Saturday, December 28, 2013

To respond or ignore; dealing with "jokes" about domestic violence.

I discuss the issue of violence against women as part of a mental health unit I teach. I also incorporate lessons on the issue throughout the month of October in an effort to raise awareness of domestic violence.

My students are often shocked to learn how common the problem of domestic violence is. We discuss reasons why violence against women and children is so prevalent in the United States. Part of the reason relates to our society's failure to take the issue seriously. We can easily find examples in the news of perpetrators getting nothing more than a token punishment for violent crimes against women and children.

It isn't just the criminal justice system that doesn't seem to take the issue seriously. We see and hear examples all the time, often on social media sites where domestic violence is treated like a big joke.

The photos I posted below are recent examples I found on Facebook. Some of the comments were appalling. I reported the thread to Facebook. Facebook's response was the thread didn't meet its criteria of offensive or hateful speech. I wonder if they would have reached that same conclusion had the "joke" been about abusing/terrorising/killing an ethnic/racial/religious minority? My guess is the post would have been deleted.

Monday, December 9, 2013

West Wing Documentary Special: Discussion Questions

Part I:

President Bill Clinton states that if you asked a former  employee of the White House what they miss most about working for the White House, what would they likely say?

How does Marlin Fitzwater, former White House Press Secretary, describe working at the White House?

How does President Jimmy Carter describe the reaction many people have when they enter the Oval Office?

Several people described the work as exciting and sometimes glamorous. What were some examples given in the documentary of "exciting, glorious, magical, interesting, etc." days on the job?
Part II:

What are the "three phases" Peggy Noonan believes most employees of the White House go through?

How does Marlin Fitzwater describe the White House Press Corps?

Dee Dee Meyers discussed mistakes Press Secretaries sometimes make. What did she say was her most common mistake?

What is the "Blood Sport of Washington"?

World Studies: Africa Grid

Use the following website to complete the grid:

Life Expectancy Men
Life Expectancy Women



Sierra Leone






The Democratic Republic of Congo

Ivory Coast






South Africa

Sherman Alexie Interview

Online Quiz- How well do you know Africa?

fingerprints on Africa

1. Which African country is the newest country in the world?

2. How many official languages does South Africa have?

3. True or False? The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the  most populous country where French is an official language.

4. True or False? Christians make up 84 percent of Uganda's population.

5. True or False? Côte d'Ivoire was originally known by its English name – the Ivory Coast – but it was officially changed it to the French name in 1985.

6. True or False? Sierra Leone is one of the top 10 diamond producing nations in the world.

7. Niger is one of the hottest countries in the world and is knicknamed  _________________________.

8. Name the African country completely surrounded by South Africa.

9. Which mountain range extends across a stretch of northern Africa through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia?

10. What massive African lake is the world's largest tropical lake?

Extra Credit:

Which is the only country in Africa that has not joined the African Union?

Poverty Simulation Activity

The goal is to make it to the end of the month living on about a dollar a day. Play the game as "realistically' as possible. Make decisions in the game as close to what you would do in "real life" if you were forced to make similar decisions.

After completing the simulation, answer the following questions:

1. Did you choose to live in a village or city slum?

2. What was your job(s)?

3. Did you have children? If so, how many?

4. Did your children attend school or did they work?

5. Were you able to feed your children every day?

6. Were you or your children ever sick? If so, how did you deal with you or your child's illness?

7. What was the most difficult decision you had to make in the "game"?

8. How would you play the game differently if you were to play it again?

9. Did you make it to the end of the month, or did you run out of money?

10. If you had any money left, how much did you have?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Close Reading Exercise-Latin America in the News

Find a story from the "World" section of the Wisconsin States Journal about a Latin American country we've discussed in class. Cut the story out of the news paper. As you read the story, highlight or underline the five W's according to the instructions below.

You will need five different color markers.

Underline or highlight:

Red= Who

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Constitution Posters

"The Rights of the Accused" poster.Constitution Poster, Social Studies

Bill of Rights in 3 Minutes

Bill of Rights:

Voting Rights: Videos/Infographic

US voting rights have expanded

Voting Rights:

World Studies- U.S. History Geography Review Games

Play for 5-10 minutes:

Play for 5-10 minutes:

Play for 5-10 minutes:

Play for 5-10 minutes:

Play for 5-10 minutes:

Play for 5-10 minutes:

English 509 and 510 Day before Thanksgiving Project

Journaling idea
Create a "I am Grateful For" poster, using the example above as inspiration.

Monday, November 25, 2013

United States History Constitution Project

Design a poster demonstrating your understanding of the Constitution. Students will be assigned one part of the Constitution as the focus of their project. For example, if you draw "Preamble," you will create a poster demonstrating your understanding of the Preamble or one part of the Preamble. If you draw "Bill of Rights," you may create a poster focusing on one or multiple amendments in the Bill of Rights. If you draw "Articles 1-7," you may select one of the Articles as the focus of your project. If you select Civil War or Voting Amendments, you may choose one or all of the amendments listed.

Use worksheets, packets, notes, etc. as resources when creating your poster. Check the U.S. History basket for worksheets, packets, etc.

Before you begin, complete the ABC Brainstorming worksheet to generate ideas for your poster. You must complete at least 50% of the sheet before beginning the poster. (You must brainstorm at least 14 words or ideas you plan to incorporate into your poster before you begin your poster.)
Example (If you draw Bill of Rights and decide to focus on the First Amendment)
A: Assembly, Activism, Armband
B: Books
C: Citizen, Censor 

Or if you draw "Articles 1-7" and you choose to focus on Article I:
A: Amend, Approve
B: Bill, Borrow
C: Congress, Collect
D: Debate, Declare

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Articles 1-7

Each article covers a general topic, divided into sections which are more specific. For example, Article I is the longest. It has ten sections.

Bill of Rights (1-10)

Bill of Rights added in 1791 to convince the state legislatures to ratify the Constitution.

Time Magazine Special Coverage:,28757,2080345,00.html

Civil War Amendments: 13, 14, 15

Voting Amendments: 15, 19, 26


Here's to the crazy ones.

U.S. Capital Game

Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Could You Pass a Citizenship Test

Could You Pass a Citizenship Test?
Take both tests online and record your answers on the worksheet provided.

What is the capital of the United States?

What is the name of the national anthem?

How many original states were there?

When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?

In what year was the Constitution written?

What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?

Who becomes the President of the United States if the President AND Vice President should die?

What kind of government does the United States have?

What is the minimum voting age in the United States?

How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?

Now try this Citizenship Test:

 Who signs bills to become laws?
 What did Susan B. Anthony do?
There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?
Why does the flag have 13 stripes?
What did the Declaration of Independence do?
Who is in charge of the executive branch?
If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
For extra Credit, take the following quiz on the History Channel website:
or take this quiz:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tour the World Video

How a Bill Becomes a Law Infographic


Electoral College Explained- Ted Talks Video and Discussion Questions

Which Article describes the Electoral College? A) Article I, B) Article III, C) Article III, D) Article IV

How many electors are there in each presidential election? A) 100 B) 50 C) 365 D) 538

What determines how many electors each state gets? A) Population, B) How wealthy the state is, C) How big the state is, D) Each state gets one elector

Which states are presidential candidates most likely to pay the most attention to: A) North Dakota, New Mexico, Maine, B) Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, C) California, Texas, New York

What year did the presidential candidate win the most electoral votes, but not the popular vote? A) 2000, B) 2004, C) 2008

How does the Electoral College protect small states? A) The electoral college does not protect small states, B) In a close election, every electoral vote counts C) Every state gets one elector so big and small states are equally protected

What are "safe states"?

True or False, Republicans consider Oregon, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Maryland "Safe States."

Mississippi, Kansas, and Idaho are considered safe states for the ____________ party.

States "teetering" between parties are called ___________ states.

In the past four elections, Ohio and A) Wisconsin, B) New York, C) Alaska, D) Florida have been swing states.

Why is the "magic number" 270?

Look at the infographic below. How many electors does Wisconsin get?

What does the color red symbolize on the map?

What does the color blue symbolize on the map?

Every state except two are "winner take all" states. Which states are not "winner take all" states?

Infographic: The Electoral College - KIDS DISCOVER

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Institutional Racism in the Criminal Justice System

Is Justice Color Blind Infographic Duke Study Convictions black white jurors

Discrimination Today (Infographic)


Bogardus Social Distance Scale Exercise

Evaluating Data- The Status of Native Americans

Racial and Ethic Population in the U.S. Infographic

Congress Infographic

Does Congress look like America? #Infographic

Room 167: Stereotypes, Prejudice, Discrimination: Notes

Room 167: Stereotypes, Prejudice, Discrimination: Notes: Notes: Stereotypes: A "stereotype" is a generalization about a person or group of persons. We develop stereotypes when we are ...

Stereotyping Exercise

Students will rotate to different stations around the room answering questions written on large sheets of paper at each station.

Students will brainstorm stereotypes of the following:
Rich, poor, teenager, elderly, Black, White, Native American, Hispanic, man, woman

Students will list four cliques/groups at RVHS. Brainstorm a list of characteristics for each group.

Students will discuss and record where stereotypes are learned.

Students will discuss and record how people's assumptions affect behavior toward people in the stereotyped groups.

Students will discuss and record how they have been affected by a biased assumption against them.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grand Canyon Trivia Game

National Parks Infographic/ Questions

What is the title of the infographic?

What is the purpose of the National Park System?

The National Park system includes ___________parks, _________ monuments, and __________memorials.

The National Park system is part of the Department of ____________.

The first national park, _______________ was established in __________ (year).

The Endangered Species Act was passed into law in ___________.

The most recent national park is _________________, established in _________(year).

Name the only President of the United States who also served as a park ranger.

The largest national park is in the state of _________________.

The smallest national park is in the state of _________________.

The highest point in the United States is ________________.

The longest cave system in the world:

The lowest point in the United States is_________________.

The largest plants on earth are:

Which park has the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the lower 48 states?

Which park has an estimated 1,500 bears ( an average of two bears per square mile)?

Which park has the most visitors per year? A) Smoky Mountains B) Yellowstone C) Yosemite

National Parks Infographic

National Parks Infographic

Did You Know National Park Week Is April 20-28?

Windows into Wonderland

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ted-Talks (How is power divided in the U.S. government?)

You will be given three post-its, on each post-it  list one fact about each of the three branches of government discussed in this video.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Close Reading Exercise)

Chapter 1

You will be given five post-its. On the first two list 10-15 adjectives that describe Arnold (both appearance and mannerisms).

On your third post-it, list three examples of how the author uses humor in his writing. Why do you think Alexie uses humor in his writing?

On your fourth post-it, list three references to poverty.

On your fifth post-it, list three references to life on the reservation.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Power Play Game

Expansion of U.S. Voting Rights

US voting rights have expanded

How Much Money People with Your Personality Make

Take the White House Tour

1. The official office of the President and his primary place of work is:

2. Currently, approximately 200 journalists make up the White House Press Corps. With just 49 chairs in the Briefing Room, the White House Correspondents Association decides who gets the coveted seats. A plaque on each seat displays the name of the news organization to which it is assigned. Where does the White House Press Corps meet?

3.When weather permits, the President’s bill signings, press conferences and diplomatic receptions take place here: 

4. When the President is working in the West Wing, a single __________ stands sentry outside the north entrance. Working in _____ minute shifts, the _______  _______  members make a strong first impression on the dignitaries, leaders and everyday people who visit the West Wing.

5. In 1933, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt used the Red Room to host the first of many __________   __________ for women reporters who at that time were excluded from the President's press conferences.

6. During the holidays, the Blue Room is the location of the official White House’s __________  ___________.

7. Designed by George Washington and James Hoban as the “public audience room” of the White House, the large East Room has served a variety of formal and informal purposes. 

Thomas Jefferson’s aide Meriwether Lewis used part of the unfinished East Room for sleeping quarters and an office before leaving to lead the famed ___________ and ___________  _______________.

 It would later serve as the site of President ____________ funeral.

During the Obama Administration, the East Room has been the site of the signing of the __________  __________ Act in March 2010, as well as a music series to celebrate the arts.

8.  In this room, with 42 seats in tiered rows, the First Family and their guests can view current movies, sports games and TV shows.

9. Modernized and expanded in 2007, this 5,000-square-foot complex of rooms is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor national and international intelligence information. It also allows the President to communicate securely with American military commanders and foreign heads of state around the world.

10. The President holds regular meetings with his Cabinet Secretaries and other Administration officials in this room:

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Use the infographic below to answer the questions about the Constitution.

What is the title of this infographic?

List one "Fun Fact" about the Constitution from the infographic.

The Constitution is __________ law of the land.

It is the __________ for the organization of the U.S. government.

What part of the Constitution describes the purpose of the document and government?

What part establishes how the government is structured?

True or False? There are 7 Articles in the Constitution.

How many Amendments are in the Constitution?

The first ten Amendments are called:

List the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

Which Amendment deals with search and seizure?

True or False? The 7th Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy trial.

Which Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment?

Which Amendment abolished slavery?

True or False? The 26th Amendment set the voting age at 18.

The three branches of government are __________, __________ and _____________.

The Legislative Branch is split into to parts, ___________ and ___________. The Legislative Branch is also referred to as the _____________.

The Legislative Branch ____________the laws.

The Executive Branch ____________ the laws.

The Judicial Branch _________what the law _________.

Which governing principle keeps any one branch from gaining too much power over the other branches?

Federalism is shared power between the __________  __________ and the union of _____________.

True or False? Checks and Balances refers to the idea that the government is created by the people and subject to their will through their votes.

The two political parties mentioned at the bottom of the infographic are the _____________ and the ___________.

A More Perfect Union- PBS

The Constitution (Crash Courses in US History)

The Making of the Constitution- Video

Room 167: World Exploration Activity- World Studies

Room 167: World Exploration Activity- World Studies: You will need to play several rounds to get enough information to answer ...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Characteristics of a Country

Government (Somalia....warlords and pirates rule)
People (Antarctica, some Pacific Islands)
Borders (Tibet) (Guesstimate on border in Oman...desert with no people)
Sovereignty (Western Sahara)

Sovereignty: Ability to rule oneself

World Studies Notes- Population Terms

Demography: The study of population data

Per Capita: Per person

Birthrate: Number of births per 1,000 people in a country

Deathrate: Number of deaths per 1,000 people in a country

Life Expectancy: The age the average person is expected to live

Infant Mortality: The rate at which babies die

Urban: City
Rural: Country

Labor Market: The market in which workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers
Outsource: To contract work out to other companies overseas