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.

MARCO! ... now you say "POLO!"

We've all played the game at the pool. But did you know that Marco Polo was a real man? He lived in the 1200s and traveled into China from Italy. We will spend the next few weeks studying him.

Follow this link to read about Marco Polo. Put his birthday in your timeline book.

Then go to this LINK to watch a nine minute video.

Marco Polo described many wonders that amazed him. Read how he described them and then try to guess what they were...

1. Black rocks that burn like wood

2. Unicorns the size of elephants

3. Giant snakes with legs and huge mouths that could eat a grown man

4. Huge striped lions

5. Huge nuts with liquid like milk inside

6. Man-like creatures with tails and dog faces

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Timeline of Chinese History

Homework for this week is....

Memorize the following timeline and put it in your Timeline Book.

1766 B.C. - start of the Shang Dynasty

551 B.C. - Confucius is born

206 B.C. - Han Dynasty established

220 A.D. - beginning of Dark Ages; lasts 370 years

618 A.D. - Tang Dynasty begins

1368 A.D. - Ming Dynasty begins

These are the dates and events that we will study this Friday.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Missy's Class Australia Work

Hey ShLoPos.  Hope ya'll all enjoy your vacations, time at grandparents, time at home...whatever you get to do unti we meet again!

Just wanted to remind you of your assignments for my class.

1.  Fill out worksheets for each of the 6 states of Australia plus the Northern Territory. (7 sheets total)

2.  Do your Australia quiz worksheet.  You can look up the answers if you don't know them.
The point is for you to learn something new and exciting about Australia!

3. Poem worksheet.  Write a short poem about the Australian animal you like best.

4. Look over the map worksheet that shows all the island countries that surround Australia.
Remember, we read over some of them in class and I just want you to be familiar with them as you will hear of some of these places again.

5. Write a 3 paragraph minimum paper on Samuel Leigh and his life and ministry in Australia and New Zealand.  Please remember to site your sources and do not just copy and paste information.  I want this in your own words.
What about his life and ministry speaks to you the most?
Think about it.  Could you stand face to face with cannibals that you knew were ready to roast you for dinner and have the presence of mind to know how to get away. Do you have the faith it takes to trust God in a circumstance like that? Could you learn their language better so you could go back and proclaim the gospel to them?
I think Samuel Leigh was a pretty cool guy.  What do you think?

Ya'll have fun with these assignments!  See ya in a couple weeks.
Love you all :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Good job for checking the blog! I know it's hard to get into the habit. Here's your homework:
Listen to the Australian National Anthem.
Do your coloring pages. There is no creative license here. Color the wattle and Coat of Arms the color they are supposed to be.

Find out the meaning of the Coat of Arms. Write what you learn in the form of a paragraph, paying attention to puntuation and capitalization. Make sure you answer these questions, but feel free to add other things you find interesting.

  1. What do the seven points on the star represent?
  2. What do the pictures on the crest represent?
  3. What color is the wattle?
  4. Why is there a kangaroo and emu on it?
  5. What was the king's name that approved the Coat of Arms? What year did he approve it?

Make your Aussie vocab flash cards. Have some fun with it!
Discover 2 ways that the climate of Australia is different from our own. You’re going to have to research this! (hint: remember the seasons)

Get on Google Earth or Google Maps and explore Australia. Spend at least thirty minutes doing this. Don’t forget about the street view feature!
Say a prayer for the church in Australia, especially for the kids your age!

Here are couple of links to help. The first is an example of music in the church we learned about in class.
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=xGFJJN6k7qk&vq=medium - A short video of an EPC youth group singing a hymn.

This link will help you write your paragraph on the Coat of Arms - http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/coat_of_arms.html - This website also has a lot of other interesting things about Australia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Further Study of Nelson Mandela

Further study of South Africa

Watch the ESPN documentary The 16th Man about the 1995 World Rugby Cup. It's on Netflix as an Instant Play.

Write minimum of 4 paragraphs about Nelson Mandela. Who is he? Where is he from? What did he do? Why do you like him? Read this paper to three people. Have them sign the back of your paper.

Interview someone about apartheid. Ask these questions:

  1. Do you remember hearing about the apartheid laws in South Africa?
  2. Do you think apartheid was similar to the Civil Rights movement here in the South? How?
  3. Do you remember how you felt when Nelson Mandela was released from prison?
  4. Do you remember something about the Civil Rights movement that you could tell me about?
  5. Do you remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated? How did you feel?
Write you own question to ask… ____________________________________________

Thursday, October 11, 2012

South Africa's Nelson Mandela

Go to the above website and read the article, look at the pictures and watch the videos.
What is the most interesting thing you learned about his childhood?
What is most interesting about his early adulthood?
Write a paragraph about what it must feel like to face a prison guard when you know you've been imprisoned wrongly. Describe your feelings, your fears and your hopes.
What year did he become president?
Where did he move when he retired?
When was he born?
How old is he now?
Would you like to spend time with him? What would you ask him?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dr Livingtone I Presume

Hey guys, as I told you, your assignment this week is to learn a little bit more about David Livingstone.
I think it is so cool to learn about pioneers of the Gospel and of unknown lands, and he was both!

I would like for ya'll to write me a little paper about him.
Logan, Ellas, and Gracie, yours needs to be at least 4 paragraphs.
(Remember a paragraph has at least 5 sentences)
Lana and Brody, yours needs to be at least 2 paragraphs.
For all of you, tell me a little bit about Dr. Livingstone and how he got to Africa.
Include information on his famous expeditions.
Also include what your favorite stories are.

This is a fun assignment, so enjoy it and learn a lot about this neat guy!

A Good link to lots of other links about David Livingstone

Google Search

Monday, October 1, 2012

Science Vocabulary Cards Explained

I have had a call or 2 about the vocabulary cards and the different sections. Open your notebook to p.4. and look at your example cards while you read this.

You do not have to write the titles of the sections, like definition, date, etc. Just put the date where the sample card says date. Write the definition in the box that says definition on your sample.

On side 1, where it says phonetic spelling, this is where you write how the dictionary says to pronounce this word. For the word "car" you would write (kahr). This is how the word "car" is pronounced. This is it's phonetic spelling.

Also on side 1, you will see a section titled "Connection Words." Ask yourself these questions:

Can I make a connection between this word and something I have read? Where might I find this word? Can I make a connection between this word and something in my life? How can I remember this word?

Still using the word car as an example, connection words could be automobile, transportation, vehicle, etc.

On side 2, the bottom 2 sections are also to help you remember the word and its definition. Again using the word car, in the section entitled "What it is," you could draw a labeled picture of a car, you can describe a car, etc. In the "What it isn't" section, if you know of more than one definition for the word car, you list or draw things that are NOT using this definition. For example, for this definition of car, it is NOT describing a train car, a toy car, etc.

 We will share the cards in class this Friday (10/5) and compare your ideas for each.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

South Africa

This week I introduced you to the country of South Africa.
I hope you have fun exploring this country through National Geographic.

Make sure you click through the pictures and read the captions.
They are very informative.

Answer these questions.  All of the answers are taken from the pictures on the website.

Please answer them on page 2 of your worksheets.

1.  Why did elephants almost become extinct?

2.  Lion families live in groups called______________.

3.  What do the local people call the cloud cover over the city of Cape Town?

4.  What sport is South Africa passionate about?  What year did they host the World Cup for that sport?

5.  Which South African city is the financial capital of Africa?

6.  What is Africas Southwesternmost point?

7.  What would you most like to do if you visited South Africa?  Why?

The picture I posted shows you what the website looks like when you click on it.
The information you need to look at is listed under the name South Africa.
Click on "Photos" to view and read about those photos.
Make sure you also read the facts page.
Explore and have fun!

Monday, September 24, 2012


This past week we had fun learning a little bit about the Island Country of Madagascar.
This week I want you to dig a little deeper!
Here is a link to the National Geographic page about Madagascar.

In addition to the assignments I gave you in class, I told you I would have some questions for you to answer on your 2nd sheet of map facts. All of the answers are found on the website I have attached.  Make sure you look at the pictures!
The questions are:
(You do not have to write the question.  Just number it and write the answer.)

1. What to languages do they speak in Madagascar?
2. How many species of Lemur live here?
3. What is the nickname given to the Baobab tree? Why is that the nickname?
 Draw one at the bottom of this page.
4. What does "tsingy" mean?
5. What African country is to Madagascars west?
6.  Look at the page about Madagascar favorites (on the website).
What is the one thing you would most like to do if you visited Madagascar?

Have fun with this assignment! It's so cool to learn about new places!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mali Video

Short video about Mali

Watch this short video as part of your homework.

Mali, Africa


That's a link to the blog of a guy named Adam Klein. He lived in Mali for several years and worked for the Peace Corps. He is also a musician. He recently recorded an album of Malian music. Click on the link and look for the "Listen" button. It's really good!

He also talks about the current state of Mali. Check it out and say a prayer for the people of Mali!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Science 9/7-9/14

Okay, guys and gals. Here we go.

Over the next few weeks, you'll begin to see a pattern to how we're doing science this year. I think it's going to be a fun year. This year, you'll get your assignments mostly by email. Occasionally, I'll hand them out in class, but not often.

I've sent this week's stuff to your email already. I included this message in your email, and I'll put it on here just to be sure.

"Here a link to your homework. Kids, if you have trouble/questions, reread your directions. If that doesn't help, ask your parents. Then, if you still need help, contact me. Only text or email me during school hours; you can call later in the day."

Enjoy! :)


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Give me a G!

Who's excited about co-op?  Me!  And you and you and you and you...
Our first 5 weeks in Africa are going to be great!
We are going to learn some basic geography and some major countries and cities.
We are going to read about some of the first missionaries to Africa.  "Dr Livingstone I presume."
Ya'll are really going to enjoy your current events notebook!  Each week you will put a new current event in your notebook, and with this cool website I found that lets you write things that look like newspaper articles, you are really going to have fun.
Everybody bring your good attitudes and be ready for an awesome year of Geography, Missions, and Current events!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just a note of reminder:

Co-op starts September 7th!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

History Preview

This is Mrs. Crissy. I wanted to give you a little preview into what we'll be studying this first quarter of our new year!

We'll travel back in time to study the Ancient Egyptians. Have you ever wondered how many gods they worshipped or what they thought happened after they died? There are going to be some surprises for you!

We will also go to Mali and learn about a man by the name of Mansa Musa. He lived in and built the famed City of Gold. Can you imagine living in a city like that?

From Mali we will travel to Ethiopia where we will find out how King Solomon is connected to this ancient land.

From Ethiopia we will go south to the tip of the continent and visit the country of South Africa. There we will learn about a great man who spent decades in prison only to become president of the country when he got out!

We have so much to study and learn! I'm ready for the school year to get started.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let's Get Started!

This year we are doing a study called Around the World in 180 Days! Super exciting!
On this blog, you will be able to find the Food menu schedule, the weekly syllabus, YouTube lectures, current event links, co-op schedule and a host of other things. Students can add to this by way of their teacher.

Stay tuned for more news!