Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nutmeg, The Spice Trade, and New York

God, glory, and greed. Those are the motives for exploration we learn and teach in world history.

The greed involved the money to be made on spices, especially nutmeg.  The Dutch East India Company formed to handle the trade.

Two video clips, one from the PBS NewsHour, and the other from National Geographic, review the importance of the spice trade between 1450 and 1750.

The PBS NewsHour clip, in honor of Thanksgiving, reviews the history of nutmeg. It came from one tiny Banda island in Indonesia called Run. The Dutch controlled the island and the nutmeg trade but the British went to war to gain control for herself. The treaty ending the war gave the Dutch  the nutmeg trade and ceded Britain control of New Amsterdam.

EAT, the Story of Food, also includes a segment on the history and importance of the spice trade. You can find the clip in the EAT video by scrolling to 11:49 minutes.


Monday, November 20, 2017

3 Reasons to Explore the Nanjing Atrocities 80 Years Later

Survivors of the 1937 Nanjing massacre pose for a photo during a ceremony in Nanjing on July 6, 2013; Han Yuqing/Corbis.
An original version of this post was published on November 20 on Facing Today, a blog by Facing History and Ourselves.

By Mara Gregory on November 20, 2017
Ms. Gregory is the International Project Manager at Facing History and Ourselves

December 13, 2017 will mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Atrocities. Between December 1937 and March 1938, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the city of Nanjing, unleashing a spree of violence, murder, and rape on thousands of women, men, and children.

Popular memory and history lessons often begin World War II with Europe in 1939. Few people know about the history of World War II in East Asia and the mass violence that took place in Nanjing two years before. As we come upon the 80th anniversary, consider these three reasons to teach about the Nanjing Atrocities.

Broaden your teaching of World War II beyond a European focus

Studying the particular history of the Nanjing Atrocities can help young people and teachers attain a more balanced and complex understanding of World War II and its legacies today. It can also widen students’ perspective and foster global awareness. Dr. Jing An, who uses Facing History’s Nanjing resource to prepare future educators as an assistant professor of social studies education at the University of South Dakota, states: “If teachers don’t teach these topics, generations will eventually forget they ever happened. This won't help students with their global awareness and it will deprive students of the opportunity to compare and contrast similar historical events that happened between different groups of people during the same time.”

Explore the range of human behavior

This history provides an opportunity to examine human decision-making in many forms. Studying the atrocities committed in Nanjing will help students and educators understand the impact of world events on the way that leaders think about their country’s place in the world and the way communities view themselves. It allows us to examine the consequences, played out in the decisions of leaders and individuals, that can arise when nationalism and militarism remain unchecked. And it allows us to explore stories of resistance and rescue, including those of the individuals of the Nanjing Safety Zone Committee, who risked their own safety to document the atrocities and rescue upwards of 200,000 Chinese nationals during the height of the violence.

Acknowledge a history that is often forgotten

Evidence of the atrocities exists in the testimonies of survivors, soldiers, and witnesses, as well as in photographs, films, and legal records. Yet this history is widely unknown outside of East Asia. At the same time, the differing ways this history has been treated within East Asia have important repercussions in contemporary geopolitics. Studying the events in Nanjing sheds light on the significance of historical legacy and collective memory, and the consequences when atrocities are forgotten or denied. The commemoration of the Nanjing Atrocities provides an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on that horrific event, and to consider what steps we can take to avoid such atrocities in the future.

In commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the Nanjing Atrocities, join us for a webinar on Teaching the Atrocities at Nanjing. To accommodate both US and international audiences, this webinar will be offered twice: November 29 from 8-9 a.m. US EST and November 30 from 3-4 p.m. US EST.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Does the Ancient Middle East Have Lessons for Today

Here’s a terrific essay about the similarities between the ancient and modern states of the Middle East. It might be a great assignment for students as a review of what happened in Asia after Alexander the Great died or for students studying the Middle East today.

In an essay for the History News Network, Philip Jenkins, professor of history at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, argues that the ancient history of the Middle East is not that different from the chaos and terror that characterizes the region today.

Jenkins looks at the Seleucid empire in 200CE with its capital city just twenty miles from Bagdad. He notes that at its height, it was the most populous city in the world. In India, Seleucid power imported war-elephants, perhaps the most cutting-edge military weapon of the day. And the empire left a rich cultural heritage in science, a result of the Greek influence of the Seleucids.

The Romans defeated the Seleucids in 190BCE. The empire split up and outside powers worked hard to keep them divided. Their division allowed Greek conquerors to unite the Mediterranean world with central Asia and control the profitable textile and spice trade. “Then as now,” Jenkins argues, “greed for priceless raw materials drove political aggression and interference.

Jenkins goes on to show how Persia filled the vacuum produced by the break-up of the Seleucid empire, just as it seems to be doing today.

Jenkins is a great historian and his new book, Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution That Made Our Modern Religious World, looks very interesting.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Globalization: Boeing as a Example--PBS Newshour

Teaching Globalization?

Here's an excellent clip from the PBS Newshour which shows how Boeing depends on the global market place to build its planes. (scroll to about 1:57 to start)

Boeing shows PBS economics reporter, Paul Solmon, a big table map with different parts of a Boeing plane from markets all over the world.

For example, the fuselage comes from Japan, the rudder from China,  and the wheels come from Britain.

The advantage of so much outsourcing, according to IMF chief economist, Simon Johnson, is that those suppliers  are likely to buy the completed plane.




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The French Revolution: Madonna & More

Here are three short entertaining clips about the French Revolution and Napoleon. 

The first reviews Napoleon's life in a three minute cartoon. Madonna sings about many of the events of the  French Revolution in the second clip, and the history channel reviews the effectiveness of the guillotine int he third clip.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

Teaching Context and Synthesis

Teaching context or synthesis? Here's a short documentary on the impact of the Columbian Exchange that does a great job with both. 

I showed about 20 minutes of “When World’s Collide: the Columbian Exchange” and was able to point out to students a definition of context and synthesis, and  even a way to write a CCOT thesis.

After talking about contact in the New World, the host goes back to Spain and to Ferdinand and Isabella. He then provides context for Spain on the eve of exploration reminding us of wars of religion and the Catholic conviction of Ferdinand and Isabella. He then ties this context back to exploration saying that their religious conviction will have an impact on exploration and the New World.

We examined synthesis twice. First, the host notes that many indigenous Americans held on to some indigenous beliefs despite conversion to Catholicism. Where did this kind of thing happen in another part of the world? How about Islam moving into Africa?

Later in the video, the host describes the impact of the Potosi silver mines on Spain. We related the inflation on Spain to the inflation on Egypt when Mansa Musa made his pilgrimage centuries earlier.

Finally, the host notes that despite many changes with contact, some continuities in indigenous culture continued. I stopped the clip and reminded the kids that he just made a perfect CCOT thesis and asked them too look for evidence.

When Worlds Collide on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Foot Binding: Great Essay from Atlantic Magazine

Want to know more about foot-binding which began in China in the 10th century during the Tang Dynasty?

The Atlantic Magazine has a terrific essay about the origin and impact of foot binding.

Did you know, for example,  that it started when an emperor's concubine bound her feet for a dance. The practice spread as other women wanted to imitate her in order to gain the emperors favor.

And did you know that practice continued well into the 20th century. Pearl Buck wrote about it her best-selling book, "The Good Earth.
AGerbil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7379520ption

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Story of the Buddha: British Museum

The British Museum has an excellent site about the Buddha.

You can read the story of the Buddha based on the museum's stone reliefs.

You can also explore The Great Stupa at Amaravati and play a game matching Buddhist symbols but you will need adobe shockwave to play.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Footbinding 101

Here's an excellent clip about Chinese foot binding that I found on EdPuzzle. It's just over two minutes.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Congress of Vienna: BBC Podcast

Here's an interesting podcast about the Congress of Vienna from BBC Radio. How did the great powers come to Vienna?  How did they decide in it? What were the turning points.

Greece & Rome: Two Awesome Video Reviews

Here are two terrific video reviews of Greece and Rome. 

The Greece review runs 18 minutes and the Rome review runs just over 20 minutes.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Zheng He Voyages

Studying the Ming Dynasty?  Here's a nine minute clip from Engineering an Empire about the treasure fleet of Admiral Zheng He along with a longer documentary.

Asia for Educators also has good resources for Zheng He. They have a section that outlines the Admiral's seven voyages. I copied that section and printed it out for students and gave them an outline map of Afro Eurasia and had students trace the routes.

Finally here's an excellent colorful map from National Geographic showing the voyages.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

What Makes the Great Wall so Great? TedEd clip

Here is a terrific TedEd video that reviews the history of the Great Wall and explains what makes it so great. You can view the TedEd lesson here.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Egyptian Scribes: Two Great Clips

What place in  ancient Egyptian society did scribes hold?  How did they come to write on papyrus and how did they do it?

Foy Scalf, an Egyptologist at the University of Chicago,  answers all these questions in this short three minute clip.
And here is another look at ancient Egyptian scribes from Smart History, which is now part of Khan Academy. Hosts Beth Harris and Steven Zucker examine a seated scribe made of painted limestone and crystal.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

PBL: 5 Keys to Success


Here is a great introduction to PBL from Edutopia.

The video reviews five key elements you need to be successful: establish real world connections, build rigorous projects,  structure collaboration, facilitate learning in a student-driven environment, and embed assessment throughout the project.

Edutopia has a short clip for each of the five elements.

Teach Content Vocabulary With Football!

Luke Rosa, a social studies teacher in Virginia, developed an interesting way to teach vocabulary. Below, he explains how he does it.
Courtesy of Luka Rosa

Student Teams


Here’s how it works.

I place students on teams of 4 (3 or 5 also works depending on your class load), and create a schedule. There are some great simple free schedule-makers online, including Playpass and League Lobster.

Students are given sets of 10-15 vocabulary words each week. I print them out in sets of 6 to a page that I cut up in strips and have students paste in their notebooks (see the example photo to the left).

We’ll then cover those terms in our lessons that week and students are responsible for defining the words in their notebooks. They can ether get the definitions from our lesson, look them up in a textbook, or find them online.
Game Day!

Game Day


Monday is game day! To make it exciting, I’ll have the Monday Night Football or Fox Sports theme playing as they’re walking in. Students take a vocabulary quiz based on those words from the previous week.

My quizzes are very short — just 10 questions and designed to only take the first 15 minutes or so of class. I make the answer sheet very easy to grade. I start grading them as soon as the first student hands it in. The answer sheet allows me to grade them quickly, so I can and usually have most graded before the last student even finishes!

Scoring


Each student’s score goes towards their grade, but they also get combined to make their team’s score.

So, if the 4 students on the Giants combine for a 32 and they’re playing the Panthers who scored a combined 31, then the Giants win! So simple, but so much fun! I knew I had caught on to something when students began to tell their teammates, “You better do all your vocabulary this week. I don’t want to lose!” They get so competitive!

These are vocabulary quizzes and my students actually looked forward to them! Students would pop back in the next period to see if they won and check the updated standings I had on our bulletin board.

Differentiation 


Each year, I make a few changes and find ways to differentiate based on my class levels. For my team-taught inclusion classes, students can take the quiz using their notebook page with the definitions (if they did them that week). I found this is a great motivational tool. When a student who didn’t complete his vocabulary that week opens to a blank notebook page, his teammates will let him have it. It also encouraged more critical thinking on answers than just memorization of terms. For my on-level classes, I will often project a word bank, but don’t allow them to use their notebooks. My honors classes might not get the help of either.

The Super Bowl 


You can have your “season” last as long as you like. I usually go about 12 weeks then move on to the playoffs and culminate with a Super Bowl. The playoffs have teams playing against teams in other classes, which gets a lot of of fun. Teams that lose still take the quizzes, but they’ll just count towards their individual grades. I’ll get a prize for the winning team like Chipotle gift cards or pizza after school.

This VFL strategy has been a huge success for my classes and I am sure it will be for yours as well!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What is Historical Thinking

Here is a terrific clip form teachinghistory.org on the elements of historical thinking.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Breaking News Generator

History teacher Russel Tarr designed an awesome "Breaking News Generator."

Students can use it to create a profile  of an important figure in history. They will have to think about the person's location, develop a title for the news channel, a headline and a ticker which summarizes an understanding the figure.  Finally, students upload an image.

Here's a sample I designed.

Other uses: Tarr suggests that students could produce a timeline of events and then provide a screenshot for the major events.

Students could also produce breaking news screenshots with a biased tone.





Friday, August 25, 2017

Student Centered Learning with Technology--Caitlin Tucker

English teacher Caitlin Tucker gave this terrific keynote talk to a recent MassCue conference(Massachusetts Computer Using Educators).

She urges teachers to create a student centered learning environment and explains how technology can facilitate that environment.

We see a clip of  a youth TedTalk one of her students made,  and an RSS animation  students made about why the people burned the books in Fahrenheit 451.

Tucker wants a student-centered classroom where kids are at the center of learning.  For example, she noted  that students who created the the RSS animation understood the transformation of society at the end of Fahrenheit 451 much better than if they had just listened to a teacher presentation about the shift.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

White Nationalism & Charlottesville: Teaching Resources

Here are some resources that I have collected over the past few days for facilitating conversations with students about white nationalism and the events at Charlottesville this weekend.

Harvard University School of Education tweeted some of these excellent resources.

Here are three interactive websites that review the history of lynching and slavery.
  • The Police Violence Map allows you to see the number of people who have been killed by police using interesting and engaging maps and graphs.

                             


Here are some excellent analytical news stories about the tragic events at Charlottesville, race, and white nationalism.

Professor Walter D. Greason at Monmouth University tweeted  links to a number of excellent clips about the history of lynching in America, and a number of riots like the 1919 Chicago Police Riot.  You can find more of them if you subscribe to his You Tube feed called The Conversation Starts Today: Race and White Privilege.






Finally, This Social Justice website has a great list books about social justice categorized by age--elementary school, middle school, high, and adult.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

China's New Silk Road: New BBC Series

Here's a great new series from BBC about China's huge initiative, called One Belt, One Road, to open trade channels between itself and neighbors in both the east and the west.

It will include both land and sea routes, super fast trains on the land and huge container ships on the sea.

Why is China committing close to $1 trillion dollars to this initiative?  

According to The Economic World Forum,  one incentive is to improve the economies of poorer countries to the south. Improving these economies could help maintain China's economy.

For example, in the homeland of the Uyghurs in Kashgar, an ethnic Muslim minority that has often revolted against its marginal status, China has invested hundreds of millions with the idea that involvement in profitable trade will reduce violence.

One former US diplomat called the Chinese initiative, "potentially the most transformative engineering effort in human history," according to CBS News.

Here is a clip that reviews some of China's major projects around the world from the The Dailey Conversation like Africa's transnational electric railroad that runs 466 miles from Djibouti to Addis Ababa,  to a huge power plant in Pakistan.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Blended Learning with Stations

Blended learning stations may be a great way to individualize lessons and create smaller learning communities within the classroom.

Most of us work on a 90 minute block schedule already and plan three or four activities for each class.

Why not turn them into stations?  Students can move at their own pace and you don't have to wait for the whole class to finish an activity before moving on to the next.

And its easy for you as the teacher to move between the groups to answer questions and offer suggestions.

English teacher, Caitlin Tucker, explains how the stations might work in the five minute clip below.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Online Resources for Teaching the Middle East


Here are some great online resources for teaching the Middle East that I put together on a Weebly site.

I am teaching a current events course next spring and want to include a unit on the Middle East to help students better understand contemporary issues in the region.

One of the best resources I found comes from the British Council and the Social Science Research Council. ​

Its curriculum  includes 5 units to help World History high school educators teach about the Middle East and North Africa in their classrooms. 

Curricular themes include Women & Gender, Plural Identities, Empire & Nation, Political & Social Movements, and Arts & Technology. 

These units include terrific primary and secondary sources and good lessons for students to evaluate and analyze them.



And Teach Mideast has country profiles with information on geography, history and government, and culture. You can see an overview of each country in graphic form like the one below for Algeria.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Understanding the US & Iran

Here is an awesome summary of US & Iranian relations by UNC Professor, Dr. Charles Kurzman.

You'll learn the history of Iran from the revolution in 1906 to the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 to the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Here is a link to a student video guide for the clip.  And here is a teachers guide.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Importance of Salt: Big History Clip

Why is salt so important in the development of civilization? Why did the Romans pay their soldiers in salt?

Here is a terrific two minute clip from the Big History Project that explains salt's preservation powers and its influence on our vocabulary.

Salami, for example, comes from the Latin word "SAL"or "salt." And so do the words "sausage," "sauce, and "salsa".

The host also points out that since salt saved lives by preserving food, it also led to salvation! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

River Civilizations: Two Awesome Websites

Two websites, both ideal for creating web quests, review river civilizations.
  1. The River Valley Civilization Guide: This website has great short summaries on the economy, social structure, geography, buildings, tools, etc. for  the four river valley civilizations: Nile, Yellow, Indus, and Tigris-Euphrates.
  2.  The second site comes from the British  Museum.  Students can read about the adventure of King Gilgamesh, and explore different maps of Mesopotamia. They can also play an interesting game that teaches them the importance of water and irrigation by acting as a farmer in ancient Sumer.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How to Spot a Misleading Graph

Graphs don't lie. They are based on cold, hard numbers. Right?

Wrong! They can be very deceiving but it takes careful analysis to see it as Lea Gaslowitz explains in this awesome TedEd talk, "How to spot a misleading graph."

This is terrific for teaching point of view (POV)!

My thanks to John Maunu for the link.

 

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.

Cost
  • 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, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17119541
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.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A History of the World, I Guess: Bill Wurtz's CLEAN version

Here's an engaging history of the world (this is the clean, school version--yes, there's a not-so-clean version).

It was made by Bill Wurtz who also made a history of Japan that was released in 2015 and  earned over 3 million views on its first day. But be careful. Look for the clean version before showing it to your class.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

WWII Teenage Forger Saves 1000s of Jews: Great Short Documentary


This excellent short sixteen-minute documentary from the New York Times tells the story of a young teenager during World War II who saves thousands of Jews by forging passports for them.

The New York Times Learning Network has a lesson with questions to consider about the film.

The accompanying essay, If I sleep before I Die, is great story for student to read after viewing the documentary.

Friday, May 5, 2017

AP World Kahoot Review: Monday, May 8th

Benjamin Freeman, who maintains Freeman-Pedia, a terrific website with resources for world history, will host an AP World review Kahoot on Monday, May 8th, at 7:00PM EST.

Students can log in to play by going to Freeman's site here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Teaching Genocide and World War II Through the Lens of East Asia

Photo Caption: John Rabe and the Nanjing Safety Zone Committee (Yale Divinity School Library, Ernest H. Forster Papers)
An original version of this post was published on April 19 on Facing Today, a blog by Facing History and Ourselves. And here is a link to the blog on  the Facing History website.

Written by Addie Male, history teacher, Upper House Humanities Department Chairperson, and dance ensemble advisor at Millennium Brooklyn High School in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
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I have long wanted to develop and teach a unit on the Nanjing Atrocities for my students at Millennium Brooklyn High School. As a high school history teacher with an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies, I see it as an important history that we seldom teach in the United States.

It was wonderfully serendipitous last spring when, shortly after my proposal was approved for a new, senior elective entitled, “Turning Points in Global History,” Facing History and Ourselves offered a one-day workshop on this very subject at the China Institute. Attending this workshop very much informed the planning and teaching of this unit, within the umbrella of a course largely focused on case studies of genocide and atrocities and subsequent efforts of truth and reconciliation.

Because Nanjing is often untold within the context of WWII, this was the perfect case study to explore with my students, buttressed between Armenia and Rwanda. I was eager to attend this workshop, which reacquainted me with the historiography of China’s relationship with Japan and provided me with a foundation for teaching this unit. Using Facing History’s resource guide, The Nanjing Atrocities: Crimes of War, we were able to more deeply explore the different aspects of this history while being introduced to images, short clips, and engaging teaching activities that I could take back to my students. I found that the powerful and compelling primary voices in the resource, created space for my students to delve into an unfamiliar event in history in an accessible and meaningful way. They were then able to develop a deeper understanding of the many facets of this overlooked but essential study in attempting to answer our core questions surrounding genocide and atrocities.

But this workshop also prepared me to tackle the difficult aspects of teaching genocide in the classroom. I profoundly appreciated Facing History’s acknowledgment that this history is sensitive, particularly the victimization of women during wartime atrocities. This enabled me to delve into women’s experiences with my students and expose them to the voices of these survivors. Rather than shy away from this arena, thereby further marginalizing these voices, the workshop empowered teacher participants to include rape as a weapon of warfare in the teaching of Nanjing.

Just as important as acknowledging the victims’ experiences is the focus on rescue and resistance. This was a core facet of the workshop and instrumental in the planning and execution of the teaching of this unit. Students come to understand that targeted groups in genocide and wartime atrocities are not passive victims but survivors who actively engage in resistance of their oppressors. One activity that aided in this understanding was the creation of resistance newsletters, fictitiously published from the Nanjing Safety Zone but based on readings and content work from the Facing History curriculum guide. Working in groups, students were responsible for including: a letter to international leaders from John Rabe, an op-ed piece based on the accounts of Tsen-Shui Fang, and an artistic rendering depicting the realities faced by Chinese in the Nanjing Safety Zone. Notions of choosing to participate, resisting, and seeking justice—name stays of Facing History’s work—are also essential components of my course work with my students.

Rescue and resistance, and the aftermath, were, frankly, aspects of this time period that I was not fully aware of but because of the workshop I felt confident infusing this work into our study of the Nanjing Atrocities. While this was difficult and challenging work to explore, it was necessary to understanding the importance of resistance movements and holding perpetrators accountable. Specifically, the clip on the Tokyo War Crimes and readings such as “Accepting Defeat” and “Rebuilding” were necessary and empowering for the students. By understanding how and why atrocities are committed, and met with active resistance, my students were better able to understand change is possible.

A cornerstone of my teaching is that by studying historical periods such as the Nanjing Atrocities students can make connections to domestic and international conflicts of today and recognize they can demand change and be the agents of change themselves. Teaching this unit exposed my students to a topic not typically included in WWII units of study, while urging them to explore essential questions of why such atrocities occur. Equipped with this knowledge, they can make positive choices that can lead to a more compassionate world.

Do you want to learn how to broaden your students' knowledge of World War II beyond Europe? Join us on April 24 for the online workshop, "Teaching World War II in East Asia."

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Green Revolution: Blessing or Curse?

Green Revolution: Blessing or Curse?

This short ten-minute clip clearly thinks it was a blessing arguing the lives saved through the genetic engineering of plants outweighs environmental concerns.

In addition to this clip, students might also read this short essay from from International Food Policy Institute.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Socratic Seminars: Patience & Practice

Here's a good primer on how to do a Socratic seminar.

In the Teaching Channel video below, a 9th grade english class tackles the elements of a poem.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Globalization: Resources

 

 Studying globalization?  Here are a couple of short video resources and a couple links to good websites.

 The clip below is only four minutes and covers political, economic, and cultural globalization in an organized and engaging way.

Emory University has an outstanding website. As you can see above, it's organized  by people, organizations, and issues.

Finally,  here is a keynote address by the New York Times writer and author, Thomas Friedman, whose book, "The World is Flat," is all about the implications of globalization.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Renaissance: Video Resources

Studying the Renaissance. Here are several short clips that explain some of the important elements of the period including Machiavelli and his book, The Prince, Da Vinci and his design of a flying machine, the Mona Lisa, and Sir Thomas More.

    

  



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Using Storify to Deepen Content Knowledge

I love Storify as a vehicle for students to show mastery of content.

The program allows you you to use social media to import tweets, website links, videos, and other resources into slides. If you were do a story about the the development of NATO, you could import a map showing the member countries, provide a link to a video clip about its development, and write a short summary.

My students just completed a Storify assignment on the events of the Cold War. I got some terrific results which suggest that the project really deepened learning and in some instances, judging by the images, I think the kids had fun.

Here's the assignment and directions that I created along with links to several completed stories.
And here's a short explanation of how to use Storify. 

Suez Canal: Video Review

Studying decolonization?

Here's a nice clip that reviews the history of the Suez Canal.  It reviews the French company that built it to Britain's purchase of that company's concession in 1875 to its nationalization in 1956 by Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser.

The clip comes from France 24.