The Civil War

Student post by Joia, written on February 10, 2015

Tom Gill, Civil War Smoke, May 19, 2007

Tom Gill, Civil War Smoke, May 19, 2007

Did you know hundreds of thousands of people died fighting the United States Civil War? In social science, we are learning about the history of the United States. Right now, we are learning about the causes of the Civil War. We learned about the Civil War each day by completing parts of a mini-book that was specifically made for the topic.


Gabe fashioned a creative cover on his Causes of the Civil War mini-book.

The Civil War was fought between the Union (Northern) and the Confederate (Southern) states [in the 1860s]. One of the reasons why the war occurred was because of the different views of slavery. The Union did not want slaves in their territory–those who opposed slaves were called abolitionists. However, the Confederate states did not mind having slaves and strongly wanted to keep them around.  This resulted in [southerners]  labeled as pro-slavery supporters.

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Cotton Boll, Photo by Jimmy Smith, September 14, 2002

One main reason Confederate states fought for the act of slave labor was that their slaves provided work to grow cotton. Cotton was a necessary crop that was in huge demand by consumers, making the states dependent on this crop in order to continue the growth of their economy. This caused violence between abolitionists and pro-slavery supporters. Even in Congress, violence had broken out. Preston Brooks, a pro-slavery representative from the South, had beaten Charles Sumner, an abolitionist representative from the North, with a cane.

Would you support slavery or would you be an abolitionist?

TJTV: Toby Johnson’s News Bulletin Program

Student Post by Mason

What is a morning broadcast? The Toby Johnson Television, or TJTV, is a live news bulletin broadcast from a studio. Every morning, members of the cast and crew wake up at 6:00 AM, and get to school by 7:00 AM. The bulletin requires many people with a variety of jobs, and some have two. The standard crew compliment is 20 personnel. Each person sticks to their respective job, and performs to the best of their ability. These jobs range from the browsers who surf the web looking for stories, to the director, to the news anchors. The broadcast begins promptly at 8:15 AM, when the first bell rings. For the next 5 to 10 minutes, the news is broadcast live, and whoever is tuned in can watch. It is projected onto a screen via a projector connected to the teacher’s computer.

All people work in tandem so that in one hour, a functional product can be delivered to the students. Everyone’s job is unique and special to the show and without it, the show cannot start. Even though a considerable amount of the show is electronic or automated, a student operator must be on hand to control it. However, the show isn’t just a news bulletin. There are several fun aspects to it. These include contests where they draw the winner’s names out of a bucket live on the show, and the food drive contest. Every year, teachers compete against each other to see which class can collect the most cans, and the loser traditionally is pied in the face. The results are always broadcast on TJTV.

Generally, only school news is broadcast, but real-world stories are also used. These usually are fun and interesting facts about new technology or current events. Sometimes, however, they portray a more somber message, like on 9/11, the day terrorists attacked the symbols of American power.


Now, there is a question for you. How does news get around your school?