Saturday, May 9, 2020

Teaching Africa: Awesome Resources

Boston University's Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University has some great resources for high school world history teachers. (thanks to Anglea Lee for tweeting the link)

The Center's Case Studies in Colonialism lecture series are especially interesting and include two fascinating short lectures.

In one, Boston University Professor of History Diana Wylie, compares the responses of Algeria and Morroco to French colonialism. Professor Wylie uses images to demonstrate the different responses in which one was much more violent than the other.


In another lecture, Boston University Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the African Language Program Fallou Ngom,  explains how Senegal's unique history influenced its colonial experience.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

The World History Project: Awesome Free Resources

The OER Project (Open Educational Resources) is a new online website with resources for world history teachers organized by topics.

Click on a specific topic and another menu opens showing you the activities and readings for the topic.
Many of the readings, and even some of the videos, are terrific and written by AP World teachers and professors.  In Era 6, for example, Professor Trevor Getz (San Francisco State University) looks at colonialism through a Ghanaian lense in an eleven-minute clip. The video explores the idea that colonial control was often contested. Students can also read an essay by Professor Getz about industrial imperialism. It includes a reading worksheet and discussion questions.

In era 5  which includes the Columbian Exchange, students can read an essay by AP world teacher, Sharon Cohen,  about the sugar and plantation complex. The topic also includes a sourcing activity with sources form the Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Incas.

The website is part of the Big History Project but more specifically geared to high school world history teachers.  Many of the activities, readings, and videos are terrific and absolutely worth including in lessons.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Covid 19 Teaching Resources

The World History Digital Education website has excellent resources for learning about COVID 19.

The site includes three modules:  one that compares COVID 19 to the Spanish flu of 1918, another that examines the geographic distribution of the pandemic through primary sources and population pyramids, and finally a module on the global economic impact of COVID 19 through maps and charts.

The material works well for distance learning.  Charts and graphs make up much of the material in the modules.  These are easy to copy and upload to any LMS platform so students can analyze them either in groups or together. The geographic distribution module, for example, introduces students to linear and log graphs and asks them to analyze them.
Another great resource is the New York Times.  They published a terrific "log" graph that compares the COVID 19 pandemic to other pandemics and asks students to draw conclusions.

In another New York Times lesson, students read an op-ed essay called "Dangerous Numbers? Teaching About Data and Statistics Using the Coronavirus Outbreak."  Students examine data to understand some of the limitations of published data about the CoronoVirus.

Finally, NPR published a short graphic novel about Corona Virus that younger students might enjoy.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Two Fascinating Interwar Clips: Kristallnacht and Guernica


Here is an excellent 12-minute review of Kristallnacht from CooperBrothersFilms.

This Ted Talk helps us to better understand Picasso's mural, Guernica.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Hikma History -- YouTube Chanel about Islamic World History

Wow!  I just discovered a really cool YouTube channel that focuses on Islamic world history. 

Hikma History develops the videos and you can find the YouTube channel here. Most of the videos are short from 5 minutes to 13 minutes.

Some other titles include the Battle of Manzikerk, and Alhambra - Symbol of a Lost Golden Age.

Here is a terrific 11-minute clip about Ataturk's revolution.  And below that is a 5-minute clip about the Almoravid Invasion of Iberia.



Friday, February 14, 2020

40 Maps that Explian WWI Activity

Here's an interesting assignment we came up with to introduce WW1.

Using the 40 Maps that Explain WWI from Vox, we asked students to choose seven maps and create a google presentation, then upload it to either Voicethread or Snagit 2019 and video-record a voiceover which answers and explains that section.

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Taiping Rebellion: The Bloodiest Civil War in History

Why was the Taiping Rebellion a turning point in Chinese Civilization?

Scholar Rana Mitter describes the rebellion for Facing History. He notes that it was probably the single most bloody civil war in history and perhaps one of the most bizarre because it involved a figure who claimed to the younger brother of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Iranian Cultural Sites Activity

Here's a link to a web activity I created to review Iranian cultural sites.

After the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the high ranking Iranian general, President Trump tweeted that he might bomb 52 Iranian cultural sites if the country escalated the violence with the United States.
Students use this Religious News Service essay about six important Iranian cultural sites to complete a chart with an image and a summary of each site.

Next, students researched specific sites such as the magnificent Iman Reza Holy Shrine and listened to Professor Omid Safi explain the importance of some Iranian cultural sites not only to Iran but to humanity in this PBS WUNC radio broadcast. Professor Safi's section starts about 19 minutes into the broadcast.

Finally, students looked at the provision of the 1954 Hague Convention about the protection of cultural sites and determined whether any of the Iranian sites in the chart are protected.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Mughal & Muslim Art Analyzed: Shangri La Center for Islamic Art

Here is a terrific Islamic art collection, some of which you can see online, and some of which you can see explained by scholars.

It's all part of The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art at Shangri La in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Doris Duke was the heiress of a tobacco tycoon and traveled throughout the world.

But it was her travels to Egypt, Jordan, and India in 1935 where she developed an appreciation and love for Muslim art.

Over the next 50 years, she built a large collection of Muslim art, especially with floral motifs. She even commissioned a bedroom designed with a Mughal motif.

The best part of the collection is the scholar's favorites. Here, various resident scholars analyze various pieces of art.

For example,  Dr. Amanda Phillips, Fellow at the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, explains how a velvet panel made in Bursa used silk from Iran and dyes harvested from oak trees.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, artists were using dyes from tiny parasitic insects imported from Mexico called cochineals.

One of the online exhibits allows you to view differences in tile work in Ilkanid Iran, Ottoman Turkey and Syria, and Pahlavi Iran.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Why do Iran & the U.S. Hate Each Other?

Students cannot understand the current crisis between the United States and Iran without understanding the history that brought the two countries to the precipice where they are today.

That history begins with the assassination of Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. Mosaddegh was elected Prime Minister in 1951 and began to nationalize the country's oil industry.  Britain and the United States overthrew Mosaddegh in 1953 and installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the new leader. The shah ruled Iran from 1941 until 1979 when he was driven from power and into exile by a massive revolution.

Here is an awesome  7 minute summary of the U.S. and Iranian relations from Dr. Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina along with a student and teacher guide.

The podcast, Throughline, has an engaging episode about the assassination of Masaddegh.

Vox has a good short video summary of the relationship between the U.S. and Iran below.
Here is a  link to an excellent powerpoint about the Middle East along with presentation notes from Lisa Adeli from the University of Arizona.

Frontline explains the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia in an episode called "Bitter Rivals."

And the New York Times has a good story about the tension between the two countries called The Tension Between America and Iran, Explained.  It examines more recent issues between the two countries such as Iran's warning to close the Persian Gulf to shipping traffic in the1980's.

The Shah was overthrown in 1979 and Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious leader in exile, came to power. During the revolution, Iranians overtook the American embassy and held American captives for almost a year. Al Jazeera has a good 45-minute review of the revolution below. And Crash Course also has a good short overview.


Compilation of News Stories & Essays about Assassination of Qasem Suleimani

Here is a compilation of news stories and opinion pieces about the Trump Administration's assassination of the Iranian general, Qassim Suleimani.

The assassination of Suleilmani was in response to the Iranian killing of an American contractor when 30 unguided rockets hit an American military base near Kirkuk in Iraq.

Suleiman was Iran's most high-ranking general and had the ear of Iran's supreme leader. He was also the architect of Iran's grand strategy to expand his country's influence throughout the Middle East.

New York Times: Suleimani’s Death Changes Nothing for Iran
He was an important figure. But the Islamic Republic won’t lose influence in the region.

New York Times: Qassim Suleimani’s Killing Will Unleash Chaos
Revenge is not a strategy.

The Guardian: Donald Trump’s assassination of Qassem Suleimani will come back to haunt him,

Washington Post: How did the U.S. get to the brink of war with Iran?  The assassination of Soleimani will provoke Iran to act.

Respobnsib le Statecraft: Trump Lit a Fire by Exiting the Iran Deal & Poured Gasoline on it by Assassinating Soleimani 

International Crisis Group: A Perilous Turning Point in the U.S.-Iran Confrontation 

AL Monitor: Soleimani’s assassination unites Iranians

CS Monitor: Why US assassination of Soleimani is unlikely to deter Iran

Foreign Affairs: Will Iran’s Response to the Soleimani Strike Lead to War?

New Statesman: The killing of Qasem Soleimani shows America has not learned from the Iraq war

Columbia: Center on Global Policy: Geopolitical and Energy Implications of Qasem Soleimani's Death 

Politico: Crisis in Iran will drive wedge between Europe and WashingtonEurope’s worst predictions are becoming reality.

The Week: America is guilty of everything we accuse Iran of doing

New York Times: Iranians in Los Angeles Shed Few Tears for Suleimani. But What Comes Next? 

New Yorker: The Dangers Posed by the Killing of Qassem Suleimanin

New York Times: As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure

Atlantic Magazine: Qassem Soleimani Haunted the Arab World

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Did we do the Right Thing?

National Archives
National Archives
Seventy-two years, the United States dropped two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki three days later.

Why did the United States drop the bomb? Why did they drop the bombs in early August and why did they hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

British historian Gill Bennet attempts to answer these questions in a blog post for the British government website in an essay called "What’s the Context? 6 August 1945: an atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima."

But was dropping the atomic bomb the right thing to do? Were there alternatives?

That's what historian Alex Wellerstein considers in a post for Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog.

Students might debate the merits of the two narratives.

Here are other resources about the  wisdom of dropping the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan in 1945.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Hollywood Schindler's List during WWII

Here's a fascinating story about heroism during the Holocaust in the 1940s students might read.

Most everyone knows Oskar Schindler, thanks to the book and the movie, Schindler's List. The German businessman saved over 1100 Jews from certain death in the Nazi concentration camps.

Fewer people know the Hollywood mogul, Carl Laemmle, who is credited with saving over 300 Jews during World War II. That is remarkable because Laemmle is probably the only Hollywood mogul to even get involved with the German Jews. Laemmle was the president of Universal Pictures.

According to this excellent story in the New York Times called "Laemmle’s List: A Mogul’s Heroism," Neal Gabler explains that most Hollywood Jews were just trying to fit in. He notes, "almost from the inception of the American film industry, the Hollywood Jews were dedicated to assimilation, not a religious celebration. They had come to America to escape their roots, not embrace them."

Laemmle, like Schindler, was different from his peers. Gabler says that he "was terrified of what Hitler’s ascension would mean for his country, for the village of Laupheim (where he was born), for members of his family — many of whom had remained in Germany — and, perhaps above all, for his fellow Jew."

That concern prompted him to risk his fortune to save as many Jews from his hometown as he could. He furnished the American consul with hundred of affidavits, which "were pledges of support that were required of every immigrant to ensure that the individual would not become a public charge."

The story is fascinating, like Schindler's, with twists and turns.

Gabler notes two recent books about Hollywood during World War II say very little about Laemmle. “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler” by Ben Urwand and “Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939” by Thomas Doherty both deal with the complicity of Hollywood with Nazi Germany.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Industrial Revolution: Video Review

Studying the Industrial Revolution?  Do you need a good video review? If so, check out this 7-minute clip from the CUNY School of Professional Studies called"The Making of Industrial Society, Part 1.

The host is not Steve Heimler or John Greene but he's still pretty good. Part 1 reviews the development of the industrial revolution and Part 2 examines Marxism and capitalism.