Just three more months and we have so much to get done in that time! Having just finished up with ancient Greece, we will be spending a lot of time on Rome this month. There is so much to cover from the ancient Romans that there is no way we'll get to everything but we'll definitely get the basics down. Like the Greece test, we'll be splitting this unit up into at least two tests, most likely three.
The seventh graders are learning about the advent of the railroad in the U.S. and how it impacted life in Kansas. We'll spend a lot of time going over the economy of early Kansas and how farming, industry, and railroad affected all who lived here. This is also a good time to learn the difference between facts of "The Old West" and just myths or legends. There are lots of ways to prove or disprove this information using primary sources which is a skill that our standards require the students to be proficient with.
It's all about the war between the states for the next month or so. The Civil War was such a regrettable time period in our history that we should be careful it doesn't repeat itself. Helping students understand what people were going through using historical empathy is one way for us to accomplish that goal. By using primary sources, students can actually see the handwriting and hear the words uttered by fallen soldiers and their families. This type of learning should have a positive impact on learning and really help the information stick. We'll try to see the war from all points of view, North, South, West, as well as from the slave's perspective.