Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Rise & Fall of the Assyrian Empire: TedEd

Here's a great review of the Ayssruian Empire from Marian Feldman for TedEd .

The Assyrians developed the first true empire long before the Mongols or the British and developed innovations like efficient administrartion, constant innovation, and excellent infrstructure that continue to live on.

They conquered a territory that included much of the Middle East and were known as militry innovators and merciless conquerors. They used siege tactis and cruel punishments.  

Edleman suggests that the growth of the Assyrian Empire was partly due to their strategy of deporting local populations amd moving them around to fullfill specific needs.

Book Club for World History Teachers

If you are interested in recent schloarship about World History, you mgiht enjoy this new book club on Goodreads started by some AP World History teachers in March. The Trouble with Empire, by Antoinette Burton, was the first book the club read.

Now, we are reading Odd Arne Westad's 700 page book about the Cold War. If you are interested in joining the group, you can use this link. It’s a private group, so you have to request to join the discussion.

You can buy the Westad book at Amazon.

I found some interesting applications for book in the introduction where Westad establihes both context and sysnthesis for the Cold War. He reminds us, for example, that bipolarity eixisted in ancient Greece when Sparta and Athens faced each other and again  in the 17th century when Spain and England faced each other. And he noted that the Cold War did not happen in a vacuum. Profound changes in the international system like the development of nation states and nationalism provided context.

What is Gooreads? Goodreads is a site  owend by Amazon for readers and book recommendations.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sykes-Picot: From Adam Ruins Everything

Here's an interesting and entertaining take on the Sykes-Picot agreement from Adam Ruins Everything.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Ancient Greece 101: National Geographic

You might want to bookmark this short clip about ancient Greece for next year or use it as a review this year.

This National Geographic primer reviews the political, militaristic, and artistic achievments of ancient Greece in just four minutes.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Rise & Fall of the Byzantine Empire: Awesome TedEd Lesson

Here's a great TedEd lesson from Leonora Neville. 

Neville outlines the factors that distinguish the Byzantine Empire from European states and shows how it continued to remain a seat of the Roman Empire up through the Middle Ages. 

Thanks to Bram Hubbell for tweeting the link.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Awesome and Short Sikh Graphic Novel

Introduce Sikhism to your students with this terrific short graphic novel by Josh Kramer.  The Wilson Quarterly published it in its fall 2015 issue..

Students will learn about Guru Nanak,  the founder of Sikhism, in the Punjab area of India around 1500CE.

And they will also  learn about the tenth and final Guru, Gobind Singh,  who handed down the holy scripture called the Granth Sahib and also the customs and traditions that exist today. Those customs are called the Khalsa and include an interesting code called the 5 K's.

Many people confuse Sikhs with Muslims and some Sikhs face discrimination and violence which is why students shuld learn about them.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Confucius & Plato Explain How We Should Live in Short Animated Clips

Here are two terrific short animated clips from two ancient philosophers on how we should live our lives.

Both come from BBC Radio 4 and  Open University. Aidan Turner, who played a part in The Hobibit films,  narrates the clips.

Confucius reminds us why we should revere our ancestors and understand out place in the family.  Plato reminds us that expertise is more important in running a society than democracy.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Great Google Chrome Extensions for Teachers

Here are some terrific Google chrome extensions that will increase your productivity.
For example, use your phone as a remote when you show a Google Slide presentation.

Another extension, Screencastify,  allows you to create a video and capture your screen as you talk.

You can save any web content to your google drive with the "Save to Drive" extension.

Check it out.

Thanks to Jen Giffen (@VirtualGiff ) for tweeting the link. She tweets a lot about technology for the classroom.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Chinese Communist Revolution: Resources

Here are several excellent clips that can enrich the study of Chinese communism under Mao.

The Great Leap Forward Summary

Mao's economic and social plan  between 1958 to 1960.  His goal was to rapidly transform China from a primarily agrarian (or farming) economy into a modern, industrialized communist society.

The Cultural Revolution

Mao Zedong  started the Cultural Revoltuion in 1966 to reassert his leadership after the failures of the Great Leap Forward.

Tiananmen Square

The Tiananmen Square protests began in mid-April 1989. Pro-democracy students and other protesters who wanted more political freedom in China started to gather in Tiananmen Square after the death of Hu Yaobang, a Chinese politician who was seen as a supporter of their cause on April 15, 1989.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Guernica Clip with Annotations

BBC News took the 3D Guernica clip and added annotations to help us better understand  Picasso's great mural.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Understanding Globalization Through T Shirts

The way T shirts are made help us to understand the impact of globalization. 

Two video clips explain the intricate but fascinating process. 

The first clip called Life Cycle of a T Shirt comes from Angel Chang for TedEd.

The second comes from NPR's Planet Money.  It's called Planet Money Makes a T Shirt and includes five short chapters based on each process.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Resisting Colonization: The Mau Mau: A Radiolab Episode

Here's a great story about the Mau Mau resistance in Kenya in the 1950's from Radiolab.

Kenya was an English colony. In the 20th century, the Kikuyu, the major ethnic group in Kenya, swore a secret oath to throw out the English. They began killing cattle and over time began killing white families.

The murder of one English family and their young son, who they hacked to death, brought a response by the British that was unusually brutal.

The British forced many of the Kikuya men into concentration camps and tortured them in heinous ways, like applying hot coals to their eyeballs.

Researchers talked to many elderly Kikuyu about their incarceration by the British but these oral histories did not satisfy many historians who wanted to see documents that outline the incarceration.

Radiolab explains the amazing story about how these documents eventually came to light.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Teach the Syrian Civil War & Refugee Crisis

The Syrian Civil War has created one of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. By 2017, over five million Syrians had become refugees. Here are some terrific resources for teaching both the civil war and the humanitarian crisis.
  • Searching for Syria  is an interactive website developed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Google. It shows what Syria looked like before the war.  It explains the difference between a refugee and an migrant. And it includes personal stories, stunning graphics, and video clips. I created a series of questions for students to answer as they review the site.
  • I am Syria has an excellent website for teaching the Syrian Civil War. It includes a page with 15 short (2 minute) clips about aspects of the war. One clip, for example, explains what a barrel bomb is and another clip explains its effects. Another clip includes drone footage that dramtically shows the devastation in parts of Syria and why so people are leaving. The site includes a student worksheet. You should also check out the powerpoint you can find on this page of the site. It includes excellent images, maps, and video clips as well as a student guide.
  • A number of excellent video clips and short documentaries enhance understanding of the crisis.
    • Three Oscar nominated short documentaries include The White Helmets,  which "follows a group of civilian volunteers in Aleppo who search for and rescue bombing victims." You can stream it on Netflix. It runs about 40 minutes.  4.1 Miles is another short documentary. It follows a Greek sea captain as he ferries migrants to Greece as they cross the Mediterranean. The Last Man in Aleppo is another documentary that follows rescue workers. You can stream it on Netflix.
    • The National Geographic has a longer documentary, over an hour, called Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.’  The LA Times calls it one of two best documentaries about Syria. It chronicles the civil war and all its horrors. Here's a teaser from NatGeo. It's not available for free but you can buy it on YouTube.

Friday, March 23, 2018

How do Nations Create their National Identity?

How do nations make up their national identity?

Max Fisher explains the origins of national identity in this excellent  five minute clip for the New York Times. He notes that the idea of a national identity is a relatively new idea.

Just before the French Revolution, for example,  France was not really a nation. Half the people could not even speak French. Ethnicity did not line up with borders either.

Over time, the idea that language race, and borders should equal a country developed.  And then nations began to create myths to suggest that their nation always existed.

Check it out. This short clip might help students understand the importance of nationalism.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Arranged Marriages in India- Jain Vows in Mombai

By आर्या जोशी - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Here are two terrrific essays that will fit into the curriculum on religion.

Moni Basu, a CNN reporter, writes about the popularity of arranged marraiges among many Indian millenials.

And Vatsala Chhibber, writing for LiveMint, reviews a recent ‘diksha’ ceremony in Mumbai in which sixteen young men women took the Jain vow of renunciation.

One of the young Jain women who took the vow explained that “becoming a nun is a sensible alternative to the uncertainties of marriage, which remains a deeply patriarchal institution among most Jains.” She siad that “renunciation allows a woman to carve out a zone of autonomy and agency..."

Exploring arranged marriages in India, Basu talks to one young woman who says that the idea of an  arranged marriage had been instilled in her from a young age.