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Grade 6 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 6 below.

This Week: All Alone in the Universe

posted Apr 14, 2019, 5:27 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 14, 2019, 5:27 PM ]

This week, the Grade 6 class will be reading a wonderful short story about friendship from our text called All Alone in the Universe. This story is for anyone who has ever felt left out or betrayed when our best fried makes a new friend. It's a common situation for kids and never easy to deal with. This story is an uplifting look at how one girl deals with this situation. I think the students will be interested to see how much like them our main character is.

Below are the weekly handout with our spelling and vocabulary words for the week and a vocabulary slideshow to practice. We will be starting our poetry unit this week as well. Students will practice with figurative language and prepare for writing their own poems next week.


Finished Websites: A World of History

posted Apr 14, 2019, 5:25 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 14, 2019, 5:26 PM ]

The kids did a great job at the ASLA Expo! Thank you to our parents who came to support the kids' hard work. I trust you enjoyed the event. Below are the final websites. Please take the time to visit them both. The kids worked very hard on them and did a great job.
 

A World of History: Ancient China

by Annabelle, Jessie, Hung-chun, and Catherine

A World of History: Ancient Rome

by Ding-ding, Michelle, Joy, and Joey

2019 Website Project

posted Mar 19, 2019, 6:43 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 19, 2019, 6:43 PM ]

For the next few weeks, the sixth grade class will be working on a very special project. They will be using Google Sites to build an original website about an ancient civilization. These websites are meant to introduce and teach about the ancient civilization each group chose. Students will have them ready to present to you and all of the ASLA parents on April 11 for the ASLA Expo. I know! I'm excited too.

The project requires the students to collaborate with their team of 4. As this is the first website any of them have ever made, this project requires a tremendous about of learning, experimenting, creativity, and good old fashioned hard work to complete well. I know these kids can do it though. To learn more about the project, read through the assignment sheet below. I'll post the final websites the Expo, so stay tuned.

This Week: The Emperor's Silent Army

posted Mar 4, 2019, 6:01 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 4, 2019, 6:02 AM ]

This month, the Grade 6 class will continue to delve into ancient world history. We will touch on Ancient China and Greece, and next month we will look at Ancient Egypt. 

This week, we are reading The Emperor's Silent Army. This selection is about the famous Terracotta Soldiers that were buried with Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China. The Terracotta soldiers are one of history's most interesting mysteries. While archaeologists believe the army was meant to protect the Emperor in the afterlife, the elaborate detail and craftsmanship put into each statue makes us wonder if they were not something more. We will be discussing this and more as we cover the text on Thursday.

Did you know that Qin Shihuang's tomb is one of the great archaeological mysteries of today? While the location of the tomb has been found, no one is believed to have entered it since the emperor was buried. There are legends that tell of the magnificence of what's inside the tomb, but no one has been inside to confirm them.

Also this week will be vocabulary, writing, grammar, and spelling practice. A spelling test will be given on Friday. Please remind your child to study. Below is this week's handout with the vocabulary and spelling words for this week as well as some grammar practice. I've also posted a slideshow with this week's vocabulary and a Crash Course World history video about Ancient China for students to view to brush up on their history.


This Week: The Princess Who Became a King

posted Jan 13, 2019, 6:28 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 13, 2019, 6:28 PM ]

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. I hope the kids enjoy reading about her.

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 preparation for a historical fiction story the kids will be writing next week. We will work on setting crafting and review story structure. A spelling test may 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 Jan 1, 2019, 4:17 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Jan 1, 2019, 4:19 AM ]

Welcome back! Christmas and New Year have come and gone so it's time to get back to learning lots and having fun.

For the next two weeks 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 a Letter to the Mayor

posted Dec 16, 2018, 5:30 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Dec 16, 2018, 5:30 AM ]

This week, the Grade 6 class will be working on and completing formal letters. These are also sometimes called business letters. Formal letters are what we write to people we don't know or those who are of a higher social standing than us. This writing lesson teaches the children a valuable skill that they will be able to use throughout their academic and professional careers. 

Students will write a letter to Taipei's mayor, Ko Wen-je. Writing letters to elected officials is an important part of being a citizen of a democracy. It is one of our rights to make ourselves head by those that serve us. Students will write letters about a problem they have noticed in our city and attempt to persuade the Mayor to take action on it. We will mail the letters when they are finished, and I expect to get responses as the Mayor has been good about replying to letters from our students in the past.

We hope to finish the letters by the end of the week and have them mailed after Christmas Break. In the past, my students have received replies from some of the authors they have written to. I hope we are so fortunate again. Please see the materials below to review how to write a formal letter.


This Week: Any Small Goodness

posted Dec 13, 2018, 12:51 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Dec 13, 2018, 12:52 AM ]

This week in Grade 6 we will be doing the usual, practicing grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, and writing. Our story for this week in Journeys is Any Small GoodnessAny Small Goodness is the story of a school basketball team in inner-city California that gets help from an NBA star to teach them not only how to be good basketball players, but also good boys. It is a very positive and uplifting story about giving and working hard for a goal.

As part of this unit, we will also be learning how to write a formal letter, also known as a business letter. Students will learn the parts of the letter and how to organize and write it. This month they will be writing to Mayor Ko of Taipei about ways they think the city can be improved. We will mail the letters to the City Hall, and I am optimistic we will get replies. My students have in the past.

Below is the weekly handout sheet and vocabulary slideshow for this week. Please remind your child to study the spelling and vocabulary words. Please also help your child remember to complete and turn in her WIRSFs each week. These are due Tuesdays. Thanks for your support.


This Week: Airborn

posted Dec 2, 2018, 5:17 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Dec 2, 2018, 5:17 AM ]

This week, the grade 6 class is reading a very interesting story called AirbornAirborn  is an excellent book by Kenneth Oppel that takes place in an alternate reality where the airplane hasn't been invented. Characters travel by airships which fly higher and faster than the balloons we know because of something called hydrium. The skies become like the high seas as the main character, a boy who works on a massive airship, battles pirates, sky monsters, and other dangers on his voyage through the sky. We will only be reading a small excerpt from the novel, but I suggest you head to the city library to pick it up if you like it.

Students will be finishing their essays from last week. Also this week we will continue working on pronouns as we study possessive pronouns. We will spend time on vocabulary and story structure. We will also look closely at literary conflict and the role it plays in storytelling. Students will learn the four kinds of conflict and do some work with the new concept later this week.

Don't forget WIRSFs due on Tuesday. Please be sure to study the vocabulary and spelling words using the weekly handout and the vocabulary slideshow below.

Extension Week: Persuasive Essay

posted Nov 25, 2018, 3:14 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 25, 2018, 3:14 AM ]

This past week, the Grade 6 class has been learning the 5 paragraph essay model for writing academic essays. This is a very valuable writing skill that will apply to coursework and exams students will take in the secondary and post-secondary level, especially at international or Western schools. This week, the class gets a chance to apply what they've learned by writing their own essays in response to one of the three questions I've prepared for them. 

Students will begin by using the prewrite sheet to plan their essays before drafting. They will then complete two rough drafts before preparing a final draft that will be displayed on the wall at school and sent home later in the year. 

A review of how to write a five paragraph essay can be seen in the images below. Follow the links above to access the questions and planning materials for the assignment.


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