Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Understanding Synthesis in AP History

If you teach AP World, AP Euro or APUS, you might find this explanation of SYNTHESIS helpful for both you and your students.

It comes from History Haven. Thanks to Esther Artieda for posting the link on Facebook.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Indus River Civilization: Terrific BBC Website

Here's a terrific BBC site on the Indus River. It has different areas of life to explore such as technology, games, art, etc.

You can also play an interactive trading game where you can become an Indus trader.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Hanseatic League: Two Clips

While it did not rival either the Indian Ocean or Silk Road trade, the Hanseatic League knit together northern Europe and the Baltics into a very profitable trade confederation.

It started in the middle of the 13th century and continued for 300 years. At its height, it included over 200 cities like Lübeck, Reval, Riga, and Dorpat.

Some of the products traded included Flemish cloth, salt, herring and furs. And Novgorod traded wax and honey.

Some historians even argue that the League was a forerunner of the European Common Market today.

Here are two short clip that summarize the importance of the League. The first takes you on quick tour of the Hanseatic museum in Bergen. And the second takes you on a tour of Lübeck.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hindu India: Terrific Short Documentary

Teaching Hinduism?  The Himalayan Academy, which publishes Hinduism Today magazine, has a terrific 23 minute documentary about the origins and features of Hinduism.

The documentary is engaging and includes great photography. It's divided into five short parts: origins, sacred texts, Hindu society,  beliefs and practices, and finally, festivals.

One way the film engages students is by juxtaposing ancient beliefs and ritual with modern beliefs. For example, you'll see an ancient fire pit followed by clips of contemporary Hindus involved with fire worship.  You'll see a 2000 year old stone carving of a Hindu meditating in the lotus position followed by a contemporary  Hindu meditating in the same way.

According to Murali Balaji, a director of education at the Hindu American Foundation, and writing for the Huffington Post, the film was made in response  to "the problem of negative portrayal of Hinduism and India in school textbooks."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Human Migration from Africa: Animated Map

Watch as this animated map from Business Insider shows how humans migrated from Africa across the world.

When Worlds Collide: The Columbian Exchange

Here's a fascinating 37 minute documentary about the changes, especially in ethnicity, in the Americas after the Europeans first discovered the continent.

It's a terrific introduction to the Columbian Exchange.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Confucius: Overview of Life & History

Excellent overview of Confucius and his basic philosophy from the series, Its History.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Six Curriculum Resources for the classroom

Planning a new unit in world history? Here are six  terrific curriculum resources worth considering. Each includes activities and resources for both regular world history and AP World History.

Two of the resources,  New Visions for Public Schools and the Crash Course World History Program, are relatively new and absolutely worth considering. I posted on both here and here earlier and like them  because of their ready made activities that we can easily adapt.

World History for Us All divides history into nine eras and produced activities for each unit. They include excellent primary sources in their lessons, which are ideal for AP World History. In one lesson, for example,  students examine a series of maps and assess the growth of cities in AfroEurasia as a factor in the expansion of Muslim rule.

Feeman-Pedia includes review resources for both AP World and regular World History. In world history, Freeman organizes his resources by the Virginia SOL standards and in AP World World, by key concepts.
The Stanford History Group (SHEG) developed world primary sources for different units. The sources are short and include terrific scaffolding questions and charts for those who have trouble with comprehension.  They have 37 world history lessons divided into ancient, medieval, and modern.

The Big History Project is a multi-disciplinary approach to World History . If you create an account, you can explore the curriculum and adapt some of the resources

Friday, September 23, 2016

Awesome Curriculum Resources

New Visions for Public Schools is a Curriculum project designed for 9th and 10th graders for the New York State Social Studies Framework.

The project includes some awesome resources for any of us teaching world history.  All of the units open in Google docs and include documents, maps, charts, and images.  The documents are relatively short with reading reading comprehension questions. Links to videos clips from a variety of sources include questions and time cues.  In addition, each unit includes 40 or 50 Regents multiple choice questions.

I explored a 9th grade unit called Iterations and Disruptions, or exploration and colonization of the Americas.  In one activity about the conquest of the Aztecs and Incas, students read a short description of each conquest and note the similarities.

In another activity students watch short clips from Guns, Germs, and Steel to figure out why the Spanish were able to conquer the Aztecs and Inca despite being outnumbered and in a foreign land?

I love these resources and am incorporating some of them into  study guides for upcoming units.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Silk Road: Two Engaging Clips

Studying the Silk Roads? Here are two short engaging clips. The first is a virtual tour narrated by Professor Clayton Brown and the second is a shorted TedEd clip narrated by Shannon Harris Castelo.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Upside of Isolated Civilizations: Egypt, Mayans, Medieval Japan

Why do some civilizations succeed despite their physical isolation?

Jason Shipinski, in this short TedEd clip argues that the ancient Egyptians, the Mayans of Mesoamerica, and the Medieval Japanese all flourished because of access to food and peace.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rethinking the Agricultural Revolution

Jared Diamond called it "the worst mistake in history."

As it turns out, he may have been right.

According to food historian, Rachel Laudan, farming meant so many hours of grinding grain that there was little time for anything else.

In this University of Texas, Not Even Past Podcast, Professor Laudan expands on her thesis, noting that grinding grain could take up to eight hours a day, making the shift to agriculture anything but revolutionary.

If you teach world history,  this podcast might make for an interesting debate in class.

Thanks to Bram Hubbell for tweeting the link.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Crash Course World History Curriculum Project

John Green and his crew have unveiled a terrific world history curriculum.  It's free and includes lessons driven by essential questions and writing activities that often reflect key concepts in the AP World curriculum.

It's organized into six units--Foundations, Classical Civilizations, Postclassical, Early Modern, Modern, and Contemporary.

Each unit includes two pdf files--one for the teacher, and one for the student. I reviewed the Postclassical unit and found some terrific lessons.  

One lesson, "Local Markets, Regional Trade, and Hemispheric Networks," comes from World History for Us All, and includes a series of travel accounts between the 8th and 14th centuries.  The documents include include information about products, customs and marketplaces.  Student groups work on a specific source and complete a chart and present their findings to the class.

In another lesson, students debate which trade route was most beneficial, the Silk Road or the Monsoon Marketplace.

The teacher edition of each unit includes questions for the Crash Course video that aligns with each curriculum lesson.

The units are absolutely worth investigating and some of the lessons are very easy to adapt.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ҫatalhöyük: Life, Architecture & Fall

Studying early Neolithic villages? Here's a great site all about Ҫatalhöyü.

It includes images and drawings of architecture, tools, and other artifacts that have helped archaeologists and others decipher what life might have been like.

Haiti and Slavery Reparations

Should France pay reparations to Haiti  for the legacy of slavery and for 93 million francs Haiti had to France for the loss of slave property?

That's what Haitians argued last year on the eve of a visit by French President, François Hollande. 

This short clip from AJ+ might show kids the relevance of what they're studying.  And this Washington Post story  briefly reviews the Haitian Revolution.