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."