Directions: Here’s everything you need to know in Mr. Ippolito’s class.


#1 - State of the Union Address -  What is the State of the Union Address? How often is the speech given? What is the purpose of the State of the Union Address? What are some of Obama’s plans for the future? Take this quiz!

#2 - Life of Monks and Nuns - Who was St. Benedict? What were some of the rules that monks and nuns followed? How would modern life be different if we had to follow their rules? What is a manuscript?

Here is a link to the Rule of St. Benedict

#3 - The Vikings - Where are the vikings from? What was one of the easiest target for the vikings? Were the vikings considered civilized? Who did the vikings “beat” to the new world? Watch this video. 

#4 - Geography of Medieval Europe -  Where can you find the Seine and Loire rivers? Can you label a map of Europe? What is the irony of Greenland and Iceland? What body of water is East of England?Look at this map!!! 

#5 - Feudalism - Can you label a social pyramid? Did anybody have social mobility? Who is lower than a peasant? Why wasn’t the king at the top of the pyramid? If your grandfather is a peasant, what are you most likely to be?  Forgot what a social pyramid is?

#6 - Origins of the English Language -

What language was spoken by Chaucer? What language do we speak today? Can you name languages that affect our current speech? Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were named after… What famous piece of literature did Geoffrey Chaucer write?

#7 - Popes and Kings - Why was King John so horrible? What do popes name themselves after? What did William the Conqueror contribute to? How are Pope Gregory VII and King Henry IV associated?

#8 - The Spread of Christianity - Who were the Crusades? What is a pilgrim and what do they have to do with crusades? Why did medieval Europeans go on so many crusades?

#9 - Vocabulary of Medieval Europe -  Make sure to know the words on the study guide.


#1 - Hour of Code/Fantasy Geopolitics

  • On October 24, 2014, students were given the opportunity to try out an Hour of Code. Students, during this time, could have also done research on their countries for Fantasy Geopolitics. Students got credit on this for

#2 - African Storytelling

  • What is a griot? What is oral history? Why is oral history so important to the people of West Africa?

#3 - Fantasy Geopolitics/World Geography/Current Events

  • Name the three countries you have, or WISH you could have, in the Fantasy Geopolitics draft. Explain why each of these three countries is making news right now.

#4 - The Gold/Salt Trade

  • Describe the salt-gold trade in medieval West Africa. Why was gold important and who wanted it? Why was salt important? Who needed salt?

#5 - African Proverbs

  • Choose ONE of the proverbs we learned about in class. Tell me which one you chose, explain what it means, and explain why you like this particular proverb.

#6 - Mansa Musa

  • Who was Mansa Musa? Why was he so significant to the history of West Africa?

#7 - African Geography - Be prepared to locate on a map where to find:

  • the sahel
  • the savannah
  • the Niger River
  • the Nile River
  • the location of the current Ebola outbreak

#8 - Infinite Campus - This standard was simply a check to make sure students knew how to log in to Infinite Campus.

#9 - Ancient China

  • Confucius and the influence of his ideas (Analects)
  • Meritocracy: A government system where employees progress based on ability and talent rather than rank
  • Idioms, stories, and myths: told to teach lessons and to entertain
  • Buddhism in China
  • Confucius and Buddhism:
  • Check “Ancient China Study Guide

#10 - Genghis Khan

  • a.k.a. Temujin (finest steel).  Genghis Khan meant ruler of all
  • Unites the Mongols under his banner by defeating his greatest enemies (Tartars) mercilessly
  • Military legacy: accurate, swift, hit and run cavalry.  Adopted the trebuchet
  • Legacy: The Mongol empire, the largest land empire in History before the British empire


#11 - Kublai Khan

  • Assigned to conquer China (Song dynasty) by his brother Mongke
  • After Mongke died, he defeated his brother Ariq in a civil war to become the Khan/ruler of the Mongols
  • Established the Yuan dynasty allowing the Chinese to administrate but the Mongols to rule
  • Reopened the Silk Road.  Relationship between Marco Polo and Kublai would bring European traders to China and promote exploration among the Chinese

#12 - The Ming Dynasty

  • Zhu Yuanzhang a.k.a. emperor Hongwu defeats the Yuan dynasty (Mongols) and creates the Ming dynasty
  • He created the Jinyi Wei, a secret police meant to protect him because he was afraid of losing his throne
  • Trade expansion along the Silk Road and a lot of exploration.  Portugal was the first to trade with China
  • The Great Wall of China was completed linking up all the walls together to protect from invasion
  • Legacies of the Ming: The Forbidden City, the city within a city meant to protect and house the emperor and government officials
  • Legacies of the Ming: Porcelain

#13 - CNN Student News

#14 - Japanese Geography

  • Japan is an archipelago, a chain of islands, sits on the Ring of Fire on the Pacific Ocean.  This means Japan is very mountainous and highly volcanic.
  • Japan is about the size of California but is very highly populated.  It has a very high population density.
  • Because of the high population density and limited resources, Japan splintered off into clans, or close knit family, that warred incessantly for control of land and resources.

#15 - The Yamato and Prince Shotoku:

  • Eventually, from these warring clans, one clan became the largest and the most powerful, the Yamato clan. While the Yamato were the most powerful, they did not control and unify Japan until Prince Shotoku came into the picture.
  • Prince Shotoku was a regent, not an emperor.  He ruled in the place of his aunt, the empress, who was too young to rule.

#16 - Prince Shotoku unifies Japan:

  • Before Buddhism came to Japan from Korea, the Japanese practiced the Shinto religion.  The Shinto believed in Kamis or gods/spirits, that can be found in nature. Kamis could be rocks, rivers, the ocean, mountains, forests, etc.  Buddhism on the other hand did not believe in deities but instead believed in seeking a perfect wisdom (nirvana/enlightenment) where the individual learns how everything in the universe is connected.
  • Prince Shotoku sent scholars to learn about Confucius style government and Buddhism.  Shotoku brought Buddhist monks to Japan to convert the population.  Clan members who were tired of fighting and listening to clan leaders found Buddhism to be very attractive.  This took away the power of clan leaders but did not give Shotoku control.
  • To take control Prince Shotoku created a form of government, designed after the Chinese, with Buddhist and Confucian ideals to attract the newly converted Japanese.  The government had a constitution that consisted of 17 articles.  Meanwhile, the empress and the Yamato clan still maintained their title of emperor under the Shinto religion. In this way, Prince Shotoku was seen as the leader of the Buddhist converts and those who still practiced Shinto.

#17 - Shifts in Power:

  • The Fujiwara became the most powerful clan in Japan and controlled the emperor.  The emperor was a "puppet."  Meanwhile the Taira clan and the Minamoto clan were raising their own armies.  They trained very powerful warriors that were fiercely loyal to their clan leader.  They allied together and attacked the Fujiwara and defeated them.  Then, the Taira and the Minamoto turned on each other.

#18 - The First Shogun:

  • The Minamoto clan defeated the Taira making Yoritomo supreme Shogun. Life under the Shoguns was lawless and violent.  The job of protecting people became the responsibility of the daimyo, or local land-owning lords.  This created feudalism.  The lords granted people land or other rewards in exchange for military service.  
  • Peasants would work the lands of the daimyos.  The daimyos would promise the peasants protection for working their lands.  Daimyos created small armies of samurai (those who serve), very highly trained warriors.  In exchange, the daimyo gave samurai land and money.

#19 - The Way of the Samurai:

  • The definition of Samurai: those who serve.  This style of martial arts is highly ritualized and ancient and is still used today.  They are highly disciplined and seek excellence and perfection in everything they do.




 Justice in Ancient Rome, Fall of Rome, Legacy of Rome

Essential questions and big ideas: What does the word justice mean? How did the Roman Republic try to create a just society?

#1 - The Justice Project - assignment is here:

Rome’s “Twelve Tables of Law”

#2 - Academic Vocabulary - Chapter 1, Section 3 -

#3 - Roman Numerals

#4 - The Fall of the Roman Empire

  • We read Chapter 1, Section 3 and examined causes for the Fall of the Roman Empire. We then compared some of the challenges Rome faced with some of the modern challenges we face in America today. We had a great discussion guided by these slides:

Study Guide for Three-Week Exam is here:

“Junior High Students Don’t Know 9/11”

This was the lesson we did the day I was out in meetings and you had a sub. We followed this up with a discussion in class upon my return.

#5 - Academic Vocabulary - WEEK FIVE

#6 - Classroom Technology - Students should be able to . . .

  • Log into their Hart District Google account to access the tools they will need in this class, and in other classes
  • Be kind and caring with your classroom Chromebook
  • Send and receive email from your Hart District Google Mail
  • To, From, CC, BCC, Subject, Body, Salutation, Search, Archive

#7 - The Legacy of Rome

Essential question: What is the legacy of Rome? What is Rome’s greatest lasting contribution?

  • Presentation here:
  • Students will be able to explain, using evidence, what they believe to be Rome’s greatest lasting contribution (the legacy of Rome).

Vocabulary: architecture, public works, aqueducts, Hoover Dam, roads, the US Interstate Highway System, sewage, republic, Romance languages, Christianity


#8 - The Rise of Islam
Essential questions and big ideas: How does someone’s religion affect their values, attitudes, and everyday behavior? How does geography affect people’s behaviors and patterns? Should Muhummad be considered an iconoclast?

  • We talked about the difference between Fact, Belief, and Opinion
  • We pre-read sections 3:1 and 3:2 and focused on domain-specific and academic vocabulary words (the “Vocabulary” listed below)
  • Students should know how to use context clues to determine the meaning of words, and know sometimes the “Google definition” of a word isn’t always what the words means in the historical context
  • Students should understand the difference between a fact, a belief, and an opinion - CLICK HERE to learn more
  • Students should know what a peninsula is and how to read this map to understand the spread of the Islamic Empire:


  • We watched this Crash Course video by John Green (specifically watched 0:00 to 4:50), and then filled out this Study Guide
  • We learned about the Five Pillars of Islam, and used these as a model to come up with our own Five Personal Pillars that we individually try to live by
  • Vocabulary: almsgiving, Muslim, Hajj, fasting, revelation, Qur’an, sedentary, nomads, oasis, Muhammad, the Angel Gabriel, mantle, monotheism, polytheism, Five Pillars of Islam, year ranges, iconoclast