Bringing History to Life: Battle of 300

With just a little documented sources to use for the battle of Thermopylae, I chose a little bit of a Hollywood version for the students to enjoy.

Of course we compared it to actual quotes of Herodotus.

Devotion: That First Week of School Feeling

Many of us have returned to the back to school routine these past few weeks while some of us are about to embark on that journey very soon.  The beginning of the school year is often met with smiling students, happy teachers and parents, and a sense of excitement for what is ahead.

I hope that atmosphere will extend throughout the entire school year.  However, as many of us have experienced, that isn’t always the case.  The smiles turn into frustration over a difficult assignment.  Those happy parents and teachers turn into metaphorical gobs of goo as the pressures of the school year and all or our kid’s demands tug and pull at us in so many different directions.  

For some of us that time comes around October, when it seems like the year is plodding along at a snails pace.  For others it happens around December when the pressures of school and life collide in a monumental race until Christmas.  Finally, for some it happens around March when we reach spring break, and we quickly realize how much we need to “fit in” before the end of the school year.

Whenever that moment comes for you this school year, it will be important to remember back to that first week of school feeling that we are all experiencing right now.  

That feeling, that excitement, and those happy faces are one of the big reasons why we do what we do.  The other reason is timeless. The other reason doesn’t have ups and downs.  The other reason is there on the best of our days, like the first day of school, but more importantly is there for our very worst day.  The day when our sinful nature convinces us there is no hope.

That is when the true joy of Romans 15:4 is carried out with an exclamation point.  “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

The school year is a race of endurance.  God’s Word is what carries us through.  

The school year is full of moments that steal our joy.  Scripture gives us hope.

The school year is full of teachable moments for us to learn.  God gives us teachable moments throughout His Word as an opportunity for us to grow.

Stay steadfast in His Word, and that first week of school feeling will truly last you the entire school year.

Ancient History Plans – A Storyteller’s Dream

My major lessons for this school year for Junior High Ancient History.  These are lessons that are hopefully so good that you could sell a ticket for them!  The theory behind planning a major lesson each month is that you are always building to something, just like an episodic television series.  The end product is more engagement and enthusiasm for the material and what lies ahead.  All great things in theory, now I’ve just got to pull it off!

Drop a comment if you have any questions on the material or would like ideas on how to make them special.FullSizeRender.jpg

Bring Your History and Science to Life!

In. this video, I analyze the benefits of learning content in-depth vs. surface learning.  Enjoy!  Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below.

Connecting God’s Word to Novel Reading

In my current Literature I and Literature II classes. we are reading the novels, Summer of Riley and The Last Book in the Universe.  Both of these novels focus on the sacrifice of the main character.

To introduce the climax of both novels, we examined the sacrifice in a classic biblical story.  We focused on the brith of Moses and the sacrifice of his mother.

One of the biggest advantages to teaching in a WELS school is the ability to connect God’s Word with the entire curriculum.  It is so much more meaningful when that connection can happen in a relevant way.

Big History: The Christmas Truce of 1914

We are one month into our study of World War I in American History.  We culminated our first month of study with our lesson on the famous Christmas Truce of 1914.

This lesson was so much fun!  The video is of the brief, 6-minute lecture to go with the lesson.  At the beginning of the lesson, you will hear a group of students using bells to go with the music.  Following the lecture, we enjoyed a “No Man’s Land Soccer Match” outside.  We set up “land mines” and “barbed wire” for the students to perform around.  Our obstacles were trash cans, buckets, etc.  The students loved it!  When we finished, we came in and enjoyed some homemade hot chocolate and finished the lesson with an unbelievable and moving mini-movie (3 minutes) put together by Sainsbury’s.  This video can be found on YouTube.

Enjoy and as always have a passion for what you teach!