Homework: Zaption on Tiananmen Square Massacre

Hey guys, check this space by about 5:30– I should be able to have the video posted by then.  Sorry! I’m at the practice exam right now.

All good.  Here’s the Zaption, guys:

The Tank Man

And if you’re interested in watching the full documentary (which is excellent), you can check it out here.

Homework: Tang and Song Meditations on War

First and foremost: congrats to second period for their victory in our first attempt at Thesis Statement Bootcamp!  We’ll be starting a new round, so if your class didn’t win donuts this time, don’t despair: you can still win a delicious reward by the end of the semester.

As to your homework– you should have picked up the packet of three examples of Tang and Song dynasty poetry, all on the subject of warfare.  As you read each of the poems, think about the historical, cultural, and political context which surrounds each poem.  You’ll need to complete the series of questions which follow each poem on a separate sheet of paper– I want you to hold on to the packet as a whole, and just turn in your answers.

If you have lost your packet, never fear: you can follow the links below to each of the three poems and questions:

Happy reading, and stay warm out there!

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.

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: Zaption on 20th Century Peace Movments

We’ve been all about war this unit, and that can’t be healthy.  So please watch the following Zaption and answer the associated questions.  If you have tech difficulties with this Zaption, please try to let me know by about 6:00 PM tonight.

Zaption: Peace Movements in the 20th Century

And  because we were discussing this in third period today, take a gander at the Chinese government’s recent video proposing their new, awesome, Five Year Plan!  (Yes.  Yes, they still have Five Year Plans.  And this video is INSANE.)

Homework: Imperialism, the Opium Wars, and China

Thanks so much for your thoughtful participation in our discussion on terror, extremism, and the events in Beirut and Paris today, guys– I know that it took us a bit off-book, but I do think that it’s important to give you guys a space for discussion and analysis when we have events like this.  If you’re interested, I’ll link to the full articles we read today at the bottom of this entry.  And if you’d like to add your own resources, feel free to drop relevant links in the comments for this entry.  I certainly don’t mind if you continue our discussion from today in the comments on this blog– just remember to keep it civil, keep it rational, and post thoughtfully.

Now.  On to the meat of the issue: since we went off-book today,  I need to ask you to cover some content so that we’ll still be on pace for the unit.  I’ll be doing some reconfiguring of my lesson plans tonight, too, so if you’ll do this for me, I’ll do the heavy  lifting tomorrow and Wednesday.

Tonight, please download the following chart (Imperialism in East Asia Cause and Effect Chart), and then use the Imperialism, Opium, and China PowerPoint and your textbook to complete the chart.  We’ll discuss it tomorrow at the start of class, before jumping into a discussion of nationalism (which actually connect rather well to some of the things you read about today, honestly).

Also, remember that your Content Paper is due December 1st, so keep that in the back of your minds.


Materials from today’s discussion:

If you have other materials you would like to add to this list, please feel free to link to them in the comments below.


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!

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:


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


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: Legalism and Classical China!

Thanks for all being in class today, guys!  I know the Student Learning Objective Pre-Test isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but we needed to get it done– and since you were all present, we won’t have to pull anyone from class later this week and lose class time again.

Today, we began our discussion of the classical Chinese dynasties, the Qin and Han.  Tonight for homework, you’ll need to read Legalist Views on Good Government in preparation of our activities tomorrow.  You don’t need to comment or answer any questions on this document, but it would be a good idea to read and annotate the document in anticipation of tomorrow.  Make sure to look up words you don’t understand.

Now, just for fun– since we were talking about the Qin emperor Shi Huangdi today, here’s a bit of a documentary talking about the terra-cotta warriors and the initial construction of the Great Wall:

See you tomorrow!

Homework: Mandate of Heaven!

Reminder: There will be a study session for the Unit One Test held after school tomorrow (Wednesday, August 12th) in Ms. Galloway’s room from 3:40 until 4:40 PM.

Today we finished up our discussion of the Indus River Valley, and began our discussion on the early Chinese dynasties.  (First period, being terribly efficient, is already finished with China.  Nice job, first period.)  We won’t have time to watch it in class right now, but there is a good Crash Course on the process of dynastic rule and the Mandate of Heaven in China– just ignore ALL of his pronunciation.  It’s horrific:

You DO have homework tonight: please read the Mandate of Heaven document you received in class today, and complete the seven associated questions on a separate sheet of paper.  This will be due at the start of class tomorrow.