Monday, September 01, 2014

Hero of History: Columbus or de las Casas?

Essential Question: Which should be a 'Hero of History", Christopher Columbus or Bartolomé de las Casas?

You will be researching both Christopher Columbus and Bartolomé de las Casas as their stories intersect through the 'discovery' and occupation of the Americas. As you research ask yourself the questions:


  1. Are my sources reliable
  2. Is there corroboration between my sources?
  3. Who is more believable as a storyteller?
  4. Since de las Casas is responsible for the only surviving journal information from Columbus' voyages, how reliable are those journals knowing de las Casas' prejudices?
  5. Which one, in your opinion, is most moral? 
  6. Is it appropriate for us to judge either Columbus or de las Casas today?
  7. Who would you choose as your 'Hero of History'? 




Assignment

Create a poster of your "Hero of History". The poster must include facts that you uncover through your research as well as drawings that back your choice. You will not be allowed to use printed pictures. You may choose either men, but your facts must back your claim. 

All sources you use must be cited on your poster. http://www.citationmachine.net/ is a great resource for how to cite your sources.

References

Here are some references to get you started. You will also need to find two more sources of information not on this page. Remember, we need corroboration before we can draw conclusions. 

Bartolomé de las Casas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolom%C3%A9_de_las_Casas

Extracts from the journal of Christopher Columbus:  http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/source/columbus1.asp

Viggo Mortensen reads Bartolome de las Casas in Spanish and English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nxRvt5Rjx8&list=UUGYGlIJfxf-jVqlVBfC_nlQ


Washington Irving's biography of Columbus https://archive.org/details/ahistorylifeand08irvigoog


You may also want to read Chapter 2 of Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. I have a copy you can use. 

You may also want to scan through Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. I have a copy if you wish to peruse it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Using Emoticons to Show Understanding of the Spanish Entry Into Tenochtitlán





The Aztec people used glyphs to communicate. (Here is a great page that describes their writing system.) Why then would it not be appropriate for students to learn about the process of writing about an event in their history using our own modern glyphs, emoticons?

Today I will be reading experts of the excellent article Imperial City of the Aztecs: Mexico-Tenochtitlan by Inga Clendinnen to my students. (BTW if you don't know about Common-Place you definitely need to.) In it she describes Bernal Diaz del Castillo's astonishment at the magnificent of the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlán. If you still have any misconceptions of the ability of the people in the America's abilities to create cities you will also be amazed.

The students will be place themselves in del Castillo's boots and write his story as if it were their own. Then they will transfer that story into emoticons. Students with phones or tablets can write them there and send them to me. Those without will do as the Aztecs did, write them by hand.

There is a myriad of things I am hoping my students learn. The students will have the opportunity to internalize the amazement of del Castillo. They will have the opportunity to use glyphs to write a story and reflect on the process of using pictures to convey specific meaning. They will be exposed to the idea of using emoticons in their daily interactions as well, if they aren't already doing so. There is also the bonus of students connecting today's technology with history, and for some of my Hispanic students it is really their history.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014

Russian Nesting Dolls Project


Today in 7th grade we are creating Russian nesting dolls (Matryoshka). The students get to choose the subjects and I have seen some amazingly creative choices. While many of the students have used popular characters such as superheroes, Disney characters, and sports teams others have created their own 'line'.

The next step will come later when they reflect on their choice for subject matter. We will do this later in the week and hopefully will have a few students record their reflections on video to share here. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kiva Loan Update


Only a couple months from being able to make another loan! How cool is that?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Skyping with Brayden's Grandmother from England

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We were fortunate to have a 20 minute Skype call with Brayden's grandmother today. She shared about the cultural similarities and differences between us and the United Kingdom. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fun in St. Louis


I just returned from attending two teaching/learning conferences in St. Louis. While I was there I took the time to do some personal learning and sightseeing. This is a .gif that I took from the top of the arch. My Galaxy Note 3 phone's camera app allows me to make them really easily. How cool is that?