November 2009 Archives


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The Culture of Toys:

Toys are a luxury for children.  I seems the more they have, the better they are off.  Yet, it seems they never have enough and only want more.  I  don't have any children (not yet), and my childhood had too little emphasis on toys that I cannot count on it.  But looking at all the children around me, all my nieces and nephews, I think toys are just a luxury to them.  They have boxes full of toys, and rarely plays with them, but still expects to receive a bunch of it for their birthdays or Christmas.  They go to their friends and cousins and brag about what they have.  And what they don't have, they demand for it.  

Because of what technology has created,(PS3, PSP, Gameboys, GameCube, and  Xbox), hand held toys are less important today.  What all these toys have in common is the fact that they fill in the empty time children have away from school.  They fill in the family time space, when families cannot and do not have time to spend together.  As what I heard commented by one of my sister in laws, it keeps the children distracted so the children doesn't distract the parents.   

Okay, so we know how children feel about their toys.  What about their parents?   Why do they buy their children toys? Why do some parents spend so much money on just toys? I think the answer is, because they can afford to.  I can't say for luxury, because they don't enjoy the toys themselves.  But I believe they do enjoy bragging to other parents what they bought for their child(ren).  

Toys in Our Classrooms:

Thinking about toys and how we can use it in our classrooms, I think we sometimes forget that some children do not have much or any.  We think that using toys as a subject may increase our students' interest in our lessons, but we overlook those who do not relate to it.  

I don't want to say that using toys will not be effective because it will be for those who can connect with it.  But what about those you don't connect with it? Can we say we are being fair?  Will their lack of experience effect how they react or take from our lessons? 

The Food We Eat


    I grew up in a family where dining together was very important.  Although my family was very large, compared to the average size families here in America, we still found time to eat together.  I say this as if it still happens  We've all grown up and started our own families.   I don't know whether my siblings carried out the tradition, but I do try as much as possible.  Being a full time student and working, it is hard to sit down and dine with my fiance.  But whenever we can, we do.  
     I think food is very sacred.  It defines who we are culturally, and sometimes, even our personalities.  In this society, we over-look the importance of food.  We want to live conveniently, and try to work out our timing to fit with our jobs, education status, careers, play-time, and our families.  There is only so much time in one day.  So what we do is, we spend less time doing things ourselves, and buy the convenience with our money.  In other words, instead of cooking a meal, we buy a meal.   
    I think the idea of food and its meaning has been distorted over time.  We don't appreciate it for was it really is anymore.  We ask for alternatives to replace the more significant ingredients in the food.  We alter ingredients and change the image of food.  We no longer care for the sacredness of the food we eat.  

Pop. culture

Why pop culture should be included in my classroom.
Student perspective: 6th grade (female)

    My favorite thing to do is listening to music.  I think schools should include more things that I enjoy because it would make me more interested in school.  It also will motivate me to learn.  Also, being able to connect to what I learn is important because I can understand it better.  Even though I am at school a lot, the things I do at home does not always relate to what I learn in school.  It is important that I learn things that revolves around me in my life.  Traditional education is important, like learning how to read, science, and do math.  But I think if those things were more contemporary, and relates to what is happening today, I think it will be better for me as a student, and a person in the American society.  

Lesson Plan
Retrieved from

Written by: Dana Boxdorfer
Date written: November 20, 1996

Lesson: Controversies of the Vietnam War

Grade: Fifth Grade (also good for sixth graders)

Concept: Students will learn about how some of society felt toward the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Objectives: The students will listen to "Blowin In the Wind" by Bob Dylan and analyze what the song is saying about Vietnam.

Materials Needed:
"Blowin In the Wind" by Bob Dylan
Copy of the song "Blowin in the Wind"  lyrics

Preliminary Procedures:
The teacher will refresh the students' memories about what they have been talking about in the past two social studies classes, (the Vietnam War), by asking them if anyone can tell her/him the reason the U. S. got involved in the Vietnam War.

1) After the teacher refreshes the students' memories about the Vietnam War she/he will teach them about the domestic controversies that were going on due to the Vietnam War. Mainly the fact that some people loudly protested the War through songs.
2) After the discussion is over the teacher will play the song "Blowin in the Wind" by Bob Dylan and ask the students to listen closely to the song and see if they can analyze what he is singing about.
3) The teacher will pass out the sheet that has the words to the song on it and the class will discuss.

Evaluation: Evaluation occurs while the students are discussing the song, when the words are placed in front of them. The teacher may need to guide the students on some of the lines.

Follow - up: The next day the teacher can play another song, "For What it is Worth" by Buffalo Springfield or "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Musical Concepts: Music history. The teacher could discuss the different controversial songs written back in the sixties and seventies and what made them so controversial.

Minnesota state standards that are met by this lesson:

History I.O.2 Students will demonstrate knowledge of economic, social, and cultural developments in contemporary United States.

History IV.C.1  Students will understand that primary sources document first-hand accounts of historical events and secondary sources may be influenced by the author's interpretation of historical events.

History IV.C.3 Students will understand the concepts of historical context and multiple causation.

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