Seawell Grade 5 News

Here's the latest news from our classrooms for the week of May 29, 2017:


This week students continued to complete their research for their inquiry projects on their nonfiction science topics. Students did an amazing job putting in so much hard work on their last major project for literacy!

Next week, we will be conducting wrap-up activities for the year and celebrating the excellent readers and writers students have become!


This week students took their Math and Science EOG's after taking their Reading EOG last week. Students scores will go home with them with their report cards on the last day of school.

Now that testing is officially done, all our fifth graders can take a deep breath and enjoy their final days as fifth graders!

Social Studies

Students are wrapping up work with in their Social Studies Newspapers.

In the Week 24 lessons, students read about how ways of life in the North and South were different. Students learned the Northern industrial and the Southern agricultural economies were different and responsible for the differences in the ways people lived and worked. In addition to the differences in the ways they made money, students learned that the North and South had very different views on the amount of influence they wanted the federal government to have over the states. Most Northerners favored a strong national government while most Southerners wanted strong states’ rights. Of course the most obvious difference in the two regions was slavery. Northerners wanted slavery abolished. Southerners felt slavery was necessary to run their plantations. Students learned that the differences between the two regions were leading to a breakdown of the country.

In the Week 25 lessons, students will study the roots of the conflict that led to the Civil War. Students will learn that while slavery was indeed a major issue, it certainly was not the only issue that stood between the North and the South. The South was also concerned about losing their nullification rights. Students will learn that basic economic differences in the Northern Industry system and the Southern Plantation system also led to conflict. They will learn how the Missouri Compromise, the Great Compromise of 1850 and the situation in Kansas only served to push the two regions farther apart. Finally students will learn interesting information about our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. His election as president of the United States was not without controversy. He did not win the popular vote in the election of 1860. Many Southern states threatened to secede if he was elected, and indeed seven states seceded before Lincoln had even taken of office.

In the Week 26 lessons, students will study how the presidential election of 1860 pushed the Southern states to secede. Students will learn that South Carolina was the first of eleven total states to form the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis was selected as its first president. Soon the tension between the two countries came to a head. Students will learn that the Confederate attack of Fort Sumter and its subsequent fall prompted men on both sides to join in forces against one another. Students will learn that many people volunteered service while others were drafted. The Battle at Bull Run showed the Union Army that the Confederates were ready to fight without backing down. Students will learn that President Lincoln had some difficulty deciding the right time to announce the abolition of slavery. Finally on Jan. 1, 1863, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law. Many slaves were of officially free. The two leaders of the war, General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant, both well-trained military leaders, had a long road ahead of them.

In Week 27, students will learn all about the battles that were turning points of the Civil War. Students will learn that fighting on the Civil War battle field was brutal. Nearly 200,000 men lost their lives to battle wounds during the war. Students will learn that Northern and Southern families were doing everything possible at home to support the troops. However, life in the South was especially difficult because of blockades and fighting in the area. Food was hard to find. Many Southerners were gravely ill or died during the war because of their poor health. Students will learn that the final surrender to end the Civil War was without fanfare. The nation was weary of war.

Finally, in Week 28, students will learn that President Lincoln wanted a lenient Reconstruction plan following the Civil War. His goal was to put the U.S. back together as quickly as possible. There was great disagreement with Lincoln’s plan. Many Northerners felt the South should be severely punished for the war. Lincoln refused to sign Congress’ strict program into law. The South was devastated following the war. The people were angry and worried. Freed slaves had gained their freedom, but the former slaves had little else. The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help the former slaves adjust to life on their own.The country looked toward President Lincoln for guidance immediately after the war. Unfortunately, only six days after the South’s surrender, a Confederate supporter, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Lincoln. Andrew Johnson was sworn in as president upon Lincoln’s death. At first he was a popular replacement, but soon both sides of the country were questioning Johnson’s ability to lead the nation through a delicate Reconstruction phase. In December 1865, Congress ratified the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery in the U.S. Some Southern states passed Black Codes, which limited the civil rights of freedmen and essentially forced them back into slavery. The 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were passed. These protected the civil rights of all citizens and gave all men the right to vote. Many freed slaves and poor whites became sharecroppers during Reconstruction. It was a difficult way of life. Many Northerners headed to the South during Reconstruction in order to have opportunities to make money. Angry Southerners called these people carpetbaggers and felt they were nothing more than opportunists. Scalawags were Southern supporters of freed slaves and the Republican North. They were considered traitors to the South.

Source: USA Studies Weekly - Ancient America to Reconstruction, Teacher Resource

5th Grade Recognition Ceremony

The end of the year is fast approaching and the 5th grade teachers would like to inform you of some very important information about graduation. This year, due to our large numbers in 5th grade, we are having the ceremony at the Hanes Theater at Chapel Hill High School on June 8th at 12:30 PM. The Theater is located off of High School Road. Please be aware that parking will be tricky. High School students are still parking in the lot in front of the theater so parking is not permitted there. There are a couple of options:

1. You may park at Seawell and walk (it is about a 15 minute walk to the theater).

2. You may want to walk from your home if you live close by.

3. You may park at the church/preschool which is on the left side of the street, right across from High School Road. It is a gravel driveway and there is some parking there.

4. We will be providing bus transportation from Seawell to the High school. The buses will make two trips, one for the students, faculty and staff first, and the second for parents and guests. However, due to the demand for buses at dismissal, there will only be one bus returning to Seawell at 2:00.

Please note also that parking in not permitted in the bus circle as buses will not be able to pass through for pick up or drop off.

Students are asked to dress appropriately for the occasion, nice shorts, slacks, and dress shirts, skirts or dresses. The ceremony should take approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and there will be an opportunity for fellowship and refreshments in the Theater Lobby following the event. After the ceremony is over you may take your children with you or they can ride the bus back to Seawell for regular dismissal. Thank you for all you do to help our Fifth grade class of 2017 and we look forward to seeing you at the Ceremony on June 8th.

Upcoming Events

June 8th at 12:30 PM: 5th Grade Ceremony: Hanes Theater at Chapel Hill High School

June 9th: Last Day of School: Early Dismissal 12:30pm, Reports Cards Sent Home with Students

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Seawell Scenes