Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

May 12, 2009

Revolutionary Art

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:53 pm

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent some time in class looking at political cartoons from the time period right before the Revolutionary War.  My blog post today will elaborate more on the topic and what we looked at in class.

Prior to the Revolutionary war, as tensions grew between the colonists and loyalists, art emerged as an tool for rallying support on both sides.  After the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s famous print of soldiers firing on innocent civilians caught the attention of colonists and inflamed anger towards the British.  In class we studied several different pieces of art that were created to stir emotions, whether sympathy, anger, or sometimes a bit of humor at the tense relationship between the colonies and Britain.

As we looked at them in class, we payed special attention to the symbols that were used and how they reflected actual historical events and the sentiments of the colonists.   Here are several of the prints we examined in class.


The Wise Men of Gotham and their Goose

Published by Humphrey Gerrard on Frb. 16, 1776 in the Street Soho.

As you look at the cartoon, pay special attention to what the goose and its eggs could symbolize, as well as what the dog in the bottom left corner is doing on the map of the American colonies.

the colonies reduced

“The Colonies Reduced.”

By Benjamin Franklin, 1767 and published in Great Britain.

One thing in class that we talked about was how important it is to think about what the audience is, and how this impacts how the subject matter is taken into consideration. This print was made for the British to warn them of what might happen to Britain if the colonies should separate.

The repeal or the funeral

“The Repeal, or the funeral of Miss Ame- Stamp”

By  Benjamin Wilson, March 18,1766

If you look carefully, you will see one of the people in the funeral procession carrying a piece of paper.  Looking at the title of the print, what do think the paper is, and who do you think the funeral is for?

pennsylvania advisor

Masthead of the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advisor

Publisher: William Bradford, October 31, 1765

The above newspaper was published the day before the Stamp Act went into affect.  The words around the skull and crossbones version of the stamp read, “An emblem of the effects of the STAMP – O! the fatal stamp.”

skull stamp

Here is another version of a skull and crossbones version of the stamp.

You can click on the first three illustrations to take a look at the websites where I found them.  The bottom two both came from the Library of Congress website that I mentioned yesterday.

Students are currently working on creating their own historical political cartoons.  I’ll post them on the blog when they are ready.


  1. Language Arts: Fill out paragraph 4 graphic organizer for Chocolate persuasive essay.
  2. Math: Study Link on labeling geometric solids.  Optional page on truncated polyhedra.
  3. Other: Continue to work on vocabulary packet.

Mr. Weis


May 7, 2009


Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 6:57 pm
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Today we had our third day of puberty education.  We will have the final lesson tomorrow.  Students will bring home their workbook on Friday, so if you would like to get a better look at exactly what they were learning, ask to take a look at the workbook when they get home.

In reading we began a new Reader’s Theater play that is based on the true events of the Boston Massacre.  We were able to exercise our dramatic reading muscles while we learned of the tyranny of the King and Parliament through the eyes of the colonists.  On a side note, the play had the term lobsterback, which I subsequently found out was not actually used in the Revolutionary War time period,  You can check out some background on the term lobsterback as well as lots of other info on the Revolutionary War on a really well-written blog called Boston 1775.  The writing is definitely more adult level, but just in looking back over the past several weeks I found some pretty interesting and well documented entries.  If you are a US history buff, I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Boston 1775

In writing we dissected a persuasive essay and identified specific writing strategies the author used to make the argument more convincing.  We did some interactive writing and made a chart of these strategies and then chose our first topic to write a persuasive essay on together.

In mathematics, we will have the Unit 9 test tomorrow.  We have been doing some good review work this week by making posters and the flash cards, but I also passed out a study guide with tutorials for each type of possible problem.  The test will include: coordinate grids, area of rectangles, triangles, and parallelograms, and volume of prisms.  Please look through the study guide, practice with the flash cards, and create practice problems based on the study guide concepts.

I’ve mentioned the Brainpop website before, but today I found a direct link to one of their videos on the Glencoe publishing site.  It is a pretty straightforward video on finding the are of basic polygons.  There is also a quiz to take attached to th video.  Enjoy.

Brainpop polygons


  1. Mathematics: Study for Unit 9 test.  Use the study guide and flash cards.
  2. Other: Finish vocabulary packet and study for the test.
  3. Social Studies: Read pages 104 and 105 and answer all questions.
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and bring back signed reading log.

Mr. Weis

May 5, 2009

2 Point Perspective on Art and War

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 10:51 pm
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Our schedule was quite a blur today, from Puberty Ed. to a quick Vocabulary session, library, Math, Art, Social Studies and Music, we barely had a chance to catch our collective breath.

In Vocabulary, we went through our words of the week and deduced the meaning of the roots of the week from analyzing some complete words.  As we progress to the midpoint of the week, please make sure that your child is working a little bit each day on Vocabulary so they can be finished and ready for the test on Friday.

In Mathematics, we continued some work with area and volume and did some review.  The unit 9 test will be on Friday and will include Coordinate Grids, Area, and Volume.  I’ll pass out a study guide to assist students with each topic on the test.  In the mean time, here is a neat Interactive Surface Area and Volume web app.


In Social Studies we are continuing our work with the Revolutionary War and we began to look at some specific Acts that the British passed that got the colonists riled up.  As we learn more about the Revolutionary War, we will be paying special attention to the point of view and perspective of both the colonists and the loyalists.

There used to be a nice website on PBS kids called Liberty Kids, but the link no longer works.  While I look for other more kid-friendly websites, here are a couple other sites through PBS that are actually companion sites to video series.  While the content is a bit high level, there is quite a wealth of information, scans of primary documents, and multimedia content, so take a gander and see if you find anything that sparks your interest.

The first site is connected to the video special Liberty: the American Revolution


The second site is connected to the series Freedom a History of US


For the past few weeks in Art, the students have been learning how to draw interior and exterior spaces with one and two point perspective.  While the students have been working, I was reminded of a video art program I did in elementary school called Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad.  I looked him up and found that he has a website with hundreds of video tutorials on specific drawing lessons.  The website requires a paid membership, but there are 12 free videos to watch that offer a preview of what the lessons are like.

Mark Kistler

I also found Mark Kistler’s Youtube page which has another 15 videos.  You can find his videos here.  Also, here are a few videos that cover basic 2 point perspective for you to watch here.  I actually remember doing these drawings when I was just a little kid and acquiring them as part of my doodling repertoire that I still use to this day.


  1. Mathematics: Practice set 62
  2. Other: Continue to work on Vocabulary Packet
  3. Social Studies: Write two Cause and Effect pieces of information from pages 101 or 102 (finish if not completed during class)
  4. Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.

Mr. Weis

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