Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter 3/05/10 - A Find That Is Fit For A Pharaoh

Grade: 5th-6th

March 5, 2010 | Grades 5&6

In This Issue:Found: Pharaoh's Head, Award-Winning Movies, Math on the Menu

A Pharoah-ly Large Find
Even highly regarded pharaohs lose their heads. Archaeologists in Luxor, Egypt, have discovered a red granite head belonging to a statue of Amenhotep III. The pharaoh ruled Egypt from 1387-1348 B.C., a time noted for peace and luxury. The 8-foot head will be returned to its statuesque body as researchers try to reconstruct its parts. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Tell your child that the ancient Egyptians created a form of
picture writing known as hieroglyphs. Each image was a symbol that represented something they saw in their surroundings, i.e., a drawing of the sun represented the sun. Use this information to help answer the Quiz Questions below.

1. Soon the ancient Egyptians realized this system made it difficult to:
a. understand what people who couldn't draw were saying.
b. get a message across quickly.
c. communicate more complicated ideas. 

. They decided to draw symbols of things that sounded like what they were trying to say. For example, if an ancient Egyptian wanted to express "belief," he would draw a bee and a leaf. How might this become a problem? 
a. Your hand would get really tired after only one word.
b. It could take too long and be confusing.
c. Really? Try drawing the word Tutenkhamun.

3. Eventually each symbol came to represent a specific sound. Several symbols together made a word. Archaeologists have found hieroglyphs on:
a. the walls of tombs and temples.
b. bathroom doors.
c. the surface of the moon.

4. Hieroglyph means "sacred carved writing." This likely means that:
a. people carved the symbols on the walls.
b. people used crayons to draw the symbols.
c. archaeologists have no idea how the symbols got on the walls.

Bonus: Suggest that your child make up his own picture alphabet with enough symbols to say something about something that he likes to do.
Aton-Ra: The Lost Statue 

Best of the Big Screen

The stars shine extra bright at the Academy Awards every year, and the red carpet unfurls with a flourish. Who will go home with Oscar? Avatar? The Blind Side? Up? The envelope, please ...  


Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Have your child make a list of her favorite and least favorite films (from any year).
  • Discuss various features that can determine whether a film is  good or bad (acting, special effects, humor, etc.). 
  • Create a list of qualities from most to least important. 
  • Have your child write a movie review with a clear point of view, to include her reasoning and specific examples from the film.

BonusSuggest your child write a letter to a critic with a different point of view, defending her own review and critical opinion.
Learning Tips: Writing Persuasive Letters and CompositionsWrite Persuasive Compositions

Game: Letter Generator

Choc Chip CookieCooking That Counts
Kneading, slicing and arithmetic have become a recipe for success for 7th graders at the Center for Creative Arts, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The school's instructional coach started a program called Culinary Math for students struggling with the subject. Kids are lapping up the lessons, from a candy-making class that taught ratios and proportions to a class on creating garnishes and drawing them to scale.

Activity Ideas - Math

  • Using the "Equivalent Measures" below, challenge your child to use tablespoons to measure out some of the ingredients. 
  • ASK: If 3 teaspoons make 1 tablespoon and 8 tablespoons make 1/2 cup, how many teaspoons make up 1/2 cup? 24 teaspoons (3 teaspoons x 8 tablespoons = 24 teaspoons). Use this formula to calculate how many teaspoons make up 1 cup. 48 teaspoons  

Equivalent Measures
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 tablespoons +1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons = 1cup
2 cups = 1 pint 
4 cups = 1 quart
8 cups = 1/2 gallon 
4 quarts = 1 gallon

Introduce the concept of ratios to your child. Explain that the relationship between ingredients is important; in math this relationship between two quantities is called a ratio. If a recipe calls for 1 egg and 2 cups flour, the relationship of eggs to cups of flour is 1 to 2. In mathematical language this is written as 1:2. Challenge your child to identify the ratios between pairs of ingredients in your recipe. 

Game of the Week

Ratio Blaster game

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