Monday, July 24, 2017

Çatalhöyük: Resources Including 3D Animation

Çatalhöyük or Çatal Höyük (pronounced "cha-tal hay OOK") is an ancient neolithic city located in south central Turkey. It  is important because it marks the transition from exclusively hunting and gathering  to domestication of plants and animals and tells us a lot about prehistory. Along with Jericho, it represents early neolithic communities currently under excavation and study.

Here are some resources to help with that understanding.
  1. The Çatalhöyük Research Project is a terrific site with images, maps and essays. The most interesting is the belief that religion may have originated at Çatalhöyük. That belief comes from the discovery of female figurines
  2. Khan Academy has a good site with background background.
  3. Finally,  here are three clips. 
    1. First is  a short seven minute clip that introduces the Neolithic site. 
    2. Second, you can watch a sixteen minute clip that goes into even more detail.
    3. Old Dominion University has a terrific 3D animation  which you can also see below.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Indian Ocean Slavery: Excellent Essays

Here are a series of excellent essays (nine in all) about slavery in the Indian Ocean in the 17th and 18th Centuries.  All of them are written by Karen Williams for Media Diversified.  Williams works in media and human rights in Asia and Africa.

Some of the essays are ideal for the classroom, especially in AP World when we cover the early modern period between 1450 and 1750. Two of my favorites include "The Indonesian anti-colonial roots of Islam in South Africa"and "Slave narratives from Dutch colonisation in Indonesia."

Williams explains how Islam spread to South Africa in the first essay.  She notes that exiled Indonesian scholars and royalty first spread Islam among South Africa's poor population. She traces the establishment of Islam to two key figures. One, Sheikh Yusuf,  was part of the anti-Dutch resistance and a key figure among slaves. She suggests that he established the first Muslim community at Colony in 1697.

The other key figure in the development of Islam in South Africa was Tuan Guru, who came to South Africa as a prisoner from Indonesia’s Trinate Islands. When he was released form his twelve year prison sentence, he established the first Muslim school (madrassa) and mosque in the 1790's.

In the second essay about Dutch colonization in Indonesia,  Williams examines the nature of Dutch colonization through the Dutch East India Company (VOC).  Specifically, she looks at  the Dutch colonization of Batavia in 1621 when they razed the existing city of Jakarta along with the existing  royal residences. They established a huge slave market referred to as the "Batavian Institution."  We learn about that slave market through the movement of one South African slave called Doman.

Williams offers a fascinating tour of the Batavian slave market and how it forged "historical links across the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and South Africa."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Use Flipgrid for Student Videos

What is it?  A video platform for students

  • Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create grids of discussion questions that students respond to by recording a short video using their smartphone. Each grid is like a message board and the student's 90 second responses appear on the grid as a series of tiles.
Your class could be a grid and each grid could deal with one question.

Questions are short prompts and can include links to websites.
You can keep a completed grid private or you can make it available for your students to view.

Here's a link to instructions on how to use Flipgrid.

  • Flipgrid One is free. You get one grid and as many topics as you want
  • Flipgrid Classroom costs $65 a year and it gives you unlimited grids and responses.

Possible Uses
  • You might use Flipgrid at the beginning of the year and ask students to introduce themselves to the class. And it might give us teachers an easy way to match faces with names.
  • Debate a topic or show what you know
  • Could use as an exit ticket
Use with Google Classroom

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Is it Time to Stop Averaging Grades?

By St. Gil, Marc, 1924-1992,Public Domain,
Educational consultant and author, Rick Wormeli, makes a strong case that it does not make sense to average grades. He suggests that finding the mode might be better. Consider this data:
Cheryl gets a 97, 94, 26, 35, and 83 on her tests, which correspond to an A, A, F, F, and a B on the school grading scale. When the numbers are averaged, however, everything is given equal weight, and the score is 67, which is a D. 
Wormeli argues that this is not an accurate measure of Cheryl's grades.

The same logic applies to averaging two scores on the same test. Doesn't the student show mastery on the material if he or she scores higher on the second test. And if so, why then should we average the two scores?

In addition, doing away with averaging should cut down on students trying  to game the system.
[It] will help eliminate teacher concerns about students who “game” the system when their teachers re-declare zeroes as 50s on the 100-point scale. These students try to do just enough— skipping some assessments, scoring well on others—to pass mathematically. 
It would be nice if our electronic grade-books would give us an option to find the mode instead of the average.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Walking the Silk Road: PBS NewsHour Clip

Studying the Silk Roads?

Here's an interesting clip from the PBS NewsHour about Paul Salopeek's walking tour of the original Silk Road.

Salopeek is a journalist who is on the fourth year of a walking tour around the world.

The interview reminds us of the importance of the Silk Roads in transporting goods and ideas and also of the unforgiving topography of the deserts and mountains  that made up much of the Silk Roads.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Edward R. Murrow Describes Buchenwald

Here's a great clip you might want to bookmark for next year when we teach World War II and the Holocaust.

Friday, June 16, 2017

PBS to Premiere Michael Woods' "The Story of China"

Michael Wood's "The Story of China" will premiere on PBS on Tuesday, June 20th.

The  series includes six episodes:
  1. Ancestors (June 20th)
  2. Silk roads and Ships (June 27)
  3. Golden Age
  4. The Ming
  5. The Last Empire
  6. The Age of Revolution
You can see the first episode below.  I found it on Daily Motion.

The Story of China website has some great interactive features including a quiz on the different dynasties, a timeline, and an interactive map.

The website also includes some classroom resources. For example, a lesson on Confucianism and the Analects includes the appropriate segment of the video in which Michael Wood discusses Confucianism, along with a background essay and discussion questions.

The Magna Carta: Summary of its Significance

Here's a terrific three minute summary of the significance of the Magna Carta from the British Library.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Join the AP World Summer Book Club

Interested in learning more about world history.

Join the AP World Summer Book Club starting in July. The discussion will take place on Twitter and Matt Drwenski, a host of the world history podcast called On Top of the World will host the club.

Readers can vote on one of four books under consideration here on Twitter.

The four books are:

Pacific Worlds, Ken Matsuda

Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari

Empire of Cotton, Sven Becker 

The Many-Headed Hydra, Peter Linebaugh

Saturday, June 3, 2017

20th Century History: Terrific Online Resource

The Frank Smitha website offers a great resource for the 20th century.  You will find macro histories of important  topics that include colorful maps and images.  They might be useful as reading assignments in AP World or even regular world history.

Categories include 1901 to the Peace Treaty of 1919, the Middle East, Depression and War, Science and Philosophy and Religion.

Click on the Mexican Revolution in the first category, 1901 to the Peace treaty of 1919, and you will find an excellent macro history that includes the overthrow of Diaz and rise of Don Francisco Madero.
Mustafa Kemal, national hero who changed Turkey and won the title Ataturk

In a section on the Middle East, called Turkey and Islam, the authors consider the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Ataturk.

Mustafa Kemal, national hero who changed Turkey and won the title Ataturk

Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017-18 AP History Changes

Wow! AP Central has made some changes for AP World, US, & Euro!

No more synthesis!  Students no longer have to come with synthesis.
Other changes:
  • Ten more minutes added to the DBQ
  • a single rubric for the long essay
  • Clearer rubrics

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Animated Map: Imperial History of the Middle East

Here's a terrific imperial history of the Middle East from Maps of War. You can see who controlled much of the region from the Hittite Empire to the nation states of today.

Friday, May 26, 2017

History of Tea: Great TedEd Lesson

Did you know that tea was first cultivated in China over 6000 years ago?

Or, that it was first eaten as a vegetable?

By the time of the Ming Dynasty, China still a held a monopoly on tea and it became one of China's three main exports along with porcelain and silk.

Britain's interest in tea eventually led to a trade in opium.

This short TedEd lesson reviews this history in an engaging way.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review Aids for WHII

Here some links to released tests and other review aids for the Virginia SOLs.

WHII Sol People Review

Here's a great review of all the 95 people Virginia students need to know in World History II.

The review starts with the Renaissance and continues to the present. Each card has a person's image with a name. You can flip the card for that person's contribution. It's a good way for kids to review these people.