Cultural Diffusion, Narrative Writing, and a Field Trip


Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 4, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Thank you to all parents who attended last Friday’s Parent Teacher Conferences! I am very glad to have met each of you and inspired by the amount of support these students have at home. For those parents who could not attend, please email me and we can arrange a meeting that fits your schedule.


Social Studies

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we performed a three-class activity focusing on the exchange of cultural elements between groups of humans through trade and conquest. During the first class, students, in small groups, designed and built cities using unique sets of materials and described the attributes of their cities in writing.


During class two, students were allowed to begin trading resources with adjacent groups, and, while doing so, learn about the cities with whom they traded. After trading, students returned to their cities with new ideas and resources, added new features to their cities, and then described the benefits of trading with and learning from the other groups.


In the final class, students were given the option to emigrate to other cities, and the welcoming cities were allowed to decide whether the immigrants, upon arriving, would enjoy the same rights as the original group members. Following a final period of city development, groups were then given the option to attempt to conquer another city from which they wanted resources. This final option resulted in one city’s taking over another. The members of the conquered city group truly experienced the devastation of losing control over something they worked very hard to build, but in the end the conquering group, while maintaining ownership of the conquered city, helped to add more features to its conquest, providing ideas and resources that the conquered city would otherwise not have enjoyed.


This three part lesson ended in a very interesting discussion of what happens when groups of people interact with one another and how cultural elements and ideas spread. Next week in Social Studies we will begin to look at what countries and cultures have had an influence on Vietnamese culture.


Students are completing the final stages of their narrative writing project. Using Microsoft Office Online, students are peer-editing and providing feedback on one another’s narratives in preparation for final revision and publishing next week. Following self-assessment and publishing of the final draft, the class will begin a unit about traditional stories, legends, fables, and myths from around the world.


Last Wednesday, we wrapped up our unit on senses and the nervous system with experiments testing visual processing and measuring reaction time. This week, students demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of these experiments by describing, in writing and with a diagram, the process modeled in the experiments. During the next Science unit, we will be looking at earth science, specifically geology and the movement of tectonic plates. More experiments to come.


TIME ZONES. Students are currently studying time zones and time zone maps to be able to determine, based on limited information, what time a plane lands in a foreign time zone, or how long a flight takes based on times of departure and arrival in two different time zones.

Field Trip

And finally, a big thanks to The Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station for hosting us and making today’s field trip truly awesome. What an interesting variety of endangered animals! Parents, for more interesting details about this wonderful animal shelter, ask your children to describe and show you pictures of the amazing animals they saw.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to do your homework!

Weekend Homework:

Math: IXL O.6

Writing: Proofread your story for grammar and spelling mistakes using Microsoft Online

Reading: 2 hours.



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