Homework: World War II and the Holocaust


Hey, there.  Since our schedule today (and for the next few days) is rather messed up, second period doesn’t have much time in class to work on their infographic, which means they’ll need to focus on that for their homework tonight (5/2).  Thus, I would like you to complete the assignment below by the start of class on WEDNESDAY (5/4), rather than the start of class tomorrow (5/3).  Sorry for the confusion, guys– I wish I’d known about the bell schedule for today in advance, but I didn’t. :/

This evening, please review the following material on the Holocaust (or Shoah) as a continuation of our study of World War II:

World War II and Society

After reviewing the material above, please listen to the following radio broadcast by journalist Edward R. Murrow on the liberation of Buchenwald in April of 1945. You will find that the sound quality is far from perfect– there are lots of hisses and pops and the whine of interference, as this is the actual recording from 1945. If you would like to, you can follow this transcript of the broadcast while you listen– but please do listen. Sometimes the tone of voice is just as important as the words themselves:

Liberation of Buchenwald, 15 April 1945, reported by Edward R. Murrow (CBS News)

In a thoughtful comment, please respond to the following prompts:

  • Describe the events in Germany beginning in 1933 which led to the Final Solution. What was their purpose? How did these actions normalize discrimination?
  • What were the conditions like in Buchenwald when Murrow and the American troops arrive? What sort of men did Murrow encounter in the camp? What do you think shocked Murrow the most about the experience? What shocked you the most about his description?
  • At the end of the broadcast, Murrow tells his audience that “if [he] has offended [them] by this rather mild account of Buchenwald, [he’s] not in the least bit sorry.” What is Murrow’s tone when he delivers this line? (That is, how does he sound?)
  • Murrow, as a journalist, believed that it was his job to make an argument– NOT to be a mere reporter of facts. What argument is he trying to make through this report? What does he want his listeners to feel, learn, and believe as a result of his work? Do you think that he achieved his goal? Why or why not?

Remember, normal commenting rules apply: one thoughtful comment which addresses all of the discussion points thoroughly will receive up to 95%, while you must comment and leave a response on someone else’s comment in order to earn full credit.

Homework: CCOT Practice

This evening, you’ll need to complete the CCOT outline we began in class on the following prompt:

Using the music video below, analyze the changes and continuities of Western popular music between the the 11th century CE and the present.

This exercise is primarily designed to help you better understand the format of Change and Continuity essays, so I anticipate you being a little creative with this response.

Homework: The Pristine Myth

Your homework tonight is to read, annotate, and comment on the article I handed out in class today– an interview from The Atlantic involving the author of 1491, Charles Mann.  Use what you have read to answer the following discussion points:

  • One of Mann’s central points in his book 1491 is that there is evidence that the population of the Americas prior to European contact was much, much higher than previous studies suggested.  Why does Mann say that this is a contentious issue among historians and environmentalists?

  • What is the “pristine myth” Mann and the author of this article, Katie Bacon, are referring to in the title?  Why might it disturb or upset some people to think of native American peoples radically altering their environment?

  • In what way does Mann think Amerindians were a “keystone species?”  What does he mean by that?

  • Do the Americas Mann describes– one filled with people who radically altered their environment by regularly burning the prairie, managing woodlands, and possibly even planting the Amazon– match with your existing ideas of native peoples prior to contact with Afro-Eurasia?  Why or why not?

Remember, normal commenting rules apply: one good comment which adequately addresses all of the above points can earn up to 95%, while a comment AND a reply to a colleague can earn up to 100%.  Also, I’ll be working at the Magnet Open House this evening, and will therefore not be on my phone every moment– so if you post a comment and don’t immediately see it, don’t panic.  I probably just haven’t had a moment to read and approve it.


Homework: Work on Ren & Ref WebQuest!

Hello, lovely AP World students!  If you were absent today, I strongly recommend that you go ahead and try to get a start on what we began today in class– our WebQuest over the Renaissance, Reformation, and Counter-Reformation.  You can either follow the previous link, or you can hover over the drop-down menu labeled “WebQuests and Projects” at the top of this page and select the Renaissance and Reformation WebQuest Task Page.  Make sure to download the packet of questions at the top of the page, and then proceed through each task, following the directions carefully for each assignment.

We’ll be continuing our work on this project tomorrow, but if you come in tomorrow with a significant amount of your work already completed, you might have time to work on your Source Scavenger Hunt in class, and I could potentially help you find more reliable material.

And– since I forgot it post it on Friday– here’s the Power Point we were looking at regarding the rise of the imperial Russian state: Rise of Russia.

Remember, we’ll be meeting in the classroom tomorrow, NOT the media center– but you’ll still need your headphones for tomorrow’s work!

Homework: Tokugawa Edicts!

Tonight, please read the two selections from the Tokugawa Edicts located below:

You will note that there are four questions following each of the passages; please fully answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper.  They will be due at the start of class tomorrow.


Additionally, please be aware that you’ve got several things coming due relatively shortly:

  • In-class DBQ (Friday, March 11th)
  • Source Scavenger Hunt (Thursday, March 24th)
  • Black Death DBQ Rewrite (Thursday, March 24th)
  • Renaissance and Reformation WebQuest (Friday, March 18th)
  • Unit Four Test (Friday, March 18th)
  • In-class DBQ (Friday, March 25th)

For your Black Death DBQ rewrite, you will want to use the Black Death DBQ documents.  Remember that you should take the comments you received on your first DBQ to heart, and try to avoid making the same mistakes a second time.

DBQ Prep: Sample Essay Scores!

Hopefully, by this point you have read, annotated, and scored the two sample essays included in the packet you picked up on Friday.  It’s time now to see how accurate you were in your assessment, so get out the essays and your scores, and let’s see what the College Board says:

Sample 1A — Score: 8

The thesis outlines factors shaping the modern Olympics and correctly places them in the relevant historical context of the time period (1 point). There are four groupings: peace, political interests, economic interests (“incentive for sponsoring as well as hosting the games”), and social reform (female athletes) (1 point). The essay demonstrates understanding of all 10 documents (1 point) and correctly uses evidence from 9 documents to answer the question (2 points). Document 5 is inverted, expressing the effects of the Olympics on Japan, and therefore did not count for evidence of factors that affected the Olympics. There is analysis of point of view for three documents (Documents 4, 6, and 10) (1 point). The request for additional documents from people who were not athletes or people from Africa and South America shows awareness of other factors that could have affected the Olympics in the time period (1 point). An expanded core point was earned for additional analysis of documents through groupings and of point of view (1 point).

Sample 1C — Score: 4

The thesis identifies three factors that shaped the modern Olympic movement: “nationalism,” “host country to show off,” and “feminism” (1 point). There are three document groupings: peace (Documents 1 and 6), nationalism (Documents 3, 4, and 10), and feminism (Documents 2 and 8) (1 point). The essay demonstrates understanding of all 10 documents (1 point). No points were awarded for evidence because the documents are used to support the inverse of the question, i.e., how the Olympics had consequences or effects. There is analysis of point of view for three documents (Documents 3, 4, and 7) (1 point). No point was earned for the request of an additional document because the explanation of how the requested documents would help assess a factor that shaped the modern Olympics is incomplete.

So.  How accurate were you?  Don’t forget to quickly explain any discrepancy between your original score and the one assessed by the College Board!

Homework: DBQ Preparation!

Happy Friday, folks!  While I don’t want to rain on your parade, I’m afraid I have to remind you that you have your very first document-based question scheduled for next Monday (February 29th).  We’ll be doing this as a timed essay, so you will not be receiving the prompt in advance– instead, I’m going to ask that you do a different type of preparation in advance of the coming DBQ.

Today in class you should have picked up the annotated rubric for the 2008 released DBQ from the College Board exam, as well as two sample student essays.  (This is the same essay which you outlined for me on Wednesday night.)  You’ll need your DBQ documents out in order to complete this assignment– if you’ve lost them, you can download another copy from the link in the post from Wednesday, February 24th.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Carefully read over the annotated rubric.  Make sure you fully understand what you can and can’t give points for before you start reading the essays.
  2. Read and annotate each essay.  You may find it useful to highlight or underline the thesis, POV analysis, additional documents, grouping, and evidence.
  3. Use the rubric to decide on a score, from 1 to 9, for both essays.
  4. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, briefly write an explanation for your score for each essay.  What points did each earn? Why didn’t you give them certain points?  (Bullet points are fine for this.)
  5. Check the class blog on Sunday afternoon.  I will schedule a post to go live at 12:00 PM with the information on how each essay was actually scored.  Compare your score to the official score and write a brief statement explaining why your score differed (if it did) from the official score.
  6. Be prepared to turn in your score analysis sheet at the start of class on Monday!

NOTE: First and second periods, I told you that you would also need to analyze your own DBQ outline and give it a grade– and you’re still welcome to do so!– however, I forgot to give third period back their outlines, so that part of the assignment will not be required. 🙂

Have a good weekend, guys, and I’ll see you on Monday!

DBQ Practice!

Sorry for the late post, guys! I had to cover a class during my planning period and then had a meeting after school, so this is the first chance I’ve had to put up this post.

Tonight for homework, please complete the  DBQ Essay Worksheet, using the prompt and documents from the Olympic DBQ which you received in class.  This assignment will be due at the start of class tomorrow, and you can expect it to take you a fair amount of time to complete.  (The first AP-style DBQ is always difficult to put together; I promise it will get much, much easier with practice.)

If you missed our discussion of how to write a DBQ, or if you want to review the process or receive some extra help on the subject, please check the Document-Based Question page under the Essay Writing Resources tab on this page.  You’ll find a number of instructional videos and additional downloads which may help to clarify the process.  It would also be a good idea to come and talk to me to clear up any questions you have on the process before next Monday– we’ll be writing our first full DBQ at the start of class on February 29th.

Additionally, remember that you need to budget time during the remainder of the week to complete quiz corrections on the Unit Three reading quiz.  And– THIS IS IMPORTANT– I goofed on when I told you they would be due! I think I told all three classes that your corrections would be due on Tuesday, March 1st (the day of our next test).  However, my policy is to give you five class days to complete corrections, which would mean that corrections should be due on the second of March, not the first!  Sorry about that, guys.  I’ll address my mistake tomorrow in class.

Homework: The Question of Mongol Awesomeness.

I know I don’t need to remind you, but: you’ve got an in-class comparative essay tomorrow.  We’ll do it the first 40 minutes of class, so make sure you’re (a) present, and (b) not late.  I would suggest reviewing the following materials:

  • Mongol Documents (from today’s activity)
  • Southernization
  • Your article on the spread of Islam (check the homework for this unit to find it up on this blog)

You could also watch this Crash Course video!

And this one:

You MIGHT find that the topic has something to do with trade. And religions.  So.

Now.  On to today’s homework: after reading the above Mongol documents thoroughly and discussing them in your groups today, please respond to the following prompt on a separate sheet of paper (YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO BLOG COMMENTS THIS TIME):

Were the Mongols a beneficial force for Eurasia during the Post-Classical era?  Why or why not?  Provide five reasons– supported by evidence from your readings– to justify your answer.

Happy mongol-ing, and I’ll see you tomorrow!


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!

Classwork Resources!

Hey, guys!  I hope everything is going well in my absence.  Remember, you’ll need to have ALL of your classwork for today completed by the start of class tomorrow, so make sure to focus and get it done.

You can use this PowerPoint to help you complete your African Kingdoms WorksheetMedieval African Kingdoms and Empires.

Additionally, make sure you read the Southernization very, very carefully. It’s definitely going to play a role in your in-class comparative essay on Friday, so make sure you understand it thoroughly!

Homework: The Spread of Islam

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– think about 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 arediscussing 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!

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.