Contributor’s Name: Matt Tarver
This cycle is focused on finding a deep connection with the Cosmos and making a deeper connection to each individuals Cosmic Task. We start broad with the Coming of the Universe Great Lesson and finish in our home city, next to the Red River, which is a major water shed of the Southeastern US. We will spend a great deal of time in astronomy, geology, paleontology, and ecology.

There is a attached photo of my shelf-work. The control for error is embedded within the card sort.
Geared Towards seventh,eighth
Curriculum: Curriculum – Science
Tags: Middle School

Kick off: Connecting to a dot; Pale Blue Dot, dot art activity – Who you aspire to be one day?
Seminar Title: The Pale Blue Dot – By: Carl Sagan
Group Initiative: A Web of Connections Game – Using rope to figure out a strategy for lifting an adult in the center.
Project: Geologic Time Scale Project
Discussion Topics: Seminar Guiding Questions Opening Question:  Writing Question: Write about one time in your life when you felt deeply connected (It could be to yourself, another person, a place, or an object) Third-Level Questions:  At the end of paragraph one, Carl Sagan finishes with every single person on earth “lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam”. We are here, writing our own written account of history, in our own unique ways. Do you think it is important for us to reflect on the pages of our past? Why, why not?  At the start of paragraph two, Sagan says, “The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.” A stage is a platform for an external audience to view. Our classroom is also a stage. The audience could be, and is, each other, our school, our families, our neighbors, our city, our country, and the world. I think as Montessorians, we have a specific responsibility to one another and to the greater good of our planet. Do you agree with this statement? Why/why not? What does this look like for you?  In paragraph two, Sagan says, “…our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.” Explain what you think it means to be privileged?  In paragraph two, Sagan says, “Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.” o What does it mean to be an inhabitant of earth? o What does it mean to be American? o What does the word justice mean? Injustice? o Do you think that humans have the right to claim a stake for whatever they think is theirs? o The earth is made primarily of land, water, and atmosphere, which was here long before life came along. Since humans have been able to manipulate their environment, we have tried to take, conquer, and make the earth “ours”. Do we have the right? Does the earth belong to anyone, or anything? Is it for sale? o I believe that civilizations are built primarily through the racial and moral injustice of other human beings. Do you agree with this? How does it make you feel to be a part of one of the wealthiest and most advanced civilizations in the history the pale blue dot? Closing Questions:  Wrap-a-round Question: The final line of this excerpt says, “it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” What is one word, or phrase, that describes how you see the future?
Outside Opportunity: Red River Canoeing Trip on Old Bayou Pierre

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Middle School