American CivicsEarth-010.jpg
The Empire of Dreams and The Story of All of Us




People should not be afraid of their government. Government should be afraid of their people.



Introduction

Fourteen billion years ago, in the crucible of the Big Bang, a story began. It is the story of all of us; the story of every man, woman, and child who ever lived and walked on Earth. It is a story that connects all of us to each other and to the stars of space from whence we all came. By connecting every discipline of academic inquiry, from literature and music, science and mathematics, art, technology, theatre, religion, weaponry, warfare, and civics, history comes alive as we explore fourteen billion years of civilization in the greatest story ever told: mankind - all of us. It is a story of triumph and tragedy, with tales of valor and courage; epic tales of adventure and sacrifice and of ordinary men and women who, under uniquely extraordinary circumstances set in motion from the moment the universe began, accomplished extraordinary things that changed the world. Our story, and who we are as a people, begins by understanding that we, as Americans, are a relatively new chapter in the ongoing story of mankind. The story of western civilization is the story of how peoples and nations moved from the tyranny of absolute monarchy to the liberty of democracy and republicanism. From the moment civilization first appeared in the Nile River Valley and Mesopotamia, through the battles for democracy between Greece and Persia, and the fight for the empire and glory of Rome; every step up the ladder of science, every masterpiece of the Renaissance, and every voyage of discovery, from Columbus to the first heroic step upon the Moon, western civilization has been dedicated to one idea: you are not what you were born; you are what you have it in you to be.
Welcome to American Civics: The Story of All of Us.

About Me
I am a proud graduate of Vanderbilt University, holding a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Political Science, with minor concentrations in Astronomy, Theatre, and International Relations. In the fall of 2017, I will begin my ninth year as a teacher, my eighth year at Washington Latin, and my third year as Chair of the History Department at our school. Prior to teaching, I served as a representative to the United States Congress on behalf of the American Astronomical Society and as a consultant on the 2006 U.S. Senate Campaign of Ben Cardin of Maryland and the 2008 Presidential Campaign of President Barack Obama. Outside of school, I love running, fencing, playing baseball and dodgeball, as well as playing piano, organ, guitar, video games, and writing. I will always, and forever, cheer on my Baltimore Orioles, my Baltimore Ravens, and my Vanderbilt Commodores.
Follow the Story of All of Us, the Empire of Dreams, and the Battle for Liberty on Facebook at American Civics: The Story of All of Us on Facebook

For Parents
While we strive for excellence in all things, we also love to have a lot of hilarious fun along the way. Parents are always welcome to stop in for a visit; just let us know when you're coming and we'll make sure to put on a show. I also hope to create an interactive learning experience where learning about history is not confined to the four walls of the classroom and the fifty minutes we meet each day. As a result, the class wiki and the class Facebook page are the two most important resources you can use to remain actively involved in the class. I will endeavor to have the wiki and the class Facebook page updated by 5:00 PM on school nights.
If you have questions, please feel free to email me at lstaten@latinpcs.org. Emails usually receive a response within 24 hours; emails sent after noon on Friday will be responded to on Monday. I may be an unstoppable machine, but even Mr. Staten needs a break from time to time.
American Civics: The Story of All of Us Course Syllabus 2017-2018:
American Civics Cornell Notes Template and Guide:






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Week of January 15, 2018

It is 1775 and Boston is a hotbed of dissent against British taxes. John Adams, Paul Revere, and Sam Adams lead a rebellion that becomes a revolution. From the ashes of the Boston Massacre comes the rise of a new nation. War is coming and there is no going back.

This Week in American CivicsHomework due on Wednesday: Tighter British ControlHomework due on Thursday: Colonial Resistance GrowsHomework due on Friday: Boston, Bloody BostonHomework due on Monday: The Road to Lexington and Concord
Monday, January 15 - "In Praise of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.": Perhaps nowhere in our nation's history has there been a finer example of one man standing alone against an empire than the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. His struggle, leadership, and vision of a better America and a better world continues to inspire generations today, fifty years after his tragic death. May we continue to fight for Dr. King's dream of an America that lives out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." May Dr. King's dream for America live forever.
Tuesday, January 16 - "Taxation Without Representation": With Great Britain desperate to raise revenue, the Crown comes up with some innovative ways to tax the colonists. However there are three constants in the universe - death, taxes, and the fact that Americans hate paying taxes. It is the immortal Patrick Henry who puts a title to the new American sentiment. Without votes in Parliament, there is no need for Britain to interfere with the colonies...or so the colonies hope...Tonight's Homework:
Wednesday, January 17 - "The Intolerable Acts": Boston in 1770 is a powder keg waiting to explode. When British soldiers open fire on a crowd on Boston Common, all of Massachusetts Bay is ready to rise up in revolt. A young Boston lawyer and patriot named John Adams races to discover the truth about what actually happened on that fateful March night. Adams stands alone against the Sons of Liberty who are desperate for war and a British monarch bent on revenge. With the help of his intelligent, and charming, wife Abigail, can Adams find the truth before Parliament and the Sons of Liberty unleash their fury? It's a race against time in the greatest courtroom battle in British America!Tonight's Homework:
Thursday, January 18 - "Boston, Bloody Boston": Boston is under siege. With Parliament quartering troops, closing the colonial legislatures, and blockading Boston Harbor, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock take matters into their own hands...and send a message to Great Britain the world will not soon forget! Join Mr. Staten, the Sons of Liberty, and the scholars of the History Channel for episode one of the epic thirteen-part miniseries The Revolution!Tonight's Homework:
Friday, January 19 - "Lexington and Concord - The Shot Heard Round the World": Sixteen months after the Boston Tea Party, British General Thomas Gage makes one of the most fateful decisions in western history. Word has reached the British Army commander of Boston that a munitions stockpile is hidden in the nearby town of Concord, Massachusetts. By sending the British regulars out into the countryside, Gage sets in motion events that cannot be undone. The consequences will be heard around the world.
Tonight's Homework:




Week of January 8, 2018
The year is 1763. Great Britain is the dominant superpower of the planet. The imperial navy patrols the waters of the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the South Pacific. Their supremacy is unquestioned and unchallenged.
They are also bankrupt.
The French and Indian War has virtually emptied the entire royal treasury and King George III is looking for a way to raise revenue. He turns to the tried and true methods of empire: raising taxes. First, he taxes the paper. Then, he taxes the sugar. And then he taxes the tea. Every step of the way, the colonists of British America become more incensed at this seeming infringement upon their liberty. With every action by Parliament, the colonists resent the Crown more and more. It is only a matter of time before a spark ignites a tenuous situation into armed conflict. It is only a matter of time before someone fires a shot that is heard 'round the world.

This Week in American CivicsHomework due on Tuesday: The "Witches" of Salem, Part IHomework due on Friday: The "Witches" of Salem, Part IIHomework due on Tuesday: Finish Research Project
Monday, January 8 - "Witches and Witch Hunters": When a group of girls are allegedly caught dancing in the forest, the entirety of the Massachusetts Bay Colony explodes in a deadly showdown between witches and witch hunters. Explore the dark secrets of Salem, and the legacy of the hysteria that swept Europe and North America for close to three hundred years, as American Civics goes theatrical and we explore the history and story behind the trial of John and Elizabeth Proctor from Act III of Arthur Miller's Tony Award wining play "The Crucible." The pure in heart need no lawyers...Tonight's Homework:
Tuesday, January - "The Crucible, Part I": When a secret conjuring ceremony in the woods outside Salem, Massachusetts goes horribly wrong, a group of girls begins accusing members of the town of witchcraft. Abigail Williams leads her friends down a dark road that will have stunning consequences, as her love for John Proctor leads to devastating results. Join us as we watch part one of The Crucible, the 1996 film based on the 1953 Tony Award winning play by Arthur Miller, starring Academy Award nominee Winona Ryder, three-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis, and Academy Award winners Joan Allen and Paul Scofield.
Wednesday, January 10 - "The Crucible, Part II": The witch trials begin in earnest as John Proctor fights to learn the truth behind Abigail's accusations, while his wife Elizabeth knows exactly why John refuses to confront Abby. Judge Thomas Danforth arrives to start hanging accused witches and mayhem ensues in part two of The Crucible!
Thursday, January 11 - "The Crucible, Part III": John Proctor faces his nemesis Abigail Williams in a desperate race to save his wife, Elizabeth, from the hangman's rope in the thrilling conclusion of The Crucible!Today's Notes:
Friday, January 12 - "Battle for North America - The French and Indian War": Thirteen colonies have established themselves on the Atlantic Coast, but there is so much more out there that North America has to offer. It will (of course) take a world war to claim the continent as Great Britain and France renew their medieval rivalry in our backyard!Tonight's Homework: Finish Research Project!


Week of January 2, 2018
It is a brave new world. In the wilds of North America, the roots of a new nation begin. Huddled against the coast are the small settlements of Jamestown and Plymouth. Through the hardships of "the starving time" at Jamestown to the frigid winter of 1620 at Plymouth Bay, the foundations of British America still impact us today in our history and our traditions. But before British America even gets started, it almost destroys itself in the madness of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Then, the British will cement their control in the 1700's with the French and Indian War. This week we lay the foundations of British America and blast our way into the 1700's. With Britain's peace rightfully established and enforced upon the world, we will set sail across the Atlantic for the last time to face a brave new world and a new frontier in the thirteen colonies of British America.

This Week in American CivicsHomework due on Wednesday: Keys to a NationHomework due on Thursday: The African Slave TradeHomework due on Friday: None AssignedHomework due on Monday: Begin Research Project
Tuesday, January 2 - "Pioneers": The founding of Jamestown and Plymouth, the hardships of the early colonies, the arrival of Africans and development of slavery, and interactions with Native Americans are explored and early settlers fight for survival. Tobacco sows the seeds of new opportunity. As the colonies prevail and thrive, tensions with the British ignite as taxation and resistance explode into war and rebels prepare to take on the imperial might of the British Empire. Join Tony award winner and Golden Globe nominee Liev Schreiber and the scholars of the History Channel for episode one of America: The Story of Us.Tonight's Homework: Keys to a Nation
Wednesday, January 3 - "Stony the Road We Trod": It is an institution that had its origins long before it arrived on the shores of British America. The battle for liberty enters its darkest chapter as American Civics explores the dark history of Triangle Trade, mercantilism, and the origins of slavery in America and the New World. The peculiar institution has had a profound impact on the history of the United States. Today we will explore the legacy of the institution of slavery and how the battle for civil and human rights still continues today.Tonight's Homework:
Thursday, January 4 - "Witches and Witch Hunters": When a group of girls are allegedly caught dancing in the forest, the entirety of the Massachusetts Bay Colony explodes in a deadly showdown between witches and witch hunters. Explore the dark secrets of Salem, and the legacy of the hysteria that swept Europe and North America for close to three hundred years, as American Civics goes theatrical and we explore the history and story behind the trial of John and Elizabeth Proctor from Act III of Arthur Miller's Tony Award wining play "The Crucible." The pure in heart need no lawyers...Tonight's Homework: None Assigned
Friday, January 5 - "The Librarians": The sixth grade heads down to the library to do research for their presentations and projects. Remember, you can only choose topics before 1700 so, yeah...1738 is not going to happen.Tonight's Homework:


Week of December 18, 2017

This week we will come to the end of our journey together in 2017. It has been an honor and a privilege sharing this journey with the Patriots, the Eagles, the Cavaliers, the Nationals, and the Raiders. A well deserved break begins at the conclusion of this week and it will be a time of holidays, festive parties, good food, family, and close friends. Regardless of wherever this holiday season takes you, may it be a time of light, warmth, and good cheer. In humble appreciation of all of you, and everything you do, I wish you a holiday season of peace, hope, and joy. May it be a season of peace and good will toward all. Godspeed to 2017.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Lucky 13
Homework due on Wednesday: Keys to History
Homework due on Tuesday, January 2: None Assigned


Monday, December 18 - "The Lucky Thirteen": The greatest story of our time becomes the greatest adventure of all time. The British Empire rises thanks to Elizabeth and James, and then goes on to conquer the world. As the Pax Britannica rises, we're departing from the Old World for the last time as we crash into Plymouth Rock, storm the beaches of Jamestown, discover the dark secrets of the witches of Salem, and learn the history of the original Ivy League. Mr. Staten takes you ashore and into the New World of North America for the start of the greatest adventure ever: the story of America!
Tonight's Homework: The Thirteen Colonies Worksheet

Tuesday, December 19 - "Treasure": Silver flows out of the mines of the Americas, helping spur new empires and global links. The growth of trade doesn’t just include products, it includes people. The brutal trans-Atlantic slave trade becomes an enormous human trafficking system, leading to enslavement of tens of millions of Africans. Pilgrims, searching for religious freedom, travel to the New World. Mankind is becoming increasingly connected, with major consequences for peoples all over the planet.
Tonight's Homework: Keys to History

Wednesday, December 20 - "Storytime in America": It's the last day before break and we're having fun as Mr. Staten shares the comic misadventures of his literary counterparts with a new chapter of The Guardians of History!




Week of December 11, 2017

The battle for freedom enters the next frontier: the age of reason. As philosophers of reason contemplate the nature of humanity, a revolution begins. The Age of the Enlightenment sets the stage for the greatest story in the fight for liberty. This week, as John Locke and Voltaire question what it means for us to be human, the sixth grade will explore the Baroque period and Classical period through music. The story of all of us continues as we close the Renaissance with one of the greatest empires to ever dominate the planet: Great Britain and the rise of the Pax Britannica.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: Elizabeth
Homework due on Wednesday: The Age of Reason
Homework due on Thursday: None Assigned
Homework due on Friday: Keys to History & Bring Earbuds/Headphones to Class
Homework due on Monday: None Assigned

Monday, December 11 - "The Rise of the Pax Britannica": In 1215, King John faced a simple choice: sign Magna Carta or die. A little more than three hundred years later, on August 8, 1588, Great Britain will win one of the most decisive, and fateful, battles ever under the reign of one of humankind's greatest queens, Elizabeth. She will lead her nation into battle and onto the stage as the first true world empire called the Pax Britannica.
Tonight's Homework: Queen Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 12 - "The Age of the Enlightenment": As men of science challenge the way we view the world and the universe around us, men of philosophy and faith challenge the way we think about the world and the nature of man. John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire change the way we view the role of government and the rights of man. Their political philosophies are vitally important to understand because they inspired a new generation of leaders to take the very next step. The men who succeed them a century later are named John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison...the heart and soul of the new American republic and the leaders of the American Revolution.
Tonight's Homework:

Wednesday, December 13 - "Renaissance Fair": The sixth grade explores life in the Renaissance and Middle Ages as we learn about heraldry, knights and castles, and learn the game of kings (or thrones?): chess!

Thursday, December 14 - "New World": The Americas develop rapidly as the Aztecs build the biggest city on the planet. On the other side of the world, a Turkish sultan uses cannons to conquer Constantinople. The East feeds Europe with spices; explorers are driven to find new commodities and new lands. Columbus, Cortez and others reach the Americas, starting a battle for that continent. The consequences are dire for indigenous peoples. Join Academy Award Nominee Josh Brolin and the scholars of the History Channel for a new episode of Mankind: The Story of All of Us.
Tonight's Homework: Keys to History and Bring Your Earbuds to Class!
Friday, December 15 - "Soli Deo Gloria": As men of science, faith, and reason battle the old ways of thinking about the world, a new force emerges that will change and inspire the story of all of us: music. Today, we will explore and learn about the wonders of the Renaissance and Enlightenment through music. From J.S. Bach and his Saint Matthew Passion and his Preludio in E Major, and Vivaldi's Winter, to Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, we will spend the day exploring the works of the great composers of the Baroque period. With the help of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, American Civics will explore the most beautiful pieces of music ever written and end the week with the most inspiring pieces in history. Premiering in April, 1742, this piece caused its composer to weep as he wrote it, moved George II to stand in awe upon hearing it, and was hailed as a magnum opus even within its initial run: from George Frideric Handel comes Hallelujah from his epic masterpiece, Messiah.
Today's Notes:
The Music Animation Machine: 16 Amazing Classical Music Pieces that Will Inspire



Week of December 4, 2017

"When I think of your heavens, the works of your fingers, the Moon and the stars you have made, what is man that you are mindful of him; the son of man that you care for him?"
-Psalm 8


The battle for liberty is now fought between scientists and philosophers. In 1610, the greatest challenge to the dominance of Aristotle in politics and government is unleashed upon the world. Armed only with an optical telescope, a professor of astronomy named Galileo makes a discovery that will change the world: he sees moons orbiting Jupiter. A scientific revolution begins, one that challenges the way we think about heaven and Earth. For if Aristotle might be wrong about the perfection of the heavens, might he also be wrong about government and politics? From the universities of Europe comes a new frontier in the story of humankind: the Enlightenment. From Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton comes new ways of thinking about human nature. New ideas of government emerge from philosophers named Locke, Montesquieu and Voltaire. The students of this age of reason and enlightenment will stand on the shoulders of titans and take the next steps for they are named John Adams, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. The story of all of us enters a new frontier: the age of science.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: Columbus
Homework due on Wednesday: A New Heaven and a New Earth
Homework due on Thursday: None Assigned
Homework due on Friday: Keys to History
Homework due on Monday: None Assigned

Monday, December 4- "1492 - Conquest of Paradise": Twenty-five years before Luther's Reformation, the European powers were locked in the biggest economic race in the history of the world. In 1225, an Italian explorer named Marco Polo traveled across Asia writing about the riches of China, Japan, and the Spice Islands. For the next three centuries, it would be the overland routes that dominated trade. But in 1485, Portugal found a way that changed everything: sailing around the Cape of Good Hope and the southern tip of Africa. Then Spain shocks the world when they send Christopher Columbus on a seemingly impossible mission: an endeavor to reach the Spice Islands by sailing west...straight across the Ocean of Darkness. It is a decision that will change the course of human history.
Tonight's Homework: Columbus
Tuesday, December 5- "Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth": As Luther brings down the religious establishment and empires are being established in a new world, the Renaissance reaches staggering new heights of glory as men of science attack over 1500 years of thinking and wisdom as laid out by Aristotle. Men, whose names will live forever as the great scientists of Earth, change the way we look up at the stars of the night sky. Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton challenged the supremacy of the Catholic Church and the supremacy of Aristotle. Why do they do this? It was never the intention of these scientists to challenge the order of religion and science, but rather to understand the universe. They believed that there is an underlying mathematical order to the universe, placed there by God, for men to understand. The wisdom of Kepler, the brilliance of Newton, and the power of Galileo will be on full display as men of science, motivated by faith, build a new Heaven to inspire us and a new Earth for us to explore.
Tonight's Homework: , ,

Wednesday, December 6- "Medieval Mayhem": We're exploring the world of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as we learn about the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood!
Tonight's Homework: None

Thursday, December 7- "Survivors": Gold from Africa ignites the rebirth of Europe. Money flows into Venice creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to take risks. In China, a new weapon - the gun - inspires a peasant uprising to unify a nation. Chinese inventions inspire Europe and lead to the printing press and millions of books. One of those books will inspire a journey to a brave new world. Join the scholars of the History Channel for a new episode of Mankind: The Story of All of Us.
Tonight's Homework: Keys to History

Friday, December 8- "To the Manor Born": He might still be in school (technically), but Mr. Staten still has goals. As we conclude our study of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, we're taking a trip (on our favorite rocket ship) to Great Britain to see a medieval manor and to tour Mr. Staten's dream home and future manor house.
Tonight's Homework: None Assigned




Week of November 27, 2017

Oh, I have slipped the surely bonds of Earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle, flew; and while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God.

We stand on the precipice of a new world. As Europe emerges into the light of the Renaissance, it enters a world in transition. Between 1400 and 1700, the world and the universe as we knew it became infinitely larger, more alive, and more beautiful as we explored the planet in ways never before imagined. We challenged the supremacy of the church, defied the wisdom of Aristotle, and questioned the idea of the universe itself. As we march toward a new Heaven and a new Earth, we will reshape the way we think about the world. This week we aim for the lofty heights from which there is no return as we prepare to take those first tentative but heroic steps into a brave new world.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Keys to HistoryHomework due on Wednesday: The Black DeathHomework due on Thursday: Magna CartaHomework due on Friday: The Renaissance BeginsHomework due on Monday: Martin Luther and the Reformation
Monday, November 27 - "Warriors": As Rome falls, Europe enters the Dark Ages. But the light of civilization will not be completely extinguished. In the east, servants of a new prophet named Muhammad save the the western world. Funded by lavish gold mines, the Arabic people unite under the banner of Islam and preserve the cultural legacy of Greece and Rome in the great cities and libraries of Alexandria, Damascus, and Cordoba. In the north, the Vikings terrorize the people of Europe and cross the Atlantic before becoming Christian knights. The stage is set for the new clash of civilizations: the battle between the Crescent and the Cross - The Crusades. Join Academy Award Nominee Josh Brolin and the scholars of the History Channel for "Warriors," Episode IV of Mankind: The Story of All of Us.Tonight's Homework: Keys to History
Tuesday, November 28 - "End of Days": In 1347, the world came crashing down. A devastating, diabolical plague raced across Asia and into Europe, laying waste to all in its path. It was such a deadly pandemic that its name still inspires awe and fear. Learn how the world almost came to an end during the reign of terror called the Black Death. As civilization breaks down, do you have what it takes to survive in the world of the plague?Tonight's Homework: The Black Death
Wednesday, November 29 - "Magna Carta and the Birth of the British Government": The time is now at hand. Everything has led to this. Every theme, every lesson, every objective comes down to this one moment. Two decisive dates will set in motion everything we discuss for the rest of the journey. On June 15, 1215, King John of Great Britain will make a fateful decision that will change the course of human history. It is a decision made primarily to save his kingdom, but the ramifications are still felt today. King John affixes his seal to Magna Carta, the document that gave the world constitutional democracy. A little more than three hundred years later, on August 8, 1588, Great Britain will win one of the most decisive, and fateful, battles ever under the reign of humankind's greatest queen, Elizabeth. She will lead her nation into battle and onto the stage as the first true world empire called the Pax Britannica.Tonight's Homework: What is Magna Carta?
Thursday, November 30 - "The Renaissance - A Light in the Darkness": As Europe emerges from the horror of the Black Death and the Crusades, a new chapter opens. The light of a new day begins in Venice, Milan, Florence, Ravenna, and Genoa. It is the world of the Renaissance as mankind begins his heroic march onward and upward to the modern age. Leave behind the darkness of the "Age of Kings" as we transition into our new unit. Our fourth unit of study will begin the bridge from the ancient and medieval world to the world that sees the birth of the United States. Our fourth unit takes us into the world of the Renaissance and the beginning of the European empires. With the birth of the Renaissance, a new appreciation for the world of the classics begins. Humankind takes a step into the new frontiers of science, art, music, literature, and philosophy and ultimately into a new dawn. Join Mr. Staten as American Civics begins its triumphant ascent "Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth."Tonight's Homework:
Friday, December 1 - "The Reformation": The date is October 31, 1517. A German priest nails a list of arguments and complaints to the front door of the cathedral at Wittenburg, in a somewhat hilarious attempt to get his message to the public. Martin Luther instead sets off a wildfire that splits the Catholic Church. Empires and kings follow Luther's lead in challenging the dominance of the Catholic Church. Luther's attack on what he views as theological flaws in the Catholic Church, what he merely calls a reformation, is actually the opening shot in a revolution that will, over the next three hundred years, begin to bring down the dominance of the European aristocracy.Tonight's Homework:


Week of November 20, 2017

It is 1095. Urban II, pope of the Roman Catholic Church and leader of all Christendom, has called for a daring assault to retake the Holy Land from control of the Muslims. Two hundred years of nonstop warfare that plunges Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East into the inferno of violence. When the dust settles, the entire world will be at the mercy of an apocalypse unimagined in human history. It is the end of days for the medieval world, but the old adage says it is always darkest just before the dawn.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Crusades
Homework due on Monday: None Assigned
Monday, November 20 - "Kingdom of Heaven - The Crescent and the Cross": The legacy of the wars called the Crusades are still felt today. These wars were the ultimate clash of civilizations as East faced off with West in the showdown that changes the world forever. Follow the knights as they are led by Godfrey de Bouillon, Frederick Barbarossa, and Richard the Lionheart on a epic journey into battle against Salah ah-Din to retake Jerusalem and stake a claim in the Holy Land and the Kingdom of Heaven!Tonight's Homework:
Tuesday, November 21 - "Storytime in America": It's the last day before break and we're having fun as Mr. Staten shares the comic misadventures of his literary counterparts with a new chapter of The Guardians of History!


Week of November 13, 2017

For close to a thousand years, Rome held the world together. Now, the glory of Rome has faded into history and the Dark Ages have descended upon Europe. As the west descends into anarchy, Europe will face a darkness and a threat unlike any it has ever faced before in human history. As civilization falls, the light of Rome lives on in the East and the glory of classical Greece and Rome survives in the rising empires of Islam. At Constantinople, Rome lives again. At Alexandria, Cordoba, Damascus, and Baghdad, great academies of science, astronomy, and mathematics thrive. As the west goes dark, it will be the empires of the east that keep the classical knowledge of antiquity alive. But East and West will collide once again in a titanic clash that pits the forces of the Crescent against the legions of the Cross...the Crusades.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Church and the Rise of CitiesHomework due on Thursday: The Dark AgesHomework due on Friday: The Golden Age of Islamic CivilizationHomework due on Monday: None Assigned
Monday, November 13 - "Life in the Middle Ages": Explore the world of the high Middle Ages! From life on the manor to the code of chivalry to the stunning beauty of the cathedrals, learn what life was like during what you normally think of as the Middle Ages. Timewarp back to the year 1000 and see if you can make it as medieval serf!Tonight's Homework: Monks, Nobles, and Ladies
Tuesday, November 14 - "The Dark Ages, Part I": The battle for civilization begins in the formation of the Frankish and Germanic nation states we recognize today as France and Germany. Under kings like Clovis and Charlemagne the war to unite Europe under one flag begins. While western Europe falls, the Byzantine emperor Justinian and his beautiful, and intelligent, queen Theodora launch a Roman renaissance of their own and pave their way to glory in a path of blood. Join the scholars of the History Channel for this thrilling look at life in Europe between the years 500 and 800.Tonight's Homework: Answer Discussion Questions 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11. (We will only complete questions 2, 3, and 5 and possible 6 in class today. We'll finish the rest tomorrow)
Wednesday, November 15 - "The Dark Ages, Part II": The medieval world begins in complete anarchy and chaos. Following the death of Charlemagne in 814, Europe faces new challenges and new threats to its safety and security from an unprecedented force from across the seas: The Vikings of the north, and the Islamic Empires of the east! Join the scholars of the History Channel as we continue our exploration of the Dark Ages between 800 and 1100.Tonight's Homework: The Dark Ages Movie Guide
Thursday, November 16 - "Africa and the Golden Age of Islam": The last, and youngest, of the three great western religions gets its start in the desert sands of Arabia. As the Prophet Muhammad spreads his message, the Islamic Empire saves western civilization by preserving the classical works of Aristotle and the Greeks of the Golden Age of Athens. Without the Islamic Empires and the Golden Age of North Africa, there would be no knowledge of the legacy of Ancient Greece and there would be no Renaissance in the 1400's. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Islamic and African world...today, you will learn why.Tonight's Homework:
Friday, November 17 - "The Medieval Library": Take a side trip into the libraries of medieval Europe as we explore some of the greatest books in human history. It's story time in America as Mr. Staten reads "A Miracle of Saint Bernard," and "The Ordeal" and the class tilts at windmills with Miguel de Cervantes and "Don Quixote" and takes a road trip to the underworld with Virgil and Dante by reading "Inferno!"Tonight's Homework: None Assigned



Week of November 6, 2017
Rome has fallen and the world is up for grabs. With the collapse of Imperial Rome, the light of civilization is darkened in Europe, but does not go completely dim in the east. While the west descends into anarchy and chaos, the east thrives. The legacy of Rome is preserved in the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople, which will serve as buffer state between a new power that will rise in the east and the darkness that falls in Europe. November and early December will see our class blast through nearly 1300 years of history in seven weeks. We will march through the Age of Kings (500-1400), head Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth (1400-1600), and get lost in a Brave New World between 1600 and 1763. We now stand on the eve of a new world order. Let's roll.

This Week in American CivicsHomework due on Tuesday: None AssignedHomework due on Wednesday: The ByzantinesHomework due on Thursday: The Dark AgesHomework due on Monday: Feudalism
Monday, November 6 - "Assassin's Creed": Remember, remember the Fifth of November; the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I see of no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot. American Civics celebrates one of the most original holidays on Earth...Guy Fawkes Day and Bonfire Night! We'll celebrate with a party about the original freedom fighter whose epic adventure in 1605 might have ended in failure but gave rise to one of the greatest stories on earth! Meanwhile, Caesar is dead on Capitoline Hill. And it is all your fault. Today, we're retelling the story of one of the most famous political assassinations of all time and what happens next is entirely up to the sixth graders in American Civics. The Story of All of Us delves into a hilarious, dark, and twisted alternate history where Caesar's death isn't the end of the republic, but the beginning of the greatest story ever invented by the sixth grade!
Tuesday, November 7 - "The Byzantines and the Legacy of the Pax Romana": Behind every great empire there is a great emperor. Behind every great emperor, there is an even greater woman serving as queen and empress. For Justinian, it is his charming, intelligent, and savvy wife Theodora. Together, they will go on a quest to reunite the Roman world and establish an empire that lasts over a thousand years.
Tonight's Homework:
Wednesday, November 8 - "The Dark Ages: 500-800": The centuries immediately following the collapse of Rome are dark ones in Europe. But every now and then, a ray of light and hope emerges in the darkness. As Roman civilization collapses, Europe is united under a new banner: the Catholic Church and the desire to restore the Roman Empire under a Christian king named Charlemagne.Tonight's Homework: Charlemagne
Thursday, November 9 - "The Rise of Feudalism": It is a system of government that holds Europe together after the collapse of Roman law and government. Feudalism, a system of kings and knights, lords and vassals keeps Europe from descending into complete anarchy, but will it stop the knights of Europe from killing each other, or their kings, in a desperate race to grab land, money, and ultimate power?Tonight's Homework:
Friday, November 10 - "Veteran's Day": Today the Story of All of Us pauses today to give honor to America's veterans. The soldiers and sailors of the United States Military have served with honor, courage, and valor since April of 1775. Knowing that we owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans that can never be repaid, please accept the humble thanks of a grateful nation today.



Week of October 30, 2017

As Rome's dominance spreads around Europe and North Africa, across the Mediterranean Sea in the Roman province of Judaea, the seeds of the destruction of Imperial Rome are planted. A young, Palestinian Jew named Yeshua preaches a radical message of brotherhood and fellowship that slowly takes hold in this backwater of the empire. Arrested, tried, and convicted as a common criminal against the peace of Rome, Yeshua is executed on the cross. But it is the circumstances surrounding his death that set fire to the imagination of the western world. What begins as a simple code of ethics for living as a good and decent human being develops into a full-scale revolution that turns the Roman Empire on itself. Within three hundred years, the entire western world knows the name of the Jewish rebel...but because of the Hellenization of the world under Alexander, it is his Greek name that catches on: Jesus. His followers bring down the Roman Empire and set in motion the formation of the medieval and modern world.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Roman EmpireHomework due on Wednesday: None AssignedHomework due on Thursday: The Keys to HistoryHomework due on Monday: Assassin's Creed Project Due
Monday, October 30 - "Shadows of the Empire, Part II: Rise of the Empire": Caesar lies dead on Capitoline Hill. His assassins believe that the republic is saved. But they have unknowingly sown the final seeds of its destruction, and their own. Mark Antony and Octavian launch a thrilling war of vengeance against the Liberators and then turn on each other as the republic falls and one of the greatest world empires in history is born.Tonight's Homework: Roman Empire
Tuesday, October 31 - "The Greatest Story Ever Told": Without drawing a single sword, waging a single battle, or inflicting a single military casualty, a new system of ethics brings the Roman Empire to its knees. The story of the spread of Christianity is the foundation to understanding the formation of the medieval, and western world and the story of all of us. As such, our story today focuses not on Jesus himself, but on the men and women who followed him. Led by the teachings of Simon Peter and the writings of John, Paul and Luke, a small group of dissidents will use the Roman system of government to form a new world religion and the Roman network of roads to spread a new type of gospel that rocks the world. One man can stand alone against an empire and thirteen can start a revolution that changes the story of all of us.Tonight's Homework: None Assigned
Wednesday, November 1 - "Empires": Huge engineering projects help spark intricate cities that transform the lives of millions of people. The spread of Christianity and other religions reveals the increasing interconnected nature of mankind. The greatest mega-city on earth, Rome, becomes an engine of expansion while China builds an empire on the other side of the world. A vast network of roads and shipping lanes allows goods and ideas to flow across three continents. Mankind is connected like never before—this is the birth of globalization. Join Mr. Staten, Academy Award nominee Josh Brolin, and the scholars of the History Channel for episode III, Empires, of Mankind: The Story of All of Us.Tonight's Homework: Finish Keys to History Classwork
Thursday, November 2 - "The Fall of Man": With Christianity spreading rapidly across the Roman Empire, a series of weak, ineffectual, and incompetent administrators brings the mighty empire to its knees. With the fall of Rome, Europe will plunge into darkness, and today's lesson will have a massively high body count. The west will descend into anarchy and chaos, but the light of civilization is not completely extinguished. In the eastern corners of the Roman world, hope still survives...Tonight's Homework: Assassin Creed Project
Friday, November 3 - "Parent Conferences, Round One": Mr. Staten has a blast meeting the parents today. Hopefully, there's no need to wear the all-black...


Week of October 23, 2017
The battle between republicanism and tyranny comes to a head in Rome. After the Punic Wars, Rome stands as masters of the Mediterranean World. But can the republic withstand the glory and might of Julius Caesar? To the people of Rome, Caesar is a hero, the conqueror of Gaul, and defender of the common man. To the Senate of Rome, he is a tyrant with dangerous ambitions that go beyond monarchy and into the realm of dictatorship. Caesar sees himself as the savior of the republic, one attempting save the republic from a tyrannical and oppressive Senate. One way or another, war will come. The fate of the republic and the western world hangs in the balance. We're crossing the Rubicon and we're not looking back!

This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Punic Wars
Homework due on Thursday: Hannibal Barca
Homework due on Monday, November 6: Assassin's Creed


Monday, October 23 - "A Tale of Two Cities": Before the Red Sox and Yankees, before Ohio State and Michigan, before Army and Navy, before Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, there were the original rivals...Rome and Carthage. These are two nations who definitely DO NOT like each other. They will fight three epic wars that will determine the fate of the world. It is the unstoppable force of Carthage against the immovable object that is Rome. Let's get ready to rumble!
Tonight's Homework: The Punic Wars
Tuesday, October 24 - "Hannibal the Annihilator": They say hate keeps a man alive. If this is true, then no man lived harder than Hannibal Barca, one of history's greatest generals. Before Rome ever rose to its epic heights, Hannibal nearly strangled the republic alive with three devastating battles that virtually wiped out the entire army of Rome. Join the scholars of the History Channel as we learn how Hannibal nearly destroyed Rome before it ever got started!Tonight's Homework:
Wednesday, October 25 - "Anacostia": We're heading out on the first field trip of the year to Anacostia Park to test the water!
Thursday, October 26 - "Shadows of the Empire, Part I - Fall of the Republic": Rome stands alone as masters of the Mediterranean, but is the republic ready for one of the most ambitious men in world history to step onto the stage? Julius Caesar enters during one of the most dangerous times in the republic's history. A series of ambitious men have come before him that have made a series of reforms that the people see as heroic and the Senate sees a dangerous. Caesar has conquered Gaul, expanded the borders of the republic, brought wealth and riches to Rome. But the Senate sees him as a tyrant and a king in the making. When the Senate orders Caesar to stand down, Caesar responds with war. The Republic plunges into darkness, and Caesar emerges triumphant. Hailed as dictator for life, Caesar appears unstoppable, until he pays a fateful visit to the Senate on Capitoline Hill...Tonight's Homework: Due November 6
Friday, October 27 - "Fun Day": The sixth grade teachers team up to deliver the first fun day in sixth grade history. It's going to be one wild day!



Week of October 16, 2017
"To the End of the World and the Great Outer Sea." This was the motto of one of the most tactically gifted and brilliant commanders in human history: Alexander the Great of Macedonia, who conquered the massive Persian Empire in four decisive battles. The transition of power from the Ancient World of the Near East to the classical world of Greece and Rome after the battles of Marathon and Thermopylae concludes with the triumph of Alexander and the spread of Greek culture through the Hellenization of the world.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Rise of TheaterHomework due on Wednesday: The Empire of AthensHomework due on Thursday: None AssignedHomework due on Friday: RomeHomework due on Monday: None Assigned
Monday, October 16 - "The Golden Age of Athens": Master statesman Pericles heralds a new age of glory for Athens. It is an age of theatre, arts, philosophy, and a new age of thinking about the universe, the world, government, and the state of man. The golden age of Athens is the very definition of what we think of when we envision Classical Greece. From the glory of the Acropolis and the Parthenon to the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the Golden Age is a time to remember. But while Athens stands alone as masters of the Aegean world, her neighbors cast a wary eye upon her rising power. When Athens goes too far in demanding tribute from the other city-states, Sparta vows to take on their hated rivals and teach them a lesson. A young historian named Thucydides records the destructive conflict in his "History of the Peloponnesian War." It is a fatal mistake that will leave Greece vulnerable to a new nation-state that sits on the horizon...Tonight's Homework: Read The Librarian or Archimedes' Bath
Tuesday, October 17 - "To the End of the World and the Great Outer Sea": The greatest tactician to rise from legendary Greece isn't even Greek at all. The Macedonian general Alexander conquers the known world all by the age of 30, and spreads the vision and ideals of Greece throughout the Mediterranean. But it is on the battlefield that he distinguishes himself as one of the greatest military commanders in human history. Follow Alexander's rise to glory as he faces off against the Persian Empire in a final, climactic showdown that changes the face of politics and the course of world history and watch as Alexander unleashes some of the most brilliant tactics ever devised on the Army of India.Tonight's Homework:RED: Greek Theater and GamesWHITE: Greek Art and ArchitectureBLUE: Daily Life in Athens, Writing Activity, Page 203HEISMAN: Choose Your Own Activity
Wednesday, October 18 - "It's ALL Greek to Me!": While the Greeks are famous for the invention of democracy, they also gave us theatre. Today, we're retelling two classic stories from Greek history and reenacting Archimedes' Bath and The Librarian while blending science and math into history and the story of all of us. Then, we spend the second half of the day exploring the fun side of Greece as we learn to write our names in Greek, build our own Greek Temples, and design our own labyrinth!Tonight's Homework: None Assigned
Thursday, October 19 - "The Eternal City": The very name conjures images of empire and glory. Rome, the eternal city, founded in legend by the survivors of the Trojan War, establishes a new system of government called republican government. Rome is the foundation for government in Europe, the United States, and government throughout the world. Roman values, ideas, and culture survive to this very day. See the foundation for the west begin on the seven legendary hills of Rome.Tonight's Homework: The Republic Worksheet Video Link: The Roman Republic
Friday, October 20 - "Iron Men": Rogue pirates plunder the Mediterranean coast, signaling on-going conflict between newly emerging societies. But the discovery of iron and its incredible uses helps mankind create new ways of life. Armed with metal tools, humans construct new societies and amazing vessels. Early forms of government, including democracy in Athens, help guide us. Humans develop monotheistic religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. People power shapes the world, as warfare continues to divide us. Join Mr. Staten, Academy Award Nominee Josh Brolin, and the scholars of the History Channel for episode two, Iron Men, of Mankind: The Story of All of Us.
Tonight's Homework: None Assigned


Week of October 9, 2017

SPARTANS!!! PREPARE FOR GLORY!!! The unstoppable might of the Persian Empire crashes into the infant democracy of Athens. In one of the most pivotal battles in human history, the small city-state of Athens faces off alone against the Persian Empire on the desolate plains of Marathon. Miltiades and 11,000 Athenians are the last line of defense. Yet their heroism pales in comparison to the glorious stand of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. For three days, Leonidas, the 300, and their allies hold off 300,000 Persians and the shock troops known as the Immortals, led by the (hilarious) king Xerxes...who has a tragically hilarious encounter with the waters of the Hellespont. With the Persian Wars behind them, Athens and Sparta will engage in a fierce rivalry for control of the Aegean and the Mediterranean. Their rivalry will lead to the downfall of Greece and the birth of western civilization as we know it.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Wednesday: Ancient GreeceHomework due on Thursday: The Persian Empire
Homework due on Friday: The Hoplon Battle Shield
Homework due on Monday: None Assigned

Monday, October 9 - "Columbus Day": Today is Columbus Day, the day where we celebrate the comically (tragically?) hilarious adventure of Christopher Columbus, who never actually proved the world was round, who wrongly labeled Native Americans as Indians, called the Caribbean Islands he "discovered" Asia, and died never really knowing that he had crashed into North America. It goes to show that if you crash into something really, really, big all of humankind will eventually remember you.

Tuesday, October 10 - "The Last Stand of the 300, Part I": Follow Leonidas, the 300 Spartans, Mr. Staten, and the scholars of the History Channel on the epic path to glory at the historic Battle of Thermopylae. Learn about the tactics, weapons, and strategies of the Spartan phalanx, and survive the brutal Spartan education system called the Agoge, as we give our enemies nothing, but take from them everything in part one of the epic documentary The Last Stand of the 300!Tonight's Homework: Ancient Greece Map (Finish Classwork)
Wednesday, October 11 - "The Last Stand of the 300, Part II": Follow Leonidas, the 300 Spartans, Mr. Staten, and the scholars of the History Channel on their epic path to glory at the historic Battle of Thermopylae. Learn about the tactics, weapons, and strategies of Themistocles and the Athenian Navy as we fight in the Artemesium Straits and stare down the full might of the Persian Empire! Join Leonidas as he holds off a colossal Persian attack. When Persian arrows block out the sun, we will fight in the shade in part two of The Last Stand of the 300.Tonight's Homework: The Persian Empire (Finish Classwork)
Thursday, October 12 - "The Last Stand of the 300, Part III": Follow Leonidas, the 300 Spartans, Mr. Staten, and the scholars of the History Channel on their epic path to glory at the historic Battle of Thermopylae. Xerxes makes his final push to destroy Athens while we join Leonidas and the 300 on their last stand for glory. When Persia demands we lay down our shields, join the call of no surrender and no retreat in the conclusion of The Last Stand of the 300.Tonight's Homework: Finish Hoplon Battle Shield
Friday, October 13 - "The Agoge": The sixth grade heads outside to undertake the ritual Spartan upbringing - the Agoge! We'll train in Spartan battle tactics, learn to march and fight in a phalanx formation, and end the day with Olympic Games! Join Team Athens or Team Sparta as we bring back the glory of the original extreme sports!Tonight's Homework: None Assigned


Week of October 2, 2017
The makings of the world's first democracy is paved in blood and tears. Forged in the crucible of war and a titanic clash of civilizations, Greece faces off against the mighty Persians in an epic conflict that will change the world. Greece in the making is a Gothic tale of heroes and legends, warriors and battles. They are battles that everyone knows from myth and legend. The nation left standing will shape the fate and future of the entire western world. After a visit from the Angel of Darkness, the long, heroic march to freedom continues as we leave the Age of the Lawgivers behind and enter our new unit of study: the Age of Empires. The battle for liberty begins!


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Makings of Greece
Homework due on Wednesday: MythologyHomework due on Thursday: Athens vs. SpartaHomework due Next Week: The Hoplon Battle Shield
Monday, October 2 - "Out of the Darkness and Into the Marvelous Light": Greece was not always synonymous with democracy and glory. Greece went through a dark age where virtually all civilization was wiped out. But what emerged was the beginnings of one of the greatest civilizations in human history...provided the Persians don't strangle democracy in its cradle...
Tonight's Homework:
RED: The Rise of Hellenistic CivilizationWHITE: Ancient Greece - How it All BeganBLUE: The Rise of Greek Civilization - Questions 2a, 3a, and 3b, Page 175HEISMAN: The Rise of Greek Civilization - Writing Activity, Page 175
Tuesday, October 3 - "The Legendary Journeys": These are the stories of a time long ago; a time of myth and legend. It is a time when the ancient gods of Greece plagued mankind with suffering. Only an elite few dared to challenge their power: the sixth graders of Mr. Staten's American Civics class! Join us as we explore the Titanomachy and the legendary heroes of Greece including Perseus, Hercules, and Atalanta as we rewrite history and make our own legendary journey through time!
Tonight's Homework: Write Your Own Myth

Wednesday, October 4 - "This...Is...SPARTA!!!": The rivalry between Athens and Sparta takes center stage today. Learn if you have what it takes to survive the Spartan education system, live in the Spartan military, and be a virtuous man or woman of Sparta...or perhaps you should pack your things and move to Athens because YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! Give honor to your Spartan heritage! You will grow strong or you will die!
Tonight's Homework:
RED: Lycurgus and SpartaWHITE: Lycurgus and Sparta and Athens and DemocracyBLUE: , Questions 2b, 2c, and 3b, Page 213HEISMAN:
Thursday, October 5 - "Clash of the Titans": It is the epic clash of civilizations that will shape the course of western civilization. Greece and Persia will face off in an epic confrontation at Marathon, Thermopylae, Artemisium, Salamis, and Plataea. The battle lines are set. The armies are ready. The pieces are moving. Game on!
Tonight's Homework:

Friday, October 6 - "Jason and the Argonauts": Join Mr. Staten as we break out the popcorn and treats for the ultimate movie experience and watch one of the original sword-and-sandal epics from the golden age of Hollywood. Projected in HD on the big screen with surround sound, join us as we watch the classic Ray Harryhausen film Jason and the Argonauts.



Week of September 25, 2017

"Let my people go."
-The Gospel of American Civics, Chapter 5, Verse 22


This week we rise up out of Egypt and follow the incredible story of the first monotheistic nation in the story of all of us as they journey from an exiled people to a tribal kingdom and regional power. We will also learn about the new rising superpower: Persia. As we begin the transition out of the Age of the Lawgivers, we will move from the ancient world to the classical world as our next unit, the Age of Empires, begins.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Pharaohs of Egypt
Homework due on Wednesday: The History of Judaism
Homework due on Thursday: Persia
Homework due on Friday: Study for Test

Homework due on Monday: None Assigned

Monday, September 25 - "Exodus: Gods and Kings": It is considered one the most epic battles in history - the showdown between the prophet Moses and the tyrant king Ramesses the Great. While we will not presume to debate the theological merits of the showdown, we will examine this conflict from a political and military standpoint and follow the development of Israel from a tribal nation-state to a regional power, and examine the influence of Moses as a political leader and one of the most important lawgivers in human history.
Tonight's Homework: Pharaohs and Mummies Worksheet

Tuesday, September 26 - "From Exile to Kingdom": Our study of ancient Egypt draws to a close as Egypt's New Kingdom declines with the rise of new civilizations in the west and challenges to its domination emerge from Greece and Persia. Get ready for a thrilling journey out of Egypt as we follow the birth of one of the great civilizations of the world and explore the history of one of the most influential documents on the foundations of western law and order.
Tonight's Homework:

Wednesday, September 27 - "A New Power is Rising": The Kingdom of Israel does not have long to last. Despite strong leaders and kings such as Joshua, David and Solomon, after their deaths, a new power rises that comes to dominate the Middle East. Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes will lead the first true world empire to unprecedented heights, power, and riches. They will conquer Babylon and Egypt, unite the Medes, and save the Jewish people. The Persian Empire is a glorious superpower, but one that will soon find itself in an epic conflict and a desperate battle to destroy the cradle of democracy itself.
Tonight's Homework: Babylonia and Assyria

Thursday, September 28 - "Life in Egypt": Today, American Civics steps aside from the formal lessons to learn about life in Ancient Egypt. We'll learn how to play Senet - the game of pharaohs, write in hieroglyphs, create our own funeral masks, and explore what life was like for everyday people in the world's first civilization and empire.
Tonight's Homework: Study for Test


Friday, September 29 - "The Age of the Lawgivers and the Angel of Darkness": Behold, I am become death...the destroyer of worlds and the ruin of men. The Angel of Darkness, the Lord of Death, and the Minister of Academic Mayhem returns to deliver the first exam of the year in American Civics. Back in all-black means one thing...Mr. Staten becomes the Angel of Darkness and the sixth grade has a test in American Civics!
Tonight's Homework: None Assigned





Week of September 18, 2017

Four thousand years ago, a civilization rose from the darkness of the desert to challenge the limits of human imagination. With a mastery of engineering, mathematics, astronomy, and physics that would not be rivaled until our modern era, Egypt dared to dream bigger than any civilization on Earth. This week, we journey back in time to the place where western civilization as we know it began. Follow the rise of one of the greatest empires in history as the battle for liberty moves into a new front: the Nile River Valley and the Old and New Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt. As the fight for empire begins, we will join Pharaoh Djoser, Prince Imhotep, and (the comically named) Pharaoh Sneferu in the heroic, yet tragically hilarious, quest to build a true pyramid. The glory of the Old Kingdom of Egypt rises from the sands and sets in motion the adventure of western civilization. And while the path to empire is paved in blood and tears, Ramesses II will stop at nothing to solidify his his control over a world empire. Standing in his way is the mighty Hittite Empire of Muwatalli II and his war chariots. Before he ever set himself on the path to becoming "The Great," 25-year-old Ramesses will face his own arrogance, his own mortality, and his own worst nightmare at the Battle of Kadesh. And fourteen centuries before the birth of Christ, in a world where women were property, Egypt bowed to one. We're engineering an empire that will echo across time!


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: The Rise of Egypt
Homework due on Wednesday: HatshepsutHomework due on Thursday: Ramesses
Homework due on Monday: Engineering an Empire

Monday, September 18 - "Skyward": The quest for immortality has inspired men for thousands of years. Today, we reach for the skies and learn how the ancient Egyptians created mummies, built magnificent tombs that still influence architecture today, and get all wrapped up while reading the dark passages of the ancient Egyptian text that guided souls into eternity in The Book of the Dead. Death will come on swift wings to those who disturb our rest as we head into the heart of the Third and Fourth Dynasties of the Old Kingdom. We will meet Pharaoh Djoser and Prince Imhotep as they launch their daring attempt to construct the first stone structure ever built on Earth. Then, team up with Pharaoh Sneferu on a quest that begins in tragedy, passes through comedy, and ends in glory as mankind begins his heroic march to the skies.
Tonight's Homework:
RED: The Rise of Ancient Egypt and Knowledge CheckWHITE: The Rise of Ancient Egypt, The Pyramids and the Sphinx, and Knowledge ChecksBLUE: The Rulers of Egypt and Questions 1a, 1b, and 3bHEISMAN: The Rulers of Egypt and Writing Activity
Tuesday, September 19 - "Empire Egypt": In the Eighteenth Dynasty, the New Kingdom of Egypt launched its assault to control the known world and to expand its dominion over Earth as wide as the circuit of the sun. Led by characters as complex and diverse as the times they live in, Egypt will be ruled by an apocalyptic despot determined to bring down the order of the world, a murderous teenager with ambitions of godhood and empire, a preteen boy who is convinced his own government wants to assassinate him, and, most controversially of all, a ruler who defied history merely by being a woman. Fourteen centuries before the birth of Christ, in a world where women were viewed as nothing more than property, Egypt bowed to one as their queen. Explore the story of Hatshepsut, the first queen of a nation in the story of all of us. Then follow the expedition to uncover the greatest discovery in history and locate the lost tomb of a previously unknown queen of Egypt who may have been buried in the most famous cemetery on Earth: the Valley of the Kings. To anyone who says girls can't be leaders or can't be strong today's adventure is a thunderous answer that girls can be warriors too!
Tonight's Homework:

Wednesday, September 20 - "King of Kings: The Nineteenth Dynasty": The fame of Egypt is due to two men. A father and son combination whose names live in infamy and whose achievements echo across time. They are the greatest pharaohs of Egypt and one of them stands alone with the greatest title in history: King of Kings.
Tonight's Homework:

Thursday, September 21 - "Egypt: Engineering an Empire, Part I": Go on an exciting trip back to Ancient Egypt and follow Imhotep and Pharaoh Djoser on their incredible journey to build the first pyramid at Saqqara and their attempt to leave an indelible mark on history. Then, try not to fall dramatically as we join Sneferu in the attempt to turn the step pyramid into geometric and architectural perfection. Join Mr. Staten, the co-star of Star Trek Into Darkness Academy Award Nominee Peter Weller, and the scholars of the History Channel for part one of the visually stunning movie Egypt: Engineering an Empire.
Tonight's Homework:
Complete Questions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9
Friday, September 22 - "Egypt: Engineering an Empire, Part II": Sneferu aims skyward as he tries to build the first true pyramid while Hatshepsut takes her place as the first female ruler of a nation in the history of mankind. During the Middle Kingdom Period, Sesostris III builds a superfort that rivals the castles of the Middle Ages with technology that would not be seen again for twenty-four hundred years. And before he ever became famous for his legendary treasure city of gold, Seti I builds a marvelous tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Then, after narrowly surviving the Battle of Kadesh, Ramesses attempts to cement his immortality by engineering building projects that will alter the face of Egypt forever. Thirty-four hundred years later, the nations of the world race to save the legacy of Ramesses and the Temple of Abu Simbel. Join Mr. Staten, Academy Award Nominee Peter Weller, and the scholars of the History Channel for the conclusion of Egypt: Engineering an Empire.Tonight's Homework: Complete Questions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9



Week of September 11, 2017
The cradle of civilization and the birthplace of mankind is found in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia and North Africa. It is here that humanity took the first steps up the ladder of freedom from the tyranny of despotism to the glory of republicanism and democracy. Three thousand years before the birth of Christ, great civilizations reached skyward in an attempt to define the universe and the larger world around them. From the stunning beauty of the Hammurabi's Code and the cuneiform writing of Sumer, we will move on to the glory of the pharaohs of Egypt. The monuments to absolute monarchy and the desire for eternal fame still tower over the sands and echo across time.


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Tuesday: Study for Your Continents QuizHomework due on Wednesday: Mesopotamia
Homework due on Thursday: Justice in Mesopotamia
Homework due on Friday: Debate Reflection
Homework due on Monday: None Assigned

Monday, September 11 - "Patriot Day": Sixteen years ago, the skies over America went dark above the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, and a field in Pennsylvania. Today, American Civics pauses to give honor to one of the most defining moments in the most recent pages in the story of all of us. Join us for our special lesson commemorating three thousand patriots who gave their lives upon the altar of freedom.
Tonight's Homework: Study for Your Continents Quiz
Tuesday, September 12 - "Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent": Travel into the heart of ancient Mesopotamia and Sumer to learn about life in the Fertile Crescent and why civilizations first sprang up between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The birthplace of civilization for all mankind marks the first steps up the ladder of excellence as we explore the beginnings of law and government where it all began.Tonight's Homework: The First Civilizations Map and Worksheet
Wednesday, September 13 - "Hammurabi and the Code": It is the original law code that has survived from ancient times. The Code of Hammurabi is so important to the development of civilization, law, and government that it is still cited as an influence to this day. There's a reason Hammurabi's portrait hangs in the United States House of Representatives, and everyone can cite some aspect of the code. Its most famous passage might be "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," but life in Mesopotamia is hard. It's even rougher if you're one of the jokers who decides to fight the law. The law wins. The law always wins.Tonight's Homework: Answer the three questions with each reading
Thursday, September 14 - "Justice in Mesopotamia": You think you have it bad? Join Mr. Staten for the first Socratic Seminar and Parliamentary Debate of the year where we explore Hammurabi's Code and the life of students in Ancient Mesopotamia. It's going to be one violent day.Tonight's Homework: Ancient Mesopotamia Map and Worksheet
Friday, September 15 - "The River of Life": The Nile River is the longest river on Earth, and it is the only one that flows north. Explore life in the Nile River Valley and how civilization developed in Egypt. The gods of Egypt smile upon us as we go into the heart of the civilized western world. From Osiris and Isis to the lords Horus, Anubis, Thoth, the princess Ma'at and the dark traitor Set, the role and influence of Egypt continues to impress us thousands of years later. The first, true, unified nation of the west begins its march to glory and rises from the life giving floods of its sacred river.Tonight's Homework: The Crown of Horus Extra Credit


Week of September 4, 2017
Space: the original frontier. These are the continuing adventures of American Civics. Our never-ending mission calls us to continue telling the story of humankind; to inform and entertain; to learn and ultimate to teach others; to bravely tell the story of all us to all generations.
Fourteen billion years ago, forged in the crucible of the Big Bang, a story began. It is the story of all of us; the story of every man, woman, and child who ever lived and walked on Earth. It is a story that connects all of us to each other and to the stars of space from whence we all came. By connecting every discipline of academic inquiry: from literature and music, science and mathematics, art, technology, theatre, religion, weaponry, warfare, and civics, history comes alive like never before as we explore fourteen billion years of history and civilization in the greatest story ever told: mankind – all of us. It is a story that begins by understanding that we have a connection to each other and to the stars of space. It begins with the realization, as the late Dr. Carl Sagan explained, that we, all of us, are made of stars.


This Week in American CivicsHomework due on Wednesday: The SummaryHomework due on Thursday: The Cosmic CalendarHomework due on Friday: Mapquest ActivitiesHomework due on Monday: Keys to History
Monday, September 4 - "Labor Day": Anyone else amused by the fact that we celebrate hard work by taking the day off?

Tuesday, September 5 - "In the Beginning...": In the beginning there was nothing. Then the Big Bang happened. So begins the story of our universe. Follow the story of the universe from the formation of the first stars and galaxies. From the birth of our star the sun and our planet, Earth, to the rise of the solar system and our moon, explore the beginning of the planets and how we all got here.Tonight's Homework: Summarize Your Notes from Today's Lesson (5-7 Sentences)
Wednesday, September 6 - "Life: The Story of All of Us": Three billion years ago, life appeared on Earth. All of human history has happened only in the last four million years of cosmic existence. The story of life is the story of who we are and where we came from. From the glory of the dinosaurs, who went extinct sixty-five million years ago to humans who appeared about four million years ago, please note that humans did not ride dinosaurs into glorious battle. Explore what life was like in an era when the continents of Earth moved into their current positions, when India crashed into Asia, when North and South America pulled away from Pangaea to form a new world, and an age where a third of the planet was covered under a sheet of ice a mile thick and we began our heroic march to tame our small world called Earth.Tonight's Homework: Summarize Your Notes from Today's Lesson (5-7 Sentences)
Thursday, September 7 - "Timeline": The sixth grade takes today to learn how to read maps, play with timelines, and gets started with its interactive notebooks as we prepare to undertake the greatest adventure of all time: history itself.Tonight's Homework: Complete In-class Activities
Friday, September 8 - "Inventors": On an unforgiving planet, most species will fail. But one species will discover a set of keys that unlock a pathway to the future. Fifty thousand years ago, mankind begins its long march to freedom and mastery of the planet in the heart of Africa. Join Mr. Staten, Academy Award nominee Josh Brolin, and the scholars of the History Channel for episode one, Inventors, of the epic twelve part miniseries: Mankind: The Story of All of Us.Tonight's Homework: Keys to History, Tape the Cosmic Timeline into Your Notebook, and Study for Your Continents Quiz



Week of August 28, 2017
Fourteen billion years ago, a story began. It is a story of triumph and tragedy, with tales of valor and courage; epic tales of adventure and sacrifice, and ultimately men and women who, under the right circumstances, accomplished extraordinary things that changed the world. The story of our nation and our people does not begin with our Constitution, nor does it even begin on the battlefields of the American Revolution. Our story begins by understanding that we, as Americans, are a relatively new chapter in an interconnected story that links all of us to each other and to the stars. I invite you to come with me on a journey through time, our world, and our universe as the sixth grade explores the story of who we are and where we came from. Drawing influences from literature, art, music, science, mathematics, technology, religion, weapons, and war, history and civics comes alive like never before as we explore 5000 years of western civilization and join an adventure fourteen billion years in the making. Our journey through time and space will take us first to the stars from whence we all began and then on to our small blue world called Earth. The battle for freedom will take us on a journey from tyranny to liberty, but the story of all of us begins by looking up...into the darkest depths of space.
Welcome to American Civics: The Story of All of Us.

This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Wednesday: Homework due on Thursday: None AssignedHomework due on Friday: The Empire National BankHomework due on Monday: Setting Up the Notebook
Monday, August 28 - "The Battle for the Angel Trophy": It is the championship that has come to be elevated above all others at our school. Now being contested for the eighth time, today's lesson answers that immortal question: 'what team will I be on in sixth grade?' The quest for the American Civics Continental League Championship and its Angel Trophy have become legendary. Today, we will welcome back into action the defending champion Patriots as they seek to becoming the first team to ever win back to back championships and win their second overall title. Joining them are the Eagles, who are always a threat to win the title; The Cavaliers, champions from two years ago who seek to recapture their former glory and win their third championship; The Nationals, hated rivals of the Eagles, who also seek their third title; and the Raiders who look to climb the mountain once again. The rivalries have become historic; many will never forget the battles between the Nationals and the Eagles in the early years, while the Patriots and the Raiders have emerged as one of the most heated. The race gets under way as the 2017 Continental League and the battle for the Angel Trophy begins. Whoever wins this year will make history and can lay claim to the ultimate title: dynasty.Tonight's Homework:
Tuesday, August 29 - "American Civics and the Interactive Notebook": As the Patriots, the Eagles, the Cavaliers, the Nationals, and the Raiders begin the fight for the Angel Trophy, Mr. Staten will introduce you to the interactive notebook. One of the things that makes American Civics unique is that there is no definitive textbook for the class. Instead, students will build their own through an interactive notebook. Keep this notebook handy: it may count as a fourth quarter test grade (and should be a free A on quizzes throughout the year)! And you'll be able to use it through the rest of your academic career in the study of history. Mr. Staten will show you the interactive notebook he built, and the science behind it...then he dares you to do better!Tonight's Homework: Decorate Your Interactive Notebook
Wednesday, August 30 - "The Best and the Brightest": Our exploration of professionalism and how to be a good student continues as the sixth grade learns from middle and high school students across the country and around the world what it takes to be successful in academic life. With the help of our friends from Teen Ink, a literary magazine written by teenagers for teenagers, we will look at study skills, classroom habits, and lifehacks that will help every student achieve their full potential as scholars. We'll also talk about what it means to be a good student beyond the purely academic form and how to set ourselves up for success in every endeavor.Tonight's Homework: None Assigned
Thursday, August 31 - "Call to Power": American Civics and the sixth grade goes on the run to number one as Mr. Staten turns his class into the first live action interactive video game in the history of social studies education. Experience the thrill of capitalism, commercialism, power-ups, and more as the sixth grade battles for control of the Civics Universe in the greatest game ever played: history class itself!Tonight's Homework: Set Up Your Account and Change Your Password by Emailing Mr. Staten Your Choice
Friday, September 1 - "All There Is": The cosmos is all there is; all there ever was; and all there ever will be. Come with me on an incredible journey as we learn about our place in the universe. From our Cosmic Address to the Cosmic Calendar, join Mr. Staten, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Carl Sagan as humankind begins its heroic march by first looking up at the night sky and dreaming 'how did we get here?' Join us as we stand up in the Milky Way and watch episode one of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.Tonight's Homework: Set Up Your Interactive Notebook for Chapter One


Week of August 23, 2017
Every journey begins with a first step. Every story has beginning.
American Civics begins its eighth year with the greatest story of all time: history itself. It's an adventure fourteen billion years in the making as new friends like Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Akhenaten, Queen Mary, and Tycho Brahe join old friends Queen Hatshepsut, Pharaoh Sneferu, Queen Theodora, John Adams, and more in the greatest adventure ever-the story of all of us. During our opening week, we will learn how to build our own textbook with an interactive notebook, how to not bust into a classroom like a madman, and how to lay the foundation for an Empire of Dreams. From rhythm and cadence to why one should never trust an orange man, we will lay the foundation for the biggest adventure in the universe. The battle for freedom will take us from tyranny to liberty. Which side will you choose?


This Week in American Civics
Homework due on Thursday: Review Course Syllabus
Homework due on Friday: The Autobiography of Me
Homework due on Monday: "What do I Want to Learn?" Journal


Wednesday, August 23 - "Vocare ad Regnum": Come with me on an adventure through space and time and close to fourteen billion years of history. On our first day, we explore the syllabus and lay the foundation for a year of excellence and adventure. It is an honor and a privilege to share this journey with you. American Civics is called the best class in the world and today, you will join the eighth cohort to undertake the greatest story ever told: The Story of All of Us.
Tonight's Homework: Review Course Syllabus


Thursday, August 24 - "American Civics": American Civics is the most unique educational experience offered at our school. Today, learn why this class is different from all others as Mr. Staten teaches how to be a successful student in class. Learn why one should never practice the "Gambler's Ruin" strategy for grades and finish off your back to school shopping today as we explore how to succeed in American Civics without really trying...very much...
Tonight's Homework:


Friday, August 25 - "Empire of Dreams": An Empire of Dreams; a place where anything is possible and every student has the opportunity to achieve their potential. Today's lesson, however, is not what it seems. Students will learn the secret to being successful, not only in class, but in multiple aspects of their present and future lives. Today, scholars will learn that they are not, in fact, one of the Avengers. Rather, they will learn that the secret to ultimate success is showing up every day ready to bring their best. Let's rock and roll.
Tonight's Homework: