Sunday, August 21, 2016

Greece vs Rome, with Boris Johnson and Mary Beard

Teaching Greece and Rome? Here Boris Johnson, one of Britain's best-known politicians, and Mary Beard, an English Classical scholar and Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, debate which civilization was greater.

It's a bit long and at times a bit boring, but overall still good.

"Vote for the Greeks," Boris Johnson urges, "because no matter how often or how badly they fell short, it was those Periclean ideals that corresponds most closely to our own."

But Mary Beard asks, "But what happened to Sparta?"   She notes that Greece was not just Athens.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Teaching Indic Religions: Terrific Website

Teaching Hinduism or Buddhism or Jainism or Sikhism or Zoroastrianism? Here's a terrific website that covers them all.

Click on Jainism and you'll see an overview of beliefs and practices and links to Jain literature, Jain scriptures, Jain history and much more.

Click on Buddhism and you'll see links to stories about Siddhartha's life, as well as Buddhist history, concepts, and practices.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Four Ways to Engage Students with Technology

Here are four terrific ways to allow kids to process material using technology. I've used both StoryMap and Storify with my students. You can see examples by clicking on the titles below.
I played with TimelineJS and think that it's the best vehicle for creating timelines. It's a product of Northwestern University and very simple to use. You simply click on the google spreadsheet template and and fill in the columns with text. You can also link images and videos. Below, you can see a sample I  made for the life of the Buddha.

Once you finish with your spreadsheet,  you publish it and paste the url in a box on the TimelineJS homepage.  You can preview your timeline and get the embed code, which you can then use to embed in a blog or website. Here's a short clip explaining how to make a timeline.
Making movie credits is another interesting way for students to process material. The amazing teacher, Russel Tar, made a template onto which you can input your own text. The text scrolls into infinity and music plays in the background.  This might be a great way for students to introduce big events like World War 1 or the Cold War.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Many Gods, One Logic: Animated Hindu Concepts

Here are two terrific animated clips that explain two concepts in Hinduism--the idea of many gods and the idea of Brahman or oneness.  One runs less than two minutes and the other less than four.

Both come from a YouTube channel called Epified. I found them on another blog about Hinduism.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

100 World Leaders: Great Website

National History Day (NHD) developed a terrific interactive website featuring 100 leaders from Ashoka to Ronald Reagan.

You can filter the leaders by time period, country, and type (political, economic, military, religious, etc). Clicking on a leader gives you a flashcard with a picture and basic biographical information, along with a summary and a short bulleted list about the leader's significance.

National History Day teachers also created some lesson plans for both middle and high school students.  One plan calls for students to create a "fakebook" page for one of the leaders that might be a unit you are studying.

My thanks to Liz Ramos for tweeting the link.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rethink the Lecture

Rethink the lecture!

Studies show that our brain waves flatline when we listen to lectures.

Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus, a chemistry professor at Ohio State University, argues that we need a revolution in education that moves us away from the "mere transference of information."

But he cautions that technology in and of itself might not be the answer.  He notes, for example, that the technology that uses flipped videos based on models, first developed by Sal Khan, are still lectures.

Instead, Stoltzfus argues that we should only use technology when it's necessary for student learning and stimulates discussion and increases brainwave activity?

Here's Dr. Stoltzfus' engaging fourteen minute TedEd talk. My thanks to Jeff Feinstein for sending me the link.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Changing Role of Women Throughout History: Great Documentary

How did the role of women change over time?

That's the question that historian Amanda Forman tries to answer in this terrific documentary series from BBC. It's available now for streaming on Netflix.

Forman's tries to answer three questions throughout the series: why did civilization become almost exclusively male, why have almost all civilizations put limits on women's sexuality, movement and liberty, and what makes the status of women so susceptible to the dictates of politics and economics. 

The first episode called Civilization begins about 8000 years ago in central Anatolia in the early neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük. Archeologists believe that this early society had no social hierarchy and that women were equal to men. They see no evidence of a ceremonial center or "chiefly house."

Indeed all the houses are similar in size and height signifying no one enjoyed a special status. In addition, burial sites show that women ate the same diet as men and did similar labor as men because of the wear and tear on their bones. They also show communal ties, but not blood ties, suggesting that the idea of family might have been very different.
By Omar Hoftun (Own work)  via Wikimedia Commons

In addition figurines, particularly the so-called seated woman of Çatalhöyük, suggest that some women might have served as deities. Forman wonders if a woman, rather than a man, might have been god in early society. This evident gender equality disappears in later millennia, especially in Mesopotamia where  women became increasingly more invisible.  Veiling, for example, became prominent, almost 1000 years before Islam. Law codes, like Hammurabi's Code, cemented the new hierarchy.

But nowhere did the role of change so much as it did in Greece. Here, according to one historian, women were restricted as much as the Taliban restricts women today.

This first episode is ideal for students. It's a great review of classical history and clearly demonstrates the graphic changes in the status and role of women over time. The three other episodes in the series includes Separation, Power, and Revolution. Here's the  trailer for the series and below that is Part I from Civilization.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Battle of the Somme: Resources

The Battle of Somme, the deadliest battle of WWI in which over one million men were killed or wounded, started 100 years ago on July 1, 1916.

It lasted five months and was fought in France near the Somme River, about 125 miles from Verdun.

Here are some resources for reviewing the battle.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Influence of Ancient Cultures on Modern Art

Here's a terrific review of the origins of modern art from Felipe Galindo for TedEd. It's called "how ancient art influenced modern art."

Galindo reviews the influence of traditional and ancient cultures on 20th century artists like Picasso, Gaugin, and Matisse.

He shows how ancient African culture influenced Picasso's seminal piece, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," which is considered to be the first 20th century masterpiece with new forms, colors, and meanings.

Pre-Columbian culture influenced other artisits. British sculptor, Henry Moore, for example, looked to the Toltecs for his inspiration.

This short clip is definitely worth bookmarking for next spring when we study the 20th century.


Friday, June 17, 2016

The New DBQ for AP World Explained

Want to know about the changes to the new AP World DBQ? 

Listen to Dave Eaton's and Matt Drwenski's podcast, On Top of the World. They discuss the big changes like the elimination of grouping, point of view, and expanded core.

In addition, Eaton and Drwenski plan to post on Facebook a revised version of every "legacy" DBQ.

Here's a link to the first one they revised, the 2003 DBQ on indentured servitude.

Dave Eaton is is an associate professor of history at Grand Valley State University and Matt Drwenski is a world history graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh.

If you don't subscribe to their podcast, you should. Their topics hit many key concepts in AP World. One of my favorites, and one I used as an extra credit assignment, is episode 81 on the trans- Pacific silver trade in the 16th century.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Archive of 20th Century Resources

Here is a cool new online archive of 20th century resources surrounding Winston Churchill.

The archive includes primary sources such as images, cartoons, and documents.

One of the most interesting parts of the archives are the investigations of significant issues designed for high school students.

Find out what went wrong at Gallipoli or if Britain could have done more for the Jews during WWII. The website gives you an overview of each issue along with a chart of primary sources to help students come to a conclusion.

The database is divided into four themes:

  • Key developments in world history
  • Key development in modern British empire history
  • Anglo-American relations in the 20th century
  • Churchill: Discussion, debate, and controversy

  • Thursday, June 9, 2016

    Periodization & Chinese History

    Chart developed by Angela A. Lee
    Teaching Chinese history in AP World or in an honors world history class?  

    Check out this terrific essay by AP World teacher,  Angela A. Lee, for Education About Asia,  called Periodization and Historical Patterns in Chinese History.

    Lee argues that we should go beyond the dynastic model that most of us use when we teach about China. 

    Other models of periodization, especially those that examine Chinese history through an economic perspective, offer students a better chance to recognize "the broad scope of changes and continuities," and believes that it offers a more global perspective.

    Lee developed the chart above to show students the different models of periodization and offers discussion questions about the models.

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    Zheng He: Terrific Introductory Essay

    Here's a terrific short biography of the great admiral, Zheng He, whose travels for the Ming Dynasty throughout the Indian Ocean may have made him the greatest explorer in history.

    That's the claim that Karen Williams makes in this essay which might work well as a student assignment.

    Karen Williams works in media and human rights across Africa and Asia.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2016

    World History: Maps, Images & Videos by Unit

    Teaching World History? Check out Coepedia! Video clips, maps, and images organized by unit from prehistory to the Renaissance and aligned to Virginia state standards.

    I'm still working on it and hope to add study aids for each unit along with links to lesson ideas.

    I got the idea from Benjamin Freeman who has an even better site with AP World and World II units called Freemanpedia.