Letters From Egypt: Anzacs Train for Gallipoli

» 23 December 2014 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments

Anzac troops after the fighting at Gallipoli

My Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook - Exploring History: Vol II. It features ten engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook version click here.

To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. More in series here.

Race hate is a reoccurring theme in wars and this DBQ gives students another avenue in which to explore it.

Cesspool of Savagery by Michelle Murphy Download as pdf (12.1MB) In this DBQ, students will explore the attitudes of the Anzacs towards the local population of Egypt where they trained prior to the landing at Gallipoli. Specifically, they will think about how Anzacs perceived the Egyptians and what informed their view. Racial prejudices come in many shapes and sizes and can be found in all eras. The Anzacs provide another perspective to historians. It is not my intent to belittle the bravery of the Anzacs in World War I. Rather, I want students to remember that history is not black and white. It is not simple and it is not static. It is fluid and gray. It is their job to sift through it and make a claim and support it with evidence as historians in training.

Reflection by Michelle Murphy 
Thus far, the DBQ has been a very challenging, but educational experience. I initially began this journey thinking that I would do my DBQ on Operation PB Success. However, I found that would not be feasible so I changed my topic to the Anzacs in Egypt during World War I and perceptions of the ‘other.’ Through this, I have learned how to conduct a successful history lesson without a lengthy lecture. The setup of my DBQ allows students to interact successfully with the material and make an argument without needing in-depth background on the topic beforehand. Students, therefore, practice thinking like historians and the classroom becomes more student-centered.

Another lesson I have learned from the DBQ is how to find primary sources. Finding primary sources is, clearly, very important to the DBQ process. The internet makes it possible to track down hundreds of primary sources from a range of websites whether they be from an academic institutions or a small blog. In order to ensure that my sources are reliable, I have found that government websites are really helpful in locating legitimate primary sources. While it is certainly tempting to just steal primary sources without worrying about their origin, I believe it is important to ensure that I am giving my students something that is quality and genuine.

I would really enjoy using this DBQ in a class that was exploring World War I. Race hate is a reoccurring theme in wars and this DBQ gives students another avenue in which to explore it. When we think of race hate we often think of groups such as the Nazis, but it is important to show students that there are many dimensions to history and while it is easy to villains only one group, it is not necessarily accurate. Racial prejudices come in many shapes and sizes and can be found in all eras. The Anzacs provide another perspective to historians. It is not my intent to belittle the bravery of the Anzacs in World War I. Rather, I want students to remember that history is not black and white. It is not simple and it is not static. It is fluid and gray. It is their job to sift through it and make a claim and support it with evidence as historians in training.

Image credit: Coloured illustration of Anzac troops after the fighting at Gallipoli during World War I
Illustrator: Unidentified
Date: Undated
Location: Gallipoli, Turkey; 40.419071, 26.67877

Description: A New Zealand soldier stands on the left, with an Australian soldier on the right. They are holding the flags of their countries, with a Union Jack displayed above. A banner across the flags reads 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps'. King George V is quoted 'The Australian and New Zealand troops have indeed proved themselves worthy sons of the Empire'.

View this image at the State Library of Queensland: hdl.handle.net/10462/deriv/114320

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The Pig War: Constructing Historic Narrative

» 22 December 2014 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, Publishing, Students » No Comments

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Here’s a chapter from my latest student-designed iBook “Exploring History: Vol II.” The Pig War by Andy Saxton – s tudents are given historic documents related to the US / British Border Dispute of 1859 (the Pig War) and asked to reconstruct a historic narrative.

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The American Revolution: Historic Thinking DBQ

» 17 December 2014 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, Publishing, Students » No Comments

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Here’s a chapter from my latest student-designed iBook “Exploring History: Vol II.” The American Revolution by Scott Deal explores the motivations that drove colonial action.

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Exploring History in 10 Interactive Lessons

» 04 December 2014 » In History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments

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Ten engaging questions and historic documents empower students to be the historian in the classroom. Free at iTunes and as downloadable PDF.

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Segregated America’s TripAdvisor

» 11 November 2014 » In History / DBQ's » No Comments

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Explore the “Negro Travelers’ Green Book,” a guide for Black American travelers in Jim Crow America. It includes two archival editions (1949 and 1956), a documentary video, and an interactive Google map of “Negro-friendly” establishments across America in 1956.

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Teaching Politics, Controversy, Engagement – #sschat 11/3/14

» 30 October 2014 » In Ed Tech, Events, How To, Social Web » No Comments

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Join my EdMethods as the co-hosts of Twitter #sschat on Monday November 3, 2014 from 7-8 PM (eastern). That night is election eve ’14 and our topic will be very timely – “Teaching Politics, Controversy and Civic Engagement.”

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America Divided: Teaching Media Literacy and Political Polarization

» 21 October 2014 » In How To, Strategies » No Comments

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Survey tools and interactive data visualization for teaching media literacy and political polarization in America. Based on research by Pew Research Center.

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If A Pig Wore A Wig And Other Tales of School Reform

» 07 October 2014 » In Commentary, Ed Policy » No Comments

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In “The Plot Against Public Education: How millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools” Bob Herbert details the failed hit-or-miss reforms driven by corporate America’s assault on public education. Smaller schools, charters, on-line schools, and big testing have yet to deliver significant improvements in student performance. Why should a small group of America’s richest individuals, families, and foundations be allowed to exercise such overwhelming—and often such toxic—influence over the ways in which public school students are taught?

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Thinking Like A Historian: Student-Designed Lessons

» 02 October 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Students » No Comments

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Over the last few weeks my University of Portland EdMethods students have been designing lessons in historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). They focussed on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating.

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Quantify Culture with NGram Viewer and NY Times Chronicle

» 30 September 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Students, Visualizations, Web 2.0 » No Comments

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To demonstrate transformative web-based research tools, my EdMethods students spent time using Books NGram Viewer and NY Times Chronicle – to develop and test hypotheses. Here’s their results.

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