Thursday, February 18, 2010

Logic Stage History Assignments - part 2

Putting the Focus on Cause and Effect

The central premise for studying history during the logic stage years as I understand it is to understand the connections between events in history. Why did things happen the way they did? What caused certain events to happen? What were the results of the events? While I realize that not all 5th graders are ready to begin that level of critical thinking on their own, I can see no reason why the basic idea cannot be modeled for them. To that end, several of the writing assignments Jessie has completed this year were focused on cause and effect. Here is where we began with...

I. Explain the Causes of the First Intermediate Period

This was one of our most basic attempts at cause and effect. I provided Jessie with specific questions to answer with her text...

Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt p. 64-79
1. How did Cheop’s successors compare to him?
2. How did the priests assert their power?
3. What two important claims did the nobles make?
4. What pharaoh succeeded in reuniting Egypt? Where was he from?

Once the reading was completed, I provided Jessie with the topic sentence (similar to what she was familiar with in R&S) and told her to write one paragraph for me.

Topic sentence: After the death of Pharaoh Cheops, the power and influence of pharaoh declined leading to the chaos of the First Intermediate Period.

Here is her output...

After the death of Pharaoh Cheops, the power and influence of the pharaohs declined leading to the chaos of the First Intermediate Period. Pharaohs hacked Cheops' character, strength, and dignity. As a result, the priests of Ra (the sun god and Pharaoh's father) said that they represented Ra and steadily became more and more behind the government choices. Pharaoh also had lent out land to his favorite nobles on the condition that it would be returned to the royal family when the noble died. But now the nobles claimed the land was theirs and willed it to their families, while the pharaohs were unable to get their land back because there was no army. The lords also claimed that after a man died, he was tested to see if he had committed even one of forty-two mortal sins. If not, he was allowed to pass; but if he had, a strange creature (part lion, part crocodile, and part hippopotamus) would slither out of the shadows and eat him up. Finally a Theban, named Amenemhet, conquered Egypt and ruled it as one land again.

My reaction: This was not exactly what I had expected, but I took it as a good first start. We left the paragraph as written but discussed the importance of the change in the view of life after death.

I'll post a few more examples as I get a chance.

1 comment:

Paige said...

Thanks for continuing to post these. It's really helping me to begin to think about the logic stage and how to plan for it. Plus it's giving me confidence to see someone else putting together their own logic stage stuff that is working :)!