Thursday, March 31, 2011

Curriculum Connections - India

"The Peabody Essex Museum recently acquired the Dr. Leo Figiel Collection of Indian sculpture––widely‐regarded as the finest collection of its kind. This exhibition presents a dramatic selection of ritual bronzes spanning the last millennium featuring depictions of deified heroes, pastoral gods and goddesses, and totemic animal spirits. These bronzes were principally made for Hindu ritual practice in the west and southwest regions of India and are the best examples of local and vernacular artistry. A complement to neighboring galleries of traditional and contemporary Indian art, this exhibition offers an opportunity to explore the connections between India’s artistic past and present."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Curriculum Connections - Civilizations of the Americas

1. "The Popul Vuh is a Mayan document that is part mythology and part history." History Alive talks about this document, but here they can read and work with it.

2. The MFA's website allows viewers to search the site for artifacts and images. They do include artifacts from the 1200s in South America.

3. Past exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum: Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea

Museum description:
"Surrounded by the sea in all directions, the ancient Maya viewed their world as inextricably tied to water. More than a necessity to sustain life, water was the vital medium from which the world emerged, gods arose and ancestors communicated. Over 90 works, many never before seen, offer exciting new insights into Maya culture that focus on the sea as a defining feature of the spiritual realm and the inspiration for the finest works of art."

Included on this site are several videos about the Maya, the connection to the ocean and the artwork and artifacts that reflect the connection. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page about the Fiery Pool to see the images for this collection.

Curriculum Connections - Islam in Medieval Times

This is a lesson plan from History Alive on Ibn Battutah .

The Museum of Fine Arts has an extensive Asian collection. One way to have students look at and compare objects is to teach students to collect their own collections of artwork. Here is how you do it: Go to the MFA website, Click on Explore, Click on Explore Online, Click on MyMFA (to get here you have to roll over the images on the page.)

PBS also has a beautiful section on the Hajj. The there is an pathway to go through the steps of the Hajj as well as timeline of Muhammad's life.

Curriculum Connections - Imperial China and Japan

1. History Alive has some enrichment activities that use outside primary source material. This one is related to Marco Polo and asks students to think about the validity of accounts. History Alive Enrichment

2. In another activity, students look at the first laws of Japan which were influenced by China and based on the ideas of Confucius. The document and question are included.

3. The Peabody Essex Museum: Within the online collection there are several images that could be useful for understanding Imperial China. Get started with the interactive exhibit, Emperor Looks West. In this exhibition there is a silk scroll depicting the Imperial City, "The Victory Banquet Scroll". The scroll is displayed in an interactive format so that the viewer can get visual and text detail on sections of the scroll.

4. To study China, broad concepts that embody Chinese culture and heritage need be understood. The PEM showcased an exhibit several years ago addressing such ideas as the Chinese ideas about the cosmos, antiquity and aesthetics. They have recorded this exhibit with images and lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school teachers to use. Have a look at a Perfect Imbalance.

5. The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City

Using resources on the PEM website, you can still have access to this amazing exhibition.

"Never before seen by the public, the contents of an Emperor’s private retreat deep within the Forbidden City will be revealed for the first time at the Peabody Essex Museum."

On the site is two videos and one interactive activity.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Keys to Literacy

Joan Sedita and Keys to Literacy offer a wealth of resources for improving comprehension and vocabulary in the middle school classroom. The site offers articles and templates for note-taking. Have a look.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Resources: Real Reading for Real Teens

Real Reading for Real Teens - Hardscrabble Grant:

The Essex County Community Foundation once again supported Collins this past year with many grants. One of the grants helps to increase the number of books for students reading below grade level. The purpose of these books is to give teachers and students more variety when selecting literature circle books. The literature circle approach is one way that teachers here at Collins work to intervene in the regular classroom when students read below grade level. At times, teachers have struggled to find enough titles for students to choose from. The HIP Jr. and HIP Sr. books were selected for their high interest topics, presentation that is age appropriate and text which is accessible for a variety of reading levels. Each title has a lexile as well as a reading level. Each title also has a Teacher's Guide that includes activities for literature circles.

Please have a look at the titles below and include them in your next literature circle choice selection.