Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless: ONE

With some of the changes around here I’ve decided to bring back my little guessing game for Wednesdays. Here’s how it goes…..I post a picture and you need to guess regarding who or what it is and perhaps explain how the picture fits into history. Later, I’ll post the answer and identify the person who guesses correctly.

Who is this man? Can you tell me something he did?

Interesting face and mustache, huh? His daughter has been in the news lately.

Other bloggers post wordless images on Wednesday , too. Visit the main page HERE to find them.

....and you can now follow History Is Elementary on Facebook. Click on the badge to the right to add me. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Seriously? Seriously.....

The television show Grey’s Anatomy has made the word seriously a go to word when shocked, surprised, angry, etc. as seen in this video:

I’ve even been known to use it myself, so when a friend sent me the following pictures I started thinking about the concept of the word serious and its connotations regarding the field of education.

These pictures show a different kind of airline, don’t they? The labeling on the plane reminds me of primary elementary classrooms where the teacher labels everything,and the classroom itself becomes a functional word wall…..desk, chair, television, computer, etc.

These are photos of a South African plane belonging to Kulula Airlines….

To say they do things different at Kulula is an understatement. Here are a few statements you might hear if you are a Kulula passenger:

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

From a Kulula employee: " Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

So….where am I going with this?

Flying planes……delivering people where they need to on time and safely is very serious business. Yet, Kulula has decided to go about their serious business in a non-serious way.

It seems to me that you can be involved in a serious field of work such as education, but you should never lose your joy…..your passion……because understanding the humorous side of your profession is what helps you to communicate, and communication is key when attempting to deliver content.

Teaching should be fun, and if it is……then learning will be as well.
Looking at things in an entertaining and fun way motivates and builds a love for learning and teaching.

It just seems that THAT should be the primary strategy used by educators.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Northwest Possible

The search for the Northwest Passage, a route that was eventually mapped and traveled through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is one of those ongoing events in history that teaches what real desire, real guts, and real determination is all about. In fact, many historians point to Sir Humphrey Gilbert as the person who coined the name Northwest Passage as early as 1576 when control of trade was the inspiration that spurred the explorers attempt to find a passage. It took nearly 300 hundred years of continuous searching before the passage was found.

Yes…yes….I know….there was an element of greed, power, and thirst for adulation but the men who kept going out time and time again weren’t just power or attention hungry. These were men who kept going out time and time again even after the growing body of evidence pointed to the fact that all that awaited them was another dead end and possibly death.

When it became evident after many years of searching that there was no water route across the United States the explorers began to head north in their search. If you travel far enough the Northwest Passage does exist. Unfortunately, the waters are frozen for most of the year and the quest to finally make it through from the Atlantic side to the Pacific claimed many a life.

Look at the painting I’ve posted below:

The painting is titled The North-West Passage by John Everett Millais and it hangs in the Tate Gallery in London. Notice the maps and other mementos of the sea that surround the old man and the younger girl. Notice the man’s clenched fist. Millais meant for this painting to elicit public sentiment and represents British frustration at their failure to conquer the passage.

Millais completed his painting in 1874. Twenty-nine years earlier Sir John Franklin had gone missing along with the crews of the HMS Erebus and Terror during a Northwest Passage expedition. In 1850, Robert McClure and the crew of the HMS Investigator were sent out to search for Franklin. McClure and his men overwintered in the Arctic three different times before they finally circumnavigated the Americas by discovering and traversing the Northwest Passage over ice and via ship. McClure and his men had to abandon their ship when it became caught in the ice during their second journey and just recently the ship was discovered in 36 feet of water in relatively good shape.

See the article here.

The find reminds me of the fictional move National Treasure and the location of the Charlotte……a ship that held important clues for Nicholas Cage and is a wonderful connection for kids to make between history in a book and history in real life.