Frank Lloyd Wright, a Madison Tour

4th graders will become experts on Frank Lloyd Wright in the coming months and it began today!

He was born on June 8th, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin.  He passed away April 9th, 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 74 but not before he became one of the most famous architects that ever lived.

We are very proud of him here in Madison, WI and we see his work around us everyday.  Check out his work and embark on a Madison tour!

I bike through the Monona Terrace (1995. Based on 1959 design) often, even taking the elevator made just for bicycles!

Robert M. Lamp Residence 1905 22 North Butler Street (A simple brick structure. The third level is a later addition and not of Wright design.)

Herbert Jacobs First Residence 1936 441 Toepfer Street.

Eugene Van Tamelen Residence 1956 5817 Anchorage Road

Walter Rudin Residence 1957 110 Marinette Trail

Eugene A. Gilmore Residence, “Airplane House” 1908 120 Ely Place (This house is within walking distance to most Franklin-Randall students.  It is located just a few blocks from Randall!)

Unitarian Meeting House 1947 to 1951 900 University Bay Dr

After check out all the photos of these buildings, what do you notice?  What shapes do you see?  What’s different about each of them?  What’s the same?  What else can you tell me about each one?

5th Grade Social Justice Project

What is social justice?

Social justice means moving towards a society where all hungry are fed, all sick are cared for, the environment is treasured, and we treat each other with love and compassion. Not an easy goal, for sure, but certainly one worth giving our lives for! – Medea Benjamin, co-founder Global Exchange and Code Pink

Social justice means complete and genuine equality of all people.  – Paul George, executive director Pennisula Peace and Justice Center

It means different things to many people, but a commonly accepted definition is that social justice establishes equality for all people.  It is an absence of prejudicial actions, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or social class. -Holly Caseof Pumpernickel Parents

There are many artists that have used art to bring attention to issues they think the world should pay attention to.  Some people don’t know about injustices in the world and art is a way to bring awareness to those issues.

Ricardo Levins Morales

5th graders will be starting a linoleum cut project where we will be discussing social justice after winter break.  I’ve asked 5th graders to think about an issue they are passionate about that they would like to bring attention to.

5th graders, if you are having trouble thinking of an issue I recommend books from the book list below.  I have not read all of them.  The books are from a CCBC book list.  There are recommended ages listed with each book.  If you are younger than the recommended age, I recommend you discuss the book with your parents before reading it.

The Heart of a Chief by Bruchac, Joseph Ages 10 – 13

Samir and Yonatan by Carmi, Daniella Age 12 and older

Seedfolks by Fleischman, Paul Ages 9 – 13

Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation by Carter, Jimmy Age 11 and older

Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salaam: Oasis of Peace by Dolphin, Laurie Photographed by Ben Dolphin. Scholastic Ages 7 – 10

On the Wings of Peace: Writers and Illustrators Speak Out for Peace, in Memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Age 8 and older

Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen by King, Casey and Linda Barrett Osborne Ages 8 – 14

Irrepressible Spirit: Conversations with Human Rights Activists by Kuklin, Susan Age 12 and older

Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story by Levine, Karen Ages 9-14

The Kid’s Guide to Social Action: How to Solve the Social Problems You Choose — and Turn Creative Thinking into Positive Action by Lewis, Barbara AAge 8 and older

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Opdyke, Irene Gut and Jennifer Armstrong Age 12 and older

Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Crowe, Chris 12 and olderRed Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Jiang, Ji-Li Age 12 and older

Witnesses to War: Eight True-Life Stories of Nazi Persecution by Leapman, Michael Age 11 and older

A Fence Away from Freedom: Japanese Americans and World War II by Levine, Ellen  Age 12 and older

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award is an award for children books on social justice.

Social Justice Literature for the Elementary Classroom blog also has some great books.

I’m giving you this list for a few reasons.  One, if you are anything like me, I get bored about two days into break and need some new books to read!  Two, these are books that will give you some background information on many social justice issues.

Parents, if you would like to begin a conversation about social justice with your children this website has some great pointers!

Preview: 5th grade Paper Mache

5th graders worked in partners to paper mache a balloon.  This proved to be tricky as sometimes the balloon ran away from them!  But they are smart and worked to put paper mache in key places to balance the balloon.  They created layers for 45 minutes so next week, we can cut them in half and they will be strong enough to use as a base for our masks.


Check back to find out what these messy, paper mache balloons will turn into!

Preview: Ivory Coast

The 5th grade classrooms and 4/5 classroom have started a new project learning about the Ivory Coast.  Some of our students remember a friend moving there last year!

There are more than 60 ethnic groups which means there are a lot of different cultures of people who live in the Ivory Coast but a lot of them participate in a special festival every year in November called Fêtes des Masques.  Numerous small villages in the region hold contests to determine the best dancers and to pay homage to forest spirits who are embodied in the elaborate masks.  Do the dance competitions sound familiar?  The Baoulé, the Dan (or Yacouba) and the Senoufo – all known for their wooden carvings.

No one produces a wider variety of masks than the people of the Ivory Coast. Masks are used to represent the souls of deceased people, lesser dieties, or even caricatures of animals. The ownership of masks is restricted to certain powerful individuals or to families. Only specifically designated, specially trained individuals are permitted to wear the masks.

Ivory Coast people believe it is dangerous for others to wear ceremonial masks because each mask has a soul, or life force, and when a person’s face comes in contact with the inside of the mask that person is transformed into the entity the mask represents.

Create your own mask online here.

Check out some great dance music (djembe) from the Ivory Coast here!

Check out a dance competition here!