Welcome The Crowden School

Sept. 07, 2018

Welcome 6th Grade to Mr. Greg's History class!

from:Paxton, Greg

to:History, 6th Grade

Welcome to all 6th grade students. Please refer to the Class Overview for more information. And, as always, feel free to email me with any questions or comments. 

It's going to be a great year! 

- Mr. Greg

Sept. 08, 2017

6th Grade History Overview for 2017 - 2018

from:Paxton, Greg

to:History, 6th Grade

Crowden Sixth Grade History - Greg Paxton, Teacher

Texts  - We will be using a variety of resources including A Message of Ancient Days (Houghton Mifflin), and The World In Ancient Times series (Oxford University Press), as well as study guides from both of these series.

Format - Class consists of lectures and slideshows (with note-taking), time for discussion and reflection (critical thinking), and hands-on labs and/or activities (practical application).

Note taking - In class, students will assemble a notebook of resources consisting of the main notes from class, handouts, maps, and student-interpreted renderings. All students should have a spiral-bound notebook for notes, and a designated sleeved folder for handouts (preferably a binder to house all of these).

Research Papers - With an emphasis on critical thinking, students will sharpen research skills by gathering historical information, and then with Greg’s guidance, synthesize that information through written papers and/or reports. A rubric for each paper will be posted well in advance of the due date.

Class Projects - Class presentations, in the form of research projects, are designed not only to be a fun and creative, but also provide an opportunity for students to teach fellow students, as well as experience the dynamics of group planning (some projects are individual). Each project will involve submitting a proposal that I approve. Students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity projects utilizing art, role-play, multi-media, model-making, and so forth, while balancing these formats with sound research. A rubric will be given for each project that details expectations. Some projects may also require a written component.

Homework and classwork - To what extent possible, I will strive to provide ample time for students to complete assignments as part of the class itself, though projects and research papers will need to be completed at home. When assigned, homework will consist of additional reading or research to supplement what has been discussed in class. Assigned research will either by followed by an assessment (quiz), or included as part of an upcoming test.

Tests and quizzes - Before each unit test or quiz, at least one period will be devoted to reviewing all materials for that unit (grades 6 & 7). Test dates will be posted on ThinkWave at least one week in advance. Study Guides will be assembled during the review period (a day or two before). During mid-terms and finals, either a test may be given, or a research paper may be assigned, depending on the class/unit.

Grading - Tests and quizzes are graded on a straight-forward point system. Research projects and presentations follow a rubric of required components. The main emphasis of both tests and projects is to ensure that each student grasps the historical concepts discussed in class, and that they can apply a measure of critical analysis to the facts.

Geography - Geography is taught concurrently with each unit throughout the year.

 


Course Overview - Sixth grade follows a unit-based narrative, beginning with early hominids, and ending with a detailed exploration of the Roman empire. Some of the topics covered will include:

From Early Hominids to Homo Sapiens

Early Cities of The Nile, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Huang He valley

Early Middle Eastern Civilizations - Mesopotamia, the Sumerians

Cultures of the Ancient Levant - Their people, prophets, and kings

The Rise of Ancient Empires - Assyria, the Babylonians, Nubians

Ancient Egypt and The Rise of the Pharaohs

Ancient India  - The Indus Valley, Aryans, Buddhism and Hinduism

Ancient China and its Dynasties (including the age of Confucius and Taoism)

The Han Dynasty - And exploring the silk road.

Ancient Greece - From early Minoans, to the rise of the Greek city-state. art, culture, philosophy, deities, and war (Sparta).

Classical Greece - Government, archeology, social classes, and the Peloponnesian.

Alexander the Great - And the spread of Greek culture.

Rome - Origins, culture, technology, and rulers.

Sept. 08, 2017

7th Grade History Overview for 2017 - 2018

from:Paxton, Greg

to:History, 7th Grade

Crowden Seventh Grade History - Greg Paxton, Teacher


Seventh graders will explore the medieval and modern world, with all its varied societies, empires, governments, art, culture, religious beliefs, ideologies, and technological advancements. Putting all of these into context is the primary goal of the course, with an emphasis on how all of these histories relate to our world today.


Texts - We will be using several resources including Across the Centuries (Houghton Mifflin), along with various publications, articles, and primary sources.


Format - Class consists of lectures and slideshows (with note-taking), discussion and reflection (critical thinking), and labs and/or activities to analyze historical documents and sources.


Note taking - Students will assemble a notebook of resources consisting of the main notes from class lectures, handouts, maps, and student-interpreted renderings. All students should have a spiral-bound notebook for notes, and a designated sleeved folder for handouts (preferably a binder to house all of these).


Research Papers - With an emphasis on critical thinking, students will sharpen research skills by gathering historical information, and then with Greg’s guidance, synthesize that information through written papers and/or reports. A rubric for each paper will be posted well in advance of the due date.


Class Projects - Class presentations, in the form of research projects, are designed not only to be a fun and creative, but also provide an opportunity for students to teach fellow students, as well as experience the dynamics of group planning (some projects are individual). Each project will involve submitting a proposal that I approve. Students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity projects utilizing art, role-play, multi-media, model-making, and so forth, while balancing these formats with sound research. A rubric will be given for each project that details expectations. Some projects may also require a written component.


Homework and classwork - To what extent possible, I will strive to provide ample time for students to complete assignments as part of the class itself, though projects and research papers will need to be completed at home. When assigned, homework will consist of additional reading or research to supplement what has been discussed in class. Assigned research will either by followed by an assessment (quiz), or included as part of an upcoming test.


Tests and quizzes - Before each unit test or quiz, at least one period will be devoted to reviewing all materials for that unit (grades 6 & 7). Test dates will be posted on ThinkWave at least one week in advance. Study Guides will be assembled during the review period (a day or two before). During mid-terms and finals, either a test may be given, or a research paper may be assigned, depending on the class/unit.


Grading - Tests and quizzes are graded on a straight-forward point system. Research projects and presentations follow a rubric of required components. The main emphasis of both tests and projects is to ensure that each student grasps the historical concepts discussed in class, and that they can apply a measure of critical analysis to the facts.


Geography - Geography is taught concurrently with each unit throughout the year.


Course Overview - Below is an overview of the units covered this year, with a brief content description.


Part One


Early Travel and Cross-Cultural Connections. Modes of travel (150 - 1500), challenges,technological advances, and maps.


Byzantine Empire (Earlier Empire). The aftermath of the collapse of the West and the emergence of Constantine, Justinian, and the significance of “codes.” Also, and examination of the art and architecture of the empire, and an exploration of the intersection of religious belief.


Islam. Desert culture and the beginning of Islam; the life of Mohammed, the expansion of the Islamic Empire, its Golden Age, and concluding with the historical influences across the globe.


Africa. Early village life in Western Africa, the empires of Mali, Songhai, and Ghana, followed by the Bantu migration. From there were look at the rise of trading states, the Zimbabwe state and kingdom of Kongo. We concluded with an examination of the consequences of European trade.


Mongol Empire. And exploration of the culture of the Khans, their rise to power, and the meteoric expansion of the khanates.


China. The late Han Dynasty (Xian Di0, and its culture and technologies. We will learn about the political and social influences of Confucianism, Dao and Buddhism in China. Reunification of the empire (Wen, Tang, Sui) will be explored, as well as conflict with the Mongols. From there were conclude looking at the Ming and Qing dynasties.


Japan. The physical and human Geography of Japan, its early people, Chinese influence, and the emergence of Japan’s national culture (Kyoto). Then we look at the rise of feudalism and the power of the shoguns. We will also look at art and literature of the Kyoto court via role play.


The Mughal Empire. Geography. We explore Punjab, the Hindu and Muslim divide, followed by a brief explorations of Babur, Akbar’s multiculturalism (including Hindu integration), Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Art and architecture will be considered: The Taj Mahal and miniature painting. Hindu Deities will be explored in depth (well, the basics ones).


The Ottoman Empire. Ghazi warriors, Muslim expansion, the rule of Sultans, state organization, and the Janissary corps. Hopefully, a live classroom lesson (via FaceTime), live from Budapest!


Civilizations of the Americas. Mesoamerica: The Olmec, followed by a detailed examination of late-classic Mayan civilization, it’s cosmology, architecture, geography, and technological achievements. South America: Student-directed project on Inca or Aztec ways of life, after brief exploration of the Tiwanakan and Moche.


Part Two


Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire - the rise of feudalism, the growth of town, and the expanding power of the Church. Magna Carta deconstructed.


Western Europe under the power of the Church - Emerging conflicts with kings, the rise of the monastic life, universities (including influences from other cultures), art, and architecture. the significance of sacraments and cathedral-bulging on daily life will be examined.


Byzantine Empire (later empire). Trade, schisms within the Church, and the empire’s decline. The Era of the Crusades - Understanding the historical contexts of religious conflict, and judging it’s effects and history first on its own terms, then its impact on later eras.


Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance - The impact of the plague on social structures, central governments and monarchies. One-hundred year’s war, and emerging technologies.


The Italian Renaissance - Greek and Roman revival in art and culture; scientific thought and literature. The rise of Italian City-states, humanism, and the legacy of the Medici family and social classes.


The Renaissance in Northern Europe - How it differed from Italy; its literature, scientific emergence, art (perspectives), and the advent of printing.


The Decline of Church Authority - Corruption (indulgances), councils as threats to Papal authority, early Reformation leaders and emerging social/spiritual movements.


The era of the Reformation - Luther, the spread of Protestant ideology, the peace of Augsburg, Calvin and the concept of predestination in thought and theology. Then, the counter-reformation as a social and political response, including the inquisition.


Scientific Revolution - The emergence of methodology and hypotheses, how this conflicts the religious authority, and how it contributed to shifting world views and exploration.


Age of Exploration - Historical shifts, changing world geography from the explorer’s perspective.


Enlightenment Ideas - The historical impact of emerging ideologies and enlighten thinking in both Europe and the New World.

Sept. 08, 2017

8th Grade History Class Overview 2017 - 2018

from:Paxton, Greg

to:History, 8th Grade

Crowden Eighth Grade History - Greg Paxton, Teacher

Eighth graders will embark on an exploration of historical events that shaped America, with an emphasis on varied groups and their contributions to our society. Additionally, we will explore the tenants of the constitutional process, and analyze its relevance to current events.

Texts  - We will be using several resources including A More Perfect Union (Houghton Mifflin), along with various publications, articles, and editorials.

Format - Class consists of lectures and slideshows (with note-taking), with an emphasis on seminar-style discussion and reflection (critical thinking). Periodic labs and/or activities will integrated into the class discussion as well.

Note taking - Students will assemble a notebook of resources consisting of the main notes from class lectures, handouts, maps, and student-interpreted renderings. All students should have a spiral-bound notebook for notes, and a designated sleeved folder for handouts (preferably a binder to house all of these).

Research Papers - With an emphasis on critical thinking, students will sharpen research skills by gathering historical information, and then with Greg’s guidance, synthesize that information through written papers and/or reports. A rubric for each paper will be posted well in advance of the due date.

Class Projects - Class presentations, in the form of research projects, are designed not only to be a fun and creative, but also provide an opportunity for students to teach fellow students, as well as experience the dynamics of group planning (some projects are individual). Each project will involve submitting a proposal that I approve. Students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity projects utilizing art, role-play, multi-media, model-making, and so forth, while balancing these formats with sound research. A rubric will be given for each project that details expectations. Some projects may also require a written component.

Homework and classwork - To what extent possible, I will strive to provide ample time for students to complete assignments as part of the class itself, though projects and research papers will need to be completed at home. When assigned, homework will consist of additional reading or research to supplement what has been discussed in class. Assigned research will either by followed by an assessment (quiz), or included as part of an upcoming test.

Tests and quizzes - Before each unit test or quiz, at least one period will be devoted to reviewing all materials for that unit (grades 6 & 7). Test dates will be posted on ThinkWave at least one week in advance. Study Guides will be assembled during the review period (a day or two before). During mid-terms and finals, either a test may be given, or a research paper may be assigned, depending on the class/unit.

Grading - Tests and quizzes are graded on a straight-forward point system. Research projects and presentations follow a rubric of required components. The main emphasis of both tests and projects is to ensure that each student grasps the historical concepts discussed in class, and that they can apply a measure of critical analysis to the facts.

Geography - Geography is taught concurrently with each unit throughout the year.

8th Grade Course Overview - Part One. Below is a sample of of the units covered in the first half of this year. Some units are taught chronologically, and some are thematic.

The Land - Geographical acclamation of the topography, and how/why this sets the stage for historical events.

Earliest Americans - An Introduction. This will begin an ongoing series of texts, resources, and discussion concerning the original inhabitants and their place in history.

European Exploration - The seeds of Commerce, Colonization, and Conversion.

Early European Settlements - Exporting European interests (and conflict) in the “New World,” as well as communities in exile.

The British Colonial Period - Detailed examination of the make-up of each satellite, daily life, and the pitfalls of being “ruled” from afar.

French and English Conflicts - And their impact on the residents of the “old” and “new” world.

Emerging Identity in the Colonies - Concepts of pluralism, immigration, and salutary neglect.

Religious Influences in the colonies - The intersection of the first “Awakening” and self-rule.

Pre-Revolutionary Ideas and Events - Rebellion against acts, the importance of printed pamphlets to spread ideas, and those who published these ideas.

The American Revolution - Declarations, geography of a non-certain outcome, emerging leaders of the rebellion.

Inside the mind of Jefferson - Influences on his own thinking, and the intent behind his words.

Early expansion in the Northwest Territory - Why this was important to a new nation.

Working It Out - The Constitution/Bill of Rights - Historical context for the “rule book” of democracy. The conflicts, compromises, debates, ratification process, and importance of state’s rights in seeking to amend it all.

Understanding the Constitutional Process (role of three branches) in an election year. - An overview of the separation of powers (its roots), and how this is playing out in current events. Creating a metaphor for the three branches, and the relevance of the Bill of Rights today.

Tests of Foreign Relations and U.S. Sovereignty. - The war of 1812, the Monroe Doctrine, and the emergence of Andrew Jackson as a “frontiersman.”

A Nation Grows - Westward expansion, Manifest Destiny, neoclassical revival, geographical differences in economics, more Great Awakening.

The Institution of Slavery - A timeline of events, exploration of histories, economic dependences, and the potential rupture to the union. Walter Dean-Myers: Now is Your Time.