Agricultural Revolution & Early Farming

1 Sep

In our early human unit, you learned about the agricultural revolution, the name given to the shift or move from food gathering to food raising/growing. Early humans learned how to domesticate plants for food and animals that gave them food and clothing. People made harpoons, needles, and other tools from animal bones. New tools and methods of farming led to the invention of new tools like hoes to loosen soil, sticks to dig holes, and sickles to harvest grain. New communities and villages developed near fresh water sources, like rivers, where people built irrigation canals to move water from rivers to fields.

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September Birthdays

31 Aug


Happy birthday to the following students celebrating birthdays in September: Taehyeon (9/14), Sohum 9/22), and Aditi (9/30). If we made any errors or forgot someone, let us know. Have a fantastic day! – Mr. Martin and Ms. Jaya

Learning to Farm and Raise Animals

28 Aug

This playlist features some videos that go along nicely with what you are reading in chapter 2, lesson 2 (pages 58 – 62). How did farming change the way people lived? What farming techniques were part of the agricultural revolution?

The Ice Man Murder Mystery Poll: Vote Now

24 Aug

Cave Art & Early Human Culture

24 Aug

We are learning about early human culture and the development of art. There are many examples of ancient cave paintings, particularly in France and Spain. Watch the video clip and also check out website for the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France (also mentioned in pages 6-7 in your textbook). Click ‘visit the cave’ to enter this cool website that features some really amazing early art.  Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturned decades of beliefs.

Think about: What does this art tell us about early humans?  

Happy Birthday, AISC!

20 Aug


AISC celebrated its 20th birthday this week. What’s your favorite thing about AISC, or what do you like the most about our school?

G.R.A.P.E.S. + Civilization

19 Aug

A civilization is made up of many parts. We will use G.R.A.P.E.S.  to remember them. The GRAPES acronym in Social Studies means:

Social structures

We are currently learning about historical themes (pages xxii – xxiii in your textbook).  The themes listed in the book are the same as GRAPES. Click on this link to learn more about GRAPES.

To help you understand the themes you will be learning about this year, consider these questions and comment on one or more of them:

Geography: Is your town or city near a lake, ocean, or mountains? What is the weather like? How do the landscape and weather affect the way you live?

Religion or Belief Systems: As you are growing up, how do you learn what are the right and wrong ways of behaving? What people or groups taught you those things?

Politics or Government: In our school, what would happen if every student could come to class whatever time he or she wanted? Leave class whenever he or she wanted? Talk out loud anytime, even during tests?

How Archaeologists Study the Past + Tech Reminders

18 Aug

In addition to learning about tools historians use, we have learned the following terms: archaeologist, anthropologist, artifact, and fossil (chapter 1, lesson 3). A few reminders: Please bring your computer to each class and leave your notebook in our classroom, unless you have homework. All students should be following the blog and know how to post a comment. Students should also know how to access our Google homework calendar from Moodle. Here are two screencasts I have created this week to review these things:

Linking to Thinking Introduction

Where can I find my homework?

First Week of Social Studies

13 Aug
An example of a brainstorm to the question: What is Social Studies?

An example of a brainstorm to the question: What is Social Studies?

Is, Does, Says, and Isn't - A great Social Studies class!

Is, Does, Says, and Isn’t – A great Social Studies class!

Here are some samples of work we have done during the first week of school. We have talked about: 1) class rules and expectations, 2) how we can make our class a great one (working agreements), 3) what social studies is, and 4) tools historians use to learn about the past – primary and secondary sources. The video playlist below and the images above are things that will help remind you of work we have done in class. All students have a textbook. Please keep your textbook home all year. We have a class set of textbooks we can use. All students should have a spiral notebook for social studies and an accordion folder that can be used for all 6th grade classes.

Stone Age Cartoon

12 Aug
Source: The New Yorker, August 3, 2015

Source: The New Yorker, August 3, 2015

Welcome back!

6 Aug
AISC courtyard (Photo by Rob Martin)

AISC courtyard (Photo by Rob Martin)

Ms. Jaya, EAL teacher, and Mr. Martin, Social Studies (Photo by Rob Martin)

Ms. Jaya, EAL teacher, and Mr. Martin, Social Studies (Photo by Rob Martin)

Welcome back to the 2015-2016 school year. We are excited to be your teachers for social studies. We look forward to getting to know you and hearing about your summer vacation. Over the next week, we will introduce our course units and our expectations. Let’s have a great year.

Mr. Martin and Ms. Jaya

How Religion Spread Around the World

16 Jul

Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are five of the biggest religions in the world. Over the last few thousand years, these religious groups have shaped the course of history and had a profound influence on the trajectory of the human race. Through countless conflicts, conquests, missions abroad, and simple word of mouth, these religions spread around the globe and forever molded the huge geographic regions in their paths. Watch this short video from Alex Kuzoian that appeared in Business Insider this week.


10 Jul

Reading2 reading

26 Ancient Ruins You Should Visit In Your Lifetime

23 Jun

It’s incredible that monuments built by ancient civilizations thousands of years ago still stand today. Seeing these sites is like stepping back in time and witnessing what life was like in a place that ceased to exist years ago. Check out this slideshow of 26 ancient ruins from Business Insider Australia. I am sure there are some places that are missing, but this is a nice list. I feel fortunate to have visited many of them (11, so far). Have you visited any of these ruins? Here are two photos I took of the Ellora Caves in India, one of my favorite places in India. – Mr. Martin

Ellora Caves, India (Photo by Rob Martin)

Ellora Caves, India (Photo by Rob Martin)

Ellora Caves  (Photo by Rob Martin)

Ellora Caves (Photo by Rob Martin)

Books, Reading, & Postcards

15 Jun

I can’t believe I have only been away from Chennai for one week. I hope you are all having a nice vacation…and reading some books. I just finished a book on Magellan, the explorer who sailed around the world seeking the Spice Islands. It was a really good book, and I learned a lot about him that I never learned in school or university. I’d love to get a post card from you of your travels or where you live. I emailed you my school and home address before school ended. If you send me a postcard, I promise to send you a postcard (email me your address before July 25th if you send it). :>) I am currently in Mexico and will be adding some photos to my Twitter feed. – Mr. Martin

Image source: Titlewave

Image source: Titlewave

Image source: TitleWave

Image source: TitleWave

Have a great summer!

4 Jun

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Celebrating Out of Eden Footstep #5

2 Jun

Traditional recipes, games, art and crafts, memories of places, and descriptions of processes were things that we focused on in Footstep #5, Documenting the Everyday. We were very impressed with the quality of your work and the effort you put into sharing the local culture or your own. We saw a wide range of ways you responded, including storytelling, photography, sketching, and the creation of videos similar to Paul Salopek’s Glances. We hope you enjoyed this activity and took the time to notice new things which might seem normal to you, but not to someone in our walking party.

There is one final footstep, #6. While we have run out of time in our school year, we encourage you to complete it for fun. You can also go on Out of Eden during the summer to explore what students are doing. You can also follow Paul’s walk through the RSS feed on our blog. While our school year ends Friday, some students are still going to school for a couple of more weeks. Check out some of the videos some students made for Footstep #5. Great work everyone.

Fantastic Book Trailers (Mrs. Hall’s Class)

2 Jun

Check out the great book trailers from Mrs. Hall’s students. Pick up a book and read this summer.

Awesome Book Trailers (Mr. Martin’s Class)

2 Jun

Check out all of the book trailers from Mr. Martin’s L.A. classes. There are some really good ones here. Continue to read during the summer, check out book reviews on the book blog, and use this link to find titles to new books. Read on!

Language Arts/Social Studies Classes (2014 – 2015)

1 Jun

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Sixth grade LA/SS classes – We’ll miss you next year!

Favorite Social Studies Unit

1 Jun



31 May

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Departing students. We'll miss you!

Departing students. We’ll miss you!

One more week!

One more week!

Some photos from Friday’s assembly. One more week to go! What was the highlight from your 6th grade experience? What will you do this summer? Enjoy your last week with your teachers and friends.

Organizing the Library, Adding New Books

31 May

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DSCN6515Thanks for your help! Let’s make sure we get all of our classroom library books back ASAP!

Summer Post Card Challenge, Free Rice, Word Games and More!

30 May

Three fun links or ideas for the summer:

1) Vocabulary Review: Free Rice – A vocabulary website that for every right answer donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program to end hunger.

2) Word Games: Play some fun word games – many, many links!

3) Linking to Thinking’s Cool Links – recently updated with links for awesome books and more! Our book review blogs are available to find books and to share reading – 24/7. Use them…even next year.

Finally, the post card challenge! Send your teacher(s) a post card from your country or your travels and tell us about a book you are reading (title, author, I like this book because….). Keep it short, it’s just for fun! We’ll email you our school address!

June and July Birthdays!

29 May

The end of the year is approaching and we would like to wish the students celebrating a birthday during the summer months. The following students have a birthday in June and July. If we made any errors or left someone off the list, let us know. Happy birthday!

June: Daehyeon (4), Woon Ji (5), Rhea (13), and Yuto (30)

July: Kennedy (1), Guillaume (8), Perrine/Mr. Larson (9), Sai (25), Mrs. Hall (28), and Minki (29).


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