Jacob Waltz: The Lost Dutchman

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There are many tales about the Superstition Mountains.  These mountains are the setting of legends based on some facts and some exaggeration. Some of these stories make people chuckle and others tell of mysteries not yet solved.  Hi, my name is Campbell, and I will tell you about one of the most famous tales-Jacob Waltz and the Legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine.  


First, let me tell you some facts about the Superstition Mountains and Jacob Waltz.  The Superstition Mountains are 1,708 square miles.  People mine in the Superstition Mountains because they think there is a lot of gold.  It is believed that Jacob Waltz is one of those people.  Jacob Waltz was born in Germany around 1810.  He  came to America from Germany around 1839 and to the area that is now Apache Junction around 1872.  There is very little factual information about when he was young. Today, we know facts about Jacob Waltz because of papers found with his name on it.  Waltz was great at spreading false information and this caused some of the legends. The reason why he spread information is because he didn’t want anybody finding his gold mine.  

A picture of the Superstition Mountain from our school.  They usually don't have snow on them!

A picture of the Superstition Mountain from our school. They usually don’t have snow on them!

According to Jim Swanson, a local historian, “Many people tried to follow the old prospector to his mine in the Superstitions, which is known as the Lost Dutchman Mine, but Jacob managed to escape them all,” said Mr. Swanson.  People today don’t know the exact locations of where Jacob Waltz found his gold (due to his stories),  but there are a lot of theories and stories going around.  

What stories could you make up if you had a treasure of gold to hide?

M-I-C…K-E-Y Mouse!

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Hello, my name is Addy.  Today, November 18, is Mickey Mouse’s birthday!  Our class is celebrating this special day.

Minnie Power!

Minnie Power!

Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in 1928.  Walt Disney first created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but Universal Studios took Oswald away from Disney.  So, Walt Disney created Mickey. Both of the characters have similar faces and bodies, but the ears are different because one is a rabbit and one is a mouse.  Mickey was first in “Steamboat Willie” and got really famous because Disney was able to attach sound to the movements in the cartoon. That hadn’t been done before.  Since then Mickey Mouse has become a famous character.

Hi, I am Bailey.  To celebrate we wore Mickey Mouse shirts and hats.  I wore my Minnie hat and Minnie jacket.  Let’s talk about the changes Mickey has had.  When he was first created he had solid black eyes.  Now his eyes have pupils.  At first his feet were smaller than they are now.  His shorts changed colors and the buttons have changed shape.  His nose has changed, too.  It was longer when he was first made and now its shorter.  So, you can see that Mickey has changed as he gets older just like we do!  

That is a very fancy set of Minnie Mouse ears!

That is a very fancy set of Minnie Mouse ears!

 Do you have any special memories about Mickey Mouse?  What about Disneyland? 

The Superstitions: Home to Many

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Did you know our community once was the home of several Native American tribes?  My name is Peta, and I would like to tell you some information about some Native Americans that lived in our area of Apache Junction.


Some of these tribes were the Apache tribe, the Hohokam tribe, the Salado tribe, and the Pima tribe.  These tribes all lived in our area.  The Apache and Pima are still in our area, but the Salado and the Hohokam are not because they are ancient tribes.  We know they lived in our area because people have found pieces of jewelry, hunting tools, petroglyphs, and pottery.  “The petroglyphs are figures of people and animals,” said Jim Swanson, a local historian who volunteers at Superstition Mountain Museum.  Jim Swanson allowed me to interview him about the history of the Native Americans in our area.  He also said that the Native Americans used petroglyphs to tell stories and remember historical events.  

The Native Americans used petroglyphs to tell their stories.  

Today, what do we use to tell our stories?


Facts You May Not Know…Benjamin Franklin

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Hi, my name is Nicholas, and I am here to answer the question…

Who was Benjamin Franklin?

Founding Father of America

Founding Father of America

Benjamin Franklin is a god of smartness, creativity and a founding father of America. He worked harder than a beaver building a house for a giant because he traveled many places. He also had to fight for justice, not in a physical way, but using his skills as an engineer and courier. He was one of the founding fathers of America and deserves respect all over the world! Benjamin Franklin died of a sickness during his grand children’s play…sad.  You can find his tombstone in ‘Christ Church Cemetery in  Philadelphia.

Here I am doing my presentation for our Constitution Celebration.

Here I am doing my presentation for our Constitution Celebration.

Can you find the figurative language I used in my paragraph?

The U.S Constitution

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My name is Campbell. This page is about the U.S Constitution. The reason I’m writing about the U.s Constitution is because I did a presentation on the U.S Constitution during my class’ Family Follies Day at school. I used orginalzational features in my presentation to gather information. 

Here I am doing my presentation for the families.  I am wearing my patriotic dress!

Here I am doing my presentation for the families. I am wearing my patriotic dress!

Here are my facts about the U.S Constitution.


Some of the people who took part in making the U.S Constitution were, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington. The U.S Constitution is the highest law in the United States of America.The Constitution created the federal government. The Constitution states the rights of people living in the United States and is written to protect the rights people in the United States.

This is where the Constitution was signed.

This is where the Constitution was signed.

The Constitution is a piece of paper that has 7 articles and is VERY IMPORTANT. The Constitution was signed on September 17,1787. The Constitution is in Washington D.C.

Do you know any more facts about the U.S Constitution?





Thomas Jefferson by Peta

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Hi, my name is Peta.  This is a Voki that I made about Thomas Jefferson and what he did.  I made this because I read a book about him.  Our class is learning about the beginning of America and the people who were helpful to America.



Could you add more facts about Thomas Jefferson?  Our class would love to know more.

Fairy Tales with a Twist-Part One

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Our class has been studying fairy tales and other folktales.  Take a look at the project Emma has done using Story Jumper.  This project is part of our Fairy Tales with a Twist performance.  We will perform for parents and students during our Family Follies Day.

 Book titled 'Sleeping Beauty'
Stay tuned for more exciting pictures and information on our Fairy Tales With a Twist class performance.

My Spidey Senses are Tingling!

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So, everyone likes spiders, right?  What’s not to love?  The long, hairy legs, the multiple, beady eyes, or the fangs ready to pierce the skin?  Yeah, OK.  They are kind of gross.  We took a poll in our class and found out that about half of us hate spiders and the others like them, but we all find them very interesting.  Mrs. Fraher hates them ever since she got bit by a recluse spider.  It was very painful for her.

Our classroom is near a door leading to a playground near a desert wash.  This means that we get all kinds of creepy crawlies coming through the cracks in the door.  Here are some pictures we took of some of them:

Let’s find out more about spiders.  Here is what we learned after our research:

Spiders are not insects.  They have eight legs and insects have six legs.

Not all spiders spin webs.  This is because they can’t make silk.

Most spiders have eight eyes.  Ughhh!  Some spiders that live in caves and soil have no eyes at all!

There are about 35,000 different species of spiders in the world.  There are 3,000 spiders in North America.

Spiders have claws at the end of their legs.

Arizona has two very poisonous spiders:  the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse.  There are three main kids of black widow spiders and about 13 species of recluses.  Not all of them live just in Arizona.

Do you want to find out more about spiders?  Here are a couple great sites where we found our information.  Explorit Science Center and Arizona-Desert Museum: Spiders

Let’s have a little fun with a spider.  Here is a video Mrs. Fraher found on Facebook on a spider.  We thought it was super funny.

What facts can you tell us about spiders?  

Have you ever been bit by a spider?  

What spider species do you like the best?


An American Symbol Soars Into Our Learning

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We are always on the lookout for a good way to collaborate and learn new things.  Just sit back, get comfy, and listen to what we have been experiencing the last few days.  It’ll knock your red, white, and blue socks off!

Our class is very interested in all things involving our country. We are all wearing our patriotic colors to show our pride in the United States.

It all started with an email Miss Hall, our speech teacher, sent us because she knows how much we love technology and birds.  The email contained a site that provides live cameras on different animals.  This happened to contain a link to a live camera on a bald eagle nest in Tennessee!  So, we jumped on right away and were instantly caught up in the life of Franklin, Frank for short, and Indy (Independence).  Frank and Indy are non-release eagles who are currently caring for two baby eagles.  Franklin and Independence are in their 20’s and have been together since 2000.  They have had 29 eaglets together. 

Bet you are wanting to see them, huh?  In a little bit…

No, this isn’t Indy or Frank but it is a bald eagle who loves the USA!

We had so many questions!  Mrs. Fraher noticed a chat going on next to the live feed and she asked if we could jump in and ask questions.  The people in the chat were so nice to let us spend some time asking all about these two eagles.  We had to take turns asking the questions.  They sent us a whole bunch of links and pictures to use.  Here is what we learned:

So, you see how much we learned.  To learn more about the eagles and American Eagle Foundation click on the words.  We think it is so important to be aware that humans are the biggest threat to eagles and many other species.  Our carelessness and lack of information is harmful to the animals in which we share the earth.

After learning about the eagle and keeping it safe, what do you think you could do to help protect these majestic birds?

Why do you think the eagles were named Franklin and Independence?



Deserts! Not Desserts!

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The Blog Post Authors

Who would have thought that one little “s” would make such a big difference to the meaning of a word!  By taking out an “s” in dessert, you go from sweet, fluffy goodnessOur research is about the desert.  One of the deserts are named Death Valley because this desert is so dry.

Creosote Bush

We also learned about locations of deserts.  A few of the deserts can be found in North America, Turkey, Iran, Africa, and Australia.

Cholla Cactus

A desert is a piece of land that receives a low amount of rain.  Less enough to help support most plants.

Prickly Pear Cactus

We learned that there are many different kinds of deserts.  There are Sand Deserts, Stony Deserts, Rock Deserts, Plateau Deserts, Mountain Deserts, and Trade Wind Deserts.

Saguaro Cactus

Next what we learned about is where the Sonoran Desert is.  It is in Mexico, California, and Arizona.

Palo Verde Tree

Finally we learned about the plants in the Sonoran desert.  Some of them are Barrel Cactus, Brittlebush, Desert Ironwood, and a Chain Fruit Cholla.

By the way…we took all of these pictures in the desert wash behind our class.  Cool, huh?

Mesquite Tree