Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Break

Wow...I hope by now all my students had a happy holiday. We finished up the last few weeks of the semester with this:

9th grade: Students continue to work on your Imperialism Poster. It will be due the first week when we get back. By the way, the Imperialism exam results were very strong across all three classes. Congratulations, guys!

11th grade: We were now entering the later stages of the Civil Rights Movement. Students will be learning about the Nation of Islam, Black Power, and Malcolm X. They were also given an opportunity to watch the films Malcolm X or Mississippi Burning for extra credit These are R rated films and cannot be shown in my classroom, but their historical content is excellent. Again, sorry about the R rating---history is often rated R.

European History: My students should be working on a French Revolution question packet, and questions 18-22 on the Industrial Revolution. They were also given a list of extra credit films--all excellent (none rated R).

See you in a week everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Students in Advanced Placement European History are learning about the French Revolution. They were able to view a few excerpts from the movie, Marie Antoinette.

Marie Antoinette was a teenager when she left her home in Austria and traveled to France to marry the Dauphin (crown prince) of France. Because it was an arranged marriage, it was difficult for her, but she grew to have a close friendship with her husband. They would both die by guillotine during the French Revolution.

In the movie, the director, Sofia Copolla attempted to show the luxury of the court of Versailles. She even commissioned the famous pastry house, Laduree, to provide the pastries for some of the scenes. It was a perfect contrast to the wide-spread hunger that existed among the lower classes of the third estate in pre-revolutionary France.

Laduree remains very famous, and there are several branches in Paris. Just browsing the site is a feast!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wikileaks--THEN and NOW...

Leaked telegrams and cables are nothing new in European and American History. They have started wars and insulted national leaders...something that remains to be seen with the latest Wikileak releases.

This week, students in 9th grade are learning about the Spanish American War, when the Americans moved into Cuba and the Philippines.

One of the factors in the Spanish American war was a telegram from the Spanish Ambassador who said that the President of the United States, McKinley, was weak. This was seen as a personal insult. The telegram said : "...McKinley is weak and catering to the rabble and, besides, a low politician who desires to leave a door open to himself and to stand well with the jingos of his party."

The "leaking" of the De Lome letter was one of the factors that led to the Spanish American War.