trade drive the sharing of culture?
  • Why did Columbus look west for a route to India?


The First American Immigrants

The history of the Americas started well before Columbus. Unfortunately, because of the lack of or destruction of written histories, archaeologists have to rely on the discovery of artifacts to further our knowledge of these peoples. In this lesson we will learn about different theories of migration and also discover that this area is constantly changing and updating do to new discoveries. 

Essential Question: Where and when did the first immigrants to the Americas arrive?
  • Review the Kenniwick Man lesson
  • How did the first immigrants come to the Americas?
  • When did the first immigrants come to the Americas?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Algiers/Battle of Algiers

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 BoyerHedy 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?

SOPE Opportunity

SOPE 2022-23

We are excited to open enrollment for SOPE 2022-23! 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.

This Fall, SOPE students will be researching the Elk River Watershed. In September, students will be investigating the aquatic life found in the Elk River watershed. Students will be in the water nearly every day. In October, students will explore the geology of the Ozarks. They will also be visiting the Missouri River to work with Missouri River Relief. In November, students will research the ways humans have interacted with the Elk River from prehistoric times to now. In order to show what they know, students will create a podcast episode discussing a local issue related to the Elk.

In Spring, SOPE students will investigate bats, their habitat and the benefits they provide to humans. They will create a podcast to inform residents about what they can do to help bats. In addition, they will build bat houses to be placed in the Outdoor Classroom and at local schools. Students will also create an instructional half-day to teach several students in younger grades about the role bats play.

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. 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. 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 previous SOPE sessions at If your student is selected, we will contact you to get additional necessary information. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Keith Jones at

50 States Map Test

 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?

EQCan you identify the 50 states?




  • Label a map of the 50 states


  • Where are the 50 states located?


  • Post Assessment 50 States Quiz

Sunday, August 28, 2022

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

Friday, August 26, 2022

Kennewick Man: Who 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?

    Tuesday, August 23, 2022

    The 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?




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