January 2008 Archives

Lesson #13 - The Church and the Crusades

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OK, I have two "lies" to confess. (Not really lies, just changes.) #1 - We won't really get to the "Crusades" part of the lesson title until at least tomorrow. #2 - We won't be ready to take the Unit #3 exam until a day later than I originally said. It will now be Unit #3 Review on Monday, February 11th; with the exam on the following two days, the 12th and 13th. More info to follow on the format.


Chivalry Discussion We'll start with maybe 15 minutes or so on the discussion that we didn't get to yesterday.

* Does true chivalry exist today? Why or why not?

* Does it matter if chivalry exists today? Why or why not?

* How well do you and those around you fulfill the values on the Chivalry Today list?

* How does the medieval code of chivalry compare to the Japanese Bushido code?

* Is chivalry inherently sexist? Explain.

* What would make up YOUR modern code of chivalry?


Chivalry (and more) in Medieval Literature: Below are links to on-line versions (or excerpts) of several works of medieval literature. We'll take five minutes and browse one or more, looking for specific examples of chivalry and other important values of the time. Keep track of a couple interesting ideas to share with the class.


Church things you should know that I don't have a clever way to teach you...(aka Section 13.4) So, before we get to the Crusades, we should make sure you are clear on some of the ideas related to the Church and its power in the medieval period.

We'll clarify and take any questions on:


  • sacraments

  • canon law

  • excommunication
    interdict

  • Otto the Great - Holy Roman Empire

  • lay investiture

  • Henry IV v. Pope Gregory VII - 1077
    Concordat of Worms - 1122 - compromise on investiture


Medieval Art and Architecture: You all seem to like PowerPoint (more than I do, at least), so here's a chance to put it to good use. We're going to take a tour of medieval architecture and art, and you're doing the work.

Your task is simple. You and (if you wish) a partner will select a topic from the list below. (I'll listen to suggestions of other possibilities as well.) You'll prepare a visual PowerPoint (or Keynote, if you prefer) presentation on that topic. The ONLY writing that should appear (beyond a title slide) is what you feel is necessary to label something or to credit a source. I don't want written descriptions and that sort of thing. You should have between five and ten slides. (They don't all need to be overall photos. You can show particular features, diagrams or whatever seems appropriate.)

These are worth 10 points. You'll lose points for not following directions. Note that I am NOT expecting long comments from you at all. These should go quickly, like 2 or 3 minutes each.

Gothic Cathedrals
Canterbury Cathedral (England)
Chartres (France)
Cologne Cathedral (Germany)
Notre Dame de Paris (France)
Reims (France)
Westminster Abbey (technically a church, not cathedral) - (England)

Castles
Bojnice (Slovakia)
Chateau de Vincennes (France)
Eilean Donan (Scotland)
Tower of London (England)
Warwick Castle (England)

Art and Museums (focus on Medieval collection)
The Cloisters (branch of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art)
illuminated manuscripts
Louvre (Paris)
National Gallery (London)


COOL (in a being very thorough and scholarly sort of way) SITE OF THE DAY #1: The Crusades - Internet Medieval Sourcebook For those of you looking ahead to the Crusades and those of you who love primary sources...

COOL SITE OF THE DAY #2: The Saint John's Bible - This is a pretty interesting and ambitious project undertaken by Minnesota's own Saint John's University. Browse to see examples of the work.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Friday, February 1st

Please continue reading in Chapter 14 by completing Section 2, "Changes in Medieval Society." (If you skipped it, be sure to read the "Different Perspectives" on page 386.)

Your part of our Medieval Art and Architecture tour should be ready to go for Monday.

Your Current Events #1 are due tomorrow. You can find the categories and the template on Lesson #10. (You may either send them as an email attachment or print them out.)

Lesson #12 - Chivalry and the Church

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Thanks to my absence, we need to do a little catching up today.


Feudalism: Initially, we'll take a quick look at the document-based questions that you worked on Monday in class. (Those of you from 2nd hour who left your copies in the 9th grade hallway immediately after class may be at a slight disadvantage...)

"Feudalism - A Drama in Two Acts"- We'll see what you got planned out on Tuesday in my absence. I'll give you ten minutes to be sure you are set, and then we'll see the two "presentations."

Your "presentation/ discussion" needs to be somewhere between five and ten minutes. It must introduce us to the vocabulary below, as well as anything else you deem important. Talk, act, recreate, dramatize, do whatever it takes without being offensive.

Act One - European Feudalism: lord, fief, vassal, knight, serf, manor, tithe

Act Two - Japanese Feudalism: shogun, emperor, daimyo, samurai, ronin, peasants

After these two fine dramas, we can talk about anything else from yesterday that you found difficult and/or confusing.


Chivalry: We'll save a lot of the church stuff for tomorrow and take a look at the code of chivalry of the Middle Ages. I'd like to start with us brainstorming a bit about what we think "chivalry" means.

Chivalry - A modern perspective: Chivalry Today is a website dedicated to bringing a Code of Chivalry to the 21st Century. If you browse the site, you can find a lot of interesting ideas and resources. We'll make use of a couple of these.

The Seven Knightly Virtues: Essential elements of today's code of chivalry - I'll give you a handout of what the group has identified to be the seven "knightly virtues" of modern chivalry. Pair up with one or two other people, and I'd like you to ponder three things: (1) Which of these values do you find most important today? (2) Which of these values do you find most lacking in today's society? (3) How well do you and those around you fulfill the values on the list?


Discussion I figure we can spend fifteen minutes or so on these questions. First, we'll get your take on the questions above.

* Does true chivalry exist today? Why or why not?

* Does it matter if chivalry exists today? Why or why not?

* How does the medieval code of chivalry compare to the Japanese Bushido code?

* Is chivalry inherently sexist? Explain.

* What would make up YOUR modern code of chivalry?


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Thursday, January 31st

Please start reading in Chapter 14 by completing Section 1, "Church Reform and the Crusades."

Your Current Events #1 are due on Friday. You can find the categories and the template on Lesson #10.

MODIFIED LESSON #11 - Feudalism

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Hello.   It's 3:25 in the morning, and it is pretty clear to me that I won't be in school during the day on Tuesday. Here's the modifed lesson for today. Our look at the Middle Ages in Europe continues today as you examine feudalism, bringing in Japan as well. Thanks for your flexibility, and be good for the substitute...


Here's what you should get for materials:

* Packet from World History in Documents. Notice that there is an introduction, followed by primary sources on Europe and then Japan.

* A copy of EITHER a handout on Japan or a handout on Europe. Half of you should get each one. That will determine whether you focus on European or Japanese feudalism today.

* TWO documents are available below to download for activities you will be doing. They are the "Feudalism Matrix" and the "Comparison and Contrast" sheet.

* Of course, you also have your text and the Internet available. (Page 361 is a good resource in your text.)


FEUDALISM Please pay attention to times, etc. as you do the best you can on these activities. By now, half of you should be doing Japanese feudalism and half should be doing European feudalism. Otherwise, things will fall apart...


TASK ONE: Feudalism - Organizing your thoughts: You'll get twenty-five minutes to fill in as much information on this Feudalism matrix as you can on "your" style of feudalism on your own and/or with members from your group. The World History in Documents reading and your textbook, along with the Internet if you'd like, should provide you with good information.


TASK TWO: Feudalism - Pair and Share: You'll get fifteen minutes to work in groups of 4 - two from Europe and 2 from Japan. Here's a comparison and contrast sheet.


TASK THREE: "Feudalism - A Drama in Two Acts"- I know that many of you are involved in the MPA Winter and/or Spring Shows (as well as outside groups), but the "Ninth Grade World History Theater" needs to take precedence for today. You'll be chosen to present either Japanese or European feudalism to the other half of the class.

You'll have the rest of the class time to prepare. Your "presentation/ discussion" needs to be somewhere between five and ten minutes. It must introduce us to the vocabulary below, as well as anything else you deem important. Talk, act, recreate, dramatize, do whatever it takes without being offensive.

WE'LL WITNESS THESE PRESENTATIONS AT THE START OF CLASS ON WEDNESDAY.

Act One - European Feudalism: lord, fief, vassal, knight, serf, manor, tithe

Act Two - Japanese Feudalism: shogun, emperor, daimyo, samurai, ronin, peasants


"Cool" Site of the Day: I suppose you are sitting there, wondering to yourself, if a knight and a samurai had fought, "Who would win?" I present the answer for those of you interested in such things... The Medieval European Knight vs.The Feudal Japanese Samurai.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, January 30th

Please finish reading in Chapter 13 by completing Section 4, "The Power of the Church."

Your Current Events #1 are due on Friday. You can find the categories and the template on Lesson #10.

Lesson #11 - Feudalism

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Our look at the Middle Ages in Europe continues today as we examine feudalism, bringing in Japan as well. Following today, our focus will shift to issues largely related to religion for several days.

Initially, we'll take a quick look at the document-based questions that you worked on yesterday in class. (Those of you from 2nd hour who left your copies in the 9th grade hallway immediately after class may be at a slight disadvantage...)


FEUDALISM

"Feudalism - A Drama in Two Acts"- I know that many of you are involved in the MPA Winter and/or Spring Shows (as well as outside groups), but the "Ninth Grade World History Theater" needs to take precedence for today. You'll be chosen to present either Japanese or European feudalism to the other half of the class.

You'll have twenty minutes to prepare. Your "presentation/ discussion" needs to be somewhere between five and ten minutes. It must introduce us to the vocabulary below, as well as anything else you deem important. Talk, act, recreate, dramatize, do whatever it takes without being offensive. You'll get some resources from me, as well as what you read in your textbook, find online, etc. (Page 361 is good.)

Act One - European Feudalism: lord, fief, vassal, knight, serf, manor, tithe

Act Two - Japanese Feudalism: shogun, emperor, daimyo, samurai, ronin, peasants


Feudalism - Organizing your thoughts: You'll get fifteen minutes to fill in as much information on this Feudalism matrix as you can on "your" style of feudalism with members from your group.

Feudalism - Pair and Share: You'll again get fifteen minutes to work in groups of 4 - two from Europe and 2 from Japan. Here's a comparison and contrast sheet.


"Cool" Site of the Day: I suppose you are sitting there, wondering to yourself, if a knight and a samurai had fought, "Who would win?" I present the answer for those of you interested in such things... The Medieval European Knight vs.The Feudal Japanese Samurai.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, January 30th

Please finish reading in Chapter 13 by completing Section 4, "The Power of the Church."

Your Current Events #1 are due on Friday. You can find the categories and the template on Lesson #10.

Lesson #10 - The Early Middle Ages

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We'll be spending the better part of the next two weeks on Chapters 13 and 14 on the Middle Ages in Europe. Topics from the Vikings, feudalism, the Crusades, castles, the Church to the Hundred Years War and the Black Plague will be covered. After that, a quick chapter on Africa will wrap up the unit.

Our Unit #3 Exam will take place on Monday, February 11th and Tuesday, February 12th. More information to follow.


"The Middle Ages: Dark Ages, Age of Faith, Age of Feudalism, or a Golden Age?" - This is the title of a document-based introduction to this period. We'll have you do two things with this. (No, you don't have to write an essay this time either.) First, we'll give you some time to work through this activity as an introduction. Second, you'll select one of the four "labels" for the time period. Later in the unit, we'll have a discussion where each "label" will be defended and discussed as a sort of summary.


The Early Middle Ages: Our goal together today will be to cover the events that bring us up to the emergence of feudalism throughout Europe. We'll look at that development tomorrow.

The two dominant events for today: The rise of the Germanic Kingdoms under Charlemagne and the Age of Invasions.

Charlemagne and the Germanic Kingdoms

Europe in 500
* disruption of trade
* downfall of cities
* population shifts
* decline of learning
* loss of common language

Rise of the Franks
Clovis - King adopts Christianity, unites Franks (511)
Church influence grows -
* monasteries - rules by Benedict and Scholastica
* Pope's secular influence grows
Carolingian Dynasty emerges - (751 to 987)
* Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer)
* Pepin the Short named "king by the grace of God" by pope
* leaves power to sons Carloman and Charles (aka Karl and Charlemagne)

Charlemagne (rules 771 - 814)
expands Frankish rule
reunites Western Europe
encouraged learning
800 - crowned "Holy Roman Emperor" by Pope Leo III
Treaty of Verdun - three grandsons divide empire
* helps pave way for feudalism


Age of Invasions (about 800 - 1000 CE)

Vikings attack from the north
Magyars (nomads from Hungary) invaded, took slaves
Muslims strike from the south

Europeans turned to local rulers for support - feudalism


CURRENT EVENTS: Your first batch of current events for the quarter is due on Friday, February 1st. Current Events #1 should consist of four events that match the following categories. You may select either news stories or editorials. You can find the complete instructions for Current Events here. (Note that these are NOT the correct story topics.)

Download a Current Events #1 template here.

I. 2008 Presidential Election - Democrats
II. 2008 Presidential Election - Republicans
III. The United States Economy
IV. Editorial (Your choice of worthy topics.)


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Tuesday, January 29th

Please read 13.3, "The Age of Chivalry," for tomorrow. (If you haven't read the feudalism section yet, be sure to do that before class time Tuesday.)

Your first batch of Current Events for the quarter is due on Friday, February 1st.

Lesson #9 - Early Japan, Southeast Asia and Korea

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We need to start today with the final Mongol disccusion that we did not get to last time... Wrapping Up - The Discussion I'm curious about your thoughts on the following questions, but we'll limit this to 15 minutes.

* Who was of greater historical significance: Chinggis Khan or Alexander the Great?

* If forced to choose one, were the Mongols "fiends from hell" or "culture brokers?" (The first label comes from an English historian and the last from a Persian merchant.)

* Which is more difficult: creating an empire or effectively ruling it?

* Has warfare become more or less humane since the time of the Mongols?

* Can we learn anything about tolerance and diversity from the Mongol experience?

* In what ways have the lessons we've done confirmed, modified and/or disproved your earlier impressions of the Mongols?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Today will be a quick introduction to the civilizations of Japan, Southeast Asia and Korea. We'll stress a few major points, but then we'll give you a chance to get into more detail in our "Show and Tell" portion of the class...

I'll bold terms for which I think you are responsible in this brief "outline."

Japan

Geography

Shinto - early religion - kami

Yamato Emperors

Buddhism accepted by rulers - 700s (mixes with Shinto)
Prince Shotuko (607 CE) - cultural borrowing from China

Heian Period - (794 - 1185)
nobility enjoyed ritual and artistry
Tale of Genji - first novel - Lady Murasaki in 11th century
Fuedalism - power of central government weakens
local lords raise private armies
samurai warriors follow Bushido code
Kamakura Shogunate - Minamoto family claims power as shogun in 1192
shogun - similar to military dictator - hold real power over puppet emperor
* pattern will continue until 1868
Kamakura defeat two naval invasions by Kublai Khan - 1274 and 1281


Southeast Asia

Geography

Influences from India and China

Khmer Empire - peaks about 1200 CE in modern Cambodia
* Angkor Wat - massive temple complex honoring Vishnu

Dai Viet - kingdom forms when Vietnam breaks from China - 939
* heavy influence from China and Buddhism


Korea

Geography

Early influences from China

Silla kingdom defeats rivals to control peninsula - 600s CE
Koryu Dynasty gains control from 935 to 1392
* maintained heavy influences from China and Buddhism
* Mongols invade - demand heavy tribute

Choson Dynasty will take power in 1392 - rule for more than 500 years


>>>>>>>

"Show and Tell" - I miss the old days of doing this when I was in school, so we've got a more "high-tech" version of it for you. I selected five topics from these two sections. For each, I have identified to web sites. (You might also use others.) Basically, your group will have five minutes in which to earn five points.

Your topic will be one of these:


  • Shinto - indigenous religion of Japan

  • The Tale of Genji - the world's first novel

  • The Samurai and the Bushido code

  • Angkor Wat - temple complex in Cambodia

  • Korean Art

Your task: You'll have five minutes to "show and tell." The projector is yours to use. Assume that, rather than taking diligent notes, we'll be watching and listening. Give us a couple major points, but be sure we're getting something to see as well. I'll post the time schedule on the board.

Here are some starting links...

Shinto - Religion & Ethics
Shinto - japan-guide.com

The Tale of Genji - online version with images from UNESCO
The Tale Of Genji - a photographic guide

The Samurai Archives - Japanese History Page
Bushido and the Samurai

Angkor Wat Information Pages
Angkor What? - a tourist guide

Korean Art - Metropolitan Museum
Korean Art - Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston


HOMEWORK for next session: Monday, January 28th

It is still just reading. (We'll get you a batch of Current Events next week.) For Monday, please read Chapter 13, Section 1 ("Charlemagne Unites Germanic Kingdoms") and Section 2 ("Feudalism in Europe").

I'm impressed with how many people I'm seeing with highlighted readings. I think doing something "active" like that in your books will be really helpful. If you're not doing that, you might give it a try...

Lesson #8 - The Impact of the Mongols

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Since most of you love those computers, let's start with two carry-overs from yesterday. First, I'd like you to spend five minutes simply browsing the Mongols site listed below. Next, we'll take some comments and/or questions on anything related to the 2008 Presidential Election site linked below.

SITE FROM YESTERDAY #1: The Mongols in World History - I think I actually put this up during second hour yesterday. This is an outstanding site. It is very focused and specific to what we are studying.

SITE FROM YESTERDAY #2: Election Guide - 2008 Presidential Election by The New York Times. This site has a ton of information related to the candidates, the issues and the electoral process.

>>>>>>>>>

The Mongols - The Basics: You are probably familiar with these from the reading, but here's a list of specifics that you should know regarding the Mongols.

Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khan)
Khanate
Golden Horde
Tatar Yoke
Pax Mongolica
Kublai Khan
Yuan Dynasty
Marco Polo


The Mongols - Assessing the Impact:

Quotes, quotes, quotes: Here are four quotes from the later part of the 13th century. Read through them and decide which of them you believe to be the most and least accurate. Be prepared to explain why.

* Persian historian: "They came, burnt, killed, plundered, and left."

* Persian historian Juvaini: "In the Muslim countries devastated by Chinggis Khan, not one in a thousand of the inhabitants survived."

* Muslim chronicler Ghazi: "Under the reign of Chinggis Khan, all the coutries ... enjoyed such peace that a man might have journeyed form the land of the sunrise to the land of sunset with a golden platter upon his head without suffering the least violence from anyone."

* Adviser to Kublai Khan: "I have heard that one can conquer the empire on horseback, but one cannot govern it on horseback." [This is also recorded as, "The Mongol empire has been won from the saddle, but it could not be ruled from the saddle."]


"Like Father, Like Grandson?" - You'll be given a handout on Kublai Khan's China. As you read that, make note of similiarities and differences between Kublai's rule and that of his grandfather, Genghis Khan.


Case Study: Russia unde the Tatar Yoke - Think about the potential consequences of 250 years of Mongol rule. We'll brainstorm a list of political, economic and social impacts this time had upon Russia.


Mini-Trial - The People v. Chinggis Khan Assume that the International Criminal Court has brought Genghis Khan to trial for crimes against humanity. With the aid of the handout I'll provide you, consider whether you would prosecute or defend him on the following charges.

* Mass murder
* Intentional destruction of property
* Blackmail and/or extortion
* Germ warfare
* Forced relocation

NOTE: It is certainly appropriate to consider both the standards of the time, as well as any mitigating circumstances in deciding whether "guilt" should be placed on Chinggis.


Wrapping Up - The Discussion I'm curious about your thoughts on the following questions:

* Who was of greater historical significance: Chinggis Khan or Alexander the Great?

* If forced to choose one, were the Mongols "fiends from hell" or "culture brokers?" (The first label comes from an English historian and the last from a Persian merchant.)

* Which is more difficult: creating an empire or effectively ruling it?

* Has warfare become more or less humane since the time of the Mongols?

* Can we learn anything about tolerance and diversity from the Mongol experience?

* In what ways have the lessons we've done confirmed, modified and/or disproved your earlier impressions of the Mongols?


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Friday, January 25th

It's simple. Finish reading in Chapter 12. For those of you on schedule, that means reading 12.5, "Kingdoms of Southeast Asia and Korea." If you are behind a bit, read BOTH 12.4 and 12.5.

Lesson #7 - The "Mongol Moment"

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Our topic for the next two days will be the Mongols. We'll look at how they built and governed their empire(s) today, and we'll focus on their impact tomorrow. Given the wide variety of sources and perspectives on the Mongols, this is also a good time for us to do some practice using and interpreting primary and secondary documents.

The Mongols - The Introduction: We'll do one or two brief introductory activities to get things going with the Mongols.

SITE OF THE DAY #1: The Mongols in World History


The Mongols - The Jigsaw: I assume you've worked in groups like this before. Basically, you and two others will become "experts" on one of 6 readings. You'll decide as a group how to answer several questions on a handout. Then, we'll make up "jigsaw" groups featuring one expert on each of the six readings. You'll work through the rest of the questions in your group.

Once we get organized, we'll take 15-20 minutes in the "expert" group, and then we'll form the jigsaw groups.

1.1 - What Were the Mongol People Like in the 12th and 13th Centuries?
1.2 - What Was the Mongol Leader, Chinggis Great Khan, Really Like?
1.3 - How Did Chinggis Turn a Pastoral Nomadic Society Into an Efficient War Machine?
1.4 - What Was it Like to Live in the Mongol Homeland?
1.5 - Mongol Technology: Highly Effective Low Tech
1.6 - Shamans, Heaven, and the Ideology of Conquest

Here's a copy of the "The Mongols - Jigsaw Activity" handout that you will need to complete the questions.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the impact of the Mongols on the history of the world and the areas where their empire spread.


SITE OF THE DAY #2: Election Guide - 2008 Presidential Election by The New York Times. This site has a ton of information related to the candidates, the issues and the electoral process.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Thursday, January 24th

We won't formally get to the material until Friday, but please read 12.4, "Feudal Powers in Japan," for homework tonight. As you might guess, you'll be asked to read 12.5 for Friday's class.

Lesson #6 - The Turks and a Golden Age for China

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Welcome back. I hope everyone enjoyed the longer weekend. We'll briefly touch base on the sections from Chapter 11 on the Turks and Chapter 12 on Tang and Song China today. Next, we'll begin our closer look at the Mongols and their empire.

"Not-So-Current Events": We'll try a variation of the usual assignment here. You and a partner (or you alone if you prefer) will select one important development/ accomplishment/ event from either Section 11.3 or 12.1. (I decide if it is appropriate, and they will be claimed on a first come, first served basis.) We'll give you fifteen minutes to prepare your event. (The book is your obvious starting point, but some of you may also find the Internet to be useful.)

You need to do this:
* Clearly identify what the development/ accomplishment/ event is that you are covering.
* Provide us with three relevant and important pieces of information about your choice
* Explain to us the importance and/or significance of your choice in both its immediate and larger context

By the way, this skill will be very useful as we begin to work on writing "identifications," which are a common history test question type. You and your partner (or you if you choose to work alone) can get five points for doing a good job on this.

Some suggested choices: (Others are possible, but these are some big ones.)

Section 11.3: Turkish Empires Rise in Anatolia
Rise of the Seljuks
Seljuk Dynasty
Seljuks and the Crusades
Seljuks and the Mongols

Section 12.1: Tang and Song China
Wendi and the Sui Dynasty
Tang Taizong begins a dynasty
Accomplishments of the Tang
The Tang lose power
Song Dynasty restores China
Science and technology
Agriculture and trade
Poetry and art
Women and society


Observations from Travelers: Although far from perfect, the writings of travelers to many of the areas we are studying provide an important historical perspective on these regions. You'll get a copy of one of three accounts. You'll be asked to quickly read it, and we can then discuss interesting things you find, as well as consider any potential bias or inaccuracy that you discover.

The three sources are:
* Student Handout 1.1—Excerpt from Ibn Fadlan: Observations on the Vikings and Russians (Tenth Century)
* Student Handout 1.2—The Travels of Ibn Jubayr (twelfth century)
* Student Handout 1.4—Excerpt from Chen Pu, A Record of Musings on the Eastern Capital of the Song Empire [Hanzhou] (thirteenth century)


Site of the Day: The Oracle Company's "ThinkQuest provides innovative learning resources for students of all ages on a wide range of educational topics," including the sponsoprship of a contest where students design web sites for educational purposes. Here's one on "Ancient Chinese Technology that you might find interesting.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, January 23rd

I need you to read BOTH of the sections from Chapter 12 dealing with the Mongols. Please have both 12.2, "The Mongol Conquests," and 12.3, "The Mongol Empire," read for tomorrow.

Lesson #5 - Kievan Rus and the Mongol Invasions

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Thinking about podcasts and some other ideas... We talked a little bit about the value (or lack of value) you felt the podcasts had. I'm curious what you think about some possible applications this type of technology might have. Actually, think of this as a kind of strategic planning session for World History.

For example - What if all 9th graders each did 2 60 second podcasts summarizing key topics from World History? Think about that as a potential review/teaching tool. For example, that system would cover almost 140 topics.

What if groups/individual students were asked to summarize individual sections from the reading? Would podcasts be more effective than a wiki?

While we're talking, remind me to ask you about a couple of other topics related to social studies and/or the course...

>>>>>>>>>>>>

Kievan Rus (aka the early Russian Empire) will be our topic for today. You will want a copy of this Kievan Rus/ Mongols note-taking guide in order to maximize your understanding of this material. (Yes, I borrowed this directly from when I used to use it in Regional Studies with 9th graders... I'll try to be more original in the future.)


HOMEWORK for next session: Tuesday, January 22nd

If you didn't read 11.3 ("Turkish Empires Rise in Anatolia") yet, you should do that over the long weekend. We won't do much with it in class, but it will help in your understanding of the big picture if you take a look at it. We'll touch back on some of this in our study of the Crusades, etc.

For Tuesday, start your reading in Chapter 12. For sure, get through Section 12.1 ("Tang and Song China"). Reading the following two sections on the Mongols would really put you in good shape for early next week.

Lesson #4 - The Byzantine Empire

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Initially, we'll take a quick look at the "World Religions and Ethical Systems" section in the textbook. It's pages 282-296. Obviously, there are a number of interesting facts, ideas and photographs in here.

Our main focus for today will be on the Byzantine Empire. Hopefully, you got a chance to do the reading and get the basics down. We're back to the "other" half of the Roman Empire, the Greek-speaking section to the east of Rome. You probably remember that Constantine shifted the capital to Byzantium (later Constantinople) in 330 CE. The empire survives for another thousand years.


The four main points to watch for today:
* The rule and accomplishments of Justinian
* Constantinople and its significance
* The split within the Church
* The fall of Constantinople


We'll try a couple of different things today. Initially, I have another DBQ that we'll have you work on for a while and then discuss. (Don't worry, we won't do these every day. I just have several good ones that fit in these lessons.) We'll give you 15 minutes or so to work through these documents, and then we'll discuss what you have found.


Justinian and his rule (527-565)
- reconquers Roman lands
- creates the Justinian Code
- builds Constantinople into "The City"
- plague of Justinian hits (542 -> 700 CE)


Constantinople: The text does a good job showing the significance and majesty of the city. Here are some interesting pictures of Constantinople taken by the professor about whom you will read below.


The split within the Church: in 1054, a long developing conflict resulted in the "Great Schism." Here, Christianity was officially split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Let's figure out both the underlying and immediate causes of this split. Make sure you understand these terms: patriarch, icon, excommunication.


The fall of Constantinople: Your text makes it clear that the Byzantine Empire faced centuries of attack and warfare from groups ranging from the Persians to the Russians to the Turks. As the empire shrank, it centered around Constantinople. Finally, in 1453, the Ottoman Turks took the city. The Byzantine Empire gave way to that of the Ottomans.


12 Byzantine Rulers: The History of The Byzantine Empire by Lars Brownworth
The website above has created a bit of an Internet sensation. As this New York Times article explains, the work of an obscure history professor about a relatively obscure topic in history has become of the most frequently listened to podcasts of any type.

Here's what I'd like you to do. I'd like you to browse the list and select one of the podcasts that sounds interesting. (I mean one of the main ones, not the little extras.) I'm asking you (or you and a partner) to take your computer to a space where you can simply listen to him. Take the information we've learned and see what else he can teach you about the Byzantine Empire. (We'll check back in and people can give us their "reviews.") Since these vary in length, you may not get all the way through a selection.

I'd recommend selecting one of these:
7 - Justinian - Part 1
8 - Justinian - Part 2
9 - Justinian - Part 3
10 - Heraclius
11 - Irene
12 - Basil I
13 - Basil II
14 - Alexius
15 - Isaac
16 - Constantine XI

As the instructions say: "Mac users should hold down the control key when clicking to get the "Save as..." option."


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Friday, January 18th

Please make sure that you read 11.2 ("The Russian Empire") for tomorrow. If you can, please also read 11.3 ("Turkish Empires Rise in Anatolia"). You can wait and read 11.3 over the weekend, but you'll also be getting an additional reading assignment.

Lesson #3 - Islam's Impact on the World

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We'll take 15 minutes to let you get organized, but then we'll get started with the two groups. First, the group responsible for Section 2, "Islam Expands," and DBQ #6, "Spread of Islamic Civilization," will be addressing this question: How did Islamic civilization spread so widely and so quickly?

Second, the group responsible for Section 3, "Muslim Culture," and DBQ #7, "Islamic Culture: Its Contributions to World Culture," will be addressing this question: What were the most important Islamic contributions to world culture and knowledge?


As a reminder, each group will be expected to do the following:

* Introduce us to the most important points and information from the section in the textbook. (You might think in terms of five central points or something like that.)

* Discuss the specific documents you were assigned and explain how they link to the "big question" and what they can teach us.

* Develop a position on the "big question" that you can communicate effectively to us. (You might think of this as "talking an essay" to us that addresses your particular issue.

Each group can receive up to 10 points.


How did Islamic civilization spread so widely and so quickly?
* Section 2 - "Islam Expands"
* DBQ #6 - "Spread of Islamic Civilization"

Defining terms: caliph, jihad, "rightly guided," Umayyads, Shi'a, Sunni, Sufi, Abbasids

Key events:
632: death of Muhammad
632-634: Abu-Bakr rules as caliph
Umar, Uthman and Ali rules as caliphs
661: Ali is assassinated
Umayyads rule - shift to Damascus
732 - Muslims defeated at Battle of Tours (200 miles from Paris)
750 - Abbasids take control of empire - shift to Baghdad


What were the most important Islamic contributions to world culture and knowledge?
* Section 3 - "Muslim Culture"
* DBQ #7 - "Islamic Culture: Its Contributions to World Culture"

Defining terms: House of Wisdom


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Thursday, January 17th

We'll begin Chapter 11 tomorrow, so please read 11.1, "The Byzantine Empire," for tomorrow. (I'll be asking you to read the two remaining sections for Friday, so you could get a start on that.)

Lesson #2 - The Spread of Islam

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We'll continue a bit with the "introduction" today, but most of our time will be spent preparing for tomorrow's lesson. Basically, half of the class will work on one topic, and the rest on another. More below on that. By the way, according to the trusty Internet, we have just begun the year 1429 AH on the Islamic calendar.

Here's a quote to get us started...

"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level. It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. . . . It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history."

from Michael H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p. 33.

Here's the complete and updated list of "The 100" from Hart's most recent edition of the book.

Just because it's interesting, here's a different list from a recent book. The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived: How Characters of Fiction, Myth, Legends, Television, and Movies Have Shaped Our Society, Changed Our Behavior, and Set the Course of History

Remind me to also show you an interesting omission (or maybe you don't think it is one) in our textbook's coverage of Muhammad's return to Mecca. It's particularly appropriate given what we discussed in 4th hour.

We'll also do a quick review of the Five Pillars of Islam.

The Five Pillars of Islam:


  • shahadah

  • salat

  • zakat

  • sawm

  • hajj

>>>>>

The Impact of Islam: There are two major topics we need to cover next - the spread of Islam and its significance in world history. Chapter 10 nicely divides those two topics between Section 2, "Islam Expands," and Section 3, "Muslim Culture." I also have a pair of DBQ (document based question) activities that are roughly divided the same way.


Here's how we are going to do this. First, we'll divide into 2 groups of 10.

* One group will be responsible for Section 2, "Islam Expands," and DBQ #6, "Spread of Islamic Civilization." The main question you will be addressing: How did Islamic civilization spread so widely and so quickly?

* The other will be responsible for Section 3, "Muslim Culture," and DBQ #7, "Islamic Culture: Its Contributions to World Culture." The main question you will be addressing: What were the most important Islamic contributions to world culture and knowledge?


You'll have the rest of today to work on this. Tomorrow, we'll also give you fifteen minutes as a group at the beginning of the hour. Following that, we'll spend approximately 30 minutes on the material related to each of the two questions.


Your group will be expected to do the following in their consideration of the "big question" and its related issues.

* Introduce us to the most important points and information from the section in the textbook. (You might think in terms of five central points or something like that.)

* Discuss the specific documents you were assigned and explain how they link to the "big question" and what they can teach us.

* Develop a position on the "big question" that you can communicate effectively to us. (You might think of this as "talking an essay" to us that addresses your particular issue.

* Obviously, groups should use their time effectively, and I'd expect that everyone will make a contribution to the discussion on Wednesday.

Each group can receive up to 10 points for their section of class tomorrow. (Don't make this more than it is. We don't need PowerPoints and handouts. You can certainly get us what we need through use of the information in your text and the documents. If you want to do a little Internet research to round out your knowledge, that's fine, but what I have provided you should be the base.)


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, January 16th

Obviously, you should be ready to help contribute to your group's effort tomorrow. In addition, I'd like people to finish reading Chapter 10 for class. Yes, that means doing BOTH Section 10.2 and Section 10.3. (At an absolute minimum, of course, you should have the section you are working on read before class.)

Lesson #1 - Introduction to Islam

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Welcome back. I'm looking forward to taking a crack at the "second half" of World History 9 with you guys. This is a short quarter, and we've got quite a bit to cover, so we'll start right in today.

A couple housekeeping type issues:

* Initially, I want to revisit the computer policy/ computer usage issue for a bit. Please remember that my request is simply that you refrain from ANY game playing, instant messaging, non-related web browsing, etc. while you are in my classroom.

* Second, I need your input on the best way to handle these CD-ROM versions of the text that we have access to this quarter.

* Third, I wanted to give you a general overview of where we are going this quarter. We'll be completing Unit 3 and Unit 4, but we can take a look at just what that means.


The Rise of Islam: Let's take a few minutes to discuss "first impressions" here...

* What are the ideas, descriptions, or images that immediately come to mind when the terms "Muslim" or "Islam" are used?

* If you are asked to name Muslims (either contemporary or historical), who comes to mind?

* Are the majority of stereotypes regarding Islam positive or negative? Why do you believe that is the case?

* Is the Western media fair in its coverage of Islam? Explain your position.

Defining terms: Muhammad, (pbuh), Muhammadanism (sic), Islam, Muslim, Allah


Today, I'll take you up through the establishment of Islam in Mecca under the leadership of Muhammad in the 7th Century of the Common Era. At least some of this material is no doubt new to you, so I'd like you to take notes. In fact, you'll be asked to show me your notes at the end of the hour. You'll receive up to five points based on effort, etc. You should use either your computer or note paper as you are comfortable.

Defining terms: Bedouin, jinn, Mecca, Ka'aba, Khadijah, Hijrah, Yathrib (Medina), Qur'an (Koran), Five Pillars


Website of the Day: Islam: Empire of Faith- This is a web site produced by PBS to accompany a video in their "Empires" series. It's really good.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Tuesday, January 15th

We need to get started on the reading in Chapter 10. For tomorrow, make sure that you have read "The Rise of Islam." It's Section 1, pages 263-268. (If you have time, you should continue reading, as you'll be asked to read BOTH sections 10.2 and 10.3 before Wednesday's class.)

Lesson #40 - Unit #2 Objective Exam

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There's again not a whole lot to say here. You'll take the Unit #2 Objective Exam.

Thank you for your patience and feedback as we moved through the second attempt at this new World History 9 curriculum together. I may be bugging you for more feedback in study halls or elsewhere for ideas on how I can improve things.


HOMEWORK for next session: Quarter 4

Just kidding. You can take the next ten weeks off...

Lesson #39 - Unit #2 Essay Exam

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Today's plan is simple. You'll write your essay. Remember that you are allowed up to 150 words of notes. Those must be printed out, and you must turn them in along with your essay.

If you are typing, I'd like YOU to print out your essay. I'd appreciate it if you went to the "Copies & Pages" option, selected "Layout," and then chose "2" under "Pages per Sheet."


HOMEWORK for Friday, January 11th

Tomorrow is the Unit #2 Objective Exam. That's it. Quarter over after that. Sniff. Sniff. Bring Klennex, because I'll probably be tearing up all day...

Lesson #38 - Unit #2 Review

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We'll tackle the "Two-Minute Drill" to aid you in preparing for the Unit #2 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 2: New Directions in Government and Society (2000 BC - AD 800)

Chapter 5 Classical Greece (2000 BC - 300 BC)
1 Cultures of the Mountains and the Sea
2 Warring City-States
3 Democracy and Greece's Golden Age
4 Alexander's Empire
5 The Spread of Hellenistic Culture

Chapter 6 Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (500 BC - AD 500)
1 The Roman Republic
2 The Roman Empire
3 The Rise of Christianity
4 The Fall of the Roman Empire
5 Rome & the Roots of Western Civ.

Chapter 7 India and China Establish Empires (400 BC - AD 550)
1 India's First Empires
2 Trade Spreads Religions and Culture
3 Han Emperors in China

Chapter 8 African Civilizations (1500 BC - AD 700)
1 Diverse Societies in Africa
2 Migration
3 The Kingdom of Aksum

Chapter 9 The Americas: A Separate World (40,000 BC - AD 700)
1 The Earliest Americans
2 Early Mesoamerican Civilizations
3 Early Civilizations of the Andes


THE ETHICS WORKBOOK I: WORLD HISTORY
Chapter 4 Ancient Greece
Chapter 7 Ancient Rome
Chapter 8 Christianity and Islam (First half only)


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 tomorrow: Thursday, January 10th

We've got the Unit #1 Exam coming up tomorrow and Friday. 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 tomorrow to help with the essay.

THURSDAY: Essay
FRIDAY: Objective

Lesson #37 - Early Life in the Americas

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I suppose that today's blog entry will be the last to have "new" material for this quarter. Thanks for putting up with me this second time through.

Unit #2 Essay Questions: We'll spend up to five minutes on each of the three essay choices. I can answer questions, jot down ideas on the board, etc. Just let me know what will help you.

A. Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, " ... to the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome." I want to know which society you believe has made a greater impact upon modern America. Identify and explain three main reasons in support of your choice between Greece or Rome. (Saying that both have had an equal influence is NOT an option.) Which of the two do you believe we COULD learn the most from to help America today? Why?

B. Greco-Roman culture (also know as Classical Greece and Rome) has profoundly influenced American government and politics. Identify and explain the significance of the three most important aspects of our government borrowed from one or both of those cultures. (In each case, you should describe both its historical roots and its impact today.) What characteristics or features of either culture SHOULD we add to our system of government? Why?

C. There are strong similarities, as well as many differences, among the empires that we studied in Unit #2. Choose three of these empires and explain how well you believe each followed the Conrad-Demarest "Model of Empires." How useful do you believe it is to have a model such as this when studying World History? Explain.


The Americas: A Separate World - Chapter 9

We'll spend some time looking at the earliest civilizations of the Americas. I asked you to have a significant portion of your chart/matrix ready to go for today. Let's use that. (You can download another here if you need: Early American Civilizations

Here are the cultures where we will focus our attention:

  • Olmec
  • Zapotec
  • Teotihuacan
  • Chavin
  • Moche
  • Nazca

We'll see what themes and comparisons/contrasts we can draw here. First, let's look at the Mesoamerican civilizations, followed by those of the Andean mountains. Feel free to add detail to your own matrix as you see fit. I'll expect to hear from everyone at least once.

Once we've developed a better understanding of the American civilizations, it's time to compare them to the other areas that we have studied. "Afroeurasia" is a term used to refer to the land mass consisting of Africa, Europe and Asia. Basically, I want us to compare what we know about the Americas with what we know about the rest of the world. Of course, for those of you who like to keep things organized, here's a note guide for the Comparison of Empires and City-States: America and Afroeurasia.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, January 9th

Your portion of the "Two-Minute Drill" needs to be ready to go Wednesday.

The essay portion of the Unit #2 Exam will be in class on Thursday.
The objective portion of the Unit #2 Exam will be in class on Friday.

Lesson #36 - The Earliest American Civilizations

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As you probably noticed, this is the last week of the quarter. We'll take our Unit #2 Exam on Thursday and Friday of this week. No homework for the weekend! (See, that's a joke, because the quarter will be over...)

You'll take the essay portion of the exam on Thursday, and we'll finish up with the objective portion on Friday. You'll find the essay choices below. I do have your essays to get back to you, and we'll spend a little time talking about them in general today.


Two-Minute Reviews - We will again spend some time on Wednesday reviewing for the multiple choice portion of Friday's Unit #2 Objective Exam. 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 of those items. On Wednesday, we'll spend a MAXIMUM of two minutes on each of these. 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.


Unit #2 Essay Exam - Questions and Format - On Thursday, you'll write your second 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 #2 Exam.

Format: The actual essay will be written, by hand or word-processed, in class Thursday. 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 #2 Essay Questions: You may choose ONE of the following questions to answer in class on Thursday. Enjoy. This is the last time that you will be getting to choose this year...

A. Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, " ... to the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome." I want to know which society you believe has made a greater impact upon modern America. Identify and explain three main reasons in support of your choice between Greece or Rome. (Saying that both have had an equal influence is NOT an option.) Which of the two do you believe we COULD learn the most from to help America today? Why?

B. Greco-Roman culture (also know as Classcial Greece and Rome) has profoundly influenced American government and politics. Identify and explain the significance of the three most important aspects of our government borrowed from one or both of those cultures. (In each case, you should describe both its historical roots and its impact today.) What characteristics or features of either culture SHOULD we add to our system of government? Why?

C. There are strong similarities, as well as many differences, among the empires that we studied in Unit #2. Choose three of these empires and explain how well you believe each followed the Conrad-Demarest "Model of Empires." How useful do you believe it is to have a model such as this when studying World History? Explain.


The Americas: A Separate World - Chapter 9
I'm guessing that much of the material in Section 1 is information with which you are familiar. We won't spend much time there, but we can take any questions. Instead, we'll spend some time looking at the earliest civilizations of the Americas. You will work to gather some information today, and we'll make comparisons with other areas that we have studied tomorrow.

Here are the cultures where we will focus our attention:

  • Olmec (Mesoamerica - largely in book)
  • Zapotec (Mesoamerica - largely in book)
  • Teotihuacan (Mesoamerica - not in book)
  • Chavin (Andean - somewhat in book)
  • Moche (Andean - briefly in book)
  • Nazca (Andean - briefly in book)

You are free to use both your textbook and the Internet to find information to complete this Early American Civilizations matrix. You'll also get a blank map of the region on which you can mark important locations, such as where each group lived. You're welcome to work in groups of up to three people on this task. I'll expect that your matrix and map are ready to share at Tuesday's class.


HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Tuesday, January 8th

Please finish your reading (for the quarter) by completing any of Chapter 9 that you have not previously read. You should be through all three sections by class time tomorrow.

Both your map and handout on the Empires and City-States of the Americas (800 BCE - 500 CE) should be ready to go for class tomorrow.

Your portion of the "Two-Minute Drill" needs to be ready to go by Wednesday.

The essay portion of the Unit #2 Exam will be in class on Thursday.
The objective portion of the Unit #2 Exam will be in class on Friday.

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