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Grade 6 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 6 below.

Thank You!

posted Jun 20, 2017, 2:16 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jun 20, 2017, 2:16 AM ]

I can't believe the school year is done already. Those nine months just flew by. We had a good time this year, and I hope everyone learned a lot. Thank you for your feedback on the course. I will work hard over the summer to make the Grade 6 class even better for next year's students. Also, thank you for your hard work and dedication despite being so busy. 

Have a great summer. If it is your last year at Happy Kids, don't forget to come and visit us when you have a chance. I always love seeing former students. Don't forget to get some reading done this summer either. Reading lists are posted on Happy Kids's website here. Enjoy!

Countdown to Graduation

posted May 2, 2017, 7:53 AM by Jason Brunken

It's almost that time of the year. The time when our 6th graders finish up their last days as students of the ASLA Program and, for some, their last days at Happy Kids. It is this time of year that I assign a very big project for the kids to work on. The project is to create an original drama. They are to develop the story, write the script, make the set, props, and costumes, and perform it at the Graduation Ceremony. 

this week, students are working as a team to begin writing the script and planning nad making the sets and props for the show. After everything is written and read, we will rehearse it as a class in preparation for our big performance at Graduation at the ACC on the 27th. 

Below is the tentative schedule students should try to stick to it as they work and prepare for this wonderful experience.

Extension Week: Making a Book of Poems

posted Apr 24, 2017, 7:49 AM by Jason Brunken

For the next week, the Grade 6 class will be writing poetry and preparing for graduation. All this week will be devoted to learning how to write poems and working on a collection of six poems to share as a book with everyone by the end of the year. The kids will be writing several different styles of poem. We talked a lot about what a poem is and good processes for writing one. I recommended the the magic formula below which I devised for helping kids write poetry. 
Below is the assignment packet for this project. It details the required and free choice content for the books and mini-lessons on several different types of poems the students can write for this project. I am looking forward to sharing these poems with everyone at Graduation in several weeks.

Finished Websites!

posted Apr 16, 2017, 4:31 AM by Jason Brunken

After several weeks of work, our 6th graders finished their Once Upon a Time in History Websites. They put the finishing touches on them on Tuesday, and we unveiled them at this years ASLA Student Expo on April 13. In case you didn't see them, I have posted links to each below. Feel free to show your friends and family. Your feedback is welcome. They are not perfect, but they represent a tremendous amount of independent student planning, writing, design, and editing. The kids are very proud of what they accomplished.

For your reference, below is the assignment instructions and description I gave the kids for the assignment.

This Week: Team Moon

posted Mar 13, 2017, 7:37 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 7:37 AM ]

This week in Grade 6 we are reading the story Team Moon. This is the story of the first moon landing in 1969 by an American team of astronauts on Apollo 11. This was a defining moment in human history, and this book tells it from the point of view of mission control, the team of engineers that helped put the first two men on the moon. Most do not know how dangerous this mission was and how perilously close it came to disaster on several occasions. This book is written full of great facts and information about the Apollo mission and is written in a suspenseful, intriguing voice that keeps you turning the pages. I hope the kids enjoy it. To learn more about the Apollo 11 mission, try the great interactive called We Choose the Moon online. If you want to explore the moon yourself and learn about all the missions to the moon, download and explore Google Earth today.

Also this week, the kids will continue to work on building their Once Upon a Time in History websites at the end of the week. Please remember to study the spelling and vocabulary words for this week. The weekly handout is posted below along with the vocabulary slideshow the kids help build.

Once Upon a Time in History Website Project

posted Mar 5, 2017, 7:10 PM by Jason Brunken

Over the course of this month, Happy Kids's Grade 6 class will be working on a very large project that they will present at the upcoming ASLA Student Expo on April 13. The project is called Once Upon a Time in History Website. Students are tasked with collaborating with peers to create a website that teaches visitors about a time and place in history such as Ancient Egypt, Qin Dynasty China, or the Aztec Empire. To create their websites, students will use the New Google Sites application that just became available for users this year. The New Google Sites is easy to learn and use to allow students to focus more on their content than working through coding or other software related problems.

This is a substantial task. Each group is required to include information about their chosen Civilization's history, achievements, great people, and influence on the world as a whole. They also must choose some other more creative and fun content to include on their website. Below is the assignment handout the students were given. When the websites are published, I will post them here. I'm sure they will not disappoint.

This Week: Bodies From the Ash

posted Feb 20, 2017, 8:29 AM by Jason Brunken

This week Grade 6 is reading an intriguing non-fiction piece about Pompeii, the Ancient Roman city buried by a volcanic eruption from Mt. Vesuvius on August 24, 79 CE. The 20,000 people living in Pompeii believed the volcano to be just a quiet mountain, but within 24 hours after it began erupting, the entire town was destroyed, buried under lava and ash. It would not see the light of day until 1,500 years later. Since, archaeologists have been uncovering the ancient city which has been very well preserved beneath the ash. Through the people of Pompeii's tragedy, we are able to learn an incredible amount about life in Ancient Rome. I hope the kids enjoy reading this very interesting selection.

This week will wrap up our unit on history and prepare the kids for their final project for this unit: an informative website that teaches about an ancient civilization. Students will practice identifying main ideas and details and paraphrasing text and information they read this week to prepare for this assignment. This week we will also work with our vocabulary and spelling words as well as practice more with using prepositional phrases. These can all be reviewed using the handout and slideshow below. If your child wishes to learn more about Ancient Rome, show them this excellent video by Crash Course.

This Week: The Princess Who Became a King

posted Feb 12, 2017, 4:01 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Feb 12, 2017, 4:01 AM ]

We continue our look into into ancient world history this week as we read The Princess Who Became a King. This selection is about one of the only women to become Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut had an interesting life. She grew up daughter of a great Pharaoh, married her brother when she was just 15, managed to out-compete other men to take over the throne when her brother/husband died, and became a successful and great Pharaoh in her own right. Her story is amazing and historically remarkable.

To learn more about Ancient Egypt and its place in the context of world history, watch the Crash Course World History video to the right.

As usual we will be working on vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and writing this week. This week's writing lesson will be a compare and contrast paper looking at female leaders today and in ancient times. A spelling test will be given on Friday. Please remind your child to study. Below are the vocabulary and spelling words for this week as well as some grammar practice. I also put the vocabulary slideshow below to help review.

This Week: The Real Vikings

posted Feb 5, 2017, 1:59 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Feb 5, 2017, 2:06 AM ]

Welcome back! New Year has come and gone and Winter Break is over. It's time to get back to learning lots and having fun.

This week we are reading a nonfiction piece called The Real Vikings by Melvin and Gilda Berger. The Real Vikings takes a look at a people commonly known asthe Vikings who entered history in about 700 CE and then slowly faded away by about the 1300s. For about 300 years of European history, the Vikings dominated Northern Europe. They were a scourge on other kingdoms as the Vikings often conducted surprise raids of European lands. They would attack without warning, take everything they could carry, and then be gone before help could arrive. Some historians even attribute the entire feudal system in Medieval Europe as a response to Viking attacks.

The influence of the Vikings in the world can be felt even today as many of our days and months (in English) have Viking names and their myths and stories, gods and heroes still live with us today. But who were these people? One reason Vikings are so popular is because they are such a mystery. We know little about them, but archaeologists are uncovering more and more every year. This week we look at some of what we have learned. What we do know is that the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach and settle North America, they traded with people, as far away as Iraq, and they are responsible for the rise of such nations as England, France, and Russia. I hope the kids enjoy learning more about these fascinating people. 

Below is a copy of our handout for this week with the spelling words, vocabulary words, and grammar concept. I have also posted a slideshow of the vocabulary words for students to review below and a video to learn more about the Vikings. Enjoy.  

Extension Week: Write Your Own Myth

posted Jan 15, 2017, 5:40 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 15, 2017, 5:41 PM ]

This week, students will be writing myths. A myth is a story that explains something in nature or tells of a heroic deed by great hero. Myths tell of the actions of men and gods and goddesses, plus a great many other supernatural creatures like monsters, fairies, angels, and nymphs. Most famous to English speakers are the myths of Ancient Greece. However, all civilizations have their myths. Stories that tell about their history, culture, religion, and geography in a not so realistic way.

For this assignment, students will write a myth that explains the existence of a natural phenomenon. I have given them two examples to read. The assignment is posted below. I am looking forward to some excellent and creative stories.

Students will follow the instructions and use the prewrite sheet below to complete this assignment.

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