The American Revolution including the United Empire Loyalists

This Co-op was all about the American Revolution. We had a shorter academic time today as the kids all watched Johnny Tremain today in an extended lunch time.
To start with I had this article on the United Empire Loyalists and I read short sections from it and had the students give me some causes and effects. 
Most of them didn't know much about the Loyalists in Canada, so this was a great exercise where they had to think what would happen! They did a great job on this!

Next, I had them go into groups of 4-5 and I gave each group a short article about the American Revolution from this site. They had this worksheet on Who, What , When etc... and they had to find these things out from the article and the do a news cast based on their event. 

We went over possible aspects of a newscast - eyewitness reports, interviews, live action, weather reports etc... Each group then presented their newscast to us! 
They were very creative!

Next, they all took there lunches downstairs and watched Johnny Tremain. 
They then finished up their paintings from last month of Monet's "Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies". They were very well done! 
Then it was on to gym time. 
The focus was Volleyball skills. The kids did several warm up  and skills exercises and then played a game. 
I am so thankful for our gym dad who really teaches the kids so well!

What a great day!  

Children of the New Forest Session 3 - Plot and Theme

I was so proud of our amazing group of students who really outdid themselves as we studied the plot and theme of Children of the New Forest.
First, I discussed what theme was and I went through this list of themes and had our students tell me some books or movies that addressed these themes. We had everything from Star Wars, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit to The Count of Monte Cristo!
Next I had some universal themes up on the white board and they told me sections of the book that went along with those themes...They really understood this concept well. Many of the kids jumped in today and gave their ideas! 
I then had them do this cause and effect worksheet working as groups to think of how many cause and effect relationships they could come up within the story. We then got back together and made a list from each group's input.
Next I had them get into groups of three or four and do a plot diagram like the first one on this page one on large pieces of paper. 
This was very challenging for each of the groups to determine the introduction, the rising action, the climax and the the falling action and resolution. 
We got back together and discussed the conclusions and each of the groups had a different climax, but they were willing to defend their answers which was great! 
It has been such a joy and privilege for me to teach this group of students! They are bright, participatory and so willing to learn!
Next was the performance of the drama! The kids once again did so well with performing the reader's theatre! 
They were having so much fun with this play! 
What an amazing opportunity for them to have! 
I am SO looking forward to our next novel Pride and Prejudice! Get ready all you Darcy, Lizzie, Bingley and Janes! It is going to be another great time!


Canada, A People's History Video 3 Lesson Materials

Here is the next installment of the Canada, A People's History lesson materials. You can find the lessons from Video 1 here, here and here .The lessons from Video 2 are here.

Lesson 3:1 1749 Was a Good Year

Children of the New Forest Session 2 - All about Characters

Another great time with the group today studying Children of the New Forest! Today was all about characters. 

First I had a discussion with the kids about characters. Who was the Antagonist of the story? Who was the Protagonist of the story? Who were the Dynamic Characters and Who were the Static Characters? They brainstormed each of these questions and I wrote their answers on the whiteboard. I love this kind of socratic interaction with the kids!

Next we went through conflict in a story and I asked them what the forms of conflict were in a story. I then had them divide into groups and they used this sheet to brainstorm how many conflicts they could come up with. They did great! There were some very interesting conflicts that they drew out of the story! We got back together and wrote on the board all of the conflicts that they could come up with.

Finally, I gave the children this Character Profile - they were in groups of 3 and they came up with as many creative ways that they could fill out their character’s profile page. I then had them present them to the group! Again there was lots of creativity and humor today!!

The kids had their second run through of the play today! They sounded like they were having a great time! Looking forward to seeing them perform next week!!

Canada, A People's History Video 2 (3 Lessons)

It is exciting for me to offer these next instalments of the Canada, A People's History Lapbooking/Notebooking pages. Here is information about these lessons as well as materials to go along with Video 1 Lesson 1, Video 1 Lesson 2 and Video 1 Lesson 3.
Here are the pages from Video 2 Lesson 1 The Lost Colony:

Writing Prompts - Expository, Narrative, Desciptive and Persuasive

I created these writing prompts in the past but have now moved them to my Google site so that they are easily accesible to all that would like to use them. There are 4 sets with 5 different prompts in each set...

1. Expository Writing Prompts

English Civil War Co-op

We had a great first Co-op of the 2013-14 school year!! We started off by studying the English Civil War. 
The first thing I had the kids do was just shout out anything that they could remember about the English Civil War - who was involved, what happened and then I wrote these facts down on the whiteboard and used symbols and stick figures to further enhance our discussion! I was amazed at how much the kids knew and how many of them really understood why the people in England revolted. I love this kind of discussion with the kids!! 

Next I had the kids get into random groups of 4 or 5. They then worked on some of the materials from this resource. In the first activity they had to take on a role from a role card and then make 6 different decisions based on their role. They were given enough background that they needed to decide if they would support the King or the Revolution...They had to decide what was most important and then give the reasons for their decisions.
We got back together afterward and discussed their choices.

Next I had the kids do a media exercise. They were in pairs. One of the pair had a picture of King Charles and the other a blank piece of paper. The student with the picture was to describe the painting and give as much detail as possible. We then go together and talked about how King Charles was portrayed in the picture and how today it is much different because of the internet, television and photography. The public could not be deceived about how someone looks.

Finally, they stayed in their pairs and did an exercise on varying perspectives on who Cromwell really was. They came up with some describing words for him based on some quotes about him that were written at the time. We then made a list on the whiteboard. There were words like megalomaniac and then honorable and humble... We talked about differences in perspective. It was a great discussion!
It was a great morning!!

In the afternoon, our Art mom did such a great job of leading the kids through learning about Monet and then beginning their waterlilies bridge paintings. She had several short videos to start with, read from the Usborne Art Book and then had the kids painting with the same techniques that Monet used.
The results were awesome!! Next month they will get a chance to finish them...

Finally it was soccer time for the PE portion of the Co-op. I am always impressed how our PE Dad ensures the the kids warm up and stretch! We are blessed to have him!!
What a great start to what I am sure is going to be a great year!

Canada, A People's History Video 1:3 Minibooks

Here is the third and final instalment of minibooks based on Video 1 from Canada, A People's History. For Video 1 lesson 1 along with general information go here. For Video 1 lesson 2 go here.

Canada, A People's History Video 1:2 Minibooks

Here is the second instalment of Canada, A People's History Video 1 Minibooks. To view the first instalment go here. This post will also give you general information for using these resources.

Canada, A People's History Video 1:1 Minibooks

These lapbooking/notebooking pages are based on the Canada, A People’s History Teacher's Guide. There are questions that you will be able to answer directly off of the video and other’s that will require research from your student. For Video 1 there are three lessons. I have added in extra pieces (especially faith based) where they seemed appropriate. Here is the first lesson's pieces!

For details about the timing of each episode you can refer to this PDF. This will help you of you want to watch only the sections needed in the lessons.

The Canada, A People’s History website can be found here. There are teacher’s resources available as well as games and puzzles for the videos.

Canada, A People’s History is available on You-tube here. Episode 4 is available here.

This booklist would be a great asset as you plan your study of Canadian History. 

This outline would also be very helpful.

If you are wondering how you can use these pieces we have found the best way is in a spiral sketchbook. You can purchase them almost anywhere (including dollar stores) and they are the right size to get several minibooks on one page. 


Children of the New Forest Literature Class

We started our first class on Children of the New Forest! 
First I had the students do a vocabulary exercise where I gave them each a definition. I read out a word and they had to decide if their definition matched the word that I had read out. There were only a few of these words that the kids knew, so they learned some new vocabulary. The vocabulary in the book was advanced and these words are just not used as much as they once were!!
The vocabulary words I used are here

I then had the kids divide up in groups of 4 and read through an article on Fredrick Marryat and write down information based on what they learned. After we joined back together and they told me some of the facts that they had learned. After this we watched a very short video just to recap some of the accomplishments that Fredrick Marryat had made. 
The article is here, the author sheet here and the video here!

Next I had the kids brainstorm about the setting of the novel. I wanted them to remember the time frame as well as the physical setting of the novel. This served as somewhat of a review from our Co-op on the English Civil War.

After that I had the kids divide into groups of 4 or 5 and begin drawing as much of the setting as they could remember. They drew many details! It was great to see what they remembered. I went around and asked them some questions to draw out more of the setting... but they already knew alot. After they compare their drawing to the other groups to see what they might have been missing.

Many of our students read the book and several listened to it - they downloaded it from here

For the next hour the students did a read through of the play based on Children of the New Forest written by our amazing drama teacher!! This play will bring the story alive for the kids and help them to better understand the characters... speaking of characters that will be our focus next week - stay tuned!!