Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

May 19, 2009

Early American Anachronisms

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 9:01 pm

Welcome back to school.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable and restful 3-day weekend and got to spend some time outside in the gorgeous weather.

We will still have a regular vocabulary list this week although I eliminated one of the pages from the vocabulary packet.  The roots this week are gen, mort, and bio.  The focus words are: genre, progeny, generic, mortician, immortal, mortgage, biodegradable, and amphibious. The students got a good start on the packet in class today, so I do not foresee any difficulties in completing it by Friday.

In writing, students began the pre-writing for their own persuasive essays.  We came up with a list of 8 possible subjects and then each student formulated an argument and began planning out the reasons and supporting details to use in their essay.  Tonight for homework they will work on filling out the more detailed graphic organizer and plan at least 2 paragraphs of their essay.

In Mathematics, we worked through a practice test for the end of the year District Assessment on Thursday.  The greatest area of need seemed to revolve around computations involving division.  We will finish up a second review packet and do our final review tomorrow.

In Art, the students began work on some watercolor landscapes and incorporated some crayon relief for lines and boundaries.  They will finish up any work on their landscapes and begin on their scenery backgrounds next week.

In Social Studies today, I added a twist to the reading when I typed up four paragraphs about some different events that brought the colonies together around the time of the Revolutionary War.  As students read through information about the Albany Congress, the Committees of Correspondence, and the First and Second Continental Congresses, they were given an additional challenge of locating a historical anachronism.  As the students learned today, the word anachronism comes from the roots ana, meaning against, and chrono, meaning time.  An anachronism is something that is not in the correct time period.  The most well known anachronisms are usually in books or movies and might involve a character singing a song that haden’t been released yet, or wearing a digital watch in the Old West.  Although we just started the activity before the end of the day, the students seemed to have a great time as they searched through the information.  For those who are interested in reading more about anachronisms in movies,  I’d like to suggest the book Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies. You can read the first 31 pages through google books, including a very scholarly interview with director John Sayles and an essay on Jurassic Park by Stephen Gould.

past imperfect

You can also check out a list of 10 historically inaccurate movies on the site How Stuff Works.   Unfortunately both of these resources are written at more of an adult level and are about movies that few of the children have probably seen, but if you do find yourself watching a movie on a historical subject with your family, I’d suggest to watch out for possible anachronisms and let me know if you find any.


  1. Language Arts: Begin pre-writing graphic organizer for persuasive essay. (First 2 paragraphs)
  2. Mathematics: Complete 2 pages of practice test.
  3. Other: Work on vocabulary packet. (Due Friday)
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

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