Monthly Archives: October 2015

What do Milton Bradley and Abraham Lincoln have in common?

Have you heard the story of how Abraham Lincoln was persuaded by an 11 year old girl to grow a beard, just before being elected as the 16th President of the United States?  It is a true story that made quite an impact on the business of then printmaker, Milton Bradley.  You see, Milton Bradley owned a printing company that made lithograph prints of Abraham Lincoln without his beard.  When Mr. Lincoln was elected president, he decided to grow a beard- thanks to a letter written by his admirer, 11 year-old Grace Bidell.  As a result, no one wanted to purchase the lithograph prints of the President without a beard so Milton Bradley’s company went into debt.  But, he didn’t give up!  Instead, he used the printing press to design and print a game that would become one of the greatest board games in America- The game of Life!

Our students took this information, then created their own board games using either facts about the Civil War or word problems to help review multiplication and division skills.  The results were remarkable- 25 kids playing games they created with lots of laughter in our classroom.  Students used a rubric to grade each game, and I’m pretty certain they learned that it isn’t so easy being a gamemaker!



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Order in the court! Civil War figures are accused of crimes and it’s up to our students to determine if they are innocent or guilty!

Imagine twenty-five students studying Civil War battles and leaders then using those facts to create scripts to put historical figures during the Civil War on trial.  Students worked in groups collaboratively to write parts for the plaintiff, plaintiff’s attorney, defendant, defendant’s attorney, witnesses, court officer, and the judge (me!).  The  historical figures who appeared in court were John Brown, General Sherman, and Jefferson Davis and all but one was found guilty!IMG_6397[1]

Lyric Writing and the AMAZING Mr. Sterling…

What happens when creative students study Civil War battles and leaders?  They take all the facts and information learned and write a song about it, of course!  That’s just what our class is working on right now.  So, we invited Sterling McClary, choreographer extraordinaire,  to show us some steps!  Needless to say, these students are asking when Mr. Sterling is coming back!IMG_6102IMG_6070