Tuesday, March 19, 2013

State Abbreviations

Here is a good map of the states with the abbreviations.
Don't forget, we are going to keep at this until we know all 50!
You'll thank me later :)

State Abbreviations

Don't forget to do a current event on America.  You should be able to be VERY current!


Monday, January 28, 2013


Hey Guys,
Just wanted to make sure you all are clear on your assignments for this week.
You have 2 worksheets on Ecuador, plus a current event.  Please try to find a current event from Ecuador.  You may have to look past the links I have given you, but make sure your Moms are with you before you just start Googling stuff.  
You also have your timeline sheet on one of the five missionaries that were killed in Ecuador. 
Remember, I want you to go past born and died dates.  Find out other information.  
Even if you don't have exact dates, you can write down events that happened or any other info you can find about who they were. 

Some of you also have some make up work to turn in.
Brody, you have a worksheet from India that needs to be finished, and Ellas you need to fix your Amy Carmichael paper.  
The rest of you, just look and make sure that all of your stuff is in order and complete.  

Ya'll have a good week!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Amy Carmichael- India

Hey guys,
I read to you a few stories about Amy Carmichael.  I told you that she wrote a lot of books.
This website has a list of all the books she wrote and all the books that have been written about her.

Here are a couple links to websites with info about her.
Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael

Here are some quotes by her.

This week please take the time to read more about Amy and write me a paper about her life.
After your brief introduction of where she was from and where she was a missionary, I want you to include some of the stories about her life and then tell me how you feel about the work that she did in India.
Do not say things like, "I thought it was good.  She did good stuff.  I liked her."
Really put some thought into your response.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Marco Polo, Part 3

When we were with Marco last, he and his father and uncle were preparing to leave China. They had been in China for 17 years. Marco was 37 years old. They had asked the Kublai to allow them to leave but he objected. He liked having the Europeans in his court; they were a novelty.

When they left, Kublai Khan lavished gifts upon them. Not only did he give them jewels but also paitzu, these were gold tablets the size of a man's hand that some have called superpassports. These paitzu required officials in Mongol domains to give the Polos whatever they needed for travel and comfort. I wish I had a passport like that!

We have studied over 6,000 miles of the Polos great journey - through the ports of Iran to the lost city in Afghanistan, through the shrieking sands of the Gobi desert to the shining city of Xanadu. But the hardest journey was still ahead of them.


The 600 person entourage left Quanzhou and sailed for the Persian Gulf. They made it as far as Sumatra before the winds gave out. In that part of the world the winds change with the seasons. Sometimes the winds constantly shift, making it impossible to sail at all. That's what happened to the Polos. They were stranded for five months, waiting for the wind to change directions.

While on board ship and stranded on sumatra, Marco gathered tales from the sailors. He wrote in his book of a "great island" East of China where there is "gold in abundance" and the people harvest large, red pearls. Marco was the first European to describe Cipangu - that is, Japan! His description was well known to Columbus who wondered if a distant island he saw in the Caribbean was Cipangu.

While stranded on Sumatra, the Polos stayed as close to the beach as possible because beyond the coast lived "beast-like men". Marco recorded, "For I tell you truly that they eat the flesh of men." These were the the Bataks. The Batak people were advanced in some ways, they had their own alphabet and calendar, but they devoured their enemies - to capture their spirits. Can you imagine how scary it would be to have to camp near them for 5 months?!?

In 1834, two missionaries from the United States came to the Batak people. They were attacked and eaten. You would think people would be to afraid to come back, but in 1862, a German missionary came. He had learned some Batak language and had translated several German hymns. He came to the island cannibals singing songs about Jesus in their own language. Today, the Batak are no longer cannibals. They can be found every Sunday in church singing hymn after hymn. How amazing is that?

Take a few minutes to write down a prayer for the Batak people and their preachers. Be prepare to read it in class this week.

Sumatra receives over 8 FEET of rain every year. This means storms called monsoons and lots of insects. Marco wrote of an illness that would kill someone within three days of the onset of symptoms. Many of their company died while they were here.

Finally, after five months, favorable winds began to blow and they set course, stopping at "Seilan" - what is now Sri Lanka before sailing on to India.

Find Sri Lanka on your map.

In India, Marco wrote of the beauty of the people, the animals and the art. He wrote of the "Biggest Temple of Siva", which was more than likely the Hindu Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur. It was already 300 years old in Marco's time. The temple is covered with carvings of elephants, lions, and other animals. Go to this link, click on it to enlarge it and spend several minutes looking at it. How many buildings do you see? What would you have thought if you were Marco seeing it for the first time? Also at this temple is a 13 foot tall stone statue of the bull called Nandi, whose strong back supports the god Siva. Hindus in India believe Nandi makes the rain come and the crops grow. In the picture below, priests pour an offering of milk, coconut milk, vegetable oil, sugarcane juice, tumeric, and honey over the idol.

Marco called India the land of "Spicery", meaning not only flavorings for food but also spices used for medicines. Use the internet and ask your mother about the medicinal properties of the following plants: tumeric, cinnamon, willow bark, honey, and chamomile. Do you know of any others?

When the Polos left India, they encountered a great number of pirates on the west coast of India. Marco wrote that there were more than 100 pirate ships, sitting a few miles apart from each other, waiting for a victim.

In 1293, the Polos at last reached Hormuz in Persia, which Marco had seen as a teenager in the way to CHina. They had left China with 600 people and made it to Persia with only 18 left. They had saved and protected the princess, while nearly all her attendants died. But in Hormuz, they learned that Arghun, the ruler the princess was promised to, had died. She was given to his son, but the sad ending is that she died less than 3 years later.

Marco says the lords of Persia honored the Polos lavishly, weighting them down with more hefty gold paitzu. With a cavalry escort they rode morthward through Turkey. Not long after they were left on their own, near the Black Sea, they were robbed of some of their wealth.

By the time they got back to Venice, their families had given them up for dead. They finally arrived, but they weren't recognized at first. They smelled funny; their accents were different; and they were filthy and dressed in rags. Once they had convinced their family members that they were, indeed, alive, they shocked them all by ripping open their cloaks and shirts. Inside were jewels and treasures sewn into them!

Less than a year later Marco was captured by Geneo while on board a Venetian ship. He was imprisoned with a writer name Rustichello who, with the help of Marco's journals, helped him write the book of his journey. When he was released from prison after a few years, he married and eventually had three daughters. He lived to be 70 years old. On his deathbed, someone begged him to recant, or take back, the stories he told before he went to meet God. Marco replied, "I have not written of even half of what I saw."

After he died, his family found one of the golden paitzu and a princess' headpiece.

A historian from the University of Glasgow has said, "Never before or since has one man given such an immense body of new geographic knowledge to the West." Marco Polo's adventures and journals opened up Asia to the West and changed the lives of all of us.

This is a copy of The Description of the World that belonged to
Christopher Columbus. He made notes in the margin. Cool, huh?
*most of this information was gathered from National Geographic, July 2001 issue

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Marco Polo: Part 2

Hi, kiddos! I'm sorry we missed the last class but we can still learn, right?

Everyone go find a map of China.

Now, look at the western part of the country and find Kashgar. This is were we left Marco, his father and his uncle last week. (Anyone remember his father and uncle's names?) This week we will follow them 2,600 miles from the deserts of the Xinjiang region all the way to Shangdu (also known as Xanadu). Then we will see some of what Marco saw during the almost 2 decades he stayed in China.

When the travelers left Kashgar, they had to go through another desert. This one is called the Taklimakan Desert. It's name means something like "go in and you won't come out". They more than likely rode double-humped Bactrian camels. Cool looking, huh? These camels only travel at about 15 miles a day. That's pretty slow. At that rate, it took them three months to traverse the desert! Along the way they came to several oases.

The picture to the left is slightly blurry but on the map you can see Kashgar and the red line shows their path. Marco wrote about their journey through the desert "nothing is found to eat" and "you must always go a day and a night before you find water."

The Taklimakan Desert is said to be a haunted place. The Chinese have many stories of the spirits who live there. Most people who travel that route see mirages.

Stop right here and go look up the word mirage in the dictionary and write the  definition on some notebook paper.

Marco wrote of spirits that could "lure away a straggler, calling him by name in voices that sounded like companions." He also said "It often seems to you that you hear many instruments sounding and especially drums."

The Polos stopped in Nanhu, a town on the edge the desert. They had made it through the desert! They left Nanhu and traveled to Shazhou.  Marco wrote of the idolaters and the many idols they worshipped. Even today there is a cliff side that is crammed full of nearly 500 idols.

Some people wonder why Marco didn't write about the Great Wall or the Han Wall. Maybe it was because the parts of the Great Wall that we know weren't built until after the Mongols in the Ming Dynasty. Or maybe it was because every city in Europe also had walls and he saw nothing amazing or interesting about them. No one really knows.

Kublai Khan heard of their approach and sent messengers and guards to meet them when they were still 40 days away from the capital. They escorted the Polos into the throne room of the Khan. Kublai Khan was very excited to see them. He greeted them warmly and asked about the 100 wise men (missionaries) he had asked for from the Pope. He was greatly disappointed to find that none came. After studying about Hudson Taylor, think about and write down at least three things that would have been different if missionaries had come with Marco Polo.

When Marco first arrived in Shangdu, Kublai was almost done building his new capital of Daidu. Daidu is now in the very center of modern day Shangai. Find Shanghai on your map. Their homes were heated by "black stones which burn like logs"... he was talking about COAL! He was amazed at their paper money. There was nothing like it in Europe.

Both the old capital and the new were beautiful. Their streets were wide and straight. Their buildings had glazed tile roofs that Marco said were "red and green and blue and yellow and are bright like crystal, so that they shine very far."

Daidu is where the Polos lived mainly until they returned to Europe. According to Marco's book, Kublai gave him the job of a courier. One ironic thing about him is that although he lived in China for 17 years, he never learned to speak Chinese. He learned Mongolian and Persian because those were the rulers of the lands he traveled through. During the Khan dynasty, Chinese was not widely spoken.

One people group that Marco lived among where most likely the Dai people of Yunnan. He told of a people who have gold teeth, tattoos and eat raw meat. That is still done among the Dai people today. Marco wrote about their religious healing practices, customs and how they used shells and salt as money. The Dai people use Chinese money nowadays but they still have gold teeth and tattoos. They only eat raw pork on special occasions like weddings.

Marco claimed to have been the ruler of the city of Yangzhou, but some scholars say this can't be proven. One of Marco's favorite cities was Hangzhou. He wrote of Hangzhou as a heavenly city that was the best that is in all this world. He described public baths, ships, wealth and jewels. To Hangzhou came ships from India, Persia, Java and elsewhere, bringing spices, pearls, and jewels.

Find and circle Yangzhou and Hangzhou on your map.

The Polos stayed in China for 17 years. They worked with and for the Kublai during that time. When the Kublai was in his 70s, the Polos could see trouble ahead. He was not in good health and he was an alcoholic. They began to try to take their leave but the Kublai refused. What were they to do?

Three emissaries came to Kublai Khan from Persia. It seemed that his great-nephew needed a wife. Kublai gave them a 17 year old princess to take to him but they needed escorts. Fighting had broken out in some of the Mongol Empire and it was no longer safe to travel back over land. Nicolo and Mafeo had traveled the route by sea before and offered to escort them. The Kublai reluctantly agreed.
The Polos made their preparations to leave....

And that's where our story ends today! Merry Christmas!

Almost all of what is written in this blog post came directly from National Geographic. More specifically, the June 2001 magazine. Assistant Editor Mike Edwards followed the path of Marco Polo. It's a super interesting article with really amazing pictures by Michael Yamashita. Check it out!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Hey Guys,
This week in class we are going to look at India.
We are going to start learning about a missionary named Amy Carmichael.
Your assignment this week is to watch this short youtube clip about her and do your current event on India.
Amy Carmichael

Don't forget to bring all your assignments that were due last week.
I will give you all your first semester grades before Christmas.

See ya Friday!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Hudson Taylor

Your assignment this week is to write a report on Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China.
3 Paragraph minimum, at least 5 sentences per paragraph.
Be detailed and find stories that you haven't heard before.
Think about what an awesome example we have of these missionaries that have gone out into the world to live out the Gospel and obey the great commision.  Remember, you don't have to go to some unknown land to share the gospel.  Look for opportunities in your daily life.  If you don't think you have any, pray and see if God doesn't provide some for you.
What I want and pray for you guys when we study missionaries, is that you will develop a hunger and thirst for the gospel, and for sharing it with other people.

Here is a link that will provide you some good information.
Another one.
And one more.

Your other 2 assignments this week are to fill out your Japan booklet and your current event.  Make sure you bring your oragami to show the class.
Your current event will be on Japan.

Hope ya'll have a great week and enjoy your assignments!
Love you guys.