Monday, April 30, 2012

World Studies Final Project

Positive/Negative World Timeline and Map Project:

Create a Positive/Negative Timeline which includes news-worthy events from the past year for the following countries:



Democratic Republic of Congo







North Korea

South Sudan




United States

United Kingdom

You must include a minimum of three significant events (either positive or negative) for each country. Write the title, author and date for each news story in the packets provided in class. 

You must include at least four pictures on your timeline.

You must rank the significance of each event you include on your timeline.

You must locate, shade, and label each country on a world map. You map will be turned in when you turn in your timeline.

CNN World:

BBC World:

Time Magazine-World:

NPR-World News:

New York Times:

More detail: You will need construction paper, graph paper or tag board for this project. Draw a line down the center of your paper. Draw a vertical line down the far left side of your paper. Everything above the center line will be labeled +5 through +1. Everything below the horizontal line will be labeled -1 though -5.

Determine the significance, either negative or positive, of each historic event. Either write events on your timeline or type, print, and glue events on your timeline.

This project is worth 100 points
Completed Packet: 40 points
Completed Timeline: 40 points
Map:10 points
Pictures: 5 points
Appearance: 5 points points

This project is due May 25th

Examples of Positive/Negative Timelines (both timelines are "works-in-progress":

Example of the Packet:

Domestic Violence Facts

Monday, April 16, 2012

Found Poem- The Children's March

U.S. History:
The Children's March (Civil Rights)
"Found Poem" Assignment- 
Topic of the poem: "The Children's March" video (Teaching Tolerance video)
First, brainstorm a list of words and phrases you will likely use in your poem. Then, look through magazines and newspapers for those words and phrases. Cut them out and arrange them on construction paper to form a poem. Glue them on construction paper. Decorate your poster with pictures and photographs relating to your theme.

Found Poetry (definition):
A found poem is shaped from a collection of words or phrases found in one text. A found poem may be created by students after a text has been read, in part or in whole .

Found Poem (What is it?):

Toolbox for Change

Toolbox for change:

Everyone will receive a photocopy of a toolbox. Fill your toolboxes with "tools" for change (things used by Civil Rights leaders in their struggle for civil rights). We will brainstorm a list of ten things as a class. Each individual must come up with ten additional "tools". You will need to find pictures of these things (or pictures of things that symbolize your "tools") or words from magazines. Cut out your pictures and glue them in your "toolbox".  You need a minimum of twenty words, phrases, and/or pictures in your "toolbox." (See example above or look at the example on the bulletin board in the classroom.)

You may mat your toolbox on a piece of construction paper if you wish. Construction paper, scissors, glue are located on the center table.

Projects are due at the end of class.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Return to the Killing Fields

Civil Rights: Brown v. Board of Education

“Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.” -Earl Warren, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice during Brown v. Board of Education and Miranda v. Arizona. #quote

Brown v. Board of Education
Segregation - our nation's caste system (keeping the races separate - denying access to African Americans)

The Brown decision would test the validity of the law - law that existed for decades (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896)

It was essential the Supreme Court decide the case unanimously, anything less would appear weak - considering the controversial nature of the issue, unanimity was key - the Court could not give the appearance of division

The reasoning: Segregation in public education was a violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause

Many people viewed schools as the ticket to advancement - segregated schools would have a detrimental effect on Black children - sense of inferiority has an effect on a child's ability to learn

"... to separate them from others of similar age and qualifications because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way very unlikely to ever be undone." From the majority, Chief Justice Earl Warren

-Controversy over footnote #11 (Clark's research)

"We conclude unanimously, that in the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

-Controversy over the language (some felt the language was weak and/or vague - for example, no specific timeline for desegregation)

Brown II: "...with all deliberate speed." Again, some felt the language too weak/vague - left open the door to Southern resistance. In fact, desegregation in much of the South moved along at a snail's pace. From the perspective of the Court, their choice in language was necessary - stronger language could have triggered greater Southern resistance.

The decision was met with harsh reaction - especially in the South (In Mississippi, there was a steady increase in violent crime against Blacks who exerted their rights following the decision.)

Violent backlash took the form of beatings, burnings, lynchings, etc.
Citizens' Council - urban, middle class hate group (goal was to make it extremely difficult for any Black to find and hold a job, get credit, vote, etc.)

Many Southern districts stalled implementation
Where desegregation occurred, what seemed to be the motivating factor(s)?

Psychology connection: What is "the psychology of inevitability"? Could that have played a role in "speeding" up the process of desegregation in some districts?

Brown was a success when all three branches of government took the decision seriously:
"The peak of the effort to desegregate the schools came in the late 1960's and early 1970s. The only period in which there was active, positive support by both the courts and the executive branch of the government was the four years following the enactment of the l964 Civil Rights Act. During this period federal education officials, the Department of Justice, and the high courts all maintained strong and reasonably consistent pressure for achieving actual desegregation. During this period desegregation policy was transformed from a very gradual anti-discrimination policy to one of rapid and full integration."
1988 was the peak year for integration - steady decline ever since

Legacy of Brown:
*Offered the possibility of long-awaited change (would have consequences extending beyond public education)
*Perception the Supreme Court was an ally in the struggle for Civil Rights
*Brown shaped policy in other areas such as the criminal justice system

The most segregated states for Black students include the leaders for the last quarter century: Illinois, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey. California, which has a small percentage of Black students, and Maryland have moved rapidly up this list. Outside the South we find the two states with the most dramatic declines in Black student contact with white students since l980: Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

NPR Coverage:

Defy Expectations

Devour Books

Fake Lincoln Quote

The Power of Words

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Century America's Time: Homefront

1. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Why did Japan bomb Pearl 
2. How did the American people react to the bombing of Pearl Harbor? 
3. What is a citizen soldier?  Why does the United States have a particular history of 
citizen soldiers? 
4. Discuss the transition from a peacetime economy to wartime economy that occurred 
in the United States during World War II. 
5. Women workers increased dramatically during the war.  Why was there resistance at 
first to women working in war plants? 
6. Why were women accepted in the defense industries after some initial reservations 
and resistance? 
7. World War II was not fought on American soil.  Nevertheless, the impact of the war 
was tremendous. How did World War II alter the American homefront? 
8. How did the United States use propaganda to unify the American people behind the 
war effort? 
9. Why were Japanese-Americans banished to internment camps? Why weren’t 
German-Americans or Italian-Americans interned? Why is this one of the greatest 
civil rights violations in American history? 
10. Discuss the impact of D-Day on the course of the war.
11. Discuss the impact of FDR’s death. 

Cambodian Genocide

Frontline: "Cambodia: Pol Pot's Shadow"

Discussion Questions:
1. Who were the Khmer Rouge?

2. When did the Khmer Rouge take power?

2. What did they believe? What were they trying to achieve?

3. What was the ultimate result of the rule of the Khmer Rouge? (Discuss the devastating effects on the people and the country of Cambodia.)

4. What has happened to the Khmer Rouge? (When were they driven from power? Where are they now? Have top officials in the Khmer Rouge been held responsible for the genocide in Cambodia?)

5. Relate this story to other stories of genocide we've discussed in class. In your answer discuss how those in power used propaganda in their attempts to commit genocide. Discuss how those in power attempted to dehumanize targeted groups. 

Final scene from "The Killing Fields"

Map of Cambodia

Rwandan Genocide

Questions for students to consider after watching "Hotel Rwanda":

1.Why do you think people are willing to commit the barbaric acts seen in Rwanda and in other genocides?

2.Why do you think people who were fundamentally good and decent cross the line into behavior that was profoundly wrong?

3.In situations of conflict, people can be classified as perpetrators, rescuers, bystanders and victims. It is estimated that generally the category of bystanders contains far more than all the other categories combined. Why is the bystander category so large?

4.Does it matter what one person does in such situations?

Watch CBS News Video Online

Newsweek article:

World Studies- Lesson on Conflict Minerals

Conflict Minerals 101:

60 Minutes Story:

How do electronics companies stack up?

Time Magazine Article:,8599,1912594,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

Assignment: Answer the "5 W's and an H" questions regarding the issue of conflict minerals. 2 points each, for a total of 12 points.