Homework Clean-Up: Black Death Crash Course

I know that in second and third period we were pressed for time today, so if you could take about ten minutes and watch the following Crash Course on the role of disease in history– and the effect of the Black Death on Western Europe in particular, I’d appreciate it.

Thanks, and remember: we’ll have a study session after school tomorrow from 3:40 to 4:40 PM in room 312.  If you haven’t started studying for your Unit Three test yet, let me gently suggest that you start.  Tonight.  Right now.  Don’t wait– you’ve got a LOT of material on this test, and you had a week off in the middle of the material, so things are probably at least a little bit fuzzy.

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Homework: Outline 2008 Olympic DQB

Happy Fall Break, guys!  Enjoy your well-deserved time off– catch up on some sleep, binge-watch some television, and go enjoy the heck out of this lovely weather.

But!

Remember that you do have some homework to take care of over the break, as well.  On Friday, you’ll remember that we discussed how to write the Document-Based Question essay in class.  So this week you’re going to set aside some time from your marathoning of Friends or whatever you’re in the middle of on Netflix, and you’re going to use the DBQ Essay Handout I gave you on Friday to outline the 2008 AP World History DBQ.

If you need to review the process for writing a DBQ, please see the Document-Based Question page on this website (it’s under the Writing Materials drop-down menu at the top of this page).

I look forward to seeing you on the 28th!

Film Review: Extra Essay Assignment!

Are your essay grades less than desirable?  Do you need to do some grade repair?

Then you need to complete the Real to Reel: AP World History on Film assignment by Friday, October 2nd!

As we discussed in class, remember that this assignment is NOT a simple bonus assignment– your work needs to be thoughtful, reasoned, and polished, and address all of the requirements described in the assignment sheet above.  Poor quality work will be graded as such.  This is, however, an optional assignment– you are not required to complete this review, and if you choose not to submit one, you will simply be given an exemption.

In order to help you make your selections for this assignment, I humbly present the original trailers to all most of the films listed (The Lion in Winter‘s trailer is super weird and not all that helpful):

Throne of Blood, dir. Akira Kurosawa (1957)

Spartacus, dir. Stanley Kubric (1960)

Hero, dir. Yimou Zhang (2002)

Henry V, dir. Kenneth Branagh (1989)

The Lion in Winter, dir. Anthony Harvey (1968)— remember, this one is rated PG, but the content is definitely edgy.  Best to clear this one with your parents first.

Some of these you may be able to find online or through instant streaming services, and some you may not.  You may even find it useful to check at your local community library for a few of these– they’re well-regarded films, many of which have won Oscars, so it’s not unlikely that you’d be able to check a DVD out from a library if you can’t find the movie streaming on Netflix.

Happy viewing!

Homework: The Question of Mongol Awesomeness

Don’t forget, you have an in-class essay tomorrow.  You will NOT be allowed to use any notes or textbooks on this essay.  However, it would not be a bad idea to re-read the Southernization article and really think about the role of the Mongols during your homework tonight.

Deep breath, guys.  It’s just an essay.  You’re bigger than it is.  You can totally take it.


Quick announcement regarding applications for GHP in Social Studies– I need everyone’s completed application by TOMORROW at the end of the day.  

Also, tomorrow’s picture day.  Brush your hair, smile pretty, and get yourself in the yearbook.


Now!  Regarding your homework for tonight.

Today in class you should have read and analyzed documents regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and religious history of the Mongols from a variety of sources.  If you would like to read those documents again or download a copy for your personal reference, you can find them here: Mongol Documents.  You also watched the Crash Course video on the Mongols as well (which I will embed below, thusly:)

Using these resources, please post a thoughtful, reasoned comment to this entry addressing the following prompt:

All things being equal, were the Mongols a beneficial or harmful force for Eurasia during the post-Classical period?  Why do you think so?  Consider the role the Mongols played in trade, cultural diffusion, warfare, and disease in your responses.

Be sure to use SPECIFIC EVIDENCE from the documents, your textbooks, and the video to support your argument.

Normal commenting rules apply– one thoughtful comment will earn you a maximum of 95%, while one comment PLUS a thoughtful response to another student’s comment will earn you a maximum of 100%.

Happy Mongol-ing!

Announcements and Essay Practice

Breaking news for first period!  Mr. Revard has just announced that, as the largest provider of cans/non-perishables in the main building, we WILL be getting a Chic-fil-A breakfast on Friday morning!  Excellent work, guys.


Shanah Tovah to those of you celebrating, and to everyone else, happy Monday!  You’ve got four more school days to make it through before Fall Break.  Hang in there, guys– you can do this.

You don’t have any formal homework this evening, but don’t forget that your Unit Three reading should be complete by Friday (when you have a reading quiz), and your Unit Three vocabulary assignment is due at the same time.  (If you’ve lost your original handout, please check the Unit Three Materials page and download another copy.)  So while you don’t need to do any extra work this evening, you DO need to make sure that you’re keeping up with your reading and vocabulary.


Just a few school announcements:

  • If you’ve expressed interest in applying for the Governor’s Honors Program in Social Studies, you will need to turn your COMPLETED application in to me (Ms. Galloway) by 3:40 on Wednesday afternoon (9/16).  We will be contacting students regarding their interview times over the next few days.  We can only nominate five students as a department, so make sure your application is stellar.
  • Don’t forget: Picture Day is during first period on Wednesday (9/16).  Yes, that’s the same day as your in-class essay.  It’ll be fine.  You’re still going to write.  You’ll just look fancy doing it.

Additionally, I know some of you were interested in doing some additional practice work on comparative essays in advance of your in-class essay on Wednesday.  To that end, here are a couple of additional essay prompts you could use to work on your own dehydrated essays if you feel like yours wasn’t particularly strong today:

Analyze the similarities and differences in the political and economic systems of TWO of the following Chinese dynasties in the Post-Classical period:

  • Tang Dynasty
  • Song Dynasty
  • Yuan Dynasty

Or

Compare and contrast the role of syncretism and cultural borrowing in the practice of TWO of the following belief systems in Asia during the Post-Classical period:

  • Buddhism
  • Islam
  • Confucianism

Remember to make sure that your direct comparisons are clear, and don’t forget to explain WHY and HOW things happen.

Post-Classical China and Dehydrated Essays

Classwork for Friday, September 11th:

Using your textbook, the Southernization article from yesterday, and the PowerPoint on Post-Classical China, please complete the charts you received in class today on the Sui, Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties.  (If you have lost the charts, you may download a new copy here: Post-Classical China Charts.)

If you do not finish your work on Post-Classical China today during class, you will need to complete it for homework this weekend, in addition to the assignment below.


Homework for Friday, September 11th:

This weekend, you are to complete the following assignment as practice for your upcoming in-class comparative essay on Wednesday, September 16th.  You should have received your first comparative essay back in class today– please use  it as a guide to help you determine what areas you need to work on for this assignment.

On a six by four inch index card (like the one you got today in class), you will write a “dehydrated essay.”  That is, you will respond to the comparative essay prompt below in an abbreviated form.

On the front of your index card, please write your thesis statement.  Put your name in the bottom right hand corner of the card.  It should look like this:

wpid-20150910_152938.jpg

On the back of the index card, you will will create a 3 by 3 grid.  Here’s how it should look:

wpid-20150910_152951.jpg

The first row of the grid will be where you will identify the direct comparisons of similarities and differences which you would address in a full essay.  You need to write your direct comparison as a complete sentence.

The second row of the grid is where you should write three specific pieces of evidence you could use to support each direct comparison.  Bullet points are fine for this part.

The third row of the grid is where you will write an analysis (a statement explaining WHY or HOW a direct comparison exists) of the direct comparison in each column.  This should be a complete sentence.

Your essay prompt is as follows:

Compare and contrast the religious and cultural transformations of the post-Classical age in TWO of the following regions:

  • East Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • South Asia

You may use your textbook, notes, and all other (academic) sources in order to complete your dehydrated essay.  We will be using these cards on Monday for an activity in class, so PLEASE make sure you have yours completed, or else things will be slightly awkward.

Homework: Land of the Zanj

Tonight, you need to complete your reading of the primary source document, “Land of the Zanj,” which you received today in class.  Be sure to read it carefully, and pay attention to the background information and footnotes provided for further clarification.  You will need to complete questions 1, 2, and 4 out of those listed on your packet– question 3 will direct you to compare the text with another document which you haven’t read, so clearly you won’t be able to do that.

Remember, we’ll be doing a simulation tomorrow in class, so no notes!  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Primary Source Analysis: Ibn Battuta in Mali

Enjoy your three day weekend, guys!  You do have some homework this weekend, but hopefully it’s nothing too onerous.  Please thoroughly read and annotate Ibn Battuta’s account of his travels in Mali– if you’ve lost your copy, you’ll find a digital version on the Unit Three materials page.

Ignore the questions at the bottom of page 64– instead, I want you to focus on the discussion points below.  One point of caution, however: as you respond to these point, you are to avoid using the words ‘bias‘ or ‘biased.’  Those words don’t exist in AP World History.  Find another, more precise way of explaining what you mean.

1. What does Ibn Battuta find admirable about the people of Mali?

2. Many of Ibn Battuta’s concerns regarding Mali involve the freedoms and behaviors of women.  What do Ibn Battuta’s responses suggest about his cultural and social background?  Is Battuta’s reaction surprising, given his personal background?

3. Is Ibn Battuta’s account useful as a source when studying Mali?  What are the problems inherent in using texts written by people who are from outside of the culture about which they are writing?  What are the problems in relying ONLY on sources drawn from within a culture?

We’ll be working heavily on analyzing primary sources over the next several weeks, so you can expect us to spend a good chunk  of time working on reading texts for content, evidence, and perspective.

You do NOT need to post your responses as a comment to this blog; you can just write out your responses and bring them to class on Tuesday.

Don’t forget to keep up with your reading over the weekend!

The Spread of Islam: Online Discussion Questions (Also Unit Three Due Dates)

All right, lovely people!  Here we go, off into the medieval period.  You should have received a copy of the unit three reading guide and vocabulary assignment today in class– if you’ve misplaced yours, please make sure to download a copy from the Unit Three materials page.

Significant due dates for this unit are as follow:

  • African Trade Systems Simulation (Wednesday, September 9th)
  • In-Class Comparative Essay (Wednesday, September 16th)
  • Unit Three Reading Quiz (Friday, September 18th)
  • Unit Three Vocabulary Assignment (Friday, September 18th)
  • Unit Three Test (Thursday, October 1st)

This unit is going to feel a little fragmented, since we’ve got Labor Day coming up this Monday and Fall Break (Sept. 21 – 25) during this unit as well.  The best advice I can give you is to stay on top of your reading and to make sure that you review your notes during your break so that it’s not a total shock when you get back to class.

One more piece of business– remember, those of you interested in applying for the Governor’s Honors Program this summer, there’s an informational meeting in the ID lab in the Freshman Academy at 7:45 AM and 3:30 PM tomorrow, September 3rd.  If you can’t make it to the meeting, please check in with Ms. Biddy in room 2106.

As to tonight’s homework– you should have received a copy of The Spread of Islam in class today.  Please read the article carefully, and then respond in comments to the following discussion points.  Remember, the usual commenting policy applies– one good comment which addresses the prompts fully can receive a maximum grade of 95%, while one good comment PLUS a response to a classmate’s comment is eligible for a full 100% of credit on the assignment.  Please provide specific examples from the text when possible to support your position.

You may additionally find the following video a helpful visual:

Your discussion prompts are as follow:

Based on your readings and our discussions in class today, what factors led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries?  What made Islam attractive to people in sub-Saharan Africa? In India?  Central Asia? Southeast Asia?

How did Islam change as it moved into new regions?  Do you think these transformations– and those which took place during the diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity– are beneficial to religions, or harmful?  Justify your answer with evidence from your readings.

Additionally– and I know that I don’t need to remind you wonderful people– as we are discussing religion, please remember to keep your conversation academic and respectful, and remember that I am moderating all comments.  And comments I find inappropriate will be prevented from posting.

Have a good evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow!