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.

 

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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!

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: 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.

Remember, the Source Scavenger Hunt is Due Tomorrow!

And just in case you’re freaking out because JSTOR won’t let you search through North Cobb’s registration, please do the following, per Ms. Wheeler:

  1. Click “Login.”
  2. Under Username, type “NorthCobb” all one word, properly capitalized.
  3. Under Password, type “second” all lowercase.
  4. Click the Login button.
  5. Now, you will notice on the main screen that the access is provided by North Cobb High School; however, you are not a “real” person yet.
  6. Click Login.
  7. Enter your account username and your own password at the Login Screen.
  8. Click Login.
  9. Now, please notice that your name at the Welcome line in the top right.  Also, be sure the box below still says your access is provided by North Cobb.

I hope that helps, and happy researching!

Homework: Final Paper Topic Selection!

As we discussed in class today, we’re going to begin working on a final research project which will require you to do a significant about of work with primary sources in order to get a better feel for the historical position of someone involved in a significant event or moment of human history.  You received the handout describing the process we’ll be going through for the rest of the semester, and you should read it carefully.  If you’ve misplaced yours, you can download a new copy here (Final Research Project: Topics and Instructions).  You can also find a full description of the project on the Talking About History: Final Research Project page on this website.

(In order to get to the Talking About History page, look at the drop-down menu at the top of this page.  Hover over “AP World History WebQuests and Projects” and you’ll see the page and all of it’s related materials at the bottom of the drop-down menu.  It wouldn’t be a bad idea to peruse all of the pages associated with the assignment in order to get a feel for how this project will progress.)

For homework this weekend you will choose topics you would be interested in selecting for your research project.  I suggest you review the available topics on the instruction sheet and do some quick Googling to see what your options and preferences might be.  You will make your selections via a Google form which you can access on the Topic Selection page.

The Topic Selection form will go live at 12:00 PM EST (noon) on Saturday, October 10th.  You MUST have completed your selections by 8:00 AM EST on Monday, October 8th.

Remember, topics will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.  I want you all doing unique projects, so if you really have your heart set on a particular topic, make sure you fill out the form early!  If you fail to complete the form, I will assign you whatever topics are left.

Homework: Women, Purity, and Sati in the Mughal Empire.

Tonight for homework, please read and annotate the secondary and primary source you received in class today (Women and Sati in Mughal India).  After reading and analyzing the text, please respond to the following discussion points:

Why was sati more prevalent in high-caste communities?  What were the social and religious justifications for sati?

Consider the primary source you have regarding sati.  What limitations does it have as a source?  Do you think an Indian source would have the same limitations, or would there be other issues to consider when evaluating a similar type of source?

Do you think a female author would have approached the discussion of sati in the same way as a male author?  Why or why not?  Consider the first description of a widow participating in sati in the primary source.  What do you think would have motivated her to carry out this act?  How might she have understood her actions? Can you understand why she might have participated in this act?

Having also read Women in the Ottoman Empire, do you notice any significant similarities in the social role of women in the Gunpowder Empires?

Remember, normal commenting rules apply: one good comment addressing ALL of the discussion points can earn up to 95%, while a comment and response to someone else’s discussion can earn you full credit.

(If you would like a link to the primary source document on the Ottoman empire and gender, please look at the previous entry on this blog. I’ll try to link to it directly in a bit, but for some reason I can’t edit WordPress on my computer right now, and am thus writing this update on my phone, which is less than ideal.)

Nevermind, everything is working now and I’ve gone back and added in the necessary links!

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!

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.