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.

 

Advertisements

Homework: Ibn Battuta in Mali

First things first: remember that if you have not signed up for your AP exams, tonight is your last chance before the deadline.  Please go to the North Cobb TotalRegistration portal in order to sign up now! 

Everybody good?  Good.

As to your homework tonight, 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 (I’ve marked through them on your copy)– 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?

Normal commenting rules apply: one good comment that answer the question will receive a maximum of 95%, and a comment to a colleague’s post will result in a maximum of 100%.

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.

 

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: 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!

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!

Homework: The Decline and Fall of Empires

Tonight for your homework, you need to carefully read and annotate the article “The 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– 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.

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!