Monthly Archives: October 2016

Advances in Flight

Week 8: Advances in Flight 


Read K – 4:  View/Read the following:

5 – 8:   View/Read the following:


  • Who were the first people to create the Hot-Air Balloon? (Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier: the Montgolfier brothers)
  • What business did they own? (Paper Mill, Paper Manufacturing)
  • What were their first passengers in their hot-air balloon? (duck, rooster, & sheep)
  • Why does smoke fly? (Hot air rises)
  • What country were the brothers from and in what country did they fly their balloons? (France)
  • How do you think hot air balloons are steered? (by the wind)
  • What famous King & Queen did the brothers demonstrate their balloon for? (King Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette)

Questions for Grades 5- 8:

  • What was it that caused the brothers to believe that smoke could create flight? (Joseph noticed that laundry hanging near the fireplace began to float up)
  • Who was the first person to launch a hydrogen filled balloon? (Jacque Charles)
  • At first the King only wanted to allow a prisoner to be the first to ride in a hot-air balloon.  Who changed his mind?  Why? (Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier; he didn’t want a prisoner to get the glory of being the first man to fly)
  • How were men eventually able to change direction while floating in a hot air balloon? (different air currents at different altitudes)
  • What are balloons used for today? (study weather patterns & atmosphere, fun & recreation)
  • Who became the first man to make a parachute jump from a tower? (Joseph Montgolfier)


 K – 1:  Handwriting page:

 2 – 3:  Cursive page:

 4 – 5: Use the timeline on page 2 from this “Mysterious Flights” worksheet: to answer the following questions on the attached worksheet: mysterious-flights-timeline-worksheet

 6 – 8: Use the information you read online to complete the following worksheet: .  You may also need to “google” some of the information from the “events” section of your worksheet.   Then, write a few paragraphs comparing  and contrasting the Montgolfiers and their balloons with Jacque Charles and his balloons.  Consider the following: how the men were employed, size of balloons, safety, length of flight, altitude.  You may need to rewatch part of the Youtube video (see above) to complete this assignment.

Answer key (Note: 2 pages):


Copyright October 28th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette




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The French Revolution

Week 7: King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette & the French Revolution


Read K – 4:  View/Read the following:

5 – 8:   View/Read the following:

 Note:   King Louis XVI was king of France and had all the power.  He lived a very wealthy lifestyle; however the peasants in his kingdom were starving.  They had to pay high taxes and do unpaid work for Lords and Nobles who did not have to pay taxes.  The peasants hated this injustice.  They heard how America had become independent of their King and wanted independence for themselves.  In 1789 a group of people attacked the prison fortress called the Bastille because it was a symbol representing the King’s power.  After people heard about the attack against the Bastille, groups of peasants started attacking noble castles all over France.  They declared that all men were free and equal.

The King was terrified.  He tried to get friends and relatives from other countries to help him stop the Revolution.  His wife, Marie Antoinette, had a brother who was emperor of Austria.  He began to realize his life was in danger and tried to escape out of France but was caught.

The French people declared war on Austria and Prussia, both of whom were acting to help the King.  The people took the King to court and proved that he had been plotting against the revolution.  He was taken to the guillotine and his head was chopped off.   Months later his queen’s head was also chopped off.

After this, the French people were threatened by Austrian, Prussian, English, and Dutch armies.  They decided that anyone who was not loyal to the French Revolution would be arrested and killed.  About 400,000 people were guillotined or killed – most of whom were innocent of anything deserving death.  This time was called “The Terror”.  The revolutionary army was successful because people were fighting eagerly for their freedom.

The French commemorate “Bastille Day” every year on July 14th with celebrations and fireworks.  It is similar to our 4th of July celebration of our independence.



  • What injustices started the French Revolution? (King & queen’s great wealth, starving people, high taxes)
  • What country influenced the people to start a revolution? (America)
  • What prison did people attack to start the revolution? (The Bastille)
  • Why do you think other countries wanted to help the King and Queen stop the revolution? (terrified people would do the same thing in their own countries)
  • What was the guillotine? (Wooded structure with a huge blade; it chopped off people’s heads)
  • How did King Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette die? (heads chopped off – the guillotine)
  • What happened during “The Terror”? (thousands of people were killed, many of who were loyal to the  revolution and did not deserve death)
  • What made the French army so successful against the armies of surrounding countries? (they were fighting for their freedom.)
  • What is “Bastille Day”? (French’s Independence day celebration.)

Questions for Grades 5 – 8:

  • What country was Marie Antoinette from? (Austria)
  • How old was she when she married the King of France? (just a teenager)
  • Did Marie know her husband before she married him? (no – it was an arranged marriage)
  • How did the people of France react to the marriage? (great celebration)
  • T/F Crowds of people came to watch Marie dress & eat & go to bed each day. (T)
  • Did Marie and her new husband get along well? (no)
  • How did the previous king, King Louis XV die? (smallpox)
  • Describe the luxury of Marie Antoinette? (500 servants , wardrobe filled 3 rooms, diamond jewelry, fancy wigs, gambled, parties, balls, spent money freely)
  • How did French nobles, her mother, and the French people feel about her choices? (felt she was not behaving properly)
  • Did she listen to them? Why? (No, she was queen, so she could do whatever she wanted to)
  • What was going on in America at this time? (American revolution – Americans no longer wanted to be ruled by the English King, King George)
  • How did Marie’s husband, King Louis XVI feel about the American revolution? (supported it, sent help with money and soldiers, but then England declared war on France)
  • Did Marie Antoinette get involved in politics? (no)
  • After Austria and Russia went to war against France what happened to Louis XVI and Marie? (put in prison – France became a republic with all elected leaders and no need for a king.)
  • Who ended the French revolution with his leadership? (Napoleon)
  • Who did French people tend to blame their problems on? (Marie Antoinette)
  • What was the “Third Estate”? (National Assembly – the common people started their own group with power to make laws; this group started the French Revolution)
  • At first the National Assembly wanted to start a new government where the king would share power with elected officials.  How did the King react? (Depressed but gave in to demands of the people.)
  • Why did the King & queen try to escape France? (The people had become very angry and they feared for their lives.)
  • Why did Austria & Prussia go to War against France? (Marie’s brother and sisters tried to restore the King’s power in France.)


K – 2:  Bastille coloring page:

3 – 4: Write a paragraph on the following: Do you think King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette deserved their fate?  Why or why not?

5 – 8:  Write an essay on one of the following essay topics:

  1. In what ways was King Louis XVI a weak king? Write a 5 paragraph, 3 point essay.
  2. Do you think King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette deserved their fate? Why or why not?  5 paragraph 3 proof essay.
  3. What made France a difficult place to live for peasants before the Revolution? What made France a difficult place to live for nobles and middle class during the Revolution?  Discuss in detail.
  4. Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay discussing Marie Antoinette’s character flaws.

Copyright October 21st, 2016 by Gwen Fredette


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Week 6: Mozart


Read K – 5:   Mozart:  the Wonder Child: A Puppet Play in Three Acts by Diane Stanley

6 – 8:   Who Was Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart? By Yona Zeldis McDonough

Note:   Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart was so talented and so exceptional at such a young age that he became very conceited.  People were often awestruck by his music but put off by his personality.


  • When did Mozart begin to show talent as a musician? (as a young boy)
  • T/F Mozart came from a musical family. (T)
  • How was Mozart treated by his Archbishop employer? (like a servant)
  • T/F Mozart was rich. (F)
  • Did Mozart want to be known as an entertainer or composer? (composer)
  • Did Mozart handle money well? (no, lavish spending)
  • Name some of Mozart’s most famous pieces? (Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte – The Magic Flute)
  • Was Mozart’s music  popular in his lifetime? (yes, the people loved it)
  • T/F Mozart lived a long life. (F – died at age 35 or 36)
  • T/F Mozart composed only a few beautiful pieces. (F – He composed over 600)
  • T/F Mozart was known to be a very humble man.  (F – He was considered to be very conceited.)

Questions for Grades 6 – 8: 

  • How old was Mozart when he began playing the clavier? (3)
  • T/F Mozart began writing music before he could write words. (T)
  • T/F As children, Mozart and his sister often performed for rich, powerful people. (T)
  • What disease did Mozart possibly suffer from? (kidney disease)
  • How old was Mozart when he composed his first symphony? (9)
  • When Mozart heard the Miserere he was captivated by the music.  When he went home what did he do? (He wrote the entire musical piece down on paper.)
  • What kinds of music did Mozart write? (symphonies, quartets, operas, concert songs, & church music)
  • Mozart’s father was often worried and angry about what? (having enough money)
  • What happened to Mozart’s mother while they were in Paris? (she died)
  • How did his father take the news? (He blamed Mozart.)
  • Why did musicians need a patron? (to have a steady salary)
  • Describe Mozart’s relationship with his father? (often fought, father was often angry with him, disagreed on what Mozart should do, disagreed with Mozart’s marriage)
  • T/F Mozart eventually became the chamber composer for an emperor. (T)
  • What was the last piece of music Mozart wrote? (a requiem)
  • What is a requiem? (music written to honor a person who has died.)
  • Mozart felt that he was writing the requiem for who? (himself)


K – 3:  Watch this animated story summary of the Magic Flute opera: .  Then, draw your own picture of a scene from this story as you listen to the music:

4 – 5:  Listen to the Marriage of Figaro:  And Don Giovanni overture: as you write an essay describing Mozart’s strengths and weaknesses.

6 – 8:  Listen to the Marriage of Figaro:  And Don Giovanni overture: as you write an essay on one of the following essay topics:

  1. In what ways was Mozart a genius? Write a 5 paragraph, 3 point essay.
  2. Describe the role Mozart’s father played in his life. Do you believe his father contributed to his son’s genius, inhibited it, or both?  Support your reasoning with examples from your book.
  3. Write an essay describing Mozart’s strengths and weaknesses. Support your points with examples from the book.

Copyright October 14th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette

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King Louis XIV

Week 5: King Louis XIV of France


Read K – 5:   The King’s Day – Louis XIV of France by Aliki

6 – 8:   Cecile – Gates of Gold by Mary Casanova (Please read afterword also)

Note:   The heir of the king was called “The Dauphin”.  The king named all of his sons Louis, after himself, but gave everyone different middle names.


  • Why do you think King Louis XIV was nicknamed the ”sun king”? (Sun was his symbol, everything in life revolved around him, palace full of splendor.)
  • What country was Louis XIV the king of? (France)
  • Describe life for the king at the palace in Versailles? (extremely wealthy, 1000’s of servants, fancy clothes, fabulous foods)
  • How do you think the king obtained the money to buy the many extravagances in his palace? (high taxes)
  • What do you imagine life was like for the poor peasants outside of the palace? (extremely poor, not enough to eat, angry at injustice of having to work so hard for the royalty of France)
  • What was the heir of the king called? (the Dauphin)
  • What did the king name all of his sons? (Louis)
  • There were 3 classes of people living at this time: the rich, the middle, and the poor.  Talk about which people were found in which class and about what percentage of the population they made up.
  1. Rich:  King, his family, and nobles — few in number – extremely wealthy
  2. Middle Class: Merchants, tradesman, servants — moderate number – fine clothes and enough to eat
  3. Poor:  Peasants – most people were in this class – often hungry; very little material possessions

Questions for grades 6 & up:

  • Why was the king succeeded by his great –grandson? (all other heirs died)
  • How did doctors often try to “cure” people who were sick? (by bleeding them)
  • T/F People were allowed to come watch the royal family get up, go to bed, and do other things. (T)


K – 3: King Louis XIV lived in France.  Color in the country of France blue on this map:  Peter the Great, who we studied last week was tsar of Russia.  Color Russia red on the same map.  Then take a piece of paper and fold it into thirds.  In the top third draw a picture of King Louis and his family.  In the middle section draw a picture of the King’s servants.  In the bottom section draw a picture of peasants.

4 – 5: Write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of living in each social class during the time of King Louis XIV.

6 – 8: Choose one of the following essay topics:

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in each social class during the time of King Louis XIV.
  2. If you were Cecile and you had the choice, would you have stayed with your father or gone to work at the palace? Why or why not?  Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay.
  3. Compare and contrast Peter the Great with King Louis XIV.

Copyright October 7th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette

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