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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ch5less2 Ghana

Hello 7th graders,
I have been unsuccessful in trying to upload the Power Points at school, so here are the notes in outline form. Please make sure to have them copied by tomorrow as we should be finishing the lesson by tomorrow. The quiz will more than likely be on Friday. I will let you know tomorrow if plans change.

The Soninke
o Iron --> expanding empire
o Iron weapons were better than neighboring peoples’ stone weapons
o Result: easy to conquer other people
o Lacked salt
o Surplus of gold
o Fall of the Soninke

Ghana becomes the center of trade
o Traders with salt passed through Ghana
o Traders with gold passed through Ghana
o Both exchanged goods through Ghana

Ghana’s capital becomes divided
o Many traders were Muslim
o Rulers wanted to keep Islam separate from traditional Soninke religion
o Result --> divided the city into two sections(Muslim and Local people)

The Al Moravids
o They were from the Sahara and north Africa
o They were a threat to the Soninke

A new religion
o Arabs came to live in Ghana because of the good trade
o Trading of goods equals the trading of ideas
o By 750 Muslim Arabs had created a huge Islamic empire in the Middle East
o Traders taught the people of Ghana their Arab religion
o Government Officials and merchants change religion to Islam

Conversion to Islam
o Mandinke spread the ideas through out west Africa
o Islam stressed the brotherhood of all believers
o Encouraged trust and peaceful trade between people of different nationalities

Traditional practices
o Succession of the kings done through the mothers side practiced by Ghana (Known as matrilineal)
o Throne passes from father to son was practices by the Muslims (Patrilineal)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Hello class,
The PPT was not able to load up, but here are the notes that you will need. Make sure they are printed out or copied by tomorrow 12/11/09.

  • Key terms: A. Craftspeople, B. flourish, C. fertile, D. potter, E. floodplain, F. savanna, G. Sahel
    • 1.___People who are skilled at making things with their hands
    • 2.___Flat land near a river that may be covered with water during a flood
    • 3.___To grow or do very well
    • 4.___Good for plants to grow in
    • 5.___A person who makes pottery
    • 6.___grassland with scattered trees and plant growth
    • 7.___the shore of the desert
  • Roots of a Mighty Empire
  • Ancient times
    • 5000 BC the Sahara was flowing with rivers green pastures and forests.
    • 4000 BC rain fell less often and temperatures had risen.
    • 2500 BC climate à Dry and Hot
  • Change in climate
    • Land became bare and bleak / desert
  • Changes à people moving to
    • Sahel (8 climate zones)
      • Shore of the desert
      • Temperatures range from dessert in the north to vegetation in the south.
      • Occasional rainfall makes farming possible
    • Banks of the Niger River : Semi-arid/tropical, wet and dry
  • Nok 500BC-200AD
    • Lived in West Africa, Present day Nigeria
    • Had iron as a resource (450BC)
      • Use iron instead of stone
    • Used iron for spear points and farming tools
      • Lives improved because of the iron
    • Potters
      • Used clay to build huts and craft sculptures
  • The city of Jenne-Jeno 250BC – 1400AD present day Mali
    • Advantages of the city’s location:
      • Niger River àRich soil à farming
    • Resources: abundant crops, cattle, fish
    • Trade: rice, fish, baskets, pottery of salt, copper, stone, iron tools and gold jewelry
      • means they were great artisans
    • city was abandoned in 1400AD

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Africa Unit video questions

Directions: Take notes on ways that people in Africa, like all people, are affected by their geography. Example, drilling in Nigeria, deforestation in Ghana, and habitat destruction in Uganda.

Link to video questions on West and East Africa.

8th grade image & textbook bibliography guide

Citing an Online Image

Very important! If you are citing an image found in Google Images or any other image retrieval service, be certain to cite the image in its original context. Do not provide the URL of the enlarged image - you must use the URL of the page where the image was originally shown.

* Image creator's last name, first name, if available, or page author's name if available, followed by a period and a space
* Title of photo followed by a period, in quotation marks. If no title, describe briefly within quotation marks.
* Descriptive word (photo, map, cartoon, drawing, etc,) followed by a period and a space
* Website title in italics, followed by a space
* Website publication date in DD Mo. YYYY format followed by a period and a space
* Date image was viewed in DD Mo. YYYY format followed by a space
* Web address in angle brackets, followed by a period

Suzuki, Lea. "Mick Jaggar." Photo. 14 Nov. 2005. 14 Nov. 2005.


Citing a book with multiple authors

List the authors of a book in the same order they are printed on the book. Reverse the name of the first author, insert a comma, then write the remaining names in normal form. If there are more than three authors you may choose to list them all, or to list only the first, followed by et al. (and others).

* Last name, first name, remaining names, followed by a period and a space


* Last name, first name et al., followed by a period and a space
* Title of book in italics, followed by a period and a space
* City of publication, followed by a colon and a space
* Name of publisher, followed by a comma and a space
* Year of publication, followed by a period.

Borden, Sara, Sarah Miller, Alex Stikeleather, Maria Valladares, and Miriam Yelton. Middle

School: How to Deal. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005.


Borden, Sara, et al. Middle School: How to Deal. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005.

Original information can be found at:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Abbasid Dynasty Due date 11/25/09

Hello 7th graders,
For your chapter 4 lesson 2 activity, you will need to imagine that you live in Baghdad under the Abbasids. Your product will be to write a poem (81/2" x 11" paper) describing your lives and culture. You will need to have a minimum of 3 stanzas (Each stanza needs to focus on a different aspect of Abbasid life/culture.
Your poem will need to illustrate some of the cultural achievements of the golden age, and make use of Islamic design styles discussed in the reading.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Constitution Brochure

Hello 8th graders,
Please make sure to click on this link and download the Constitution Brochure directions. We will be going over the directions in class tomorrow along with choosing who will be your partner.

I have compiled a few videos that can aide in your understanding of the Bill of Rights. Please make sure to watch them.

** All Incomplete work/late work/missed absent work not submitted by Friday will turn into a 0%.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ch3 Less2 A of C

Hello 8th graders,
Please make sure to copy the first slides 9 slides of the PPT.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

chapter 3 lesson 1

ch2less3 putting maps to work

Hello 6th graders,
Please copy the PPT as we will be going over the content in class tomorrow prior to our map projection activity that will take place on Thursday. I have also placed images on our wiki that will help you understand maps. Here's the link so that you may go and visit these pages. Make sure to copy the Venn diagram located in the "map projections" link along with the definitions for each map projection. Please make sure to come to class ready and prepared to discuss the positive and negative aspects of map projections.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Byzantine Empire

Hello 7th graders,
We have finally come to the end of chapter 2, but our learning about the Byzantine Empire has yet to come to a full end. We have been learning about Byzantine accomplishments. As we learned in lesson 3, under Emperor Justinian’s rule, mosaic art was fully developed. Prior to discussing Justinian’s focus on mosaic art (a picture or design made from small pieces of colored material, usually quartz or glass, embedded in plaster), Mr. Shulman gave us a presentation on mosaic art by showing us some projects that he has done involving mosaics. He showed us various techniques for making mosaics out of pieces of stone or glass cut into squares or cubes. With this method, mosaic pictures can be detailed and have sharp images when designing pools, bathtubs, and even entire walls of buildings. On behalf of the 7th grade class, we’d like to say thank you Mr. Shulman for an insightful presentation on mosaics.

ch2less1 Interacting with our world

Hello 6th graders,
Make sure to copy these notes tonight and have them ready for tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ch2less4 Fighting the War at home

Hello 8th graders,
We are approaching our final lesson for chapter 2. Please make sure to begin reviewing the past 3 lessons in order to better prepare yourself for the test next week. For this lesson, we will be focusing on the impact of the American Revolution on the civilian population and how the new state government worked before and after the war.

As a reminder, please make sure to have these notes copied by tomorrow.

Don't forget to watch these videos relating to the objectives discussed throughout the chapter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Answers to vocabulary communication review handout

Hello 6th grade,
Below are the answers to the review handout for tomorrow's test.

1. audible
2. refrain
3. advocate
4. invoke
5. verbalize
6. eloquence
7. revoked
8. audio
9. resound
10. inquired

11. I /12. C / 13. C/ 14. I/ 15. I / 16. C / 17. I / 18. I / 19. C / 20. C

1. gathering
2. cause
3. enlarge
4. utter
5. answer
6. loudness
7. calling
8. graceful
9. wordy
10. convincing

ch2less3 Fighting the American Revolution

Monday, October 5, 2009

ch1less3 Moving into the Future

Hello 6th graders,
This lesson deals with the world problems of deforestation along with explaining how knowledge of the past helps people understand the problems of the present. As you read the lesson, try to imagine some issues/problems that we might face in the near future. How might decisions made today by leaders, lawmakers, and everyday people effect some of the issues you named?
Remember that just as people today are linked with the past, they are also linked with the future!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ch2less2 PPT

Thursday, September 24, 2009

American Revolution videos

Hello 8th graders,
We will begin our review of the American Revolution in chapter 2. Here are some videos that I would like you to watch over the weekend so that you have the fundamentals needed to understand the American Revolution throughout the 4 lessons.

Here is your Assignment Code that you will need in order to log in to United Streaming:

You will need to go to this URL and input the code into the Code input box.

Friday, September 11, 2009

7th and 8th grade 9/11 assignment

Objectives: To help students understand that personal testimonies tell a story of an event from many different perspectives, and that the role of historians is to create an accurate public record of history.

What you should be able to do:

-Identify primary sources.

- Record a story of September 11, 2001.

-Record the impact as told through the eyes of someone who remembers it.(You need to interview at least 2 on your own and the other 2 may be taken from

-Compare and contrast the different point of view reflected in various accounts, and recognize that individual and personal memories reflect different point of views on an event.


-Paper/notebooks/ for recording interviews (recording optional)

-additional first hand accounts:

Questions to keep in mind when you create your chart or write your essay:

-Why is the history of the events of September 11, 2001 important to record?

-Think about who spoke the words? What is that person’s relationship to the event? When was the story recorded? Is there any bias?


Step 1 : Record the name of the person being interviewed and how you know him/her.

Step 2: Ask the following questions and any additional ones you think of:

- Why is the history of the events of September 11, 2001 important to record?

-How did you learn about the events?

-What do you recall about the events and other events related to it?

-Why is the event important for people in the future to know about these events?

-How is your life different as a result of September 11, 2001.

Step 3: Write a compare and contrast essay or create a chart comparing and contrasting your findings.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

6th Spelling: Communication

Hello students and parents,
We are currently learning words relating to communication. Parents, please make sure to review these words to help students apply the words to real life. The words are color coded in groups of 10. You will be assessed on spelling and vocabulary for each of the 10 word groups.

word list:
revoke , advocate, eloquent, persuasive, audible, response, refrain, volume, resound, oration/
convocation, audition, elocution, evoke, colloquial, auditory, provoke, invoke, audio, vocation/
utter, renounce, mute, discourse, fluent, verbose, verbalize, inquire, exaggerate, lucid

7th lesson 3 Traveling Through the Past

Hello 7th graders,
As you read the lesson, try to think of some methods historians might use to reconstruct the past. Remember that your objectives are geared towards understanding the the sources of information historians use to learn about the past, and explain how point of view affects our interpretation of historical sources. Here is the PPT guide for the reading:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

ch1 less 2 European Exploration and Settlement

Hello 8th grader,
Here are the objectives for today's lesson that were given in class.
- Identify the motives for European exploration in the Americas.
-Describe the role Spain played in exploring the new world.
- Explain the significance of the English, French, and Dutch exploration of North America.

Please make sure that you copy the PPT and come prepared with questions about the reading so we may discuss them in class tomorrow.

Hatchet Questions

Hello 6th graders,
Here are the questions your were given in class today regarding Hatchet by Gary paulsen. Please make sure to answer them to the best of your ability. We will be going over the question in class tomorrow. For the new students, you will be using these questions as a guide for your comprehension of the story. For HW, Please make sure to answer the questions in the first slide. If you have time, You may begin answering the questions on the second slide.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

7th ch1 less2

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Scholastic Book Clubs orders online!

Dear Parent,

I have exciting news. You can now place your Scholastic Book Clubs orders online!

Browse all the great monthly Book Club selections at low prices and order online. Plus, our class earns a FREE Book every time a parent orders online.

Here's how it works:

1. Use the information below to access the Scholastic Book Clubs Web site.
2. Browse the titles with your child and place your order with your credit card.
3. Your order will come to me, and your credit card payment will go directly to Scholastic's secure server. There's no need to send money to school.
4. After I submit the entire class order to Scholastic, your order will be delivered to our classroom for your child to take home.

To get started, go to the Web address below and enter our class’s personalized user name and password in the sign-in fields on the right side of the page. Note: You do not need to create your own user name and password.

scholastic book clubs

User Name: homeroom6

Password: sjs123

Ordering online is the most convenient way to use Scholastic Book Clubs. You can order anytime, right up until the online order due date. You'll also get instant access to over 500 additional titles plus online-only specials and discounts.

And don't forget: Every time a parent places an order online, we earn a FREE book for our classroom library!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Mr. Ortega

Welcome back students and parents

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome all new and returning families back to St Jerome for the 2009-20010 school year. As with each new school year, so many new adventures and opportunities lie ahead. I wish all the students great joy and success as we embark on a new school year.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Answers to Maya, Aztec, Inca review for test Monday.

pg 418
Key terms
B- #5 : Translating a book of Mayan picture writings requires patience and perseverance.

#6 - Calendars, astronomical observations, and number system were recorded in Maya codices.
#7 - Evidence of advanced farming methods were found. Evidence of trade and scientific and farming activities indicated that they had a surplus of food.

pg 119 #3 - Mayan civilization: Maya Central America, ancient civilizations, Mayan cities.

pg 446
2- In the vertical economy, farmers grew grain at low altitudes while herders raised llamas at higher altitudes.
3 - Aztec nobility did not pay tribute to anyone.
4- Aztec farmers could use canals to travel from chinampa to chinampa.
5 - Serfs and slaves worked in a calpulli.
7 - The Aztec formed an alliance with other tribes.
8 - The Inca used terrace farming to farm at high altitudes.

exploring concepts part B

1 - The Aztec grew crops in floating gardens called chinampas, which were surrounded by water. The Inca grew crops according to the height of the land.
2 - Some Aztec history was recorded in codices and can be decoded. Inca history was passed down through oral tradition.
3 - Inca empire covered parts of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chili, and Argentina. The Aztec empire was limited to Mexico and Guatemala.
4 - The Incas offered enemies a chance to join the empire before they were conquered. The Aztec just conquered.
5 -The Inca held local religious idols and princes hostage, made them soldiers, rewarded soldiers, made Inca religion and language a requirement.
6 - The nobility did not work, but ruled commoners who labored and farmed.
7 - The Aztec sacrificed thousands, mostly captives of war. The Incas sacrificed humans only in times of extreme crisis.
8 - Aztec empire social classes: nobles, commoners, serfs, and slaves. The Inca had two main social classes: nobility and commoners.
9 - The Inca prayed to their ancestors. They believed dead rulers and nobility helped decide the fate of their empire.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Pearl Collaborative Review

Hello 6th graders,

As a way to collaborate and review for The Pearl, each group has been assigned one of the following topics: light and dark images, symbols, roles of men and women, good vs. evil, songs, and animal imagery. Students within the group will each take one chapter of The Pearl and find all the references to their group's topic in that chapter. (If your group has less than six people, have one student work on chapters 4+5). You will need to jot down your findings. When everyone is done with the research, you will need to collaborate using the wiki to discuss your findings. Based on your research, you will need to draw some conclusions about the topic. When you present your findings, Each student will give his/her findings, and one group member will give the group's conclusions.

Below are the assigned topics for each group. You will need to sign in with your user name and password in order to begin collaborating.

You can click here or under 6th lit/Eng links to get to the wiki.

1. Light and Dark Images

2. Symbols

3. Roles of Men and Women

4. Good v.s. Evil

5. Songs

6. Animal Imagery

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Greek commodities activity lesson 1

Design a poster (81/2 x 11 sheet of paper) for a Greek trader, advertising his or her commodities offered for sale. Review lesson 1, questions 1 and 2 on this worksheet, and your notes to find ideas for what kinds of items were traded.
  • Your poster must be colored
  • You must advertise at least 4 commodities
  • You must write a sentence next to each commodity explaining how it would benefit whoever is purchasing your commodity.
  • Include a catchy title that will grab the reader’s attention

Monday, June 1, 2009

Early Greeks PPT

Hello 7th graders,
We began learning about the Inca Empire today. Keep in mind that around the same time the Aztec were building their empire in Mexico, the Inca were constructing their own empire in South America. Here is the Inca video code Q9C82-E5AE we watched in class today. Use the United Streaming link located under the 7th grade SS links to access the video.

The video guide questions are due tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Study Habits

As the school year ends, it is still important to prepare good study habits for next year. When you study, make sure there are no other distractions. This includes the TV, computer, and yes, your friends. I mean, I love all of those things too, but on your test, which do you want to remember, the history of Egypt or the shocking reveal on your favorite TV show?

Another good thing to remember is to spread out your studying time. It is better to study for twenty minutes for a week, rather than two hours before the test. It is also good to persevere. Trust me, it pays to work hard at this. If you really want that A, you have to work for it. Do you think all those straight A students get those A's from staring at the walls? If you are really not good at studying, work hard in class and review your notes later.

The last, and definitely not least tip to studying is to find a way of studying that helps you. If you are not soaking in any information the way you are studying... and it is showing up on tests too, find a way you like. And yes, there really is a fun way to study.

So do you want good grades? If the answer is yes (which it should be) follow these tips, work hard, and try having fun!

Good luck next year and enjoy your summer!
-Anonymous SJS student

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Pearl chapter 3


Hello 7th graders,
We have been discussing how West African farmers adapted to their land and climate, the common characteristics of West African religions and the rural government of West African villages. Today you turned in your diaries of Mansa Musa. For lesson 4, you will be writing a short story about a lost Muslim trader who stops for the night at a small West African farming village. Narratives will need to be decorated and should highlight the kinds of beliefs and customs the trader might encounter. Make sure you use details relating to lesson 4 as you write your story. Good luck!

Below is a short summary that covers the topics from the textbook.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Egypt lesson 2

Friday, May 1, 2009

West Africa map

Hello 7th graders,
I have uploaded a map of West Africa for you to use with your story map. This map is not a requirement to complete the assignment, but it could help make your job much easier.

Make sure you click on the image and then print out the large image file that will pop up on a separate page.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ch9 PPT guide lessons 1 + 2

Hello 8th graders,
Please make sure to complete an activity from lesson 1 or 2. The activities are located on the last slide of lesson 1 and 2.

ch7less1 Gift of the Nile

Ch5 less 2 PPT Guide

The Pearl study guide question ch1+2

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chapter 8 less 3 Mongols in China

Current events: Cesar Chavez due Friday.

Cesar Chavez current events.
Down load Current Events template by clicking on this link.

Step 1 - You will need to look up Cesar Chavez using Google news.
step 2 - Choose an article that focuses on Cesar Chavez Day (March 31)
Step 3 - Read the article and then complete the current event template.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hello class,
Please make sure to answer these two questions along with completing the Venn diagram on feudal knight and samurai.
1- What in these codes of honor do people practice today?
2- What in these codes of honor can be found in our CLIPS?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Black History Month Timeline

Hello students,
You will need to click on this link to take you to the Black History Month time line. Make sure to click on each black history milestone in order to take notes and learn more about each milestone.

Choose at least 3 events from each of the following time frames:
1 - 1700's 1859
2 - 1860's to 1960's
3 - 1960's - present

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thunder Butte

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The United States and the World

Hello 8th graders,
Please come prepared to class on Tuesday by copying these notes for lesson 3. Enjoy your 4 day weekend.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Persuasive vocabulary words

Directions: Define the 10 persuasive vocabulary words. Once you have defined the terms, write a sentence for each key term.

Persuasion: To accept a point of view by means of argument and/or reasoning.
Evidence: A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment.
Audience: The spectators or listeners assembled at a performance.
Convey: To communicate or make known.
Detail: An isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole.
Reason: A justification (To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid) for something existing or happening.
Argument: A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood.
Example: One that is representative of a group as a whole
Convince: To bring by the use of argument or evidence to firm belief or a course of action.
Fact: A piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred.
Opinion: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated (To support with proof or evidence) by positive knowledge or proof.