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    Hello dear Upper Grammar Humanities families!

    What! A! Day! If today was any indication of how the rest of the year, we are going to have a wonderful year!

    I will be choosing copy work, art, and music that pertains to the Medieval time period throughout the year.

    Art: Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, c.504, Ravenna mosaic
    Copy work: The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things.
    But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist. Pope Gregory the Great
    Music: Gregorian Chants

    After a brief introduction of how the Middle Ages fits within our timeline and how it ties the ancient world to the modern world, we started Lesson 1 of IEW. We read pages 12-13 about the plan for the week and about structure vs. style. Today was just all about making a key word outline (KWO) from the source text of Lesson 1: The Middle Ages. We all worked together to find the best words as well as creating symbols and abbreviations that are acceptable for IEW. They made me giggle sometimes. 😉 For class next week, they DO NOT need to write out their paragraphs. Instead, they need to prepare to present their KWO orally next week. They can use their outline. They just need to work on eye contact (trying not to read straight from their notes).

    Most lessons also have vocabulary words to use in their writing. They have four this week that they can include in their outline. One idea for their vocabulary is to cut them out from the back of their books and put them on a key ring. They may also choose to put them in a notebook box. Whatever works for your/their vocabulary learning.

    We also discussed Augustine Came to Kent and made sure that the comprehension was attained. We will continue the discussion next week.

    I am going to send you all an attachment with the worksheets for Famous Men of the Middle Ages. You do not need to print them or expect your student to complete them. However, for each lesson, there are comprehension questions that I will be using in our discussion of the FMMA lessons. Please at least orally ask the questions of your student in order to help with their comprehension and prepare them for our discussions. Feel free to use the rest of the activities for your family.

    I am so thankful for all of the parents in the class. You were all such a great help, and it’s going to be so very helpful that you were there for when your student needs help. There are videos that you will really help you. I will reach out to you again in order to plan how we can give you an opportunity to watch them.

    IEW: Lesson 1
    Prepare to present
    Augustine Came to Kent – through chapter 8
    Comprehension Questions from the Literature Guide
    Famous Men of the Middle Ages
    Read Alaric the Visigoth and Attila the Hun p.15-21

    I have found some videos that you may want to share with your students. Please preview them to make sure that you approve of the content. The Medieval times were not the most peaceful.

    History videos:
    St. Augustine of Canterbury

    Fall of Rome/Start of European History


    I hope everyone had a wonderful day. Please let me know how/if I can help…anytime.

    Melana Salsbury


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    I am just loving the way our history, literature and writing are working together so well so far! I get so excited! I hope they do, too. 😉

    Art: Christ Militant (Ravenna mosaic)
    Music: Gregorian Chants
    Quote: Learn the heart of God from the word of God. Pope St. Gregory the Great

    All students shared their key word outlines today! You would have been proud. They did great! When they practice at home, have them work on looking up. This week they will actually be writing from their KWO. They are to rewrite the paragraph just from the the KWO outline. Try not to go back to the source text (unless they can’t figure out what their key word outline was saying). We want them using their own words.

    I introduced -ly adverbs. They will be provided with a Student Resource Packet next week, if they don’t already have one. This will be priceless for their writing. There is a list of -ly adverbs on page 93. Have them include at least one -ly adverb in this week’s writing. In Lesson 2, there are a couple of pages to practice -ly adverbs. Feel free to use those pages for practice and reinforcement.

    I discussed some tips as well:
    1. Consider writing their rough drafts in pen for less distraction. Have them just cross out errors instead of erase. Less interference with the thought process. Also, double spacing their rough draft helps in making corrections.
    2. Do the rough draft on day one.
    3. Day two is a good day to include dress-ups and decorations. So far it’s just -ly adverbs. There will be many more as we go on.
    4. Day three they can write or type their final.
    5. Day four they can practice presenting.
    6. If you student struggles with writing, you can write it for them while they dictate to you what to say from their KWO.

    It’s simple enough to combine a couple of days at this time, but it will get more challenging. These are suggestions, and things that have helped us with Josiah. Let me know how I can help.

    We spent a lot of time on IEW today, which is pretty typical for our class. We will not always write the entire KWO in class, however. I want them to feel good about the process of KWO, so I am spending that time together. I think they did very well today creating it together.

    We then spent about a half an hour on history/literature. I put our story and FMMA into perspective for the time period. Augustine had a lot going against him in preaching to a pagan land. After FMMA, they were to understand more of the beliefs of the people of that time/place. Plus, the IEW source text reinforced the same information. I just love that!

    That’s it for now!
    Have a great week, and let me know how I can help!
    Love, Melana

    IEW – Lesson 2
    – -ly adverbs
    – vocabulary (which happen to be -ly adverbs 😉)
    – write and present next week
    FMMA – St. Benedict and Clovis (we skipped a couple of chapters this week but will come back to them)
    ACK – finish book and be prepared for discussion
    Have them explained to you why England became a pagan land. 😉


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Art: Ruthwell Cross
    Quote: St. Benedict: It is only we who brood over our sins. God does not brood over them. God dumps them at the bottom of the sea.
    Music: Gregorian Chants

    Another great day! Everyone read their papers for Lesson 2. Woohoo! We are off to a good start.

    To start our next lesson, I asked them to try one sentence on their own. It went pretty well. We’re getting closer to independence on their KWO’s. They are to write a paragraph from the KWO and be ready to present to the class next week. Here are my tips again from last week if you need them:

    1. Consider writing their rough drafts in pen for less distraction. Have them just cross out errors instead of erase. Less interference with the
    thought process. Also, double spacing their rough draft helps in making corrections.
    2. Do the rough draft on day one.
    3. Day two is a good day to include dress-ups and decorations. So far it’s just -ly adverbs. There will be many more as we go on.
    4. Day three they can write or type their final.
    5. Day four they can practice presenting.
    6. If your student struggles with writing, you can write it for them while they dictate to you what to say from their KWO.

    Since our lesson was about Monasteries, I showed them some images of several monasteries around Medieval Europe. I encouraged them to find other images of monasteries around the world (Christian ones 😉)

    We then were able to finish our review of Augustine Came to Kent. What a beautiful story. Our students are so preceptive and insightful. What a great group for discussions! Also, the series of Living History books are usually really good. I encourage you to find others that may interest your student(s). I love how our FMMA readings are helping with their understanding of the times. We connected Cyneog’s death to the pagan’s beliefs of death, including Valhalla and the Valkyries. Another student connected the ash tree from ACK to the pagan’s use of the ash tree. Pretty cool connections. Keep them coming! 😉

    Our next book is Arthur of Albion. This book has the tales of King Arthur. There are so many versions of King Arthur stories, many are written in much more difficult language. I hope they are going to enjoy a simpler version of these tales. Another one I liked was King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green. I believed it to be a little too difficult for younger ones, but I still recommend it. I also gave them a packet of comprehension questions. You get to decide how to utilize them.

    I hope you have a wonderful and successful week. I’m here for you for whatever you need. Thank you for all of your hard work because I know you are all working with them for their success.

    Also, I apologize for any mistakes. I’m one tired chica! Blessings!

    Love, Melana

    IEW: Lesson 3
    – ly adverbs
    – vocabulary
    – p.32 for practice
    – checklist (I had them right this down in their notes. We didn’t discuss this in class, however.) If you don’t understand how to follow the
    checklist on p.33, we’ll go over it next time)
    Arthur of Albion
    – read through p.69
    – comprehension questions (parents get to use their discretion on how to use these questions. Just be ready for discussions.)
    FMMA – Genseric and Theodoric


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Quote: St. Benedict
    Art: accidentally skipped 😆
    Music – Medieval/King Arthur music

    We started with talking more about King Arthur (fact and fiction). No, he is not really the way he is portrayed in the tales. However, it is believed that there was a great military leader that rose up to defeat the Saxons. He was remembered well but recorded with many embellishments.

    They are to finish the book Arthur of Albion and complete the comprehension questions. I also assigned to them a small project to research something about one of King Arthur’s knights I sent home a half sheet of paper explaining what to do. They will briefly stand up in front of the class, tell the class who their knight is and why they chose that knight. Then they are to share what it is that their knight is known for. They can even give a summary of a tale that their knight is connected to. It is not meant to be an extensive report. Just an opportunity to gain some interest and insight into that era and share with us all.

    This is what I sent home:
    Choose a knight to research and share a basic summary of their life and what they are most known for.

    Use at least 2 sources. Did the sources agree or disagree? Please text me to let me know who you chose so there aren’t repeats.

    This is a good, albeit basic, site to find the names of the knights as well as to gather some information about the legends of King Arthur:


    Please send me a text when your student has chosen which night they would like to do so that we don’t have repeats. Bailey has already chosen Sir Lancelot, but any of the others are still open. Have fun!

    We have now covered many different historical figures this year. Every one, with the exception of Jaxson, should now have a timeline book and the historical timeline figures packet. In the half sheet that I sent home today you will see a list of the people we have covered so far this year. This is meant to be a valuable resource to track the history of the world throughout the years. You may also do your own studies at home on different people or events and also add them to your timeline. I just gave you a list of those that we have covered and the last four weeks.

    Timeline figures to add:
    (This first Augustine is different than Augustine of Canterbury. We did not cover this one – Augustine of Hippo)
    Attila the Hun
    Fall of Western Roman Empire
    Middle Ages
    King Arthur
    Justinian I
    Pope Gregory the Great
    Augustine of Canterbury

    We briefly looked at a couple of maps of this time. To see the different groups of people and tribes as well as how they migrated throughout Europe. We located where the Vandals, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, etc. lived and/or conquered. I hope they found it as interesting as I did. I hope to be able to do the map in class next week. That always depends on our IEW lesson however.

    Speaking of IEW… there were several new components to go over today. First of all, there were two paragraphs from which to create a KWO. There were the same number of sentences in the source text as there were lines in their outline. We did complete the first paragraph’s KWO. I sent them home with the assignment to complete the second KWO. I will send an image of what we completed in class as well as an image of the actual answer key for you to use as a guide. I never copy the answer key exactly the way they do it. I take into consideration a lot of the student input. But go easy on yourself and your student since this is the first time they are writing a KWO without the class.

    If you were to look at pages 40-42, you will see exactly what lessons we learned today in class. We learned how to create a who/which clause as well as how to create a title for their paper. Please go over these pages with your student and give them an opportunity to fill in the pages.

    The next component we addressed was the checklist on page 43. The checklist is very simple at this point, but it will continue to grow. I will go over it again next week to reinforce how to use that checklist. They are to include -ly adverbs and who/which clauses in each paragraph, and are still to incorporate their vocabulary.

    The IEW source text was about Justinian the great. Their FMMA Reading is also on Justinian the Great. I hope with those two sources they will get a good sense of who this man was.

    Have a great week, and as always, I’m here for you.
    Love, Melana

    IEW – Finish KWO, include -ly’s, who/which clauses, a title, and vocabulary. Go over pages 40-42 with your student. Look over the checklist to familiarize yourself with it as it will become more detailed throughout the year.

    Arthur of Albion – finish book, comprehension questions, research a knight

    FMMA – Justinian the Great, comprehension questions if desired

    Timeline – Add timeline figures


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Copywork: St. Augustine of Hippo: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
    Music: King Arthur type music
    Art: Virgin Enthroned Between Two Saints, Byzantine Empire. (Showed them how to ask questions about art to appreciate it more.)

    We started our day by hearing everyone’s papers. They are nailing those -ly adverbs, who/which clauses, titles, and their vocabulary. I’m very excited about their progress just in the first block. They are all doing so well that I feel like it has raised the bar for each other. That’s exciting. I encourage you to keep their papers filed in their binders in order, and they’ll be able to see how much they progress.

    We started something new this week called the Story Sequence Chart. We did the entire outline in class today, which I will send to you all. With the SSC, they will answer questions in order to create their KWO. The questions are found on the right of their outlines. We will be doing this style for a few weeks. They will be writing 3 paragraphs this time, but the rest of the dress-ups/decorations are the same.

    IEW definitely dominated our class, which it tends to do. I may start choosing random people to present in order to allow more class time for history and literature.

    We did have time to present the research that some of the students prepared on their chosen knights. We will be able to present the rest when we return from break. They did a great job summarizing each of King Arthur’s knights. I hope that they learned at least a little of each knight from their peers and/or during their research.

    We will be starting Son of Charlemagne now. I could teach a whole year on King Arthur, but there is so much wonderful literature out there about this time period. I encourage you all to keep reading and researching about King Arthur, his knights, and the tales. When I was researching materials last summer, I got so excited about what I was learning. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to cover enough to do it all justice. Since Charlemagne has similarities, your individual studies of knights (etc.) can keep going right into and through break.

    I thought these two videos were a decent introduction into Charlemagne.



    I handed out comprehension questions for Son of Charlemagne, but only the first 4 chapters, which is all they need to read over their break. I’ll have the rest for when we get back. In the packet, I included two pages of vocabulary without definitions as well as a page with definitions. Again, you all are welcome to use the vocabulary and the comprehension questions as you wish.

    IEW – Lesson 5
    – 3 Paragraphs
    – ly adverbs, vocabulary, who/which, and title
    – p. 50-51
    Son of Charlemagne
    – Chapters 1-4
    – comprehension questions
    FMMA – Charles Martel and Pepin the Short
    Don’t forget to prepare something for symposium from your memory work


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Again! So much fun and energy!

    Art: St. Matthew of the Coronation of Charlemagne and of the Ebbo Gospels
    Music: Medieval
    Quote: Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right. Charlemagne

    They are AMAZING at talking about Art! I always expect our art time to be shorter than it ever is. It’s just awesome!

    They shared their essays first. I tried to reduce the number of students presenting so that we had more time to do other things, but the remaining students were pretty bummed. I just didn’t have the heart to tell them that they couldn’t present. They work so hard and are so proud of their work. What a difference from kids being afraid of presenting! Well done kiddos and parents. Every one of them were just great. Keep working on presenting at home so that we can get that eye contact down. I forget sometimes, too.

    We started IEW Lesson 6: Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s the same style of essay (Retelling Narrative Stories), but we learned about strong verbs to add to our repertoire. They are not allowed to use say/said and go/went in their essays this week. In their Student Resource Packet on pages 100 and 101, they will see lists of words that they can use instead of those banned verbs. We had fun catching each other when saying say/says/said and making us all use strong verbs. They were on it!

    We did complete 2 out of the 3 parts of the KWO. That means that they will need to complete the third part. I will send an image of the answer key as well as what we came up with as a class. I don’t know about them, but I was having so much fun with them creating a KWO!

    We then discussed a little about Son of Charlemagne. I see them empathizing with the characters and putting themselves in their shoes. Good discussion about their thoughts of right and wrong as well. We will continue more next week.

    Another wonderful day. I’m exhausted, but I’m so blessed to witness their learning and growth. Have a wonderful week!
    Love, Melana

    IEW: – Lesson 6
    – 3 Paragraphs
    – p. 58-59
    – vocabulary, -ly adverbs,

    Son of Charlemagne
    – chapters 5-9
    – comprehension questions

    FMMA – Charlemagne
    – comprehension questions


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    OK! Now! Today was pretty incredible you all need to know if you don’t already. I had a chance to read everyone’s essay during the first part of the class. I wanted to have a good discussion of Son of Charlemagne, so I was concerned that we wouldn’t get to reading the essays. Their essays were amazing!!! I didn’t notice any problems or gaps! I was so excited for all of them to have such a good start to the year (and for some, a good start to IEW). So, congratulations to all of you mommas. Many of you are putting in a lot of time to help them, and it shows!

    Quote: St Catherine of Siena – If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight proclaim it, but with a certain congeniality.
    Art: Codex Aureus of Emmeram
    Music: Medieval

    I am going to use some quotes by saints. I explained how saints are a Catholic thing, but since there wasn’t anything but the Catholic Church in the medieval times, any one who did something amazing for God, would have been doing it through the Catholic Church. You can ask them if they understood that and continue the discussion if needed. I loved today’s quote encouraging them to set the “whole world on fire.” ❤️

    We discussed Son of Charlemagne FOR AN HOUR!! Sorry, parents, but that isn’t normal for this age level. They have understood the book well and are great thinkers and participants! It blessed me. Watching those gears moving is such a blessing as a teacher. I didn’t know how long I could hold their attention, and I planned to fill out a map related to that time period. I decided to send that home and will send out the model for it. I couldn’t have guessed that we would have discussed a book for an hour!

    We then did IEW Lesson 7. This style of writing is the same this week. We added a “Because clause” to our list of tricks. Pages 66-68 review and go over our “tricks” for practice. It’s a very simple concept. We did the first two parts of the KWO and sent them home to do the rest. I will send an image of what we did and of the answer key.

    I also let them decide if they would rather do Lesson 8 since the type of writing and the dress-ups/decorations are the same. It’s about the Sword and the Stone. I just figured that we knew the story well enough by now and that we don’t need to do another lesson after this one on Narrative Stories, so we will be moving on after next class.

    Thank you again for your work with your students. They make my part so fun. Enjoy the break!

    Love to you all, Melana

    IEW – Lesson 7
    – Because clause
    – all of the normal requirements (refer to that checklist)
    – pages 66-68 for practice on those skills

    FMMA – Mohammed and Harun Al-Rashid
    – Comprehension Questions

    Son of Charlemagne
    – Finish the rest of the book
    – Comprehension Questions

    Map of Medieval Europe tribes


    Hello Upper Grammar Families!

    Art: Lindisfarne Gospels
    Quote: St. Agnes of Rome ~Christ made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve.
    Music: Medieval

    I prioritized our class lessons around the fact that we are starting a new IEW unit which is Summarizing a Reference. I again had the chance to read the papers that were submitted to me first thing. They are hitting all of those requirements and doing a great job. I made some minor suggestions to a couple of students, but know that I am not correcting spelling or grammar beyond what is expected to be known at this point through IEW.

    The next time we meet, in two weeks, I hope to allow for all of the students to read something. It is such an important part of meeting as a class to allow them to share their work. It’s more difficult with eight students for everyone to get a chance, but I will plan to have everyone share next time. And maybe they can choose which one they would like to share, either the one from last week or the one from this week.

    I suggested to the parents to check into a website or app called Quizlet. It’s a well-resourced site that allows for the testing of vocabulary, definitions, math facts, etc. we have used it for Latin, memory work, vocabulary for IEW, etc.

    Throughout the class we were able to incorporate our discussions of our readings from FMMA as well as our understanding of Son of Charlemagne. Today’s IEW lesson was about Charlemagne, and now they will be writing one paragraph about Charlemagne. It’s a perfect way to summarize the important parts of Charlemagne‘s legacy. We had also discussed briefly Mohammed, Islam, and other religions. I am leaving that in your hands as parents to explain more. We had a brief discussion about how we all came from the same Creator and how different cultures throughout time have turned away from God, the only Creator. And the farther they walk from God, the more confusing and muddled things become. Tag. You’re it. 😉

    We read the source text for Charlemagne. I gave them some direction as to how to form a topic sentence. We have a uniform KWO this week to keep it simple. The next time they will need to learn how to do that on their own. I asked them to see if they could come up with the topic sentence they would choose for their paragraph. They were to write it down in their IEW workbooks. Some were unable, but most were able to come up with something. They do not have to use that exact topic sentence, but they could. They are to follow the checklist from this lesson. They are to follow the topic – clincher rule as well. I had them write down in their homework the two activity pages in their workbook, but how you use those pages is up to you as the parent.

    I then proceeded to introduced to them what to expect with their new book, Aladdin. In the book that I suggested for you all to buy, there are several stories that could be read. The only one that our class will discuss is the Aladdin story. Again, we are dealing with a time period when things were pretty cruel, and I don’t recommend them reading the other stories without proofing them. I only assigned half of the story for this week. They will read the second half the week we get back. It’s only a total of about 100 pages. I also sent home a packet of comprehension questions. It was a mixed bag when I asked the students if they found them helpful. Some did, and some didn’t. Again, you are welcome to just read to them orally or have them answer to you orally. Or you can have them write them out. Depending on what you want them to work on. If we are doing a lot of writing in our other school work, then we just do them orally so I can check for understanding.

    Loving your kiddos!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ❤️
    Love, Melana

    – Write one paragraph
    – Lesson 9 Charlemagne
    – Topic/clincher rule
    – p. 84-85
    – checklist p.86

    – Read first 1/2 49-94
    – comprehension questions
    – Egbert the Saxon
    – Comprehension questions


    Hello upper grammar families!

    Art: Book of Kells
    Quote: “Make knowledge of the Scripture your love: Live with them, meditate on them, make them the sole object of your knowledge and inquiries.” St. Jerome
    Music: Medieval

    After we had a discussion about the Book of Kells and St. Jerome, I encouraged them to think of the Bible as being alive and to be reading and learning from it.

    I was able to let every student read their essays from either last class or the class before. Everyone hit the mark! Remember to have them mark the items they are asked to included, either by highlighting, abbreviations, or other marks. I have been able to read them during our copywork/homework time. I want to quickly find the requirements during that short time frame. It was a good day for all. Keep practicing that eye contact. There has been a lot of improvement!

    I had them do a sentence expansion activity. I gave them: The girl goes. They had to dress-up/decoration that sentence using all of their skills. That was fun! Everyone wanted to participate! You can imagine the silliness.

    We moved on to Lesson 10 Vikings in IEW. It is the same type of lesson as last class. We read it as a class, and this time I had them star what they thought should be included in their essay as the most important parts. Some students had 7-8 points that they thought were important. Some had 11-14. They only have 8 lines to on their KWO. If they chose more than they had room for, they needed to go back and rethink what was important and eliminate or combine points. We did not do the outline in class. Partly due to time, but also because not everyone will think the same points are interesting. They are on their own for the KWO this time. I will send the Answer Key, although every outline can and should be different. We chose the same most important key words for the Topic (Vikings, Europe, Feared). That was great that everyone could see exactly what there topic should be about in their whole paragraph. Encourage them to choose those 7 or so important points that are about Vikings, Europe, and Feared. Hopefully it works out very well.

    We added Quality Adjectives to our list of decorations and dress-ups. There are pages in their IEW workbook for practice. Also, in their Student Resource Packet, they have lists of adjectives to use in place of the Banned Words “good/bad. Big/little, go/went, come/came, say/said.” Pages 106-108.

    We did get to discuss Aladdin. I think every student read ahead!! They seem to be really enjoying the book! I sent home with them a PROS and CONS sheet to fill out. It will be a good critical thinking test. They are welcome to read some other stories in the book, but they may not be appropriate. Please preview or read with them and skip over certain parts. 😉

    I also sent home a fun sheet to compare old English with modern English. It’s just for fun. You may find it interesting and fun as well.

    Next week (week 10) we will be starting the book The Vikings. They will have time over the break to read it. It seems that the students have a hard time stopping where they should read to. So, unless I hear a protest from any of you, I will just assign the book for over the break.

    Remember to check into the website or app called Quizlet. It’s a well-resourced site that allows for the testing of vocabulary, definitions, math facts, etc. We have used it for Latin, memory work, vocabulary for IEW, etc.

    If at any time you would like to send me a sample of their work to make sure they are on the right track, please feel free. It does not bother me at all. Thank you for all of the hard work you put into your students. It really pays off!

    Have a great week!
    Love, Melana

    – Write one paragraph
    – Lesson 10 Vikings
    – p. 92-93 (p.94-95 for review)
    – checklist p.96
    – Read rest of story
    – comprehension questions
    – PROS and CONS
    – Rollo the Viking
    – comprehension questions
    – Old vs. Modern English sheet (read and enjoy)

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