Mankind: The Story of All of Us

Mankind: The Story of All of Us

The History Channel has followed up “America: The Story of Us”, with “Mankind: The Story of All of Us.”  The first episode of 12 aired on November 13th, 9-11pm.  Each episode will be aired on Tuesday, starting at 9pm.

The series chronicles mankind, from the beginnings in Eastern Africa, all the way to modern times.  The first episode was entitled “Inventors” and outlined how humans created new technologies in order to survive and advance civilizations.  Some of the “inventions” included fire, farming, bronze, iron, democracy, writing systems, trade and war.

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This could be a great supplemental resource for 6th, 9th and 10th grade classrooms, and there are many different resources teachers could use from the History Channel website.  There are 2-3 minute video clips, and a Mankind classroom teacher guide.

Click here to explore more related to Mankind: The Story of All of Us




CIA Academy Begins November 28th

The CIA Academy, a unique partnership between the Greece Central School District and the Greece Police Department, will begin on November 28th, 2012. This is the first of 10 meetings between students in Greece, and Police Officers in the GPD. Students will learn, many times through hands-on experiences, the many different roles of the Police Department in Greece, NY. The first meeting centers on introductions and the Police Department as an organization. Officer Jim Leary has taken the lead again in partnering with district administrators and classroom teachers.

30 students from Arcadia, Olympia, Odyssey and Athena were selected to participate. The activities range from learning about different divisions in the GPD (Patrol, DWI Enforcement, Firearms safety, Criminal Investigations Division, etc.) to experiences at the Greece Town Hall, and Animal Services, among many others. More detailed information is included in the CIA Academy Schedule below.

Click on the documents below for more information, and as always, please email me at with any questions.


CIA Academy Schedule, 2012-13 School Year – A detailed schedule for teachers and students that includes the dates, times, and topics of the ten meetings – as well as Graduation Day. Look here if you have questions about when and where to attend.

An Overview of the CIA Academy in Greece CSD – This document summarizes the CIA Academy in Greece.


That’s it for now…


“Lincoln” – A Learning Opportunity for Students and Staff

“Lincoln”, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Steven Spielberg, opens November 16th in Rochester.  The movie focuses on some of the major decisions that President Abraham Lincoln was faced with during his time in office, but specifically focuses on the months leading to the end of the US Civil War.  The movie has been rated PG-13, so many students could attend with family and friends.

Here is a summary of the movie from

“Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.”


Lincoln – Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Directed by Steven Spielberg


If you wish to learn more about the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, either before or after viewing the film, consider the following books:

A Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America, by Harold Holzer

Lincoln: A Cinematic and Historical Companion, forwards by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy

Lincoln: A President for the Ages.  Essays from leading writers and scholars.  Edited by Karl Weber

Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, by James L. Swanson



November Madness a Huge Success

THANK YOU to all that helped with November Madness.  It was a tremendous success and a great night for student engagement and learning.  Students from all four high schools in Greece interacted throughout the night with each other, with teachers, with building and district administrators, and side by side with school board members.  About 100 students engaged in authentic debates, predictions, and analysis of the election, the Electoral College, and politics in general.  Below are a few of the pictures that captured different parts of the evening.

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November Madness Resources

November Madness is just more than a week away.  Attached are a bunch of  resources that teachers and students can use throughout the evening to analyze the election.  Please feel free to make copies for your students.   What we tried to do was to have students engage in the political process by connecting it to social media, media bias, ideology, the Electoral College, and the candidates.

Teacher/Student Resources:

November Madness Information Sheet – For Students – An invitation for students to attend.

November Madness Electoral College Map – To be completed prior to election night, or during the evening.

November Madness Electoral College Tracking Sheet – For Election Night – A simple way for students to track the election.

November Madness Media Comparison – For Election Night – Comparing coverage on ABC, NPR, CNN, and Fox News

November Madness Social Media – Getting “Plugged In” – Using social media to engage in the election process.

Here are some websites that may help as well: – a great resource for the electoral college process. – can be used for conservative vs. liberal ideologies. – The YouTube channel dedicated to the 2012 Presidential Election.

Gallup Polls and News –  A look at the latest news and polls from Gallup

Pew Research Campaign Center – News, research, polls and a Political Ideology quiz – The twitter page for the 2012 Presidential Election.

President Barack Obama’s Twitter page

Mitt Romney’s Twitter page

CNN’s 2012 Election Center

FoxNews 2012 Election Center

If you have any questions, please email:

Thanks…Looking forward to seeing lots of students and teachers in action for Election 2012!


CIA Volunteer Opportunity

CIA Teachers,

Here is a great volunteer opportunity for your students.  Check it out!

Volunteer Opportunity

What: An opportunity to help English as a second language (ESOL) learners  – they are students in Greece Central.

Who: CIA Students would help tutor ESOL learners, complete homework, or work with the teachers.

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-8:30pm.  Students do not have to be at every session.

Where: Greece Ridge Mall

Why: You get to help students in need of support, complete CIA volunteer hours, and if interested in Education, get a great experience in helping others learn.

Contact: If interested, please contact me at or Annamaria Falzarano (GCSD Coordinator of World Languages) at with student names.  Feel free to give either email to students as well.

Here’s the summary from Ms. Falzarano’s request for volunteers:

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8:30 pm we run a Family Literacy program for ESOL students K-12 at the mall. I currently have two teachers leading the program. Happily, our enrollment has grown, and I was wondering if we could tap CIA students in need of service hours to help us out with the program. I have used student volunteers in the past, and it has been successful for all. The high school students help the program students to finish homework, assist the teacher with activities, read stories, etc.

Thanks for helping…



Native American Day at the Greece Historical Society and Museum

Elementary teachers and administrators, the Greece Historical Society and Museum is holding a “Native American Day” for all residents of Greece.  Please forward this to building teachers and students.

Where: Greece Town Hall, rooms B and C

When: Saturday, November 10, 2012

Time: 10am – 12 noon


1) 10am: Anthropologist George Hammel (Rochester Museum and Science Center) will discuss and display Iroquois artifacts that are 500-750 years old!

2) 11am: Mohawk Storyteller Barbara Bethmann-Mahooty

Why: To explore and learn about local Native American History.  To experience history “hands-on” through artifacts, including tools, spear points, adz, net sinkers,  arrowheads, wampum and tomahawks.  You can also bring any relics or artifacts you may have for identification. You will learn about early Aboriginal tribes of the Genesee region through displays, artifacts and books.

Contacts: Email the Greece Historical Society for more information at:, or call 225-7221.

Here’s a link to their website: Greece Historical Society and Museum



Social Studies Teachers,

Election 2012 is only a few weeks away.  New this year in Greece, we are holding an event called “November Madness.”  Other districts have done similar things in the past with great success.  The basic idea is to have students engaged in the electoral process in many different ways – side by side with teachers, administrators, peers, media experts, and possibly local politicians.  This is primarily for 11th and 12th grade students interested in politics and the election process.

The event will take place on Election night – November 6th, from 7-10pm at the Arcadia Library.  In case of a close election (which it very may well be)…we may be brewing coffee and drinking Red Bull to stay a bit longer.  Attached is a flyer for the event that outlines the who, what, where, when and why questions.  This will be an exciting opportunity for students in Greece to connect the election of 2012 to Citizens in Action, US History and Government, and AP Government and US Politics.  Content connections include the US Constitution, Electoral College, Voting trends, United States Regional differences, Media influence on politics, Political Ideology, persuasive literacy applications, and analysis and polling strategies.  More to come through this blog and your emails!  Please view and print the flyer below for students in AP US History, Citizens in Action, and AP US Government and Politics.

Click here for the “November Madness” Informational Flyer:

“November Madness” Student Flyer

That’s all for now…


Greece Historical Society Offerings

The Greece Historical Society and Museum is the place to learn about local history and get engaged in real history here in Greece.  The museum has regular exhibits, but also special displays – so be sure to check it out.  I was lucky enough to be given the “all access” tour by Kathie, Lee, Bill and others.  The amount of primary documents, maps, knowledge and resources at the gift shop will enhance local history for all of us – and can help students at different levels experience it too. 

Not only does the Greece Historical Society manage the museum, but they also offer different opportunities for students and teachers, and community members of all ages.  Below are some of those upcoming events – please call the Greece Historical Society if you have questions as 225-7221, or check out

Upcoming Events:

  1. River Romance Weekend (for adults):  The Greece Historical Society and the Charlotte Village and Transportation Museum will be at Ontario Beach Park, Sunday, October 7, 2012  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. We will have exhibits on the history of Northgate Plaza, the Manitou trolley and Charlotte. Come hear about the War of 1812 from the Canadian point of view, through the eyes of a descendant whose family barn near Fort Erie, Ontario became a field hospital. Greece and Charlotte tee-shirts, books and memorabilia will be on display and for sale and a new book on Charlotte in the war of 1812 will be unveiled. Learn about all the events at River Romance Weekend at
  2. Mr. Lincoln’s Army – Our Documentary Heritage, by Preston E. Pierce, Ed D.   Tuesday, October 9, 2012 Greece Town Hall, One Vince Tofany Blvd. 7:00 p.m.   This program examines the process by which the Union military force was built. Information about “Mr. Lincoln’s Army,” as Bruce Catton once called it, is presented from government and private documents, artifacts, newspapers, and books garnered mostly from local museums and archives. Reading lists, notes on the Civil War draft, and other resources will be given to those attending.  Dr. Preston Pierce, the Regional Archivist at Rochester Regional Library Council, was a Social Studies teacher for 30 years, the Ontario County Historian for 29 years and an adjunct lecturer in history at the Finger Lakes Community College, and spent 2 years of his Army career as a Research and Analysis Officer for the Center of Military History, US Army.  Public Welcome, Reservations are not necessary. Greece Historical Society members Free. A $2.00 donation is appreciated from others.  For more information call 585-225-7221, visit  or find the Greece Historical Society on Facebook.
  3. Sam Patch: America’s First Daredevil, by Maureen Whalen.   Saturday, October 13 at 1:00 pm. at the Greece Public Library.  Nik Wallenda is just the latest in a long line of American daredevils. The first was Sam Patch who made his reputation “jumping falls,” but will always be remembered for what happened to him in Rochester on that fateful day in November 1829. Attendees will learn all about Sam and children may want to try a “daredevil stunt” of their own. For ages 8 and older. Register for this free program by calling the library at 225-8951.
  4. Manitou Trolley Days, by Bill Sauers.  Friday, Oct 19, 2012 – 2:00 p.m. Greece Town Hall – Northwest AARP Meeting.  From 1891 to 1925 an electric trolley ran eight miles along the shore of Lake Ontario between Charlotte to Manitou Beach. With nearly 20 stops along the way the trolley stopped at hotels, cottages, amusement parks, and crossed Braddock’s Bay on a wooden trestle. Come along and ride this train with a multi-media presentation by Greece Historical Society president Bill Sauers.  Also learn about the Greece Historical Society & Museum and their programs for the upcoming season.
  5. Volunteer Fair (A Great Opportunity for Greece Central 12th Graders in CIA).   Monday, October 29th 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Greece Community & Senior Center.  The Town of Greece will be hosting a Volunteer Fair on Monday, Oct 29th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Greece Community and Senior Center.  The event will give the Greece Historical Society and other community organizations the chance to showcase volunteer opportunities to prospective volunteers and residents in our community. If you are interested in volunteering with Greece Historical Society or any other organization in Greece, be sure to join us on Oct 29th.
  6. Native American Day (Excellent for students and children).  Saturday, November 10th, 10am-noon at the Greece Town Hall.
  7. Holiday Open House.  Saturday, December 2nd at the Greece Historical Museum.

Hopefully you’ll get a chance to check some of these out over the next few months.


Free Lacrosse Program from Native American Resource Center

The Native American Resource Center offers a variety of Cultural Encounter programs where students can learn about Native American culture and history from Native American educators.  These Cultural Encounter programs support  the learning concepts found in various parts of the curriculums for many grade levels.  All programs are FREE for ALL schools in the Rochester City, Greece and Rush–Henrietta School Districts.  To schedule a program, call the Native American Resource Center at 324-9305.

Lacrosse—The Creator’s Game

The highly interactive activity will detail the cultural and historical significance of the Haudenosaunee game of Lacrosse.  Students will learn how the Haudenosaunee  invented this game, the evolution of the game and equipment, different styles of lacrosse played today, and some basic elements of game play.  Time permitting, students will have the opportunity to learn some basic skills needed for playing such as cradling, passing, catching and shooting.  ALL sticks and balls need to play are provided (including indoor “safe” lacrosse balls).  Many students enjoy the opportunity to be introduced to Tewaarathon (Mohawk word for lacrosse, actual meaning is “they bump hips”) or to gain a deeper understanding of this game.

This session may be completed during a gym class or classroom teachers may schedule a time when the students may be allowed to have outdoor learning or there is an open gym time.

Native American Resource Center

353 Congress Avenue Rochester, NY 14608 (585) 324-9305