Christopher Columbus

Instructional goal: Use sourcing and contextualizing to analyze primary sources, to determine motivation/causation of an event and to provide evidence for a historical argument.

 

Intro: Write one sentence summarizing what you think motivated Columbus to set out on his voyage.

 

Access the following selections from Columbus’s journal: here

Access the following selections from Columbus’s letters: here and here

In reading groups, discuss and answer the following questions for each selection:

  • When was this written?
  • To whom was this written/who was the intended audience?
  • What might have been Columbus’s purpose in writing this?
  • [Extension: what information/context/perspective is missing?]

 

Then, individually, add evidence from these sources to at least two different sections of your graphic organizers on what motivated Columbus’s voyage. [Extension: add evidence to another section.]

 

As a class: discuss whether we need to revise/expand/add to any of our arguments about Columbus’s character. (Ongoing project, recorded on a graphic organizer and updated with each lesson.)

 

Exit slip: Add one of your pieces of evidence to the appropriate poster on Columbus’s motivations in a gallery walk.

 

Featured image credit: link

Law and Order: Mesopotamia Unit

Historians are like detectives. They investigate the past, putting pieces of historical information together like a giant puzzle that tells a story, building a historical context. In order for historians to piece together that story, they need to look at historical documents and events through several different perspectives.

4 Perspectives: geographic, political, social, economic

When we examine a historical event or document, we should always ask:

1) What’s the geographic perspective? Where did this take place? Where was this written?

2) What’s the political perspective? What was the political structure at the time? Who had power? Who didn’t have power?

3) What’s the social perspective? What was the social structure like? What was the predominant religion? What was the art like? What was the social culture like?

4) What’s the economic perspective? What kind of economy was there? What was the food supply like? Who had most of the wealth?


With these 4 perspectives in mind, let’s explore Hammurabi’s Code and what it tells us about life in ancient Babylon.

Let’s start with what we already know:

What have we learned about ancient Mesopotamia and its kingdoms that might help us understand the historical context of Hammurabi’s Code? Use the 4 Perspectives and Big C part of your graphic organizer to guide your thinking.

Find the graphic organizer here: BigC_little_c_context_organizer


Next, this video will give us a preview of the Code of Hammurabi and some of its laws.

To investigate further, let’s examine 3 documents. Each document is a translated section of the Code.

Work with a partner to answer these questions for each document:

Document A: Religion
1. According to this document, where did Hammurabi get his power as king?

2. Monotheistic or Polytheistic?
a. According to this document, was Babylonia a monotheistic society (belief in one god) or a polytheistic society (belief in many gods)?
b. How do you know this from Hammurabi’s Code?

3. According to this document, what is the goal of Hammurabi’s Code?

 

Document B: Economy

1. Working the fields: Summarize laws 42-43 in your own words.

2. The dams: Summarize laws 53-54 in your own words.

3. Type of Economy
a. According to this document, do you think most people in Babylonia made money in cities or in the country?
b. How do you know this from Hammurabi’s Code?

 

Document C: Society
1. Laws 196-199 discuss putting out the eye of “another man,” a “free man” and a “slave.”
a. According to this document, whose eye was worth the most?
b. According to this document, whose eye was worth the least?
c. How do you know?

2. Equality
a. According to this document, was everyone equal in Babylonia?
b. How do you know this from Hammurabi’s Code?
i. Evidence 1:
ii. Evidence 2:

3. Women
a. According to law 138, what happens to a dowry if a man leaves his wife?
b. What does this suggest about the position of women in Babylonian
society?


So what does all this tell us about life in ancient Babylon?

Discuss the 4 Perspectives with your partner, and add to your Big C/ little c graphic organizer. Remember, little c ideas are those that we get directly from our documents, while Big C ideas can come from things we already know. Are the little c ideas consistent with the Big C ideas?  Do any Big C ideas need to be revised?

With your partner, create a short document depicting life in ancient Babylon. This could take the form of a travel brochure or review, a short essay, or slide show. Be sure to include the 4 Perspectives in your document!

 

Exit slip: Life in ancient Babylon – I used to think…..  Now I think…..

 

 

 

Class 7: Teaching Historical Thinking – Part II

Today we continue our study of historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). We will focus on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating. See historical thinking chart (pdf at SHEG).

Students have designed lessons using one or more skills and will share them with the class. See assignment for more info.

See student SHEG inspired lessons here.

Peter will also lead the class in some exercises exploring “Close Reading” in using historical documents. Close Reading Hand Out

Assignment 7

Next week there will be no class on Oct 16th because of Fall break. Students will use the time to work on our Holocaust Memorial Project. You can follow our progress at our evolving website – Oregon Holocaust Memorial