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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Exploring History: 13 Document-Based Lessons

» 15 December 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Publishing » No Comments

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Thirteen engaging US and World history lessons and historic documents empower students to be the historian in the classroom. Free at iTunes and as a downloadable PDF.

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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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Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design

» 23 June 2015 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations » No Comments

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I’m pleased to be presenting at the Devsigner Conference in Portland Ore June 27-28. My session will offer perspectives on designing engaging learning experiences that motivate students, provoke their reflections and monitor their progress as learners.

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How to Read Documentary Films

» 26 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » 2 Comments

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Lesson on using films as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. The lesson compares two documentary films detailing the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The first film was made in 1943 by the US government to justify the action. The second film was made in 2014 and features interviews with Japanese American incarcerees.

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How to Read Documentary Photographs

» 12 August 2014 » In History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » No Comments

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Lesson on using photographs as documents to develop historical thinking skills in sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating and close reading. Features material from “Uprooted” a museum exhibit and website that showcases the photography of Russell Lee, staff photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and his work at the Japanese American farm labor camps of WWII.

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Learning to Think Like a Historian

» 03 June 2014 » In Commentary, History / DBQ's, Strategies, Students, Teachers » No Comments

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I’m joined by other educators who comment on “Teaching History By Encouraging Curiosity.” Ideas on how to create a more engaging history classroom that teaches students the foundations of historical thinking. With links to more resources and a podcast.

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Anne Frank: A Primary Source DBQ

» 15 December 2013 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Projects, Students » No Comments

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One of my University of Portland pre-service teachers showcases her online DBQ – “Anne Frank: A Timeless Story.” She explores Anne’s diary as historic source document. Erin Deatherage also reflects on the experience of designing DBQs.

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Visions of Freedom: The American Revolution

» 08 December 2013 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Projects, Students » 2 Comments

Phillis Wheatley featured

I’ve asked my University of Portland students to reflect on a DBQ assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is “Visions of Freedom: The American Revolution” – a DBQ designed by Collin Soderberg-Chase. This DBQ presents multiple “views of freedom” viewed through the “lenses” of differing perspectives held during American revolutionary era. The essential question examines what factors influence one’s vision of freedom.

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Visual Rhetoric of Women’s Suffrage

» 01 December 2013 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, Projects, Students » No Comments

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Two of my University of Portland pre-service teachers showcase their online DBQ “Propaganda of the American Suffrage Movement, c. 1910-1920.” This DBQ is designed to encourage students to think critically about the American suffrage movement propaganda. The generative questions are: “How do images express biases?” and “How are political, social, and economic factors presented?” Heather Treanor and Cory Cassanova also reflects on the experience of designing DBQs.

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