Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Authors Purpose

Authors Purpose

Persuade, Inform, Entertain

Today in Language Arts Class, we learned about how to find an authors purpose for writing.

Most writers write in order to persuade, inform, and entertain.

When an authors purpose is to inform, he will only give facts, no opinion and less excitement will be in the piece.

When an authors goal it to persuade, he will use very descriptive words.

If they want to entertain, he will likely write a fiction story with action or suspense.

Black Death

The Black Death/Bubonic Plague 

Millions Dead

The Black Death was a deadly plague that rocked through Asia and Most of Europe in the middle ages. 

Living in a time before medicine, plague doctors would be so desperate as too give their patients poison, so they die quickly. 

Huge purple, and black bumps the size of apples, grew in the armpits and groin. When a person saw these signs, they were almost certain to die. 

People were so afraid of falling ill, that they would abandon their own family and leave them to die alone. 

The disease killed anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of Europe's population at the time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Woods Runner Project

Language Arts Historical Fiction Project


In Language Arts Class, we have to read a historical fiction book and do a slideshow on it. Today, we focused on studying our characters. 

The Main Character so far in my book, is named Samuel. Samuel is a thirteen year old boy who lives with his parents on a settlement near northern Virginia. 

Samuel thrives on the woods near his cabin and learns to hunt exceedingly well, sometimes killing ten to fifteen deer a day. 

This causes Samuel to be very observant, as he must notice everything in order to find a kill every day. He is very smart too. 

When his settlement is attacked, he shows bravery by going to save his parents. Although, he is a bit reckless too. By the end of the book, I expect Samuel to become the protector for his family, and join the war effort. 

Magna Carta

What is the Magna Carta

Today in Social Studies, We learned about the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta is an ancient document that was created in the later part of the middle ages.

It was written by Rebel Barons living in the kingdom of King John. King John was famous for treating his citizens so badly. He overtaxed them, took family members hostage, and almost never followed his own laws.

The Rebel Barons became sick of his horrible treatment that they made a small army, and captured London. When the Rebels finally forced a meeting with King John, they forced him to sign the Magna Carta.

This document gave any free man rights, and said that the king could not violate, or dishonor, these rights. This was huge, it was the first time in history, a king was told "no".

Even though the pope declared the document invalid, the Magna Carta has inspired
many countries form of government today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


The Art of Origami

Origami is an ancient art common in China and Japan. Producers started making fun little creatures shortly after the creation of paper. 

 Origami involves folding a square piece of paper into shapes and animals. These animals often held messages or omens. For instance, paper cranes are seen as good luck and hope.  

People who often make origami can make almost anything from a ninja star to a small dragon. Many Origami creatures involve creating a base, then customizing the rest of the body parts from there. 

Practiced artist often create their own creatures, while beginners can watch videos or use online 
guides. I am pretty good at origami and I am proud of my creations although I have not invented my own creature. This is a dragon that I made.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Probability Mid-Unit Test Passed

Probability Rocks!

Today in Math, I took a Probability test.

I am rather proud of my score of an 88% on my probability test.

Probability is the chance of something happening. You find probability by dividing a specific outcome by all possible outcomes.

 For instance, if you roll a die, what is the chance of rolling a 4 on a 6 sided dice. There is one 4 on a 6 sided dice, so your equation is 1/6. This is also the probability. Since it is less than 1/4 a chance, it is considered unlikely.

We also had to determine the probability of dropping a dart randomly on an area and having it land on a shaded area, assuming it must land on the target. To find that, you dived the area of the shaded region by the area of the entire area.

The two questions I got wrong were because I did not simplify my fractions correctly. I need to make sure I double check my work every time.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Standing Up to Injustice Doesn't Seem Easy.

Today in social studies, we were talking about the Holocaust.  

One of my classmates made a big speech about how anyone who was alive during the Holocaust that didn’t speak up against what the Germans were doing to minority groups was a chicken.  His point was that anytime that you see something bad happening, you HAVE to speak up -- and that if you don’t, you aren’t a good person.  

I’m not sure that I agree with him.  While I agree that we SHOULD speak up when we see something bad happening -- especially something as bad as the Holocaust -- I don’t think it is always that easy.  

Take living in Germany for example:  I bet that all of your neighbors and friends in school would either agree with Hitler’s decisions or be afraid of the consequences of disagreeing in front of everyone else.  I know that’s how I feel when I see friends making bad choices.  Even though I know the choices are bad, I don’t always speak up because I don’t want to make enemies.  

I want to find some interviews to read of people who were alive during tough times like the Holocaust to see if they ever felt bad about what was happening -- and to see what (if anything) they did about it.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What Artifacts Will they Use to Learn About Us?

In social studies class, we've been studying the role that artifacts play in helping us to learn more about ancient cultures.  That's been really interesting to me simply because I always wondered how we know what we know about civilizations that existed hundreds -- even thousands -- of years ago.

But the question rolling through my mind right now is what artifacts will they use to learn more about today's civilization?  Or better yet, will they need to use artifacts at all?

After all, so much of our lives are lived online that most of the time, you can just Google somebody and learn a ton about them.  You can watch entire television shows on the web, see interviews with people, and explore thousands and thousands of pictures.

If I understand the web right, those kinds of images and pictures will never go away -- and if they don't, that means people should be able to learn about our civilization without ever having to collect solid artifacts.

Here's what I'm wondering:

  • Is it a good thing that people won't need to look for physical artifacts to learn about our culture?
  • Can you really know everything about a person and/or a civilization from the content that you can learn about them on the web?
  • Will digital artifacts last as long as physical artifacts -- or are physical artifacts longer lasting than digital ones?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Donald Trump's Immigration Ban

One of the major events on the news right now is Donald Trump's decision to restrict immigration from seven Muslim countries.  

I also know that there have been lots of debate in the world about allowing refugees from the Middle East to move through Europe.  Letting immigrants and refugees in feels like the right thing to do, but many countries think it's a bad idea simply because refugees are so needy that accepting them into your country can be really expensive.  Also, there have been terrorist attacks in lots of places over the last year.  One I can remember happened in Paris.

That's super interesting to me largely because in Social Studies, we've spent the better part of the last two weeks talking about all of the different ways that immigration has helped society.  Ideas travel around the world as a result of immigration -- so shutting down immigration also means shutting down the movement of ideas.

It's also interesting to me because we've spent part of our time in Social Studies specifically studying Islam and the Muslim World.  What I've learned is that there are tons of important inventions and ideas that have come to "The Western World" from Muslim scholars and historians and experts.

What I'm wondering about right now is:

  • Has the Muslim world changed somehow?  Are today's Muslims different from yesterday's?  Does that make accepting Muslims into our country less safe than maybe it was before?
  • Will the United States be harmed by refusing to allow people and ideas from Muslim countries to come to our country?
  • Is Donald Trump's decision one that I should support or oppose?