Information about Tomorrow’s Reading Quiz

(Just a note: if you’re looking for the post on the homework for Hammurabi’s judgments, please scroll down one entry!)

I totally forgot to remind first period, but we’ll be taking our reading quiz for Unit One over the first fourteen chapters of Guns, Germs, and Steel tomorrow.  Additionally, your summer reading journal is going to be due at the start of class, so don’t forget to bring it with you!

In terms of things you need to consider in preparation of the reading quiz:

  • Consider the historical example Diamond uses in the chapter “Collision at Cajamarca”– what sort of advantages did the Spanish have?  What disadvantages did the Incas have?  Why did the conquest occur?
  • Consider the reasons why food production developed in some parts of the world, and why it failed to develop in others.
  • What makes an animal domesticable?  Why and how were animals domesticated?  Why do some places not have domesticated animals?
  • How did plant domestication occur?  Be able to describe the process.
  • Why did Diamond decide to write Guns, Germs, and Steel?  What is his point of view (remember, POV is different from argument!), and how does that point of view influence what he’s writing?

Remember that this is only a STARTING point for the quiz, so it’s a good idea to review your whole summer reading journal for this.  Happy studying!

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Homework: The Judgments of Hammurabi

Tonight, you’re going to work on your first analysis of a primary source document for this class– an excerpt from the judgments of Hammurabi, a Babylonian king from the 18th century BCE.  After carefully reading through the text provided for you in class (Judgments of Hammurabi), please respond to the prompt at the bottom of this entry in the form of a comment on this blog post.  You’ll find the “Leave a Comment” link right under the title of this entry, next to the date.  Your comment should be thoughtful and refer to at least two specific examples in the text.

In order to encourage you to use this blog as a venue for discussion, here’s how grading for this assignment will work: a response which appropriately answers the discussion question will receive a maximum grade of 95%.  To earn that final 5% of the grade, you must respond (thoughtfully!) to one of the comments left by your classmates.

A few reminders about appropriate online interactions: as this is an academic assignment, I expect your responses to reflect all standard grammatical and mechanical practices.  Remember that tone is sometimes difficult to discern in online communication, so be sure that you express yourself clearly.  If you’re uncomfortable using your full name to post a comment, please just post using your first name and last initial– I’ll know who you are.

Comments are moderated on this blog, which means that I have to approve your first comment before you’ll see it appear.  It’s a quick process– I just have to hit something on my phone, honestly– but if you wait to post your comment until late tonight, I might not moderate it until tomorrow morning.

Here’s your discussion prompt:

Consider Hammurabi’s judgments.  Do you think they would have been effective as a law code?  Who were the judgments meant to protect or benefit?  What sort of social distinctions can we see in Hammurabi’s law code?  Did any of the laws or their implications surprise you?  If so, why?

Remember to include at least two specific examples from the text in your response!