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G.R.A.P.E.S. (Historical Themes)

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?

Archaeologists and Artifacts

25 Aug

This playlist features information on archaeologists, artifacts and a nice video by Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
Comment: What do archaeologists do? After reading sections 1 – 2 (‘Finding Clues to the Past’ and ‘The Search for Early Humans’) tell us why you think studying early people is so hard for archaeologists. Tell us something new you learned from any of these video clips?

Maps That Make You Wonder

24 Feb
Photo Credit: juanpg via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: juanpg via Compfight cc

“If you’re a visual learner, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.  Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.” Check out these 40 amazing maps!


Map Skills and Terms: Scale, Latitude and Longitude, etc.

4 Dec

These terms might be a review for some of you, but the links and videos are helpful. We will continue to focus on map skills throughout the year.  The place where a river enters a lake, larger river, or the ocean is called its mouth. River mouths are places of much activity. The scale on a map can be used to figure out the distance between two locations on a map. Map terms can be found on page 16 in your textbook.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

9 Sep
These two videos describe the differences between primary and secondary sources and why they are important.

Journey of an Artifact

5 Sep
Here is an interesting video created by the Florida Public Archaeology Network.  Below are some images distinguishing (or showing) the differences between artifacts and fossils, something we reviewed in our most recent lesson.  An artifact is a human-made object, and fossils are remains of early life preserved in the ground (skulls, teeth, bones).

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Space archaeologist unlocks secrets of ancient civilizations (CNN)

2 Sep
(CNN) — In Egypt’s northern Delta, Sarah Parcak is on the hunt to unearth ancient settlements, pyramids and tombs lost in the sands of time.  Rather than digging through the dirt in a dusty trench, trowel in hand, the Egyptologist has turned her eyes to the stars.  Sarah Parcak is a space archaeologist who uses satellites, initially designed for use by the military, to identify potential sub-surface remains.  To read the rest of this article and watch the short video, click HERE.


29 Aug
In Chapter 1, lesson 3, we are learning about how archaeologists study the past. This short video gives a description of the job of an archaeologist and an anthropologist.  You can also watch this New York Times  slideshow of archaeologists excavating (digging) up the remains of Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi).  Finally, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City has a GREAT link on archaeology with fun activities, videos, and games.  Explore these links to learn more!

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