On to Unit Three!

All right, my lovelies– that’s two units down, and four to go!  Enjoy your weekend; we’re supposed to have some fabulous weather, so go on some hikes, catch a movie with friends, read a book for fun, sleep in a little, and get caught up in your other classes.  If you have time, you might go ahead and download the Unit Three Reading Guide on the Unit Three resource page to check out your vocabulary and reading assignment for this unit, but I’ll also hand out a hard copy of everything on Monday.

Couple of things before you disappear off into the ether for the weekend:

  1. Have you registered for your AP exams yet?  No?  Well, the deadline is coming up on February 4th, so you’d better get a move-on.  Remember, we do all registration online at the North Cobb TotalRegistration portal, so click on that link and sign up!
  2. You’ll have an opportunity for an additional assignment in your Essay/Project category coming up this unit.  It’ll be a film review.  Don’t get so excited; you don’t get to pick any film you like.  I’ll pick five, you choose one.  And they’re going to be weird, so prepare yourself.

And thank you for being so understanding this week, guys– I was feeling pretty rough during most of it, and it’s good to know that you’ll play along even when things aren’t going 100% smoothly.

Unit Two Test Tomorrow!

First things first: there is a county-wide AP World History twitter chat scheduled for tonight starting at 8:00 PM; if you have questions about studying for the AP exam, content relating to this (or any other) unit, the essays, or anything else AP World History-related, please feel free to check out the hashtag #APWORLDCobb starting tonight at 8:00 PM EST.  The primary account is @CobbAPWorldHistory, if you would like to ask a direct question.  I’ll be there along with a number of other AP World teachers from the county to answer any questions you have– you’ll see me on the chat as @GallowayAPWorld.

(A note regarding my social media policy: I do not follow students currently enrolled in high school on any platform.  The above twitter account is for the purpose of these academic chats only, and I will not be using it for anything outside of those concerns.  You’re free to follow that account, but I will not follow you back.  Turn eighteen, graduate, and then we can revisit the issue.)

As to your preparation for tomorrow’s test– remember that cramming does more harm than good, and make sure to go to bed at a decent hour.  If you couldn’t make the study session today after school, remember to check out the Unit Two resources page for the review podcast.  You’ll also find the relevant Crash Course videos and some primary source documents that you might possible see on the test.  We’ll be doing some clean up of Mesoamerica on Monday, so you can expect the test to go easy on the Americas this time around, although I will likely have a question or two in there just to make sure you did the reading.

See you tomorrow!


Additional Resources: Roman Republic

Sorry to be publishing this so late in the day, guys– I went to sleep as soon as I got home after leaving school today and only just woke up.  Hopefully the extra sleep will have me feeling more on top of my game tomorrow than I was today.

At any rate, if you were absent today, we watched the following documentary:

and then responded to the following discussion questions:

  • The video quotes Napoleon as saying that “the story of Rome is the story of the world.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? Consider the other civilizations we have studied this unit; do you feel that Napoleon’s statement could be equally applied to the Persian, Indian, and Chinese empires? Why or why not?

  • As a historian living during the Roman empire interested in studying the foundation of Rome, Livi expresses a common idea– that the past was a simpler, more virtuous time which was materially different from the present. In studying the early mythology of early Rome, Livi learns this is DEFINITELY not true. Why do you think people romanticize the past in this way? What purpose does this romanticism serve?

You should also review the following PowerPoint for further information on the subject: Roman Republic

Homework: Zaption and Classical Greece Mindmap

First things first:

Are you registered to take your AP exams for this year?  If you’re not, you’re running out of time to sign up– regular registration will close on January 28th, and then you will have to pay a fifteen dollar late fee to register.  Don’t get hit with a late fee on top of the price of the regular exams– they aren’t cheap, and you should try to get the best deal you can.  ALL registration will close on February 4th, as the school has to send in its order for exams that week.

You can register for ALL of your AP exams by going to the North Cobb High School TotalRegistration portal.  Remember, we don’t take any money for exams at school– all of your payments must be handled through TotalRegistration.

And remember: If you are eligible for federal free or reduced lunch status, PLEASE make sure you pick up the AP exam waiver form from me in class or go to Admin 1 and request one– the waiver can mean that you only have to pay $15 for your exams, instead of the $104 they can cost with the processing fee, so please, please, please take advantage of the resources if they apply to you.  That’s what they’re around for!

As to tonight’s homework:

Hopefully you completed most of your Mindmap of Ancient Greece today in class, but if you didn’t, please make sure you have it completed before the start of class tomorrow.  Remember that your mindmap SHOULD involve color, illustration, or creative organization of some kind.  The more you work with and manipulate the information we address in this course, the more likely you are to be able to successfully recall the material in the future.

(Ask Ms. Shelnutt or Mr. Hargis and your friends in AP Psych if you don’t believe me!)

Your primary homework tonight is to complete the Zaption video on Alexander the Great (?) and Hellenism.  You’ll find the video linked below– I can’t embed Zaptions without a heck of a lot of tedious coding– but if you can’t use the video for some reason, please download the transcript of the video and associated question and complete the assignment on paper: Alexander, Legacies, and Greatness Zaption.

Zaption Video: Alexander, Legacies, and Greatness

Homework: Comparative Essay Prep

I hope you all have a relaxing, slightly extended weekend!  Please make sure to be careful if you’re out traveling about on Saturday; while I sincerely doubt we’ll be snowed in, there’s enough water on the roads to make life exciting (in a bad way) overnight.  So– be careful out there, okay?

Now.  Over the weekend, you will need to do some work to prepare for your first in-class comparative essay.  You’ll need this: Imperial Collapse Comparative Prompt

You may ONLY use the space below the line to write your outline, which you may use to help you write your essay on Monday.  You MUST hand-write your outline– no typing allowed, and you may not use the back of the paper.

Use your notes, use your reading on the collapse of empires, and use your textbooks.  I would STRONGLY SUGGEST that you stay away from using Internet sources unless you are absolutely confident in their accuracy.

Also: a number of you were absent today.  Please remember that unless your absence is excused, you are not eligible to make up the reading quiz you missed today.

IMPORTANT: Early Release on 1/22

As you have no doubt learned already, Cobb County schools will dismiss two hours early tomorrow, January 22nd.  I’m sure Twitter is a-buzz.  However, please keep in mind that:

  • You will, as far as we know right now, have ALL of your classes tomorrow, even if they are shortened.  Mr. Horton has just emailed the faculty to let us know that the administration is working on an alternate bell schedule for tomorrow, so you should prepare as you normally would for ALL of your classes.
  • Barring a sudden and unexpected transportation to the planet Hoth, YOU WILL STILL HAVE A READING QUIZ TOMORROW.  Reading quizzes take half an hour; if I have you for thirty minutes, you’re taking a quiz.  Sorry.  (Or should that be #sorrynotsorry?  I get so confused by what The Youth are currently saying.)

If you had planned to stay after school to make up any work, or to attend a club or sporting event, please know that they have all been cancelled, and make your plans accordingly.

Remember: Unit Two Reading Quiz Tomorrow!

No official homework tonight, guys!  (College tour crew: I decided to cut back on the reading from the Vedas, so feel free to skip that.)  Instead, tonight you should review for your reading quiz and make sure you’ve finished your Unit Two vocabulary assignment.  We’ll be taking our reading quiz during the first thirty minutes of class tomorrow– it will be comprised of thirty multiple choice questions (no short answer).

And one other thing: here are the terms for the Thesis Statement Bootcamp Donut Challenge.  For the next three weeks, we’ll be doing a Thesis Statement Bootcamp as often as possible.  At the end of the three weeks, I’ll check the score, and the class with the most valid thesis statements at the end of that period will receive donuts.  At present, here are the scores:

  • First Period: 0
  • Second Period: 1
  • Third Period: 0

We’ll be starting with another thesis statement first thing tomorrow, so make sure you bring your A-game.



Homework: Decline of Empires

Tonight for your homework, you need to carefully read and annotate the article “Decline and Fall of Empires.”  Once you’ve finished reading the article, please respond to the following discussion points:

Of the nine suggested causes of imperial decline, which do you think would have the most immediate consequences?  Which of the nine causes would have more gradual consequences?  Can you provide any historical examples from China– different from those already included in the article– which illustrate these points? 

What do you think of the author’s suggestion that “otherworldly or escapist religions” can be a cause of imperial collapse?  Why might this be?  Do you agree with this assessment?

In order to earn a maximum grade of 95% on this assignment, you may leave ONE thoughtful comment addressing the above points on this post.  In order to earn 100%, you should leave your original comment AND reply to a comment left by a classmate.

If you are experiencing difficulties leaving a comment, please try the following:

  1. If you can’t see the “Leave a Comment” option, scroll alllllllllllll the way to the bottom of the page and see if you can see a white box.  Sometimes, if you’ve clicked on the blog post itself, you have to scroll to the end of the page to reply.
  2. Use a computer, not your phone.
  3. Check your browser!  WordPress works best on Chrome (Mozilla’s okay, too), but Internet Explorer is not a great idea.  Always try to use the most recent version of your browser– this may mean that you need to update your browser.
  4. Clear your Internet history and cookies.  Try leaving a comment again once you’ve done this.
  5. If you still can’t leave a reply, email your comment to me instead.

And full disclosure, guys– I’m not feeling too well at present, so it may take me a while to authorize your comments tonight.  But I promise I’ll authorize them as soon as I’m able.

Homework: Legalism, Daoism, and Confucianism

For homework tonight, you will need to read two of three Chinese primary sources which you received in class.  You MUST read Legalist Views on Good Government.  You must also read ONE of the following documents: Excerpts from The Analects or Daoism.  There are no questions you need to complete with the documents– we will be using the content from these documents in order to complete an activity tomorrow in class, and you will find it rather difficult to correctly fulfill the requirements without having done the associated reading.  Make sure that you annotate your reading as appropriate and look up terms you don’t understand.

Also, please remember that your Unit Two reading quiz will be on Friday, January 22nd, so you need to be working towards finishing your unit reading as well.  You will have your first in-class comparative essay coming up on Monday, January 25th.

NOTE: If you will be absent over the next several days for the winter College Tour, please make sure that you check your email for the notes you will miss and any instructions on what we’ll be doing during the rest of this week.

Homework: Comparative Essay Grading

Apologies for the late posting on this one, guys.  I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday and today, and only just realized I hadn’t put up instructions for the homework assignment for those of you who were absent.

I know that there were several of you out on Friday– some for the AP Euro trip to the High, and some for other reasons.  You missed a lesson on how to write the Comparative Essay, which is a fairly important topic in this class.  The first thing you’ll need to do is check the drop-down menu at the top of this page labeled “Essay Writing Materials”– go to the Comparative Essay tab, and read over the materials linked on that page.  You’ll also want to watch the two videos on the page to help you better understand the process of writing the essay, and how the rubric for the essay works.

Once you feel like you have a good understanding of what to expect from the essay, you’ll need to download the following:

Your homework this weekend is to read over the annotated rubric from the 2009 Comparative Essay, and use that as a standard of grading for ONE of the three sample student essays.  On Tuesday we’ll discuss how accurately you graded the essays and address any questions you have regarding AP scoring techniques.

Other than that, your homework is to make a stab at your Unit Two Reading– the reading guide and vocabulary assignment can be found on the Unit Two Resources page.


Upcoming Due Dates:

  • Unit Two Reading Quiz (1/22)
  • Unit Two Vocabulary Assignment (1/22)
  • In-Class Comparative Essay (1/25)
  • Unit Two Test (1/29)


If you missed the Unit One Test, remember that you must schedule a time to make it up with me as soon as possible, and that you are only eligible to make up missing work if your absence is excused.

I hope you all have a thoughtful and restful Martin Luther King Day, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

Unit One Test Tomorrow!

Deep breath, guys.  You can do this.

First things first: I think most of you need to look over the last full text slide on the presentation on the Olmecs, so be sure to review the PPT. (Early American Societies)

Now.  On the subject of tomorrow’s unit test– you might want to consider the following.

Before the test, you should:

  1. Review your notes and reading.  Do something ACTIVE with them; don’t just underline or highlight them.  Consider creating a chart comparing all the societies and civilizations we’ve talked about.  Make a timeline.  Write key terms on index cards, shuffle them, and make yourself sort them into their correct civilization or culture group– and then put them in order chronologically.  Ask yourself what is SIMILAR about the groups we’ve studied, and what is DIFFERENT– you can do this with a PERSIA analysis (Politics, Economics, Religion, Society, Intellect, and Arts) for each society or civilization.
  2. Take breaks every fifteen to twenty minutes when studying.  You can focus better if you give yourself a five minute break at regular intervals.
  3. DO NOT TRY TO STUDY WITH YOUR PHONE NEXT TO YOU.  You know you’ll check that text you just got, so don’t even pretend you won’t.  Put it somewhere out of reach.  You can check it on your next break.
  4. Review the guided questions on the study guide.  Make sure you can FULLY EXPLAIN each question.  Think of what evidence you would use to prove your points for each question.
  5. Go to bed at a decent hour.   Studying until three in the morning is an awful, awful idea.  You’ll be exhausted and stressed and your recall will suffer.
  6. Eat a good breakfast in the morning— something with protein.  Brains work better when they’ve got fuel to burn.

During the test, you should:

  1. Underline key words.  Make sure you fully understand what the question is asking.
  2. Physically eliminate answers.  You may write on the test, and you SHOULD.  Mark through wrong answers, circle right answers, and write down information that will help you remember your thought process if you skip a question and need to come back to it.
  3. Pay attention to your time.  You have fifty-five minutes on the multiple choice, and I’ll give you a five minute warning.  However, it’s a good idea to be able to keep your own time during an exam.  Wear a proper watch (no smart watches allowed, however) so you can always check the time during tests.
  4. Answer every single question.  If you are running out of time and still have several questions remaining, make sure you fill in SOMETHING.
  5. Make sure you write what you mean on the FRQ.  Use clear and concise writing, and make sure you fully explain yourself.  I shouldn’t have to think, “I wonder if they meant X?” when I’m reading your response; you need to write precisely what you want me to grade.

After the test, you should:

  1. Remember that AP World History tests are like Fight Club.  The first rule of AP World History tests is: don’t talk about AP World History tests.  Let your colleagues fight their own battles, okay?
  2. Relax.  This can be a stressful class, but it’s really best to think of every test and essay and homework assignment as part of a larger process: you’re refining your understanding of world history.  It’s going to take time and effort in order to master everything.
  3. Remember that you can always ask to see your test to check which questions you missed, and that I’m more than willing to meet with you to talk over your results.  Failure might sometimes be an option– but it doesn’t mean that it has to be the final one.  If things don’t go well, come and talk to me.  We’ll figure out what you need to do to be successful in the future.

Good luck, and happy studying!

Homework: Bronze Age Zaption

Tonight for homework, you’ll be completing questions associated with an online video.  I use a program called Zaption to take streaming video, documentaries, Crash Course videos and so on and add in my own material and questions.  The video will stop when there are questions you need to answer, and you can always rewind and watch bits again if you missed something important the first time.

When you click the link below, it will take you to a site with an orange box with a blue start button on it.  When you click start, the site should prompt you to enter your name– please do, as otherwise the video will mark you as anonymous and I will be unable to give you credit.

Once you’ve entered your name, you can start the video.  You’ll need to answer various multiple choice and short answers as they appear in the video in order to get credit.

Here’s the link to the video, since I can’t embed this one:

Crash Course: Bronze Age Collapse Question

If, for any reason, you can’t get the Zaption program to function for you, please download the written transcript of the Crash Course (or watch it on YouTube) and answer the associated questions on the following materials: The End of Civilization Zaption- Bronze Age Collapse.

Homework: The Judgments of Hammurabi

This weekend, 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 I’ll be evaluating Senior Magnet research presentations all day on Saturday, so I’ll only have a chance to moderate your comments during breaks, as it would be rude for me to have my phone out during presentations.  So please don’t panic if you don’t immediately see your comment on the blog– you may need to wait for a bit before I get around to moderating it.

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!

Homework: Study for Unit One Reading Quiz!

Apologies for the late-ish post, guys!  I had a former student anxious about their upcoming Senior Magnet research presentation this Saturday come and talk to me after school, and I’ve only just had the opportunity to put this up.

Remember, you have your reading quiz over the first fourteen chapters of Guns, Germs, and Steel (including the preface) tomorrow during the first thirty minutes of class.  You will also need to turn in your summer reading journal prior to taking the quiz, so don’t forget to bring it in!

In order to help you study this evening, you might consider the following:

  • With regards to the historical example Diamond uses in the chapter “Collision at Cajamarca,” what sort of advantages did the Spanish have?  What disadvantages did the Inca 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!)  How does that point of view influence what he’s writing?

This is only a starting point for the quiz, of course, so it’s a good idea to review ALL of your summer reading journal in anticipation of the quiz.  The quiz will be comprised of six multiple choice questions (worth two points each), and six short answer questions (worth three points each).

I will be posting our Twitter chapter summaries shortly, so please check back later this evening if you would like to see your classmates’ work summarizing each chapter.

Edited: Here’s most of the summary tweets, guys: Tweets GGS.  I left part of second period’s tweets and all of third’s on my desk.  Sorry!  However, I can link you to a good summary site here!


Homework: Thoughts on Civilization

Tomorrow we’ll be doing some discussion-driven work on a pretty contentious issue in world history– trying to define and understand the term “civilization.” Therefore, your homework tonight will be oriented around trying to give you some background ideas on civilization.  You should have picked up the handout today in class, but if you’ve lost it, you’ll need to download a copy of Thoughts on Civilization and following the directions on the sheet.

Your general tasks are as follow:

  1. Read over the various definitions and quotations regarding the idea of civilization.
  2. Generate at least one good comment or response to the definitions you’ve read, and at least one good question you might be interested in discussing on the subject tomorrow.
  3. Watch the Crash Course: World History video embedded below. (If you can’t see it, the raw URL is provided is provided on your handout.)
  4. Answer the associated questions regarding the video on your handout.

In order for our conversation tomorrow to be valuable, it’s extremely important that you prepare effectively by completing this work.