Cultural Imperialism: Who Stole Cleopatra’s Needles?

» 29 February 2016 » In Guest post, History / DBQ's » No Comments

782px-Cleopatras.needle.from.thames.london.arpMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook - Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen 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 and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Fifth of 13)

Finding Egyptian Needles in Western Haystacks by Heidi Kershner 
Download as PDF 3.2MB

Essential Question: Who owns and has the right to cultural property?

Beginning with Roman rule in 31 BCE many of Egypt’s obelisks were transported throughout the empire to be set up in various cities. Because of this, the city of Rome now houses more obelisks than anywhere else in the world (including Egypt). Three such obelisks found their way to the metropolises of London, Paris, and New York in the nineteenth century. 

 

Reflection by Heidi Kershner

The process of designing a document based lesson was quite lengthy and involved. It required finding not only relevant documents and primary sources but ones that were both rich enough yet easily accessible for students to engage with on a deep level.

In my case I found this objective fairly challenging as I was looking to create a lesson to fit within a unit about ancient Egypt. Given that the subject for my lesson was from such antiquity I found it fairly difficult to find primary sources and other documents that would fit the aforementioned stipulations. However once I was able to identify my documents the actual designing of the lesson was pretty fun!

Throughout this process I had to continually put myself in the shoes of my students and ask the question: what should students be doing and learning from each document? With this important question in mind I was able to critically think about how each document and primary source fit into the larger fabric of my lesson.

Even though this type of lesson carries a fairly heavy workload in terms of planning I think that this would be a fantastic method to use in my instruction. Certainly not every lesson can be document based but I think that such lessons could be very powerful in terms of both increasing student content mastery as well as providing an opportunity for students to act as historians (which should always be our goal as teachers of social studies)!

Image credit: Wikipedia 

Cleopatra’s Needle in London seen from the River Thames. In the background the New Adelphi, a monumental Art Deco building designed by the firm of Collcutt & Hamp.in the 1930s. 
Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in June 2005 and released to the public domain.

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Samurai: Sources of Warrior Identity in Medieval Japan

» 23 February 2016 » In Guest post, History / DBQ's » No Comments

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Student designed interactive DBQ explores Medieval depictions of the Samurai to answer the question of what it means to be a warrior in Japan and the place of the warrior in society.

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Strange Fruit: Media Coverage of the Waco Horror

» 08 February 2016 » In Guest post, History / DBQ's » No Comments

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Student designed interactive DBQ explores the media coverage of the 1916 lynching of Jesse Washington, a 17 year old African American man from Waco, Texas – one of the most heinous acts of government sanctioned mob “justice” in American society.

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Harlem Renaissance: Rebirth of Cultural Identity

» 26 January 2016 » In Guest post, History / DBQ's » No Comments

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Student designed interactive DBQ explores the theme “How did the Harlem Renaissance allow African Americans to express their experiences within American society?”

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How To Think Like a Historian

» 29 June 2015 » In Guest post, History / DBQ's » No Comments

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Google Hangout – Our Library of Congress TPS workshop queries historian Dr. Adam Franklin-Lyons about how historians think.

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The World Is My Audience: Using iBooks Author and Book Creator to Change Student Writing

» 12 March 2015 » In Guest post, Literacy, Publishing, Reflection, Students » 4 Comments

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Guest post from teacher Jon Smith details the story of his student-written iBooks. Jon and his students have published 44 iBooks that have been downloaded over 32,000 times from iTunes bookstores across the world.

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How to Add Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Images to iBooks Author

» 05 September 2013 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, How To, Publishing » 5 Comments

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Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files are very small files can be scaled up to yield large images without the distorting “jaggies.” Here’s a quick how-to that will allow you import SVG images into iBooks Author. Use the same process to import SVG files into Apple Keynote, Numbers and Pages. Download a free demo sample iBook.

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How to Use iAD to Create an External Video Widget for iBA

» 06 August 2013 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, How To, Publishing » No Comments

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iBooks can be enriched by videos, but they quickly expand the file size of your iBook. Here’s an easy-to-follow video tutorial that shows you how to use iAd Producer to create visually appealing widgets that allow you to link to external videos outside your iBook project. Keep the file size of your iBook manageable. No coding required.

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DBQ Lesson Plan: Shopping with Historic Documents

» 31 July 2013 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies, Students, Web 2.0 » No Comments

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Here’s how to engage students in historic research and critical thinking in an innovative lesson that combines biography, historic photographs, the 1900 federal census, the 1897 Sears Catalogue, and Google Voice.

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DIY Textbooks With iBooks Author

» 22 January 2013 » In Ed Tech, Guest post, History / DBQ's, How To, Leadership, Publishing, Teachers » 2 Comments

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Two years ago, three junior high teachers were thinking about how to better motivate their social studies students. They decided one way to get kids more excited about learning was to get rid of their traditional textbooks. Here’s a guest post on how these teachers teamed with their school and district leadership to create their own textbook.

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