critical thinking

Fractals and Snowflakes

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Fractals and Snowflakes

  Fractals are fun — and they team up perfectly with a study of snow. To do this activity with your students, you first need to explain what a fractal is: A fractal is a a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation. – From Oxford Dictionaries You can explain this...

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Cherokee Language Lesson Plan

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Cherokee Language Lesson Plan

  Cherokee is one of the few Native American languages with its own writing system. Perhaps in part because of this, Cherokee is also one of the few Native American languages which has a growing — not a shrinking — number of speakers. Studying about the Cherokee writing system can not only help students understand an important part of American history, but also encourage them to think about language more deeply. Understanding Written Cherokee English uses an alphabet, with letters representing sounds. Cherokee is written using symbols to represent syllables. For instance, the...

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Pilgrims Versus Puritans

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Pilgrims Versus Puritans

  Are your students clear about the difference between Pilgrims and Puritans? Understanding the differences between the two is important because they form the foundations of New England—without the differences between Pilgrims and Puritans, today’s northeastern states wouldn’t look the way they do. In fact, county lines in Massachusetts are drawn from the original border between territories of Pilgrims and Puritans. Understanding the difference between Pilgrims and Puritans also help us understand other historical events. For instance, there’s the famous Puritan...

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Old World Foods and New World Foods Classroom Activities

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Old World Foods and New World Foods Classroom Activities

One of the things that changed when the Old World of Europe and Asia met the New World of the Americas was what the people ate. Peppers, corn (though the English used the word for something else before importing our corn to their country), potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, peanuts, pineapple, cranberries, sweet potatoes, vanilla, and zucchini were all New World foods. Old World foods included apples, cucumbers, onions, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, wheat, sugar cane, lettuce, almonds, cinnamon, carrots, and grapes. Here we share a few of our favorite lesson plans and classroom...

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Thanksgiving Hand Turkey Lesson

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Thanksgiving Hand Turkey Lesson

  Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a turkey on the table for most families. This gives us a great opportunity to teach our students about turkeys, both domestic and wild, and to have some fun while we’re at it. This activity is great for younger children. Thanksgiving Hand Turkey Art Lesson Objectives Develop fine motor skills Investigate animal facts Build color recognition skills Explore shape, texture, and pattern Distinguish between reality and fiction Lesson steps Read a Thanksgiving themed turkey story with your students. We have plenty of recommendations...

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The Three Sisters and Co-Planting

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The Three Sisters and Co-Planting

  When the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts and settled Pilmoth, they entered the territory of the indigenous peoples who had lived there for centuries, the Wampanoag. Although their relationship with the Pilgrims wasn’t always amicable, the Wampanoag people taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate three important New World plants: corn, beans, and squash. Learning about the relationship among these different plants can help students understand agriculture and nutrition. Many Native American tribes used companion planting techniques to raise these three crops together. Although each...

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