Saturday, May 01, 2004

"Remember Our Faces"--Teaching about the Holocaust.

"Remember Our Faces"--Teaching about the Holocaust. This is an essay which looks at ways the Holocaust can be taught in classrooms.

From the site:

A Holocaust survivor recently implored social studies teachers to "remember our faces." This becomes an especially poignant plea when one considers the ages of the Holocaust survivors, the rescuers, and the liberators. This generation will soon be gone. Who remains to tell their stories? As the 50th anniversary remembrance of World War II continues, the significance of the European Holocaust and its implications for teaching social studies at the middle school and high school must be considered. Too often the Holocaust is forgotten in the recitation of dates and battles, commanders and campaigns. The annihilation of more than 6 million Jews cannot be described in the one or two paragraphs devoted to the Holocaust in the average social studies text. Though Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen and other Nazi death camps are synonymous with horror, what of the identities of the victims of those camps? How do we teach about those individuals who died in the camps, of those survivors who left the camps forever changed, or of those rescuers who risked their lives to help others?

The intents of this ERIC Digest are to (1) present a rationale for Holocaust education; (2) discuss curriculum placement for inclusion of the topic; (3) list organizations and resources available to help teachers in teaching about the Holocaust; and (4) provide a bibliography of relevant materials in the ERIC database.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Ancient Nubia

Ancient Nubia Explores the history and culture of ancient Nubia which existed in time along with the Egyptian Kingdom. Studies include Bronze Age Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush.

From the site:

In ancient times, the people living along the banks of the river Nile developed sophisticated civilizations. Ancient Egypt, stretching from the First Cataract to the Mediterranean Sea, is probably the most well-known ancient culture in this area. This web page illustrates the art and life-styles of a less well-known groups of people, the Nubian's. The Nubian's inhabited the area along the river Nile from the First Cataract south to the Sixth Cataract.

The cataracts serve as markers of Nubia's borders. The First Cataract, just to the south of Aswan, marks the northern boundary of Nubia. The southern border, though it fluctuated over time, lies near the Sixth Cataract. The eastern and western borders are generally marked by the extent of the cultivated fields on either side of the river. The cataracts also divide Nubia into different zones, which differ from one to another topographically. Nubia is generally divided into Lower Nubia, Upper Nubia, and Southern Nubia.

The landscape in Lower Nubia is quite different from that of Upper Nubia. The Nile Valley in Lower Nubia is similar to the Nile Valley in Egypt. The river here is broad and easily navigated, with a wide floodplain available for cultivation. Upper Nubia on the other hand, often presents a much harsher environment. Based on topography, Upper Nubia and Southern Nubia can be divided into five zones: (1) Batn el Hajar, (2) Abri-Delgo Reach, (3) Dongola Reach, (4) Abu Hamed Reach, and (5) Shendi Reach. Each of these zones, defined by cataracts, display a different type of riverine environment.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Teaching the Federalist Papers.

Teaching the Federalist Papers. This is an interesting article which gives tips for teaching about the US Federalist Papers.

From the site:

THE FEDERALIST is the great American contribution to literature on constitutional government. Thomas Jefferson proclaimed it "the best commentary on the principles of government which was ever written." In Cohens v. Virginia (1821), Chief Justice John Marshall wrote: "It (THE FEDERALIST) is a complete commentary on our Constitution, and it is appealed to by all parties in the questions to which that instrument gave birth." From the 1790s until today, lawyers, judges, politicians, and scholars have used ideas of THE FEDERALIST to guide their decisions about constitutional issues.

The ideas of THE FEDERALIST, which are at the core of civic culture in the United States, are essential elements of education for citizenship in the American constitutional democracy. This digest discusses (1) main ideas of THE FEDERALIST, (2) reasons for teaching THE FEDERALIST in secondary schools, and (3) how to teach THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

WHAT ARE MAIN IDEAS OF THE FEDERALIST?

THE FEDERALIST PAPERS were written and printed from October 1787 until May 1788 to counter arguments of Antifederalists against ratification of the Constitution of 1787. Alexander Hamilton was the originator of this work and author of 51 essays; James Madison wrote 26 of the papers; three essays were jointly authored by Hamilton and Madison; and John Jay wrote five of the papers. However, when these essays appeared in THE INDEPENDENT JOURNAL and other New York newspapers, they were attributed to "Publius" (this pseudonym referred to Publius Valerius Publicola, a great defender of the ancient Roman Republic).

The authors of THE FEDERALIST had varying and sometimes clashing ideas about government, but they agreed strongly on certain fundamental ideas: republicanism, federalism, separation of powers, and free government.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Museum of Unnatural Mystery provides a virtual tour of the structures that inspired awe in ancient Greeks and Romans. Illustrated history and descriptions, with reconstructions by Lee Krystek.

From the site:

The ancient Greeks loved to compile lists of the marvelous structures in their world. Though we think of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as a single list today, there were actually a number of lists compiled by different Greek writers. Antipater of Sidon, and Philon of Byzantium, drew up two of the most well-known lists.

Many of the lists agreed on six of the seven items. The final place on some lists was awarded to the Walls of the City of Babylon. On others, the Palace of Cyrus, king of Persia took the seventh position. Finally, toward the 6th century A.D., the final item became the Lighthouse at Alexandria.

Since the it was Greeks who made the lists it is not unusal that many of the items on them were examples of Greek culture. The writers might have listed the Great Wall of China if then had known about it, or Stonehenge if they'd seen it, but these places were beyond the limits of their world.