Friday, January 30, 2015

The Life of Buddha Meets a Comic Strip

Can you demonstrate what you have learned about the story of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) 
by encapsulating his life in a comic strip, like famed cartoonist and animator Osamu Tezuka did above?

Today's Learning Objective  Know the life and moral teachings of the Buddha. 

The Life of Buddha: Examining Multiple Sources  Today we will finish learning about the life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) and how Buddhism originated. We will continue examining Buddha's life from multiple sources, including 'The Story of Buddha" created by the site buddha.net which you can find here, excerpts from our Social Studies Ancient Civilizations workbook posted on yesterday's Blog, and parts of the movie Little Buddha, all while recording and synthesizing key events from his life using the document Important Events in the Life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)

Introducing the Comic Strip  Many of you are familiar with comics and comic books, which generally feature a story told a series of panels which include illustrations and dialogue. See an example of the classic "Garfield" comic strip below.



I would like you to create a comic strip of your own focused on the Buddha, as a way of demonstrating what you have learned so far about his life and teachings. Ultimately, you will have a choice whether to create a comic strip digitally using an online program called ToonDoo or drawing and designing one in the classic style using paper and colored pencils and markers. 

Today, however, I would like everyone to play and experiment with ToonDoo in order to familiarize themselves with this new resource. First, head on over to ToonDoo and click the red "Sign Up" button. Next, select the "FREE" version like the one pictured below. 



Next, you will see a screen (like the one below) that will ask you for your Username, Password, and Email ID. Please select a Username and Password that you can remember. Consider using the same ones you use for logging on to your Google Drive. As for your Email ID, enter your studentID#@pvusd.net, and then click "Register." 



Finally, click the "CREATE" button, select a layout, and start playing! You may select your own characters, choose different backdrops, draw your own designs, add props and text, and even design your own faces for your cartoons. Have fun today! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Origins of Buddhism: The Life of Buddha (Day 2)


 Today's Learning Objective  Know the life and moral teachings of the Buddha. 

The Life of Buddha: Examining Multiple Sources  Today we will continue read about the life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) and how Buddhism came to be. We will continue reading the version of the 'Story of the Buddha' created by the site buddha.net which you can find here, while recording key events from his life using the document Important Events in the Life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)

We will then compare this version of Buddha' life with excerpts about Buddha included in the Interactive Reading Guide of our Ancient Civilizations textbook below. We will also be watching recreations of parts of Buddha's life story featured in the the movie Little Buddha. Ultimately, our goal is to synthesize these three tellings of Buddha's life using our document Important Events in the Life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)





























           


































Homework  (1.) Continue working on your assignment Important Events in the Life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha)(2.) The assignment Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) is officially due tomorrow, Friday, January 30

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Origins of Buddhism: The Life of the Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama sat under the Bodhi Tree until he gained enlightenment and became the Buddha. 


 Today's Learning Objective  Know the life and moral teachings of the Buddha. 


Background Knowledge  In our previous unit, we learned about Hinduism, the first major world religion to take root in ancient India. A second major religion known as Buddhism also has its roots in India. Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian spiritual leader. Today you will begin to learn about Siddhartha's life and his founding of Buddhism.  

The Life of Buddha  One of the key differences between Hinduism and Buddhism is that Buddhism had a founder, Siddhartha Gautama, a real life person who started the religion. Today we will read about his life story and how Buddhism came to be. We will read the version of the 'Story of the Buddha' created by the site buddha.net which you can find here. 

While many elements of Siddhartha's story are similar across various sources, it is very important, especially as history students, to consider the source when determining the validity and reliability of information. Before you reading, you should always ask yourself the following: Who wrote this? What is the author's perspective? Why was it written? Where was it written? Is it reliable? Why? Why not? Considering the source is a website that promotes and markets the teachings and practice of Buddhism, does that make their version of Buddha's story more or less valid than the version included in our Social Studies textbook? These are questions we must consider.

As we read this version of the the 'Story of the Buddha' today, I want you to identify the key events in Siddhartha's life that you consider to be the most important in capturing who he was and explaining how Buddhism came to be. You will record these events using the document Important Events in the Life of Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha), which can be found in your Social Studies folders. Tomorrow you will have an opportunity to check the reliability and consistency of the version of events you recorded by comparing them to other sources.  



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hinduism: Odds & Ends


 Today's Learning Objectives  (1.) Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. (2.) Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details. 


Publish Caste System Persuasive Letters  Today we are publishing our End Caste System Discrimination - Persuasive Letter to our Social Studies blogs on Kidblog (4th period is here; 6th period is here). After you log in, click 'New Post'. Give your post a title (e.g., End Caste System Discrimination Letter). Copy and paste your paragraph from your Google Doc into the text box below your title. When you're ready, click 'Publish.' I will be grading your published letters for a Social Studies assessment grade soon. 

Assessment: Hinduism Quiz  Today you will be taking a short quiz to demonstrate some of what you have learned so far about the religion of Hinduism. The quiz consists of five multiple choice questions and one short answer paragraph. You can find it here.

Determining the Central Idea of the Hinduism Unit  Over the course of the last several weeks as we have studied Hinduism, you have utilized the document Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts). You have taken notes on the parts, the details, and the various elements of Hinduism, while the leaving the 'Central Idea' section blank. What I want you to do today is to review your notes about the various elements of Hinduism in order to determine what is the larger, more central idea about Hinduism they work together to convey. Write a central idea statement about the religion of Hinduism based on the notes you have taken.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Beliefs of Hinduism: The Three Paths to God

A Hindu pilgrim offers prayers after taking a dip in the Ganges River. 


 Today's Learning Objective  Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. 


Guided Reading: 'The Three Paths to God'  Today we are going to learn about the various ways that Hindus practice their religion. As we read excerpts of our Social Studies textbook, Ancient Civilizations, together, continue to take notes using the document Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts).










Video: 'The History of Hindu India'  As we near the end of our unit on Hinduism, let's watch the short video "The History of Hindu India," which ties together some of the big ideas we have been learning about. Continue to take notes using your Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) 


Homework  Hinduism Quiz tomorrow! Please study and make sure you understand the basic beliefs of the religion. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Beliefs of Hinduism: Reincarnation and Karma


 Today's Learning Objective  Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. 


The Beliefs of Hinduism: Reincarnation and Karma  Today we continue learning about some of the core beliefs Hinduism, while using our Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) document to take notes. Our focus today is on the beliefs of reincarnation and karma. First, we will read excerpts from our Social Studies textbook Ancient Civilizations below. Then we will watch two different videos about Hindu religious beliefs. Remember to keep track of your various sources on your study guide.  


Now we will watch the video "Reincarnation in Hinduism" below. 


Finally, we will end today's lesson by watching Crash Course's take on some of the core beliefs of Hinduism. 


Note: Due to time constraints we will not publish our End Caste System Discrimination - Persuasive Letter to Kidblog today. Instead, plan on having it completed and publishing on Monday, January 26.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Basic Beliefs of Hinduism: The Four Goals of Life

Living a moral life, known as dharma, is one of the goals of life for Hindus.

 Today's Learning Objective  Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. 


The Basic Beliefs of Hinduism: The Four Goals of Life  Today we will continue our study of the religion of Hinduism, while using our Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) document to take notes. Our focus today is on learning about the "Four Goals of Life" for Hindus. First, we will watch the video "The Four Goals of Hinduism: Kama, Artha, Dharma, & Moksha" produced by the site Education Portal. Next, we will read excerpts from our Social Studies textbook Ancient Civilizations below. 

































Homework  Make sure to complete your End Caste System Discrimination - Persuasive Letter, which is due and will be published tomorrow, Friday, January 23

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Introduction to Hinduism

Hindu goddesses Saraswati (left) and Lakshmi (center), and the elephant-headed god Ganesh


 Today's Learning Objective  Explain the major beliefs and practice of the religion of Hinduism. 


An Introduction to Hinduism  Today we begin to learn about Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world. For more than 2,500 years, Hinduism has been the major religion of India. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will learn about and examine Hinduism from multiple sources and perspectives. As you learn about this fascinating and complex religion, I am going to ask you keep track of relevant facts and information you discover using the document Hinduism Study Guide (A Central Idea and Its Parts) (which can be found in your Social Studies folders). Please use the Study Guide to also make note of your sources of information.

Our first source will be the video "Introduction to Hinduism" featured below. As you watch, make note of the information you learn that you believe is most essential to understanding the religion. 


Hinduism: Sacred Texts and Belief in God(s)  We will now read an excerpt (below) from your Social Studies textbook Ancient Civilizations focused on some of the sacred texts of Hinduism and two of its core beliefs. Continue to make note of what you learn using your Hinduism Study Guide. 





Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Writing a Persuasive Letter

Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and national holiday may have passed, but our
struggle for a more just, equal, and peaceful world continues each and every day.


 Today's Learning Objective  Write arguments to support claims with clear claims an relevant evidence. 


Persuasive Letter: Drafting  Last week you researched India's caste system and learned about caste system discrimination; you were then charged with writing a persuasive letter to advocate an end to this practice. Today you will continue working on your End Caste System Discrimination - Persuasive Letter. Remember after your greeting, you want to draft the body of your letter, in which you you will state your position, prove your point, and ask your reader to take action. 

This assignment will count towards the assessment portion of your Social Studies grade and I will be using the rubric below to assess your work. The rubric can also be found in your Social Studies folders. 


Today will be your last class period to work on this assignment. It will be due and published on Kidblog this Friday, January 23

Friday, January 16, 2015

Nonviolence Advocates: Mahatma Gandhi & Martin Luther King Jr

Mahatma Gandhi & Martin Luther King Jr.: An Overview  Today seems like an ideal day to talk about two of the most important advocates for civil rights and nonviolence our world has ever seen: Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. In light of our unit on India, Gandhi is a fitting historical figure to discuss, as he raised awareness about the plight of the untouchables, who he referred to as the "Harijans" or "Children of God." Gandhi went on to lead a nonviolent movement to free his people from British oppression. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday and national holiday we are celebrating, was profoundly influenced by Gandhi. Today as we examine the lives of these two remarkable men, make note of the parallels in their lives, actions, and words, as well as some of the differences. Use the Gandhi and King - Venn Diagram, which can be found in your Social Studies folders, to record important similarities and differences that you discover. 

To begin, we will watch a brief presentation of Gandhi's life through the video "The Gandhi Rap" below.


Now let's examine Martin Luther King Jr.'s life though the video reproduction of the book Martin's Big Words. While watching, do you notice any similarities in the lives of Gandhi and Dr. King? Similarities in the struggles they endured? In the messages they promoted?
  

Looking to learn more about the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.? Explore the Gandhi Presentation and the King Presentation from the website Gandhi and King, which honors the life and work of both men. A brief summation from the site of their similarities and differences can be found below. 



Gandhi and King: Speaking Up for Nonviolence  There are also parallels in the messages of nonviolence that both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. advocated. Let's begin by listening to a rerecording of a famous speech given by Gandhi in which he speaks about the need for non-violent protest in order to gain equality.  


Watch below as Martin Luther King Jr. makes clear the influence of Gandhi on his own philosophy of nonviolence.  


Now let's read an excerpt from Dr. King's famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" which he wrote while imprisoned for organizing a protest march. As you read the text, do you notice similarities to Gandhi's message? How is King's belief in "creative tension" somewhat different than Gandhi's tactic of non-cooperation?

Are Gandhi and King's Messages of Nonviolence Still Relevant Today?  What can we still learn from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.? Are their messages of nonviolence and peaceful protest relevant in our world today? How can we apply their goals of tolerance, love, peace, and equality to the times we live in now? Before you answer these questions, examine the photographs with captions below. 

Gandhi's "March to the Sea" in protest against the British tax on salt (1930).
Martin Luther King leading march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, to protest
the lack of voting rights for Africa Americans (1965).
A peaceful 'Black Lives Matter' rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota (2015).
At least 3.7 million people including more than 40 world leaders are marching throughout France in
a rally of national unity to honor the 17 victims of a three-day terror spree that took place around the French capital.

Now go to your class's Padlet wall (Period 4 and Period 6) and share your ideas about whether Gandhi and King's ideas are relevant today. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Writing to Persuade


Persuasive Letter: Overview  After learning about caste system discrimination, many of you felt compelled to write a letter advocating for an end to this practice. To convince people to agree with you, you use persuasion. You tell them what you want or believe. Then you give them reasons for your position. 

And if you're writing a formal letter, for example to the United Nations Human Rights Council, you want to write in a professional and respectful tone. You can find a few tips on writing a persuasive "business" letter below. 


















Persuasive Letter: Prewriting  Before you start writing your letter, think about your audience and purpose. Who are you writing to and what are trying to convince them of? What action do you want the United Nations Human Rights Council to take after reading your letter about the caste system? 

To appeal to your reader's thinking, you need to give reasons for your position and support them with evidence. To help you organize your position, reasons, and evidence, I have provided you with a Preparing to Write Your Persuasive Letter document (which can be found in your Social Studies folder). 

If you still need to do additional research to clarify your reasons and gather additional evidence, please do so. There are many resources available. Just ask.

Persuasive Letter: Drafting  Now it's time to start your letter. After your greeting, you want to draft the body of your letter, in which you you will state your position, prove your point, and ask your reader to take action. You can find some guideline and examples below. 

If you are ready to begin drafting, you may use the assignment End Caste System Discrimination - Persuasive Letter, which can be found in your Social Studies folder. Your letter does not need to be finished today. We will continue working on this assignment in class next week. 

Homework  Complete India's Vedic Age - Cognitive Content Dictionary, which is due tomorrow, Friday, January 16. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Examing and Challenging the Caste System


Examining the Caste System  Today we will continue to examine the caste system by viewing videos from three different sources. Continue to take notes using the Caste System - Study Guide from yesterday.   


           


Challenging the Caste System  After learning that the caste system not only still exists, but that people born into the lowest castes remain victims of "caste discrimination," what do you want to do about it? One thing we can do is make our voices heard. Your task today is to begin to write a persuasive letter urging an end to caste discrimination. Your audience will be the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is an international organization charged with investigating violations of human rights around the world. You can find the Preparing to Write Your Persuasive Letter assignment in you Social Studies folders. The assignment provides you the space to develop your position, arguments, and evidence. More information about caste discrimination from the International Dalit Solidarity Network can be found below.