Summer of Love in the San Francisco Bay

The target student group for this would probably be a U.S. History or Pop Culture class. I had several lessons on this content my senior year of high school in an elective class called 20th Century Pop Culture. Both these quizzes are essentially humorous pre-assessment’s or a very informal entrance or exit ticket.

Primary Source Icebreakers Through the Milk Tea Alliance

The Milk Tea Alliance is an anti-Beijing meme and online democratic solidarity movement. The three original members of the virtual alliance are the Taiwanese boba tea, Hong Kong-style milk tea and Thai tea.

Speech Bubbles

Title: Representatives Eliot Engel with Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong talks about Hong Kong situation at the U.S. Capitol

Context: Joshua Wong and Nathan Law – both pictured above – are two of the most well-known revolutionaries in modern Hong Kong history. They were both sentenced to prison for sedition and unlawful assembly in 2017 when Wong was just 20 years old. The two spearheaded the Demosisto, a group of young Hong Kongers fighting for education reform and the semi-autonomy they were promised by China in 1997. In 2018 they won a Nobel Peace Prize for spending their adolescence protesting for political reform and for their efforts in protecting the autonomy and freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. A large resurgence of Hong Kong Protests came in mid-2019 with the introduction of the extradition bill.

Ice Breaker Prompt: Write a speech bubble for what the U.S. Representative is saying into the microphone in a sentence of two and then a thought bubble for Wong.

Democratic Representative Eliot Engel says: These two men have devoted their young lives to politics and fighting for freedom. Young Americans should look up to these two as examples of how to enact and fight for change in a broken system.
Joshua Wong thinks: Don’t worry Engel, I foresee young Americans having their hands full with all sorts of domestic injustice in the coming years.


Title: 2020 Taiwan presidential election opinion polls

Context: On January 11th, 2020, Taiwan had its 7th democratic election for president. Democratic elections for president began on the island in 1996 and since then its been a battle of two main party’s; the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Kuomintang (KMT). In the graph above the DPP candidate and incumbent, Tsai Ingwen is represented by the green line and dots while the blue represent’s the KMT’s Han Guoyu. The DPP platform is ultimately trying to continue Taiwan’s slow but steady democratization and further itself from China by establishing a Taiwanese national identity. The KMT is generally favorable towards the ‘one county two system’ idea and has closer ties to China. The Chinese government greatly prefers the views of the KMT and actively promotes KMT candidates.

Ice Breaker Prompt: Analyze the graph. What questions do you have? Why might there be a shift halfway through 2019? Why did the Taiwanese people choose Tsai Ingwen?

The shift seems to coincide with the Hong Kong Protests. Taiwanese people might have seen the punitive, destructive practices of China and decided that they no longer wanted to support the party that favors China. What was Han Guoyu’s agenda and what was he saying and doing in the months leading up to the election? Did he condemn police brutality in HK?


Title: A Winnie the Pooh toy used to symbolize Xi Jinping with the Chinese flag on it, used in the 1 December protests

Context: In online culture Winnie the Pooh is used to symbolize Xi Jinping. Xi subsequently censored the use of Pooh on Chinese internet. It also appears that there is a Chinazi flag stuck on Pooh. Hong Kongers use the swastika to liken China and President Xi to Germany and Nazi’s because of their imprisonment of Uighur Muslims.

Icebreaker Prompt: What are the symbols in the photo? What context would make them confusing?

Response: People on the internet have claimed Xi looks like Winnie the Pooh for years. The swastika is representative of how China has concentration camps as Nazi Germany once did. The U.S. flags confuse me however; where is this protest taking place?

A Much Closer Look at Three Engaging Images

Join me as we use historical thinking skills to further analyze some images.

The Image above shows what appears to be a U.S. Marine band performing

Look at the audience, not a phone in sight, just enjoying jazz in the moment. With the armed forces being such a demanding and sometimes horrific journey, I think both being in a jazz band or simply listening to jazz music would be a pleasant way to spend an evening. We know this big band style of jazz and the days of Frank Sinatra was popular in the 1940’s which could clue us in on when this image was captured. What other aspects of 1940’s culture is present? Do you think traditions like this continue today in the armed forces?

It looks as if they are in a dining hall of sorts when focusing on the napkins and condiments on the table. Why might they be performing here? Could they be overseas or is this a domestic base?

Above we see four photos taken in Qing dynasty China

John Thomson was the first known photographer to document the people and landscape of China. He worked to capture all aspects of Chinese life and share the culture with the Western World. What is the significance of better understanding another country’s culture? Could this have been the first time these Chinese citizens saw a white foreigner?

How did the photographer communicate with his subjects? What’s the significance of that long hair? What does he appear to be painting?

A class that appears to be in the middle of a history lesson.

This is what class looked like before distance learning. Based on the formal dress and use of cursive, what year might this be? Also, what is the purpose of this photo, does it seem pretty mundane? Might this photo be taken outside of the U.S.? Is this a public or private school? What are the students gathered around?

In the zoom above we can make out the writing on the chalkboard that shows us the lesson is on the Pilgrim’s voyage. How might that lesson differ in today’s classrooms?

In the zoom below we see that there is a photo hung front and center in the classroom. I know having a photo of the country’s leader is a common practice in classrooms around the world but what might this be a photo of here?