I had to cancel class last week since I wasn’t feeling well, so this week we covered two topics, the Industrial Revolution and Radio communications. I found this great lesson on the Coffee Cups & Lesson Plans which used a famous photograph of a girl, Addie, standing in a factory. The lesson has the kids look at the photo and write down everything they observe about the girl: young, thin, dirty, barefoot, working in a factory. Some of them made some inferences, like she must have just started working there because she still has all her fingers and toes, and one thought she probably died shortly after the photo was taken because she was so skinny/unhealthy looking.
After they had written down a bunch of clues I had them read an article “Searching for Addie, The Story behind a Famous Photography” by Elizabeth Winthrop. This article chronicles the story of the search for the real Addie, and what happened to her. Its a really interesting story, especially if you’ve done any geneaology research, you’l recognize the methods; looking through census records, cemeteries and marriage records. It ends up that Addie lived to almost 100 years old! The kids read through the article highlighting information on Addie and then added the addition information to their notebooks. We talked about how you could learn different things by looking at different sources of information.
We watched a few videos on the Industrial Revolution, including this great little youtube video that I suspect was made for a class project.
Horrible history has a few skits on children and factory worker but unfortunately it looks like many of them have been taken off youtube.
We also watched these videos on the inventions and changes in transportation that came along with the Industrial Revolution.
The other topic we covered was radio communications. I used yet another lesson from the Universe at Your Fingertips dvd, Decoding Radio Messages from Space. The dvd comes with the audio files, basically its beep-drum-beep – beep kind of message that the kids have to decipher. As the audio plays they color in a square on the grid when they hear the beep and leave it uncolored for the drum sound. When the file is done they should have a picture in their grid. It was pretty interesting to see the pictures of the kids who accidentally (or purposely) got off by a block.
This week our class also did a field trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, which has a large collection of artifacts, including actual mummies, from ancient Egypt. We had a guided tour, and I have to say he was the best guide I’ve ever had for any museum. He really knew his stuff and how to explain it in a way to keep the kids interested. The school field trip was actually more expensive than if we had just entered as individual families but the extra money for the guide was worth every penny.