Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

It was wonderful to get to meet so many parents last night. Apparently it was the largest turnout in quite awhile. You are welcome into my classroom whenever you'd like.

Today in World History we are looking at the different styles of government in Greece. We established yesterday that due to Greece's rugged geography a number of separate city states emerged with their own distinct style of government. Yesterday's homework asked the question how does your geography shape who you are? Today in class we looked at the different systems of government including monarchy, oligarchy, tyrants, and democracy. We discussed the different characteristics of each. For homework the students are expected to write about the differences between a direct and indirect democracy and then explain which they believe to be better of the two.

In African American History we looked at life after the long journey for the African Slaves. Once they arrived on one of the many islands of the Carri bean, they would be able to rest up so as to increase their value (a healthier slave would fetch more money). Once a slave was sold they would start the 'seasoning' process. Seasoning consisted of becoming accustomed to the duties of the plantation, learning European languages, and receiving new Christian names. We also looked at why the Atlantic slave trade was abolished in 1807; there were moral grounds in the abolitionist movement and also England was shifting economic systems from the plantation system to the industrial system. It is important to remember that the money gained from slave trade and plantations in the colonies would ultimately be used to finance the industrial revolution. Students should be working at home on their assessments that are due on Friday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to Room 606!

Welcome to room 606. My name is Mr. Schloss and this is my first year at Bok Tech. I look forward to interacting with my students and also with parents to make this a wonderful year! I can be reached at anytime via email

World History 1,2

Week 1
In our first week we looked at the origins of Mankind. We looked at Lucy, named after the Beatles song ‘Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds.’ We saw that Homo erectus was the first to leave Africa and how as our brain grew in size we were capable of performing more tasks like making tools and cultivating plants. During an Ice age we discovered how our first ancestors arrived to North America.
Week 2 In week two we learned that the ability to grow crops made life easier for us and as a result civilizations form. The spread of agriculture allowed early civilizations to have specialized labor that would benefit everyone. We saw similarities and differences in the four early civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and China) and compared and contrasted the different political, social, and economic attributes of each civilization. We illustrated the characteristics in the form of a graphic organizer.

African American History
We began examining African American history from the origins. Students looked at the six major kingdoms of West Africa and compared and contrasted the different political, social, and economic elements of each. Some important attributes included religion (Christian, Islamic, Pagan), systems of rule, and the vast natural resources that made some kingdoms so wealthy.

In our second week we looked at how slavery changed once the Europeans arrived to trade with Africa. Slavery had become necessary in the colonies of the new world and unlike African slavery made up predominantly of women and children, men were needed to harvest crops. We saw how slaves were captured, brought to port, held in factories, and the difficut journey aboard the slavers to the New World.

The assessment for the chapter is a narrative created by the students. The prompt reads: Imagine you are an African living in the interior. In 1-2 pages, typed, explain your trip to port, your experiences at sea, and what you encountered in the New World. Utilize the objectives and at personal incite. Incorporate as many facts as possible. The assessment will be due on Friday, October 2nd!

Objectives for weeks 1 and 2:

How did the arrival of Europeans affect Africa?
How was the slave trade different in Africa?
How did European demand for crops impact the slave trade?
Describe living conditions during the 'middle passage?'
What happened to Africans during the voyage across the Atlantic?
How did Africans resist captivity?
What was life like for women aboard the journey?