Friday, February 23, 2018

CNN Student News and The Week in Rap: Academic Conversations

Academic Conversation Topic: What do you think some of the solutions to school shootings should be? 

Academic Conversation Topic: What reasons do you think a foreign government might have for meddling or interfering in another country’s election?

Academic Conversation Topic: Why is diversity in the media important? Who would you like to see represented more frequently?

To help you dig deeper in your academic conversation refer to the poster below:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Basic Beliefs of Hinduism: The Four Goals of Life

Living a moral life, known as dharma, is one of the goals of life for Hindus.

 Today's Learning Objective  Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. 

The Basic Beliefs of Hinduism: The Four Goals of Life  Today we will continue our study of the religion of Hinduism, while using our Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) document to take notes. Our focus today is on learning about the "Four Goals of Life" for Hindus. We will read excerpts from our Social Studies textbook Ancient Civilizations below. 

Homework  Continue working on your Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) document. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Introduction to Hinduism

Hindu goddesses Saraswati (left) and Lakshmi (center), and the elephant-headed god Ganesh

 Today's Learning Objective  Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. 

An Introduction to Hinduism  Today we begin to learn about Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world. For more than 2,500 years, Hinduism has been the major religion of India. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will learn about and examine Hinduism from multiple sources and perspectives. As you learn about this fascinating and complex religion, I am going to ask you keep track of relevant facts and information you discover using the document Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) (which can be found in your Social Studies Google Classroom). Please use the Study Guide to also make note of your sources of information.

Our first source will be the video "Introduction to Hinduism" featured below. As you watch, make note of the information you learn that you believe is most essential to understanding the religion. 

Hinduism: Sacred Texts and Belief in God(s)  We will now read an excerpt (below) from your Social Studies textbook Ancient Civilizations focused on some of the sacred texts of Hinduism and two of its core beliefs. Continue to make note of what you learn using your Hinduism Study Guide. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Creating a Caste System Infographic

What Is an Infographic?  In traditional research reports, students gather information, analyze and organize, and then present their findings in essay style. They could  demonstrate all of those findings in another way — with an informational graphic! Informational graphics, also known as infographics, are a way of presenting information, data, or knowledge with the use of visual tools. They are quite ancient; early humans, for example, made maps and other visual representations of their lives which can be seen today. There are a wide range of modern uses for these graphics. Visual presentation of information is a powerful tool. Sometimes a complex concept can be more quickly understood with the use of infographics than through words.

Some examples of infographics can be found below.  Take a moment to look them over. What elements do they all have in common? How is information being presented? What might an infographic about the caste system look like? 

Creating a Caste System Infographic  Now that you know what an infographic is, it's your turn to make your own as a way of demonstrating what you have learned about the caste system. What information about the caste system might you include as part of your infographic? Your infographic may include information about how the caste system began, how it's both similar and different from other social class structures that you've learned about, the different levels (or castes) that make up the system, and its costs and benefits. You may also choose to use have your infographic shine light on the plight of the untouchables by including facts and statistics about their treatment, as well as the existence of caste system discrimination. You may rely on your notes from your Caste System - Study Guide, this Blog, your Social Studies text, and trusted online sources to assist you in gathering the necessary facts and information for this project.

Next, you will have to decide what application you want to use to design your inforgraphic. You may choose to use either Google Drawings or a website that specializes in the design of infographics called If you do choose, click the link, login with your Google account, and get started. You may choose to a blank canvas or choose a pre-designed theme. 

Using I started work on the infographic in progress featured below. Notice the use of a title, shapes, lines, graphics, images, color, and text. There is a learning curve if you choose to use, but I'm willing to show you a few things I've learned so far. If you'd rather stick to what you know, then don't hesitate to use Google Drawing for this project. 

As for grading, this project will count towards your assessment grade. I haven't finalized a rubric but I found the one below online, and I plan on borrowing key elements from it in order to assess your work. Take a look. 

Homework  Continue working on your Caste System infographic, which will be due Friday, February 23

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Examining the Caste System and Caste System Discrimination

Examining the Caste System  Today we will continue to examine the caste system by reading an excerpt from our Social Studies text and viewing videos from several different sources. Continue to take notes using the Caste System - Study Guide from yesterday. 

Begin by reading an excerpt from our Social Studies textbook below with the members of your team. According to this source, what are some costs and benefits of the caste system?

Now you will a few videos related to India's caste system. What do these videos add to your understanding of the caste system? Do you find the system unfair? Why or why not? Add your thoughts to the Caste System - Study Guide

Examining Caste System Discrimination  We will now continue to examine the caste system from multiple perspectives, as we take a more critical look at this institution and explorwhat is known as caste system discrimination. You will continue to take notes about what you learn and think using the Caste System - Study Guide

Watch the videos below, which shines light at the plight of the untouchables and the existence of caste system discrimination.

More information about caste discrimination from the International Dalit Solidarity Network can be found below.

Friday, February 9, 2018

India's Vedic Age and the Caste System

Today's Focus Question  What impact did the Aryans have on ancient and modern India?

India's Vedic Age: Guided Reading  Today we are going to continue to learn about the impact the Aryans had on ancient and modern India. We will read about what their lives were like and some of their early religious beliefs (which would later become part of the foundation of the religion of Hinduism). Specifically, we will try to understand the Varna system (which the caste system evolved from). As you read and learn about the caste system from multiple sources, you will take notes using the Caste System - Study Guide (which can be found in your Social Studies Google Classroom).  

Videos: The Caste System and the Untouchables  While the caste system has changed and evolved since the days of the Indo-Aryans, it is still an established part of Indian society today. In the videos below, pay special attention to the role and treatment of Dalits (the modern name for untouchables). Continue to use your Caste System - Study Guide to take notes.   


Thursday, February 8, 2018

India's Vedic Age: Vocabulary Study

Early Indo-Aryan charioteers

 Today's Focus Question  What impact did the Aryans have on ancient and modern India?

India's Vedic Age: Vocabulary Study  Today we are continuing to learn about the early civilizations of India, though our focus shifts to a group of people known as the Indo-Aryans who lived during a time known as India's Vedic Age. We will begin by studying some of the key vocabulary related this topic, using the document India's Vedic Age - Cognitive Content Dictionary, which can be found in your Social Studies Google ClassroomWe will be using an excerpt from our Social Studies textbook can also be found in your Social Studies Google Classroom (and which you can find here as well), to help us understand the lesson's key words and concepts. Some images have also been posted below to help you conceptualize these new terms.

The Vedas are considered to be very sacred to the Hindu people. 

Your caste is a group you are born into.

India's untouchables often did the dirty jobs that no one else would do.