November 2007 Archives

Lesson #21 - The Golden Age of Athens

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There are a number of different ways we could take today's lesson. In order to give you a flavor for the "Golden Age of Athens," we'll try several activities after our opening discussion. Remember that you have two short quizzes on Monday. After that, we'll look more closely at the role of democracy as well as the contributions of the famous philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Ancient Greece: Chapter 4 in The Ethics Workbook I: World History


Greek Bio-Poems: You're going to compose a bit of "poetry" for us. You will select a famous Ancient Greek from a list. Then, using the Greek Bio-poem Format, you will compose an informative, yet poetic, tribute to that person. The form is pretty self-explanatory. This needs to be completed and posted before Wednesday's 2nd hour class begins, and you will post them as "comments" to the blog entry I create called "Greek Bio-Poems." (Please "preview" your comment so that it looks correct before submitting.) These are worth 10 points.

Here's a list of the figures.

These will be done in both classes.
Aeschylus
Aesop
Alexander
Archimedes
Aristotle
Aristophanes
Aspasia
Cleisthenes
Demosthenes
Epicurus
Euclid
Herodotus
Homer
Pericles
Philip II
Plato
Pythagoras
Sappho
Socrates
Solon
Sophocles
Thales
Themistocles
Thucydides
Zeno


"The Age of Pericles" - As you read, Pericles was perhaps the central figure in Athens during this time period. Early in the war against Sparta, he delivers his "Funeral Oration," a speech that is recognized among history's greatest. We'll have you take a look at an excerpt from this speech, and you'll look for examples of two prominent Greek values: arete and eunomia. Here are the two documents that you need for this.

* Pericles handout


* Pericles' "Funeral Oration"

If you find the speech at all interesting, I'd recommend looking at
Dr. J's Illustrated Pericles' Funeral Oration
. This is a professor's "guided tour" of the speech. I found it very helpful in understanding the wider context of the speech.

Topics for next session: The Peloponnesian War, the philosophers, and democracy...


HOMEWORK for next class: Monday, December 3rd

Please read Chapter 5, Section 4 in your textbook. It's "Alexander's Empire." (pp. 142 - 145.)

You have two quizzes Monday: Greek Roots and Greek Geography. Each is worth 10 points.

Your "Greek Bio-Poem" must be posted as a "comment" on the correct blog entry before the start of Wednesday's class.

Lesson #20 - Athens and Sparta

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We'll take a look at two very different lifestyles that emerged in Greece. We'll compare and contrast life in Sparta and Athens. However, before the hour ends, these two rivals will band together to face off against our old friend Darius and his Persian Empire in the Persian Wars.

First, let's build those vocabularies by taking a look at your Greek Roots... We'll go through these quickly to make sure you can both define them and use them in an appropriate word.

Second, your newly found vocabulary should help you with these terms. Let's make sure we are on the same page with these terms that we've already come across in the reading.

arete
polis
acropolis
agora
monarchy
aristocracy
oligarchy
tyrant
democracy
helot
hoplite
phalanx


Next, let's take a look at your Venn diagrams on Athens and Sparta. We'll also give you an additional handout on one of these two groups. You'll have a few minutes to read it before our discussion.

Life in Athens and Sparta:
If you were a young teenage girl of the citizen class, in which city-state would you rather live? Why?
If you were a boy of the citizen class, in which would you rather live? Why?
If you were a young soldier, in which would you rather live? Why?
If you were a slave, in which would you rather live? Why?
If you were an artist, in which would you rather live? Why?
If you were a very wealthy person of the citizen class, in which would you rather live? Why?
In which do you find more similarities to modern America? Why?


It's important to remember that these two cities could work together when needed. Here's one of those times. Let's spend about 10 minutes with:

The Persian Wars (490 - 479 BCE)

Cause: Athens aids rebels in Ionia against Persia

Key Events:

* Battle of Marathon (490 BCE) - 25,000 Persians v. 10,000 Athenians
Pheidippides: "Rejoice, we conquer"

* Thermopylae and Salamis (480 BCE) - Xerxes sends huge invasion
300 Spartans hold pass at Thermopylae (Here's a thoughtful article about the film.)
Debate over defending Athens - Themistocles urges evacuation
Greeks win naval battle at Salamis

Delian League forms - drive out Persians
Clears way for Golden Age of Athens


Cool site of the day: Here's The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization. This is from the PBS series, Empires. There's neat stuff here, including a great timeline and some animations, etc. Check it out.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Friday, November 30th

Please read Chaper 5, Section 3 ("Democracy and Greece's Golden Age") for tomorrow. It is pages 134 -139 in your textbook.

I delayed it once, but I'd like you to have read Chapter 4 ("Ancient Greece") in The Ethics Workbook I: World History for tomorrow.

Your Greek Roots and Greek Geography quizzes will be on Monday. (It's a last chance to pick up some more points before conferences.)

Lesson #19 - Ancient Greece

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We'll hit the ground running and start Unit #2 today. Our early focus will be on the Ancient Greeks and Romans. We'll close the unit with a look at what's going on around the rest of the world in the early centuries of the "Common Era." This unit will take us through the remainder of the quarter, so you can expect one more unit exam, very similar to last week's, during that week after winter break in early January.

Unit #1 Exam: I don't have the essays ready to return (and won't for a couple days), but I will give you back the Unit #1 Objective Exam. We can quickly go through the multiple choice and the DBQs. I do need these returned to me to keep.

I'm also curious, now that we have finished a unit, if there are any suggestions people have for how you'd like to see things handled differently. (Not doing any homework or eating pizza all hour are NOT options...) Seriously, however, this is only my second time through with the course, so you may well have insights that have not occurred to me.


ANCIENT GREECE We'll spend the next five or so days on one of the most influential civilizations from world history. We'll start with a little concept mapping to see where you are coming from. Following that, we'll see how the Mycenaens, Minoans and Dorians each helped set the stage in Ancient Greece.


Greek Geography: I'll give you a map of Greece and the surrounding region. On Monday, we'll take a quiz on the 20 features below. This time, I won't provide you with another map, but the quiz map will be the same as the one you receive today. I'll give you a word bank, and they'll be divided into categories as below.

Cities:
Athens
Corinth
Delphi
Knossos
Marathon
Mycenae
Salamis
Sparta
Thebes
Troy

Places:
Crete
Macedonia
Mt. Olympus
Peloponneses
Thermopylae

Bodies of Water:
Aegean Sea
Black Sea
Gulf of Corinth
Ionian Sea
Mediterranean Sea


Greek Roots: You may have done related activities in other classes, but we will take a look at the tremendous influence the Greeks have had upon the development of our language. Between prefixes, word roots and suffixes, a significant percentage of the words we use have their origins with the Greeks. We'll give you a little time today to work on your own or with a partner on the Greek Roots handout. This should be completed by tomorrow's class, and we'll take a quick quiz on Monday.


Greek Mythology: I'll be honest. I've never been particularly interested in Greek and Roman mythology. If, however, you are, here's a very informative website: Greek Gods. You can browse as much as you'd like...


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Thursday, November 29th

* Please read Chapter 5, Section 2 ("Warring City-States") from your textbook. It's pages 127-133. In addition, I'll ask you to complete a Venn Diagram for homework. Label the left circle as "Athens" and the right as "Sparta." Any common elements would go in the middle.

* Your "Greek Roots" sheet should be completed and ready for discussion.

* Please have Chapter 5, "Ancient Greece, from The Ethics Workbook I: World History read for tomorrow's class as well.

* You'll have your Greek Geography and Greek Roots quizzes on Monday. They are 10 points each.

Lesson #18 - Unit #1 Objective Exam

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Today is the objective portion of the exam. There are 60 multiple choice questions. There are also 7 document-based questions that are worth a total of 20 points. Those 80 points will actually get cut in half and be entered as your score out of a possible 40 points in PowerSchool. (Yesterday's essay is worth 30 points.)

Notice that you also get a chance to have input into your "Participation" grade for this unit. You'll be asked to read some criteria and evaluate yourself. (I also have input into this, so don't feel like it is all in your hands.) Notice that my definition of "participation" is more than "discusses a lot." I think you can be a very strong participant even if you are not a frequent talker. I'd encourage you to think about your listening habits, readiness for lessons, computer usage, attitude, etc. as well in evaluating yourself.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, November 28th:

We'll first turn our attention in Unit #2 to the Greeks and Romans.

For Wednesday: Please read Chapter 5, Section 1 ("Cultures of the Mountains and the Sea") in your textbook. That's pages 123 - 126. Of course, you're free to keep reading in Chapter 5 if you have time. We'll get almost through it all by the middle of next week.

For Thursday: Please read Chapter 4 ("Ancient Greece") from The Ethics Workbook I: World History.

Lesson #17 - Unit #1 Essay

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Unit #1 Essay Exam - Questions and Format - The actual essay will be written, by hand or word-processed, in class today. You should be prepared for a five-paragraph essay. That means that you should include an introduction (with a clear thesis statement), three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. (Note that the questions lend themselves to such a format. That is on purpose.)

There is no specified length requirement, but I would suggest that most essays end up being the equivalent of between 1 1/2 and 2 pages if they are hand-written. Any shorter and you are probably not giving the different portions of the question enough attention and depth. It is tough to go much longer given the limited class time. Remember that the questions are not designed for you to tell us everything you have learned. Focus on what the question is requiring you to do.

You may bring in a sheet of paper with up to 150 words on it.
(You do not need to count the words in the actual question itself in that total...) Whether you hand write or word-process, that paper should be printed out in advance of class. Under no circumstances can you bring in your actual essay, only 150 words. If you choose to hand-write, I will provide you with paper for that. If you choose to word-process, there will be specific instructions about closing other applications, sitting in particular locations, etc.

Unit #1 Essay Questions: You will choose ONE of the following questions to answer in class.

A. Geography certainly played a significant role in the development of early civilizations. Using examples from various early river civilizations, identify three specific geographic factors and explain their importance in the development of early civilizations. Compared to these early civilizations, do you think geographic factors play more or less or a role in our world of today? Why?

B. Three religious traditions that remain among the "Big Five" of the modern world emerged during the time period we studied in Unit I. For each of the three, identify and explain what beliefs and other factors you believe helped that faith grow to become a world religion lasting more than two thousand years. Which of the three do you believe has the greatest impact in our modern world? Why?

C. We are making an effort to understand the development of ethics over the course of World History. Using examples from three different cultures, identify and explain major advances in the understanding of ethical responsibilities and obligations that we have so far studied. Do you think we live in a more or less ethical age than the time periods we have so far studied. Why?

D. The rise and fall of empires will be a theme we return to again and again in World History. Using examples from the "First Age of Empires," identify and explain three factors that you believe are common in the rise and/or fall of empires. Do you believe the United States is beginning a period of decline? Why or why not?


Homework for tomorrow- Tuesday, November 27th:

We'll have the Unit #1 Objective Exam on Tuesday. There are both multiple choice and document-based questions. You are not allowed any notes for this portion of the exam.

Lesson #16 - Ethics Workbook #5 / Unit #1 Review

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Today is pretty straight-forward. We'll begin by taking a look at some of the ethical thinking that came out of Ancient China. That's Chapter 5 in The Ethics Workbook I: World History. We'll also touch base on the sample DBQs and the essays.

Following this, we'll try the "Two-Minute Drill" to aid you in preparing for the Unit #1 Exam. Remember, you each have a chance to contribute to our overall understanding of the material that we have studied so far this year. (These are worth 5 points each.) Here's a list of the sections in the order that we'll cover them:

WORLD HISTORY: PATTERNS OF INTERACTION

UNIT 1: Beginnings of Civilization (4 million BC - 200 BC)

Chapter 1: The Peopling of the World (Prehistory - 2500 BC)
1 Human Origins in Africa
x Earth Calendar
2 Humans Try to Control Nature
3 Civilization

Chapter 2: Early River Civilizations (3500 BC - 450 BC)
1 City-States in Mesopotamia
2 Pyramids on the Nile
3 Planned Cities on the Indus
4 River Dynasties in China

Chapter 3: People and Ideas on the Move (2000 BC - 250 BC)
1 The Indo-Europeans
2 Hinduism and Buddhism Develop
3 Seafaring Traders
4 The Origins of Judaism

Chapter 4: First Age of Empires (1570 BC - 200 BC)
1 The Egyptian and Nubian Empires
2 The Assyrian Empire
3 The Persian Empire
4 The Unification of China

THE ETHICS WORKBOOK I: WORLD HISTORY

Chapter 1 Ancient Egypt: Book of the Dead, Ma'at
Chapter 2 The Hebrews: Genesis, Deuteronomy
Chapter 3 Ancient Mesopotamia: Hammurabi's Code
Chapter 5 Ancient China: Confucius - Analects, Tales
Chapter 6 Ancient India: Ramayana

You're free to ask me questions and do whatever sort of review that you think would be helpful with any remaining time.


HOMEWORK for next class: Monday, November 26th

We've got the Unit #1 Exam coming up Monday (essay) and Tuesday (objective). You know exactly what the format will look like, so you should have an idea of what sort of preparation will be most useful for you. REMEMBER, you can bring in up to 150 words of notes on Monday to help with the essay.

Lesson #15 - First Age of Empires: China

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Reminders about the upcoming Unit Exam #1:

Document-Based Questions (DBQs): We can go over some sample questions. I'd say these are pretty easy ones, but they should give you a feel for the type of questions that will appear in that section of the exam.

Essay meeting groups: If you've already chosen your essay for next Monday, great. If not, look back at the options and at least decide which one is most likely to be your choice. We'll give you 5-10 minutes to meet with the others in the class thinking of doing the same question. You can "compare notes," brainstorm ideas and/or ask any questions that you have.

Two-Minute Drill: We'll wrap up the unit with these tomorrow. Remember that you have no more than TWO (maybe three) minutes to help us review the section that you chose to be responsible for.


The Unification of China: We'll take a look at several features related to China's unification today. Remember that the Zhou Dynasty ruled China for more than 8 centuries, from 1027 to 256 BCE. In the last years of the empire, rival warlords considered themselves independent. This led to constant warfare and conflict called the "Warring States Period."

Several key philosophical and ethical systems emerged during the Zhou Dynasty:

Confucianism: Confucius, or K'ung Fu-tzu (Master Kung) was born in 551 B.C.E. in the province of Lu. Here is a collection of quotes from Confucius.

* What were the key ideas of Confucius?
* How did Confucius influence China?


Daoism: While some question if he ever was a "real" person, Laozi is credited with founding Daoism. The Dao De Jing ("The Way of Virtue") is the classic work which outlines Daoist philosophy. We'll take a look at some excerpts. If you're ready to sign up, you can check out the Center for Daoist Studies.

* What were the key ideas of Daoism?
* How did Daoism influence China?


Legalism: The political thinkers who favored a powerful and strict government were know as Legalists. They frequently censored opposing ideas, and they severely punished those who failed to carry out their duties.

* What were the key ideas of Legalism?
* How did Legalism influence China?


I Ching: You might also be interested in checking out the I Ching,or "The Book of Changes." The oracles were designed to help people lead a happy and fulfilling life. Play around with this a bit.


The Qin Dynasty: During the short period known as the Qin Dynasty, Shi Huangdi forever changed the course of China's future. Accomplishments of his reign in the third century BCE include:

* doubling the size of China
* ending internal resistance
* "strengthening the trunk and weakening the branches"
* centralization: roads, currency, writing
* Great Wall of China
* burial tomb - site of terracotta warriors

By 202 BCE, the Qin Empire has been replaced by the Han Dynasty, one of China's longest.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Tuesday, November 20th

* The Unit #1 Essay will be written in class next Monday, and the objective part of the Unit #1 Exam will be on Tuesday.

* "Your" portion of the unit review will be "due" tomorrow, and it is worth a maximum of five points. Remember, you only get a maximum of two/three minutes... The list is posted on the white board if you have forgotten which section you are supposed to cover.

Lesson #14 - The First Age of Empires

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Unit #1 Essay Exam - Questions and Format - On Monday, November 26th, you'll write your first in-class essay. Below you can find both the questions from which you will choose and the format for the essay portion on the Unit #1 Exam.

Format: The actual essay will be written, by hand or word-processed, in class . You should prepare for a five-paragraph essay. That means that you should include an introduction (with a clear thesis statement), three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. (Note that the questions lend themselves to such a format. That is on purpose.)

There is no specified length requirement, but I would suggest that most essays end up being the equivalent of between 1 1/2 and 2 pages if they are hand-written. Any shorter and you are probably not giving the different portions of the question enough attention and depth. It is tough to go much longer given the limited class time. Remember that the questions are not designed for you to tell us everything you have learned. Focus on what the question is requiring you to do.

You may bring in a sheet of paper with up to 150 words on it. (You do not need to count the words in the actual question itself in that total...) Whether you hand write or word-process, that paper should be printed out in advance of class. Under no circumstances can you bring in your actual essay, only 150 words. If you choose to hand-write, I will provide you with paper for that. If you choose to word-process, there will be specific instructions about closing other applications, sitting in particular locations, etc.

Unit #1 Essay Questions: You may choose ONE of the following questions to answer in class.

A. Geography certainly played a significant role in the development of early civilizations. Using examples from various early river civilizations, identify three specific geographic factors and explain their importance in the development of early civilizations. Compared to these early civilizations, do you think geographic factors play more or less or a role in our world of today? Why?

B. Three religious traditions that remain among the "Big Five" of the modern world emerged during the time period we studied in Unit I. For each of the three, identify and explain what beliefs and other factors you believe helped that faith grow to become a world religion lasting more than two thousand years. Which of the three do you believe has the greatest impact in our modern world? Why?

C. We are making an effort to understand the development of ethics over the course of World History. Using examples from three different cultures, identify and explain major advances in the understanding of ethical responsibilities and obligations that we have so far studied. Do you think we live in a more or less ethical age than the time periods we have so far studied. Why?

D. The rise and fall of empires will be a theme we return to again and again in World History. Using examples from the "First Age of Empires," identify and explain three factors that you believe are common in the rise and/or fall of empires. Do you believe the United States is beginning a period of decline? Why or why not?


The First Age of Empires - Matrix: We'll check this as your homework for today. In addition, we'll go over the material you found to help complete this chart. Before we get there, I'd like to take you back "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." The Star Wars: Databank has this brief description of "The Empire." Let's see what we can learn about the concept from this. (I won't normally recommend it for "academic" work, but here's a related link from Wikipedia.)


Two-Minute Reviews - We will spend some time on Tuesday reviewing for the multiple choice portion of the Unit #1 Objective Exam. Here's what I thought we'd do. I have a list of all the sections we've read, plus some other key topics we covered. You'll be asked to sign up for exactly one or two of those items. On Tuesday, we'll spend a MAXIMUM of two minutes on each of these. You'll get up to five points for your "review" of that section or topic. You decide what to do. You might say, "Here are the top five things..." You might ask the group questions, etc. You can be creative, but be sure that you are being helpful... We'll sign up before you leave today.

We'll spend the last fifteen minutes of class both organizing the review sessions and talking about essay writing with anyone who'd like an additional refresher...


HOMEWORK for next class - Monday, November 19

* Please have the textbook's Chapter 4, Section 4 (China) read for Monday.

* Read Chapter 5 from "The Ethics Workbook I - World History" for Monday. It's on "Ancient China," and the main focus is on the work of Confucius.

* "Your" portion(s) of the unit review will be on Tuesday, and it is worth a maximum of five points. Remember, you only get a maximum of two minutes per section...

* The Unit #1 Essay will be written in class on Monday, November 26th. The objective part of the Unit #1 Exam will be on Tuesday, November 27th.

Lesson #13 - Introduction to Judaism

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We'll start out with having you take Geography Quiz #1. Your computers should be closed, and all maps should be put away for that.

Next, let's see what you found interesting in the Ramayana excerpt in Chapter 6, "Ancient India," from "The Ethics Workbook I - World History."

We'll touch base in terms of both the Minoans and the Phoenicians. You remember them as the "Seafaring Traders" in the text section you read for Tuesday. I want us to derive lists of five particular "things" you should know/remember about each of the two groups.


The Origins of Judaism- Chapter 3, Section 4 probably contains more specific names and ideas than most we have read so far. Below is a list of concepts that I think you should be familiar with after reading it. We'll work through them together to see where you are at...

Palestine / Canaan
Torah
Abraham
covenant
Moses
Exodus
Ten Commandments
Jews - Judaism
Kingdom of Israel
Saul, David, Solomon
Israel / Judah
Babylonian Captivity

Tomorrow, you'll receive additional information about the Unit #1 Exam scheduled for the beginning of the week after Thanksgiving. On the Monday we return, you will write/type an in-class essay. (You be able to choose from a list of possible questions that you receive tomorrow.) On Tuesday, you'll take the objective portion of the test. That means multiple choice and some document-based questions.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Friday, November 16th

* The "First Age of Empires" matrix will be checked as homework on Monday.

* In terms of reading the textbok's chapter 4, I'd like you to have Section 1 (Egypt) read for tomorrow and Section 4 (China) read for Monday. (You'll be using 2 and 3 as well to complete the handout, so we won't be assigning them as separate readings.)

* Read Chapter 5 (yes, that's still a bit out of order) from "The Ethics Workbook I - World History" for Monday. It's on "Ancient China," and the main focus is on the work of Confucius.

Lesson #12 - "First Age of Empires" Work Day

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We'll take a look at the contributions of the "Sea-faring Traders" and do the origins of Judaism tomorrow. That will complete our look at Chapter 3. Your homework is, as usual, at the bottom of the blog entry. I plan to let you know about the possible essay questions for our first in-class essay exam tomorrow. The exam itself will happen right after Thanksgiving break.


Here's what I would spend the period doing if I were you:

* If you didn't read Chapter 3, Section 4 ("Origins of Judaism") yet, please do that before tomorrow.

* If you haven't read Chapter 6, "Ancient India," in "The Ethics Workbook I - World History," do that.

* Prepare and study for tomorrow's Geography quiz.

* You can click here to download a "matrix" for Chapter 4. The chapter deals with "The First Age of Empires." We'll cover China separately, but this guide walks you through the main points from Sections 1, 2, and 3. You may work with one partner if you'd like, but everyone should have their own matrix. We'll be checking this as homework on Friday.

* If you've finished all of this (doubtful...), I'd suggest doing some reading in Chapter 4.

* If you need a temporary diversion, you might check out these three sites.

* New 7 Wonders of the World These were recently announced after a vote open to people around the world.
* Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Yes, it's a Wikipedia entry.)
* National Geographic photo gallery: New 7 Wonders v. Ancient 7 Wonders


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Thursday, November 15th

* Make sure you have read Chapter 3, Section 4 ("Origins of Judaism") before tomorrow's class.

* The "First Age of Empires" handout you received today will be checked as homework on Friday. In terms of reading chapter 4, I'd like you to have Section 1 (Egypt) read for Friday and Section 4 (China) read for Monday. (You'll be using 2 and 3 as well to complete the handout, so we won't be assigning them as separate readings.)

* Read Chapter 6 (yes, that's out of order) from "The Ethics Workbook I - World History" for tomorrow. It's on "Ancient India," and the focus is on an excerpt from the Ramayana. Just read the story, you don't need to record everyone's dharma.

* Remember, Geography Quiz #1 will be tomorrow. You should have the practice maps, and you will have a word bank for the quiz.

Lesson #11 - Introduction to Buddhism

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Off the top, let's turn to Chapter 3, "Ancient Mesopotamia," from "The Ethics Workbook I - World History." We can look at some of the examples from Hammurabi's Code as ethics begins to be expressed in the law.

Today, we'll turn our attention to two faiths which break off from the Hindu tradition. We'll briefly mention one, Jainism; but we'll spend some time with the other, Buddhism.


Why do groups break from Hinduism in the 6th century BCE?

Defining terms: Jainism, Mahavira, ahimsa


The Life of the Buddha:

Defining terms: Siddhartha Gautama, "The Four Passing Sights," ascetic, "Great Awakening," bodhi tree, "Sermon in the Deer Park"


What is Buddhism?

Defining terms: Middle Path, Mahayana, Theravada, Vajrayana (Tibetan)


The Four Noble Truths:

Defining terms: dukkha, tanha
* All life is dukkha.
* The cause of dukkha is tanha.
* Ending tanha will end dukkha.
* The way to ending tanha is through following the Eightfold Path


The Eightfold Path:

* Right Views
* Right Intent
* Right Speech
* Right Conduct
* Right Livelihood
* Right Effort
* Right Mindfulness
* Right Concentration


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, November 14th

* For Wednesday, please read Section 4 in Chapter 3, "The Origins of Judaism," (pp. 77 - 82) from your textbook.

* Please read Chapter 6 (yes, that's out of order) from "The Ethics Workbook I - World History" for Thursday's class. It's on "Ancient India," and the focus is on an excerpt from the Ramayana. Just read the story, you don't need to record everyone's dharma.

* Remember, Geography Quiz #1 will be on Thursday. You should have the practice maps by now, and you will have a word bank for the quiz.

Lesson #10 - Introduction to Hinduism

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We'll start today by considering Section 3.1 (The "Indo-Europeans") and looking at your concept maps. There's no "lecture" on this material, so be sure to ask any questions that you have.

Section 3.2, which you were asked to read for today, deals with development of two of the world's major religious traditions, Hinduism and Buddhism. We'll talk a look at Hinduism today, and Buddhism will be our major topic for tomorrow.


What is Hinduism?

Defining terms: Hindu, Sanatana Dharma, henotheism, Aryans, Dravidians


The Hindu World View:

Defining terms: Brahman, Atman, reincarnation, moksha, samsara, karma, dharma, bhakti


Caste System:

Defining terms: jatis, Vedas, Purusha

* Brahmins- "mouth," intellectual-priestly class
* Kshatriyas- "arms," nobility-warrior class
* Vaishyas- "legs," merchant-administrator class
* Shudras- "feet," servant-laborer class

* Panchamas- "Untouchables"


The Hindu Pantheon:

Defining terms: Trimurti, avatars

The Hindu Trimurti:
* Brahma
* Vishnu
* Shiva


Hindu Sacred Literature:

Defining terms: Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Tuesday, November 13th

If you only read the "Hinduism" part of Section 2, please finish it up by reading the Buddhism portion. Also, please read Chapter 2, Section 3 ("Seafaring Traders") for class tomorrow.

If you haven't already done so, please read Chapter 3 ("Ancient Mesopotamia") in "The Ethics Workbook" for Tuesday's class.

You have Geography Quiz #1 on Thursday.

Lesson #9 - Current Events / "Ethics in World History"

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We'll look at Chapter 3 next week, but we'll finish up the week with a couple of different things.

First, I'd like to turn to "The Ethics Workbook." We'll begin our discussion of Chapter 1, "Ancient Egypt." In addition, we'll discuss Chapter 2, "Hebrews."

Next, we can turn our attention to Current Events #1. Before you turn them in, we'll take some time discussing stories that you found important and/or interesting. We don't have time to do them all , but we can certainly hit on some key issues. (Remember, this assignment is worth 20 points. There will be a deduction for late assignments.)

Third, I've got a list of geographic locations from Unit #1 that I'd like you to know. We will take a quiz on Thursday. I'll make sure you see a copy of the actual map that I will use for the quiz, so there shouldn't be any real surprises.

Finally, you will be asked to read Chapter 3, Section 1, "The Indo-Europeans" for Monday. I'd like you to spend the last ten minutes of class beginning to create a "concept map." You'll turn these in Monday when you arrive as your "homework," and I'll expect a minimum of 15 items stemming from the concept of "Indo-Europeans." I'll start a sample for you.


HOMEWORK for next session - Monday, November 12th

As mentioned above, I'll have you turn in your "concept map" for Section 3.1.

Read Chapter 3, Section 2, "Hinduism and Buddhism Develop" (pp. 66 - 71). No specific assignment, but please jot down any questions you have about either Hinduism or Buddhism. It doesn't need to be about something specifically mentioned in the chapter. (As I mentioned, I've taught a "World Religions" course something like 14 of the past 15 years, so, if I don't have an idea as to what the answer might be, I can probably help you figure out where to look...)

Please read Chapter 3, "Ancient Mesopotamia" (pp. 15 - 20) in "The Ethics Workbook" for Tuesday's class. It will take you back to Hammurabi's law code.

You will have Geography Quiz #1 on Thursday.

Today, we'll wrap up Chapter 2 as we hear the presentations by our India and China groups. Each group's work is worth 15 points, but remember that I can/will penalize individuals who display inappropriate behavior as audience members.

As time permits, we'll talk about the ideas from Chapter 1 on "Ancient Egypt" from The Ethics Workbook I: World History.


Homework for tomorrow - Friday, November 9

I'd like you to continue reading in The Ethics Workbook I: World History. Please be through Chapter 2, "The Hebrews" by Friday. Again, I'm requiring you to read and think about the questions, but you don't need to write out answers. Simply jot down a note or two if there are things you want to remember for our discussion.

Your Current Events #1 assignment is due tomorrow. All the information you need to complete that can be found on Lesson #6, including the template.

We'll start on Chapter 3 as well. Please read Section 1, "The Indo-Europeans" (pp. 61 - 65). No specific assignment with this reading, but please try to get through it before Monday's class.

This is pretty straight-forward. Today, we'll hear the presentations by our Mesopotamia and Egypt groups. Obviously, I have high expectations in terms of audience behavior. Fooling around on your computer and/or not paying attention are simply not options. Each group's work is worth 15 points, but remember that I can/will penalize individuals who display inappropriate behavior as audience members.

Keep in mind that, in addition to learning about specific civilizations, we're learning about "civilization" as a whole. Think about comparisons and contrasts among the four regions. Try to make some generalizations and inferences on your own.

If time permits, we'll talk about the ideas from Chapter 1 on "Ancient Egypt" from The Ethics Workbook I: World History that you were asked to have read for today.


Homework for tomorrow - Thursday, November 8th

First off, of course, the India and China groups need to be sure they are ready to present Thursday.

Everyone should read the one remaining section from Chapter 2 they have yet to read. For most of you, it will be Section 4 on China. If you are in the China group, I guess it will be the India section.

Your Current Events #1 assignment is due on Friday. All the information you need to complete that can be found on Lesson #6, including the template that you can download.

I'd like you to continue reading in The Ethics Workbook I: World History. Please be through Chapter 2, "The Hebrews" by Friday. Again, I'm requiring you to read and think about the questions, but you don't need to write out answers. Simply jot down a note or two if there are things you want to remember for our discussion.

We'll get you most of the time today to work in preparation for tomorrow and Thursday's presentations. Things seemed to go pretty smoothly yesterday. Remember that each group should have a copy of the scoring rubric, and I will be happy to try and answer any questions.


Current Events: I'll take a few minutes today to introduce you to our first assignment related to current events. We'll do these several different ways in terms of what type of events you will choose, but the format is always going to be basically the same. Each event is worth five points, and you will do four on this first assignment. This batch of Current Events is due on Friday, November 9th. Please have them printed out.

Current events can be from an actual newspaper, a magazine, or an on-line news source. You do not turn in the actual articles, just your write ups. For Current Events #1, you should choose one current event fitting each of these four categories:

I. Five Themes of Geography: Choose a current event that you believe illustrates one or more of the 5 themes of geography (pp. xxxii - xxxiii in your text).
II. World History Themes: Choose a current event from outside the US illustrating any of the 8 themes of World History (pp. xxx - xxxi in your text).
III. River Valley Civilization update: Choose an appropriate current event from any of the four regions we are learning about this week.
IV. Editorial (any appropriate editorial, as opposed to a news story). Pick a topic that interests you.

Articles should be relatively recent, and they should be of significant news value. Stay away from sporting event reports, routine "man arrested for..." or accident stories, and others which will not allow you to express a thoughtful opinion. (For example, "It is too bad the kitty got hurt" is probably not a real thoughtful opinion.) Ask ahead of time if you wonder about whether a story is appropriate.

For each article, you will do the following. Obviously, you will need to read the article and think about your reaction. Be sure to follow the sample formatting exactly so that you see what is required.

*You will provide an appropriate citation for your article. (See formatting example.)
*You will summarize the article/ editorial by presenting three major facts/ arguments. Each should be in complete sentence form and in your own words.
*You will react to the story/ editorial by expressing your opinion on the event or issue. The opinion should be expressed in a minimum of three full sentences.

Formatting: I will provide you with a template showing the correct format.

Resources: There are literally hundreds (probably thousands) of places where you can find articles. Any newspaper or magazine would be a place to start. If you would prefer to do your searching on-line, you might try some of these sources: CNN.com, The New York Times, GoogleNews, Foreign Policy, StarTribune. The MPA Library page also has a number of useful reference services and databases. Lexis-Nexis is my personal favorite.

Grading: This assignment is worth 20 points. There are five points possible for each of the four components. For each, they will be credited like this.

1 point: choosing an appropriate story (correct category, editorial v. news, timely, etc.)
1 point: formatting is exact (learning to follow an outline is part of the assignment)
1 point: summary of relevant facts is adequate (each of 3 should be full sentences in your own words)
2 points: opinion is relevant and thoughtful; appropriate length (3 sentences at a minimum)


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, November 7th:

First, you should be doing "your part" in getting ready for your group's presentation.
Wednesday: Mesopotamia and Egypt
Thursday: India and China

You should read the next section in Chapter 2 that you have not already read. For many of you, that would be Section 2, "Pyramids of the Nile" (pp. 35 - 41). For members of the Mesopotamia and Egypt groups, that would be Section 3, "Planned Cities on the Indus" (pp. 44 - 49).

Additionally, I'd like you to read through Chapter 1, "Ancient Egypt" (pp. 6 - 9) from The Ethics Workbook I: World History for tomorrow. You do not need to formally write out answers to these questions, but be prepared to discuss them in class.

Remember, Current Events #1 is due on Friday, November 9th.

Lesson #5 - Early River Valley Civilizations

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Welcome back. Today, I'm planning to give you the majority of the time to work on your "presentations" that are coming up later in the week. Don't panic. You have today and tomorrow to work on this in class for the most part.

On Wedneday, we'll "journey" to the early civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt. (In 2nd hour, I'll take care of Mesopotamia for you.) On Thursday, we'll continue to the east and stop in India and China. By the time we are done, we'll have both learned a good deal about 4 specific regions, but we'll also be in a better position to make generalizations and draw conclusions about what factors help civilizations to grow and prosper.

I have a handout for you that lets you know the specific things for which you will be held responsible. It is up to you and the others who did the same reading how to divide things up. All group members will be expected to contribute, and all should speak during the actual presentation.

There are several features of geography/ world history that we will introduce you to as well today.

First, many of you may be familiar with the "Five Themes of Geography." (pp. xxxii - xxxiii in the text.)
Next, we'll take a look at eight "Themes of World History." (pp. xxx - xxxi in your text.)


Cool Sites of the Day: The Timeline of Art History from The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be a great resource for you, both on this project and throughout the year.

OK, it is not particularly cool, but The Five Themes of Geography page from National Geographic might help you think about those ideas.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Tuesday, November 6th.

You should read the first section in Chapter 2 that you have not already read before class time tomorrow. For most of you, that would be Section 1, "City-States in Mesopotamia." (pp. 29 - 34) If you are in that group in 4th hour, you should read Section 2, "Pyramids of the Nile" (pp. 35 - 41), instead.

Additionally, I'd like you to refer back to the The Ethics Workbook I: World History that we downloaded on the first day. I'd like you to read through Chapter 1, "Ancient Egypt" (pp. 6 - 9) before Wednesday. You do not need to formally write out answers to these questions, but be prepared to discuss them in class. (They are fair game for test questions.) Take a few notes on your thoughts or do whatever you feel will adequately prepare you for the conversation.

Of course, you should be doing "your part" in getting ready for your group's presentation.

Lesson #4 - Civilization in Sumer

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Civilization - The Discussion: We'll make this a graded discussion. All of your names will go on the board. You need to make two (or more) contributions during the discussion to get full credit. (5 points possible.) I'll determine if what you say counts as a "contribution." You'll see a check next to your name after you've made a "contribution." Two is what you want.

Here are the questions to help shape our conversation: (Feel free to add others as well...)

* How would you define "civilization" in the modern world? What about "civilized?"

* Is it possible to be a "civilization" and yet not be civilized?

* Are there groups today that you would consider not "civilized?" Who are they? What are the implications of that label?

* Today, do we use the terms "civilized" and "uncivilized" too loosely or incorrectly?

* What is a person or group if they are not "civilized?"


Last night's assignment: You were supposed to write three good multiple choice questions from the information in Section 3. I'll give you a couple minutes to pair with someone and look at each other's questions. Your task is to evaluate and improve (if needed) the questions. Then, I want you to choose your "best" question and submit it as a comment to this blog entry. We'll walk you through that process...


Civilization in Sumer - We'll chat a bit about what you read and show you some additional things about this early civilization.
Terms to know: Mesopotamia, Fertile Crescent, Tigris, Euphrates, cuneiform, ziggurat, scribe

Mesopotamia - The British Museum: This had a lot of neat things to check out. You can browse items related to Sumer from arguably the greatest museum in the world.

McClung Museum - Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur: This is just what it sounds like. Take a look at what they found in the tombs...

Cuneiform writing: This is an interesting site from the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on cuneiform writing. Of course, I know you are all dying to Write Like a Babylonian...


Early River Valley Civilizations: The Talking Heads had a song from the 1980s called "Take Me to the River." We'll try to do the same next week with Chapter 2. You'll each "specialize" in one of the four sections of the chapter. More details on Monday, but we'll get you each assigned to a section today. We'll do random draw to determine an order for choosing, and we'll limit any section to 5 people in 4th block, and 4 in 2nd block.


HOMEWORK for next session: Monday, November 5th -

READ the Section in Chapter 2 that you signed up for in class today. (I would recommend, but not require, highlighting the section. You'll be working with it in class early next week.)

(In case you are wondering/have extra time, your assignments for Monday through Wednesday will include reading the "other" three sections in Chapter 2. You could get a head start...)

Lesson #3 - Agricultural Revolution to Civilization

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We will definitely talk current events at various times during the class, and you'll even get a periodic assignment related to them. We'll get to that next week, but feel free to raise an issue if you think we should be talking about it...

Any follow-up thoughts on the "Earth's Calendar" activity? (Remind me to make sure we're all clear on a couple terms: BC/AD v. BCE/CE, dating of centuries, etc.)


Cause and effect: I'll wander around and check your homework, which was to identify five cause and effect relationships from the reading. In addition, we'll spend some time talking about the cause-effect relationships you identified. (Obviously, it's a good time to ask any questions about the section you read as well. For sure, we'll spend a bit of time on the map and graphs on page 17.)


The Agricultural Revolution: We'll continue with our look at the "big picture" with the rise of agriculture beginning about 10,000 years ago. There's a new curriculum called "World History For Us All" that's available online from the people at San Diego Statue University. I've borrowed some materials from that to work with today for a bit.

First, you might find their introductory film, "History of the World in Seven Minutes," interesting. We'll gather around a few computers to keep the noise down. Simply go the link above, find the video on the right side and click "play" under "video playback."

Next, we'll examine some handouts with both primary and secondary sources of information from early agricultural societies. Consider these handouts as you do the following in a group of 3 or 4:

* Draw one or more conclusions about early agricultural settlements in terms of:
- political organization
- economic organization
- social organization
- systems of ideas
Be ready to explain WHY your group reached each conclusion that it did.

* Consider what questions you would like to answer but cannot based on this evidence.

* Assume you are a member of a nomadic hunter/gathering group of about 50 people living somewhat near this early agricultural village. You spend some time trading in this village, and you then return home. We'll discuss both the advantages and disadvantages found in shifting to this settled way of life. Be prepared to make a recommendation to your group on whether or not to adapt this lifestyle.

* Consider the following statement: “The invention of farming had such a negative impact on the natural environment that humans should never have done it. They would have been better off remaining hunters and gatherers.” What do YOU think?


Civilization emerges: We'll look at a specific example tomorrow, but we'll begin considering the question of just what makes a human society a "civilization."

Since you did so well with your "mental maps," we'll return to art for a bit today. I'll give you a piece of paper on which you will draw what "civilization" means to you. We'll simply have you draw, not use any words on the drawing itself.

Next, we'll get back out the words and ask you to define "civilization" in your own words.

Third, we'll develop a "concept map" for the term, hopefully giving us a working definition that will get us through the next few lessons. (Scholars typically attribute five characteristics to a group in order for it to be a civilization.)


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Friday, November 2nd -

Read Chapter 1, Section 3 - "Civilization" (pp. 19 - 23)

DO THIS: Each of you need to create THREE good multiple choice questions that you believe "test" important information/ideas/concepts from this section. Each question should have either 4 or 5 possible choices. Be ready to explain WHY you wrote the questions as you did.

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