Friday, February 16, 2018

Infographics about Africa that will Surprise You

Here's a link to a terrrific blog post with 19 infographics about Africa that will surprise you. 

For example, did you know that Africa is so big that it can contain not just China and the United States, but India and Argentina as well!

What three African countries have the largest populations? You'll see a small inforgraphic showing Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopa as the three largest.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Imperialism: Perry, Leopold, & the Scramble: Resources

Studying imperialism? Here are some great resources.

The first video, from the National Museum of American History,  examines Commodore Matthew Perry's entrance into Tokyo Bay in 1853, with the hope of opening trade between Japan and America. The host reviews a Japanese book from the time period that shows how the Japanese viewed the Americans.


Al Jazeera has an excellent documentary that reviews the Scramble for Africa. The first twenty minutes offers a good overview. The full documentary runs 44 minutes.


BBCFOUR has an excellent nine minute clip about the Congo and King Leopold.

Finally, here's a primary source from Jules Ferry on French colonialism written in  1858.  Ferry outlines the reasons the French were so interested in colonialism. He's pretty blunt--We must say openly that indeed the higher races have a right over the lower races . . . .


Monday, February 5, 2018

Haitian Revolution Web Comic


Here's a terrific web comic about the Haitian Revolution.

It's readable, colorful and ideal for the classroom and written by a scholar, Laruent Dubois, who teaches at Duke.

Professor Dubois' book, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804," won a number of awards, including the American Historical Association Prize in Atlantic History.

Thanks to Bram Hubbell for the link!

Awesome Video Intro to Islam: Religion for Breakfast

Here is a terrific short video introduction to Islam from Andrew Mark Henry and Dr. Hussein Rashid. The video is part of Henry's series called Religion for Breakfast.

Henry and Rashid offer a methodology we can use to understand Islam and any religion. The methodology is that religions evolve over time, are internally diverse and are embedded in our culture.  

This methodology helps us to understand, for example, that Islam is not a monolithic religion. Islam in Indonesia is not like Islam in Saudi Arabia.  

This is an awesome introduction and the methodology will help students to understand the complexity of Islam and indeed all religions.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Human Population Through Time

Human population. It took 200,000 years for us to reach 1 billion and only 200 years to reach 7 billion.

And in 1100CE, the world population was only about 368 million, close to the population of the United States today.

Check out this simulation of population through time from the American Museum of Natural History.

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Holocaust Survivor Remembers



Holocaust survivor Reva Kibort remembers the starvation and death that surrounded her in the Polish concentration camp, Demblin,  for this PBS Newshour episode of My Brief but Spectacular Career.

Kibort says that she was one of eleven kids at the camp and that she was the oldest.

This clip might be terrific for any unit on the Holocaust.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

History of Africa & Middle East from Ancient to Modern: Cool Simulation

Here's a terrific simulation of the changes in African and Middle Eastern empires from the ancient era to the present.

Changes in control of the Middle East are as amazing as those in Africa.  

Watch as control of the Middle East passes from the Achaemenid Empire in about 400 BCE to the Seleucid, Parthian, Sassanid, Rashidun Caliphate (did not know about this one), Ummayad Caliphate, Abbasid, Saffafids,  Seljuqs, Ilkanate and the Timurids in 1370.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ottoman History Podcast

Here's a great podcast all about Ottoman history. It includes episodes on the Tanzimat reformsIslam in West Africa, the Indian Ocean,  and art of the Quran, to name just a few.

You can stream some of the recent episodes online but you have to play older episodes on iTunes where you can also subscribe to the podcast.

Most of the podcasts run about 30 minutes.

In the art of the Quran, the host takes you through the Freer Sackler Museum exhibit which closed in October last year.

And the podcast about Islam in West Africa begins with a discussion explaining how Islam came into West Africa.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mita & Encomienda Labor Systems: Awesome Video Lecture

Here is an excellent video lecture on the mita system from another teacher.

It runs about 30 minutes and offers a great overview. I learned stuff about the mita system that I did not know, mainly that it lasted until the end of colonization.

I played the first 5 or 10 minutes in class for students and then posted it on classroom.

The same professor also has a lecture on the encomienda system as well.

German Unification: Documentary

Here is a good reenactment of the unification of Germany from the Learning Corporation of America. 

It's dated and a bit corny but does a terrific job of reviewing Bismarck's central role in developing German nationalism through blood and iron. 

The documentary reviews the three critical wars--Prussia's attack on Denmark to gain the German-speaking territories of Schleswig-Holstein, Prussia's defeat of the Austrian empire, and the crushing defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War.

The film runs just under 30 minutes

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Atlas

Here is a slave trade data base that uses thousands of documents to show much of that trade.

Developed by historians Historian David Eltis and David Richardson, the data base includes information on almost 36,000 voyages.

You can search the data base for particular voyages, examine estimates of the trade, or even explore African names.

I explored estimates of the slave trade. A table shows the number of slave voyages by country between 1501 and 1825.

You'll see that Spain sponsored far more voyages than any other country.  A timeline shows the the number of voyages by year and maps show the source of embarkation and disembarkation. The map is interactive and you can click specific areas and a menu pops up showing the sources and number of slaves disembarking at specific location in the America.

The site work work for an interesting webquest.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Five Travel Books about the Muslim World

Teaching Islam ? Want to understand the Muslim world better?

Good travel books tell us a lot about the rich Muslim tradition and a lot of great history!

Tim Mackintosh-Smith, a British, Yemen-based writer and lecturer put together five travel books that we might consider.
  1. The Travels of Ibn Battutah by Ibn Battutah (edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith)
  2. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron
  3. A Year Amongst the Persians by Edward G Browne
  4. The Sindbad Voyage by Tim Severin
  5. Night and Horses and the Desert by Robert Irwin (editor)
Mackinstosh-Smith reviews each of the books here and explains what makes a good travel writer.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Resources for Teaching Current Events and Religion

Teaching current events?  Here are some resources that I put together for a current events elective. You'll find resources for fake news, migration and refugees, the Middle East, and white nationalism.
And if you teach world religions, here are resources that I put together for each of the different religions.  They include lessons plans, links to videos and video clips, and links to other websites. You'll also find information about methodology for teaching religion from The Harvard Literacy Project.
Finally,  if you teach indigenous religions, especially Native American religion, you might find this unit plan helpful.  The plan includes four lessons: one on the features of Native American religion, one on the Native American encounter with British colonists, one on the colonial effort to reeducate Native Americans and convert them to Christianity, and one on current issues affecting Native Americans.