Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First Marking Period Extra Credit Assignment: Film Review

For extra credit this marking period you may write a film review for any one of the following movies:

Last of the Mohicans (R) (Action-Drama : Native American culture, colonization, resistance)

1492 (Drama: Columbus, imperialism, conquest)

The Crucible (Drama: The Salem witch trials)

The Salem Witch Trials - 2002 (Take a guess on the subject of this movie with a star-studded cast)

The Mission (Political Drama: missionaries and conquest in Brazil, 16th Century)

Apocolypto (R) (Action: Conquistadors and the Maya, 15th Century)

The Scarlet Letter - 1995 (R), 1979 PG-13
Drama: Women in Colonial New England)
*note: the 1979 version of this film is FAR more school appropriate and true to historical accuracy than then the 1995 version

If you see one of the films with an R rating, please submit a written note signed by your parent/guardian granting permission for seeing the film. Or if typed work is submitted, have your guardian sign the top of your work. Without a signature, the assignment will not count.

Your review must include:

a) a synopsis of the film including details on the plot, characters and conclusion/ ending of the conflicts presented in the movie

b) an explanation of how this film relates to the period in American History and discussions/ readings we've shared in class

c) A personal analysis of the film and your opinion on it. What did you like/ dislike about this film? Did it seem to present an accurate portrayl of period in which it was set? What further questions do you have about the plot or actual historical events related to this movie? Would you reccomend it to other students of American History? Why or why not?

Film reviews must be 300 words and be submitted or blogged by no later than Wednesday, 10/8.

(if you use outside sources, please cite them in MLA format or link them to your blog)

You MAY complete more than one film review, but this assignment does not supplement missing work.

Blog #3: Is history destined to repeat itself?

Read the articles
a)"Fight for the Top of the World" : http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1663445,00.html

b)"CIA Expands it's Inquiry into Interrogation Tactics":

Both articles make allusions to topics we've recently covered in class. Article A discusses the colonization of the Arctic and clearly relates to the scramble for colonial territories in the Americas that occurred during the 15th-17th centuries.

Perhaps more controversial is the position that harsh interrogation tactics toward suspected terrorists as described in article B can be likened to the persecution of suspected witches in the New England colonies in the 17th century (collectively referred to as the Salem Witch Trials.)

Consider our recent study of culture and poltics in pre-revolutionary colonial North America. Reflect on the relationship between these current events articles and your study of history. When is the use of colonial power and harsh interrogation tactics justified? Is history destined to repeat itself?

You may reflect on one or both of the articles assigned. Remember to respond to the question as well as the comments of at least one other classmate. Your response should be at least 200 words.

Image: "The Snow Queen", Hans Christian Anderson, 1844.
Blog due Friday, October 3, before the begining of class.
Reminder: all work for the 1st marking period must be in by Tuesday, October 7 by 3:20 p.m. This includes extra credit.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Comparing Colonial Settlements: Resources for 9/23

1. Go to : http://www.pptpalooza.net

2. Review the "Settlement of New England" , the "Chesapeake Colonization" and the "Restoration Colonies" presentations. 

3. Complete the graphic organizer as you view each presentation. 

You will have two periods to complete this work, then we will be having an in-class test review on Thursday and an exam of 20 multiple choice and one free-response essay on Friday. If you miss the review you are still required to take the test on Friday. 

By thursday, prepare a review sheet on your own or with your group on material covered in Chapters 1-3, focusing on the questions I provided on the Objectives hand out on Monday. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blog # 2: Was the new world superior to the old world?

Now that we've spent time exploring the initial motives and consequences of European colonization of the Americas, I'd like to hear your position on one of this week's essential questions: Was the New World superior to the Old World? Please refer to class materials and/or any outside research you complete for your first project as evidence to support your answer. 

Be sure to respond to one other blogger after you have posted your own thoughtful response. 

Due Monday, September 22

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blog Assignment #1: Columbus, the Indians and Human Progress

1. Actively read Chapter 1 of "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn. 
Consider the question posed by the author on page 17, "was all this bloodshed and deceit ... a necessity for the human race to progress from savagery to civilization?" 

2. Respond to this question incorporating details from the reading and the other materials we explored together in class this week. Your reflection should be no less than 250 words. Due Monday, September 15.

Upcoming Seminar (counts as a key grade this marking period.)
Be prepared to have a seminar on this chapter on Monday. You should prepare three text-based discussion questions. You will be graded on preparation and participation in the debate on the following scale:

1- unprepared - missing book and/or question and did not participate in discussion

2- moderately prepared with notes or comments, but contributions were mainly reactive and/or did not reflect close work with the text

3- well prepared with thoughtful notes and comments. Contributions were based on text OR academically sound, but general in nature.

4- Well prepared and insightful contributions to discussion. Comments/ questions reflected a fair comprehension of the text but may reflect some slight misunderstandings.

5 - Very well prepared and actively engaged in discussion. Comments and questions were insightful and reflected a deep understanding of the text. References to outside examples were submitted and relevant.

due monday at the beginning of class

the first chapter of this book is available to read in full at: http://historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer Assignment Study Group Questions

On page XV of his introduction, Eric Foner suggests  that: 

"Freedom is so central to our political language that it is impossible to understand American history without knowledge of the multi-faceted debates over it's meaning... the history of freedom sheds light on the ideas and purposes of social and political movements... what is important is not so much the evolution of a single definition as the multiple purposes to which the idea of freedom has been put, and the broader belief systems these useages illuminate."

Consider this quote as you reflect on Chapters 1- 6 of The Story of American Freedom.

Work with your group to complete each of the following tasks for each chapter assigned from to your group from the text:

1) Identify the dominant definition of freedom in each era/chapter 
 (For example, a reflection on Chapter 1 would explain require an explanation of how colonists' defined freedom in response to British tyranny and exploitation...)

2)  Provide three pieces of text based evidence (quotes/ passages) to support the definition that your group decided on in Step 1.

3) Identify the individuals and events that contributed to the development and promotion of each definition of freedom. Explain why each individual/ event's significance. (provide at least TWO events and TWO individuals for each chapter.)

Your notes for this assignment may be submitted as a group but each member is responsible for familiarity with the information , which you may need to know for this Monday's assessment based on the summer reading.

Your responses may be in outline format but must be legible and easy to understand. Please use headings if you chose an outline format and be sure they are self-explanatory. Give citations (page numbers) for all quotes you use in your response, and include the quotes itself in it's entirety.

Please bring your Foner book and notes for it to class every day this week. 

The study group notes will be due at the beginning of class on Friday.