Monday, October 16, 2017

History Test Review: What were the primary reasons for the fall of Rome?

Reread chapter one and review your notes for the DBQ essay we wrote in response to this question. These are posted on the Learning Wall in the back of the classroom if you cannot find yours. 

Also, read your essay again. 

Some possible answers include:

  • natural forces
  • military mistakes
  • political instability
  • foreign invasions
  • bad government
The test will be on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.  Tests go in the 75% category.

History journals will be collected for a grade the day of the test. You may not use them during the test. Journals are 75% category items.

History: Why did the Black Plague kill so many people?

Question: Why did the Black Plague kill so many people?

 Read and examine the following resources before you begin the task.


 "Plague Song" by Horrible Histories. 


 "Study Shows Black Death Did not Kill Indiscriminately" 

"The Black Death of 1348-1350" 


 History Alive! Section 5.3: The Bubonic Plague


Map of trade routes and bubonic plague's progress 

 Task:  After reading the articles and text and examining the map above, write a long paragraph that addresses the question and analyzes the reasons why the Black Plague killed so many people providing examples to clarify your analysis.  What conclusions or implications can you draw? Be sure to support your position with evidence from the resources.  Write a one page response to the question.  Make sure you cite the above resources to support your answer.  L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic.

Friday, October 6, 2017

History - Extra Credit: Medieval Trading Cards

Create a set of four Medieval trading cards like baseball cards or the cards use for the game Magic.

To make your cards, take one piece of blank paper and divide it into four sections.  Each section will be one card.  You may do the front and the back on the same piece of paper. You can use any color.

Select four people from the list below.  You'll need to do some research on each person. Some of them are in the history book, some are not.  Use internet sources if needed. is a good place to start.  Wikipedia is not a good source for this project, as their entries tend to be very, very long.

How to make each card:

  • Side one:
    • Include the person's name.
    • Include a picture of the person or something important to that person.  This could be a building the lived or worked in, an object associated with them, a symbol that represents them.
    • Include a border.
  • Side two:
    • List three facts about the person as bullet points.
    • Write a 25 cent biography of the person that describes why that person was important. You will not be able to write about their entire life, just the reason why that person is still remembered today.
    • Include a border.
Points for this project will be awarded based on visible effort and historical facts included.  

You may do this project on Google Docs or by hand on paper.  You may use any types of pictures you would like, but this is part of the effort shown.

This projects is worth 5 to 20 points in the 25% category. 

Choose from this list of Medieval people:
  • Clovis, king of the Franks
  • Clotilda, queen of the Franks
  • Charlemagne
  • Pope Leo III
  • Harold Godwinson
  • Harold Hadrada
  • William I, king of England
  • Edward, the Black Prince
  • Saint Morris
  • Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Pope Gregory VII
  • Francis of Assisi
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Thomas Beckett
  • Boudica, queen of England
  • Theodora, Empress of Byzantium
  • Justinian I, Emperor of Byzantium
  • Saint Benedict
  • Henry II, King of England
  • King John of England
  • Kind Edward I of England
  • Agnolo di Tura
  • King Richard II of England
  • Joan of Arc
  • Empress Irene of Byzantium
  • Cerularius of Byzantium
  • King Richard I of England, called The Lionheart
  • Salah al-Din
  • Anna Comnena
  • Eliezer ben Nathan
  • Eleazar ben Judah
  • Genghis Khan
  • Catherine de Medici
  • Eleanor of the Aquitane, Queen of England
  • Marie de Champagne
  • Christine de Pizan
  • Hildegard of Bingen
  • Matilda of Canossa
  • Khawlah bint al-Azwar
  • Isabel of Conches
  • Joanna of Flanders
If there are other Medieval people you would like to do, please see Mr. Chester first.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Automaton One-Pager Assignment (for English only)

Create a one-pager on Maillardet's automaton using text and images to creatively highlight the most important information. Be sure to include the following:
  • The definition of automaton (the plural is automata)
  • A description of the automaton's history, including its creation and creator; how it was damaged; and the roles Charles Penninman, Bryan Selznick, and Andy Baron played in restoring the device; and its influence on the novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
  • A description of how Maillardet's automaton works and its capabilities
You can use these links to complete the one-pager assignment about Maillardet's automaton.

CBS Sunday Morning video The Lost Art of Automata Lives Again

The Maillardet automaton in action

Read Andrew Baron’s essay

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Zebra" Extension Activity: The Vietnam War

This activity has three parts.

Read the directions for each part below. You'll be watching videos and reading articles before completing each section of your packet.  Write all of your answers in your packet.  All of your answers should be in complete sentences.  Fill up the lines.

This assignment is due by the end of class today.

First, start by watching this Brain Pop video on the Vietnam War then complete the "Vocabulary" and "Graphic Organizer - Debate."  Be sure to wear earbuds.

You can find the video here.

The log in for Brain Pop is sanjosems, password is scorpions.

Second, read the article below, "Into the Killing Zone" by Frank Boccia and complete "The Soldier's Perspective Questions."

Into the Killing Zone by Frank Boccia

May10: The Battle Begins

I had been in Vietnam for a few months before Hamburger Hill. I was a fairly popular platoon leader. Sure, I was strict and demanding.  But I made an effort to know all my guys y name. I'd ask them about their families. I wanted them to know I cared about them. We were a tight platoon.

Lieutenant Colonel Weldon Honeycutt was a different breed of cat. He was tough and abrasive. He had these ice-blue eyes that looked at you like he might just cut your throat. No one liked him. but he was the best combat commander I've ever seen.

His code name was Blackjack. He told me that the only reason the army made me an officer was because I was too educated to do anything else.  He said I had a lot to learn about leading men and making though choices in battle. I was furious at him. He made me feel about an inch tall.

My battalion, the 3/187th, went into the A Shau Valley on May 10. The A Shau had a terrible reputation as a dangerous hideout for the North Vietnamese Army (NVA).

None of us talked about it, though. It was like the elephant in the room. Still, we weren't strangers to combat. We'd been in a hard fire fight at another mountain called Dong Ngai. After that fight, I expected this one to be easy.

The sky above the valley was filled with helicopters--Hueys, as the were known.  As my platoon prepared to move up the hill, it seemed like very helicopter in Vietnam circled over us. I'd read accounts of D-Day in World War II and how soldiers were awestruck by the sight of all the ships around them. That's how I felt. There were hundreds of soldiers in the valley. I got goose bumps. I thought, "Is the entire army here!"

Before my platoon moved up the hill, fighter-bombers and artillery helicopters bombarded its slopes with air strikes and napalm, gasoline-based firebombs.  It didn't seem like anything could be alive up there.

But as we approached the mountain, I could tell this mission would be more difficult than I anticipated. Each step was a struggle. Narrow trails snaked up the hill into the jungle. The canopy was so dense that we could barely see a few feet ahead of us. The vines kept out the light and the fresh air. The jungle smelled rotten. It gave me a feeling of being completely out the world.

Suddenly heard shots over our heads. An intense blast of RPG's (rocket propelled grenades) and AK-47' gunfire cut through the trees. I couldn't see where it was coming from -- bushes, vines or rocks.

WE hit the ground and returned fire.  But the skirmish was brief. The enemy was gone as mysteriously as they'd arrived.

For the third and final part read this article on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and answer the questions on The Wall.

When you are finished turn in your packet. But sure your name is on it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Annotated Castle Projects

Create an annotated "drawing" of a castle.  Due Friday, Sept. 22.

Create either a Motte and Bailey castle or a 13th century castle.  (You may trace. You may use methods other than drawing.)

You may draw all or part of the castle.  You may do a "bird's-eye" drawing.

Include 10 annotations (2-3 sentences).

  • Six should label and explain a part of the castle
  • Four should label and describe a person (monarch, lords/ladies, knights, peasants)
Annotations should contain lots of historical information

Drawings (artwork) should show effort.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Rikki Tikki-Tavi and the Hero's Journey

Create a small poster explaining how Rudyard Kipling's short story illustrates the elements of the Hero's Journey.

Use the model on pages six and seven of your English journal as a guide.  Include as many elements of the Hero's Journey as you can.

Include the following on your poster:
  • The title and author in fancy lettering.
  • A circle showing the path of the Hero's Journey. (See page 6/7 in your English journal.)
  • Colorful, large illustrations.  
  • Names of elements in the Hero's Journey
  • Written explanations of how Rikki Tikki-Tavi shoes each element. These should be short paragraphs.
Please see Mr. Chester for large blank paper if you need it.

Projects will be graded on:
  • How well they explain elements of the Hero's Journey.
  • How creative they are visually.
  • Overall visual quality.
  • Correct grammar and spelling.

This project is due on Friday, Sept. 15.

This is a 75% grade.  

Your poster will be on display for a gallery walk. 

If you need to re-read the story you can find a copy of it here