Grade 8 History Lesson 47

World War I: Part 1


     Today I will be talking about the first part of World War I. There were five main causes to WWI.

To understand the first cause we need to go back to the Congress of Vienna, held in 1815. It redrew the boundary lines that Napoleon had drawn to create his massive empire, however they were drawn to suit the rulers of Europe. So countries were being put together and pulled apart against their will, this made people come together to protect their individual cultures. So cause #1 of WWI was NATIONALISM.

Cause #2 of WWI was ECONOMIC COMPETITION, as nearly every country in Europe wished to be at the top of the global market in sales. And when the nations of Europe found themselves short of trade items they took from their colonies in Asia and Africa.

Cause #3 of WWI was THE FORMATION OF ALLIANCES. For example Germany and Austria-Hungary realized that if they agreed to an alliance they would stand a better chance taking on their rivals in the event of a war. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed an alliance called the Triple Alliance nicknamed the “Central Alliance”. France, Russia, and Great Britain formed an alliance called the Triple Entente, or the allies.

Although many of the nations formed alliances with each other, almost all of them didn’t trust each other. Nobody knew who to trust so cause #3 of WWI was SECRET DIPLOMACY.

Cause #5 of WWI was MILITARISM. Militarism had grown strong as weapons got more advanced. One German organization even stated that war is beautiful.

So Europe in 1914 was like a sitting keg of gunpowder, one match strike away from exploding. What set everything off was the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Had they survived they would have been next inline for the throne of Austria-Hungary. Ferdinand and Sophie were in a touring car on June 28, 1914, when a 17 year-old Bosnian student shot them. Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia, Russia mobilized it’s troops because it had financial interest in Serbia. Germany feared Russia’s involvement and declared war on Russia on August 1. And since France was in Alliance with Russia Germany declared war on France. Great Britain remained loyal to the Triple Entente and declared war on Germany on August 4. And before the year was over, battles were raging across three fronts. On the west side of Germany called the western front, the French and the British beat the Germans in the First Battle of the Marne in September. On the East side of Germany, or the eastern front Germany beat the Russians at the Battle of Tannenberg in August. And on the southeast side of Germany also called the Mediterranean Front, the Germans secretly recruited the Ottoman Turks to join the Central Powers.

The great war grew even uglier in 1915. As the Germans introduces poison gas to the battlefield at the Second Battle of Ypres. Ypres was a city in Belgium, which was neutral to the war, however it was standing between Germany and France. Fought in April and May the battle ended in a stalemate. The Germans also began to use zeppelin, which were successful at dropping crossing the English channel at night and dropping bombs. However they were huge targets and were easily shot down. Moving to the sea the Germans used a U-boat to sink a British ocean liner named the Lusitania on May 7, 1915. Nealy 1,200 passengers died including 128 Americans. Italy decided that it would join the allies in 1915 and declared war on Austria-Hungary. Also joining the Allies in 1915 were the ANZAC forces (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) who quickly went to work with Great Britain creeping on Asia Minor. The reason the Allies were interested in Asia Minor was to help Russia gain access to the Mediterranean sea, since most of Russia’s ports are frozen for most of the year. At the point where the Sea of Marmara flows into the Aegean Sea there is a peninsula called the Gallipoli Peninsula. Many battles were fought over the strategically Dardanelles from 1915 to January of 1916, over which the Ottoman Turks ultimately won. Sadly many Christian Armenians were deported and killed in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, to the degree that it has been called an act of Genocide. No matter what the title is approximately one million Armenians were killed.

Now for the events of 1916. Both sides of the war suffered unprecedented losses at the the Battle of Verdun, on the border of Belgium and France. In which the Germans were successful at assaulting the small city of Verdun with the use of artillery. However after six months of French retaliation, the Germans could push no further. The battle cry of the French was “Ils ne passeront pas!” which means “They shall not pass!” and they held true to it, at the cost of 540,000 souls. Early in the war, planes were used to spy on the enemy. However in short time both sides resorted to equipping their planes with guns. Each side had their own flying ace. The Germans had the Red Baron, Manfred Von Rishthofen. The British had Billy Bishop, and his famous flying foxes. Unfortunately since planes were very new WWI pilots were all rookies that had never flown. This lead to many casualties. Th year of 1916 also saw the infamous Battle of the Somme, fought between British troops under Sir Douglas Haig and Germans along the Somme river. This battle has been remembered as the worst conflict of WWI because 600,000 British men died to gain only 7 miles or territory. After the disaster at the Somme, WIlhelm II the kaiser of Germany fired his commanders and replaced them with Paul von Hindenburg. Hindenburg would lead the Germans through the rest of WWI along with his deputy Erich Ludendoroff. Most of the fighting was not fought in the open but in trenches, thus earning this nature of fighting the name of “trench warfare.” Germans first dug trenches after the Battle of the Marne to stake claim to their land and dodge enemy bullets. In response the allies dug their own trenches to say that “The battle stops here!” Conditions in the trenches were horrible and it made the troops weaker. However there is one heartwarming story in the trenches. It was Christmas Eve, 1914 and a group of Germans soldiers put down some tiny Christmas trees with tiny lights on them and began to sing Christmas Carols. With trenches only a football field apart it was easy to hear the soldiers in the other trench. So the Allied soldier sang a Carol of their own. And soon both sides were exchanging songs and applause. And on Christmas morning there were signs put up, one stated “YOU NO FIGHT, WE NO FIGHT.” Soldiers exchanged gifts and shook hands and even started a game of soccer. This miraculous truce lasted until new years day. Adolf Hitler who was a corporal at the time sneered at the soldiers who were festive.


Grade 8 English Lesson 66

Today I had to write the rough draft of the life cycle of butterflies.

Today I will talk about the The Life Cycles of Butterflies. For my research paper I have chosen to write about the monarch butterfly.

In February and March the final generation of hibernating monarch butterflies come out of hibernation to find a mate. After which they head north and east to find a suitable place to lay their eggs. In March and April the eggs are laid on the underside of a young milkweed plant. The number of eggs laid ranges from 290 to 1180. The older the butterfly the smaller the eggs. The eggs will hatch between three to eight days

The caterpillar has five stages of growth and after each one it molts. Each caterpillar or instar is larger than the previous as it eats more and stores energy in fat and nutrients to carry it through the pupal stage. The first instar , which emerges from the egg is green and translucent. The larvae eats it’s egg case then moves on to eating the milkweed. The second instar develops a pattern of white, yellow, and black bands. A pair of black tentacles begin to grow on the thorax, and another on the abdomen. The third instar has more defined bands of color and it’s pairs of tentacles grow longer. The fourth instar has a different banding pattern, and starts to develop white dots on the legs near the back of the caterpillar. The fifth instar has a more complex banding system, and grows small front legs that are close to the head. This process takes about two weeks and the fifth instars weigh two thousand times more than when they first emerge.

In the pupa stage the caterpillar spins a silk pad onto a horizontal surface. It then hangs by it’s hind legs, and molts into an opaque blue-green chrysalis. For about two weeks the caterpillar undergoes a massive transformation into a butterfly. And when the butterfly is about to emerge the chrysalis becomes transparent

Then when the butterfly emerges, it hangs upside down until it’s wings are dry. Fluids are pumped into the wings until they expand and stiffen. The butterfly will expand and retract it’s wings once conditions allow, and then fly off and feed off of nectar plants. The first generation of monarch butterflies will live for two to six weeks. And before they die they will lay eggs for the second generation of monarch butterflies.

The process is repeated with the second generation which are born in May and June. And the third generation which are born in July and August. As for the fourth generation they are born in September and October. Although everything else is the same with the fourth generation, the forth generation don’t die after two to six weeks. This generation will migrate to warmer climates like Mexico and California where they will live six to eight months before starting the whole thing again.

Now I will describe the monarch butterfly. The monarch butterfly is most known to be a tawny orange color. It is commonly mistakened for the Viceroy butterfly, which looks similar in color but is slightly smaller. They can fly up to 5.5 miles per hour. There is a rare version of the monarch that is white, called the white monarch. They make up only 1% of monarch everywhere besides Hawaii, where they make up 10% of the monarch population. Though the monarch has six legs like most insects, they only use their middle and hind legs, while they curl up their front legs.

So we learned about the Monarch butterfly today. And that there are four main stages in the life cycle of a butterfly, the egg stage, the caterpillar stage, the pupa stage, and the butterfly stage. It’s amazing how a caterpillar can turn into a butterfly isn’t it?

Grade 8 History Lesson 46

Excursions to the South Pole

1911-1912, 1915-1916

     It was the year of 1903 when the great race for the South Pole started. In that year Robert Scott of Great Britain had led an expedition within 575 miles of the South Pole. He tried again in 1910, but as he was making preparations for his trip he was sent a telegram. “Beg leave inform you proceeding Antarctic. Amundsen.” This meant that a new contestant, named Roald Amundsen was entering the race to Antarctica. Roald Amundsen had previously fought for the honor of discovering the North Pole. However American Robert E. Peary, beat him to it in 1909. After learning of this, he turned himself to finding the South Pole. He had been to Antarctica, in the 1800s where he was forced to spend a winter there. At the age of 39, Amundsen started his journey in January 1911. His plan was to set sail into the Bay of Whales on the west coast of Antarctica, camp though the winter, and trek on foot to the South Pole in spring. He carried out his plan with only four men, four sleds and 52 dogs. And on December 14, 1911, they staked a Norwegian flag on a tent to mark the spot. If you are wonder why he was on the North Pole in December is because when the northern hemisphere is in winter when the southern hemisphere is in winter more on that here.

So how about Robert Scott? He and his crew started their journey in 1910. Scott who was then 42, sailed the Terra Nova with his crew, landing on Ross Island, where he set up camp. Just like Amundsen’s team, they had to wait for spring, however Scott’s team was delayed by ice until November 11, while Amundsen started his trek on October 19. Scott’s team also were hit by several snowstorms. And though they started the journey with dogs and horses, they sent the dogs back to base camp and shot the horses for food (which were dying anyways). On only their manpower they pressed on towards the South Pole, only to find a Norwegian flag blowing in the wind. Discouraged and low on food, Scott and his crew never made it back to base camp.

In 1908, two years before Scott and Amundsen reached the South Pole, the British explorer Ernest Shackleton traveled within 97 miles of the pole. For this he was knighted Sir Ernest Shackleton. Since Amundsen had won the race to the South Pole, he proposed the idea to cross the continent on foot. However his ship the Endurance got frozen in place at the edge of the continent in the south Weddell Sea. The Endurance lay stuck for 10 months before sinking on November 21, 1915. Shackleton and his crew pressed on with three lifeboats, several dogsleds, and plenty of supplies. For many months, the crew made camp on the ice floes when necessary, occasionally having the scramble quickly because the ice floes split underneath their camps. And when they reached the brink of the scattered ice floes, that meant that camping on solid ice would cease and the lifeboats would be the only thing between them and the sea. Finally on April of 1916 a path opened in the ice allowing them to row to Elephant Island, the only real solid land they would stand on in 497 days. Shackleton’s plan was to take five men on a lifeboat, not designed for spending weeks on an open sea, and sail though the Drake Passage. Shackleton and his five men were soaked to the bone and when night came, they could not rest. However they got through the Drake Passage in one piece and set up camp on South Georgia Island. One short sail the next day and three men set up camp, and three men started the unbelievable hike across South Georgia to attempt to reach the whaling station. They had to scale up and down glaciers, and found many too steep to climb. Cold and out of food Shackleton proposed a last ditch plan. To tie themselves together and slide down a glacier. And the outrageous plan worked, and shortly they could hear the wake-up call of a whaling station. After three failed attempts to rescue his men, however on the fourth try, in the August of 1916, the team got through. And guess what they found? They found all of the men they had left on Elephant Island. Not one man had died from start to finish of Shackleton’s expedition. And for this his men called him the greatest leader that ever came on God’s earth bar none. After attempting to reach the South Pole a second time he suffered a heart attack and died. There he was buried by his wife, close to the South Pole he dreamed of reaching.

Grade 8 Science Lesson 9

Today I learned about the about page. Many people don’t take advantage of this page, as it’s main purpose is to just tell people about your page. However you can used this page to show up on the YouTube search more. It will also appear in a card that appears when you hover your mouse over your channel icon. What you want to do is describe your channel very briefly. Then describe your value proposition. And maybe add a posting schedule if you regularly post at a certain time. And weave some keywords into your sentences. Remember not to write it too long, otherwise people might not read it. Also there is a word limit.