Canals 1820-1860


American Panorama: Canals
While the heyday of the canals lasted only a few decades, they transformed the American economy by connecting the areas west of the Appalachian Mountains to eastern population centers and Atlantic ports. Concentrated largely north of the Mason-Dixon line, they shaped American regionalism too by linking the northeast and northwest together into a region that increasingly came to see itself as the “North.”


Click the map to check it out!


Happy Birthday School House Rock!

School House Rock holds a special place in my heart, probably because I grew up with the cartoons in between my regular cartoon schedule as a kid growing up in the 1970s and 1980s.  Nothing screams Saturday morning to me more than eating cereal and watching School House Rock.

The coolest part of it all.  If you know School House Rock, it’s probably because one or more of your teachers watched it too and decided to play it in class.

Check out my two favorite School House Rock cartoons.

Every time I show this one to my class, almost the entire class is singing along by the end of the song.

Want to read more?  Click here.

Jefferson vs. Hamilton

Before George Washington retired as president he warned the young nation not to create political parties.  He believed there should be one political party in America and it should be the American Party.  But two of Washington’s top advisors, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, created divisions that helped form the first two political parties found in the United States.

Want to watch a rap battle between Jefferson and Hamilton?  Click here!

Below is a clip from the HBO series “John Adams” It shows a conversation between President Washington’s cabinet members Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton and recently returned from France, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The conversation the two men are having is about  Hamilton’s proposed assumption of the revolutionary war debts of the individual States under the authority of the Federal government and the formation of a National bank. These issues were some of the fundamental and foundational ideological differences between the origins of the “Federalist” and “Democratic-Republican” parties.



Who is Mrs. Espeseth Dressed As?

DSC_0485I was born and raised in Southern California.

I went to Stanford University and earned a degree in physics.

I got my dream job in 1978 by answering an ad in a Stanford school newspaper.

I love to run, play tennis, volleyball, and softball.

Later in life, I wrote or co-wrote 7 children’s books about space and worked at the University of California at San Diego.  My goal was to help women and girls study science and math.  I worked in Washington D.C., heck, I have even done a bit of acting.  I worked on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.  I have met the president of the United States and the Governor of California.  I have even had a Google Doodle made in my honor.

I am incredibly famous, I am known as a “Pioneer”.  I am the first American woman to do something so many people dream of.

I am no longer alive.

You get one guess!  Comment below.  If you guess correctly you will receive 10 points extra credit.  The answer will be revealed tomorrow.

If you guessed Sally Ride, you guessed correctly!

Image result for sally ride

Dr. Sally Ride was the first American woman to go to space.  She began working for NASA after applying to the astronaut program after seeing an ad in a school newspaper.  While in space Dr. Ride’s job was to work the robotic arm.  She helped put satellites into space.


How to Write an Argumentative Paragraph Using Say, Mean, Matter

To use Say, Mean, Matter when writing a paragraph students must follow a set of rules.

  1.  Students must write a topic sentence in this instance the topic sentence is:

I would have quit Valley Forge because of poor living conditions.

2.  Next, students must answer the question, what is the document saying.  In this
instance, students must use Document B.

Doc B-Valley Forge 7%2F12.JPG

In the engraving, I see…(be sure to mention what you see)

3.  Now you must describe what you see means to you.

When I see people without shoes that tells me…

4.  Finally, you must describe how the picture is helping you decide to quit Valley Forge.

I would quit Valley Forge because…

Valley Forge: Would You Have Quit? by Alex M.

In 1777, George Washington was having trouble keeping his soldiers in the army while they were at Valley Forge. In the winter of 1777, Washington decided to build a winter camp to have a place to live during the cold winter. At Valley Forge, there weren’t any beds to sleep on. Many soldiers slept on straw on the muddy floor. I am writing an essay describing why I would quit or not re-enlist for Valley Forge. I would quit Valley Forge because of the poor living conditions, the government not wanting to help, and the chance of getting sick and die.

I would have quit Valley Forge because of the poor living conditions. The American soldiers lived in smoky huts and slept on the floor with mud all around. The cold harsh weather made it very hard to live in Valley Forge for the next 3 or 4 months (Doc. C). The soldiers wore old tattered clothes and had nothing to eat. There had old ripped clothes and with the cold weather, they would freeze. In Doc C, Dr. Waldo stated that he heard many soldiers say “why are we sent here to starve and die? ”There wasn’t any food which made it even harder to survive (Doc. C). In the engraving in Doc B, I see that American soldiers were barefoot in the cold weather. (Doc.B). Living without food and wearing old clothes makes me want to quit Valley Forge.

Another reason I would quit Valley Forge is that the government wasn’t helping. The American soldiers were in very horrible conditions and the government didn’t even try to help. They didn’t give the army any money or food to survive (Doc. B). The Congressmen (the government) could have given the army some money or food but chose not to. For these reasons, I would have quit Valley Forge because I wouldn’t want to live in a harsh place with the government not wanting to help.

The last reason I would have quit Valley Forge was the chance of death and illness. The number of deaths during Valley Forge was 1,800 to 2,500 soldiers (Doc. A). In December of 1777, 2,898 soldiers became ill with a chance of death and in February of 1778, 3,989 soldiers became sick (Doc. A). The more the soldiers stayed at Valley Forge, the more soldiers became sick. I wouldn’t want to be at a place for the whole winter with the chance of getting sick and even dying. I wouldn’t want to be at a place where I’m risking my life. The chance of dying and getting sick would make me want to leave Valley Forge.

For these reasons the poor living conditions, the government not wanting to help, and the chance of getting sick and die would make me want to quit Valley Forge. Yes, it is true that only 1800 to 2500 soldiers died. That might have been a small number considering there were many more thousands of soldiers but still losing 2,500 soldiers gave the advantage to the British because they had more soldiers. Victory seemed a long way off, in fact for many it seemed unlikely.