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.