Friday, March 20, 2015

Post-Classical Labor Forms, Rebellions, & Cities

The economic opportunities of the Post-Classical period were in both manufacturing and agriculture. Population growth led to urbanization and overuse of resources. Environmental issues and disease led to population shifts, as well. Existing forms of labor were adapted and new forms, such as serfdom and mit'a, were introduced. Cities rose and fell for many of the same reasons as they always have, and peasant rebellions were staged over taxes (not surprising). The Red Turban Rebellion was successful after 30 years of fighting. The victory led to the beginning of the Ming Dynasty at the end of the Post-Classical.  

Learning Goals 
  • Explain the innovations that led to increases in agricultural and industrial production
  • Identify the reasons for the rise and downfall of cities in certain regions.
  • Explain the circumstances of the Red Turban Rebellion. 
  • Discuss the changes in gender relations and family structure that resulted from the diffusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neoconfucianism.

APWH Curriculum 

Discussion: Population and Urbanization

Innovations in Agriculture
  1. Champa rice varieties 
  2. The chinampa field systems 
  3. Waru waru agricultural techniques in the Andean areas 
  4. Improved terracing techniques 
  5. The horse collar
Chinese, Persian, and Indian artisans and merchants expanded their production of textiles and porcelains for export; industrial production of iron and steel expanded in China

CCOT Practice: Labor Forms

  • Study the labor forms and write a CCOT thesis statement based on the Post-Classical time period. Include the reasons why the labor form stayed the same or changed. Include a group, social movement, or technology that affected the change.

CCOT essay framework

Research: Red Turban Rebellion

Why did the Chinese peasants overthrow the Yuan Dynasty (Mongols)?

Comparative Practice : Women of Islam and Christianity 

  • Write a summary statement that includes a similarity and difference between women in Islam and Christianity.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Labor and Law: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Since this lesson bridges the unfavorable conditions of the Gilded Age with the Progressive Era, a closer look at the evidence of law and safety procedures we have in our school was a good place to start.


Find artifacts in the school that relate to exiting safely in the event that a fire broke out in one of the second-floor hallways.

When you get back to the classroom, meet in groups based on your artifact and make sure you have one device for every three group members.

Our goal is to add historical context to the legal reasons why we have particular procedures for emergency exiting. This information will be used as a component to evacuation training. 


Use your device or one of the classroom devices to look up a connection between the artifact you found and an event that impacted the law(s) that stipulate use of the artifact. Write the artifact and the event/legal connection on a piece of paper and tack (or tape it to the wall.

Inquiry: Image Analysis 

Write questions that would need to guide your research if you needed to find out what happened.

Guided reading

Read the the Department of Labor's explanation of the Triangle Shirtwaiste Fire. Make notes about the safety issues and what the government has done to ensure that disasters like it don't happen again.

The Product: Historical Context Placard

Make a placard that explains what the safety artifact is and how it came to be required by law. We will print, laminate, and post them on the History Hallway.


#HistoryIn30 reflection
Group response to lesson blog post.

A Remind message will help students connect disasters like this one with other labor-related issues that were alleviated through legal codes. They can stamp check if they get it or ? if they don't. If three or more students stamp ?, they can receive a message for support without messaging everyone, again. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mongols and the Barbarian Empires

The Mongols changed the world. This group of pastoralists showed the world that you didn't have to agriculturalists to be advanced and powerful. The Mongols created modern Russia through interaction with the princes at Moscow. At the decline of the Yuan Dynasty (the Mongol Empire in China), they were the receiving end of the first use of firearms that had any impact on world history.  

Goal: Explain the impact of the Mongols on economic and political systems in the late Post-Classical.


The discussion piece introduces the Mongols and how they interact with others. This resource has images, secondary source excerpts, and questions for reflection. I project it on the screen and zoom in on the parts as we discuss, which is led through cues and questions.

The Khanate

Students watch this Crash Course video and make notes about the Mongol government structure. Consider what makes the empire success with trade and how jobs are assigned.

End of the Yuan, Rise of the Ming

The Red Turban was a peasant group that revolted against the Mongols in Nanjing, beginning the decline of the Yuan and ushering in the Ming Dynasty. The plague was hard on the population, which made the peasants seek to overthrow the Mongol rule in China.

This slide presentation is only for review. It contains no new critical content.

DBQ Assessment

The previous lesson comparing the knights and samurais was practice for this assessment. Students were given the DBQ without the background essay to complete the DBQ quiz worksheet.

Knights vs. Samurai

Instead of teaching feudalism in Europe and saying, "Oh, yeah. It happened in Japan, too." I decided to teach both at the same time through a DBQ that asks if the similarities between the samurai and the knight are greater than the differences. This prompt requires students to choose a side and sift through the evidence many times to prove it.

Goal: Explain the similarities and differences between the warrior classes of Post-Classical Japan and Europe.

In an effort to show students how the big picture can be revealed by looking closely, I chose a video that compares the katana and the longsword.

The Mini-Q

The DBQ (from the DBQ Project 2013) includes a background essay and six sets of documents.

  1. Students made notes of three similarities and three differences while reading the background essay. 
  2. Everyone stood and read an item on their list. As an item is read and discussed, students mark off the items on their list so there no repeats. 
  3. Students completed a DBQ worksheet that's designed according to the AP rubric.
  4. The last task is to discuss what an acceptable response statement (thesis) looks like. This includes reading through a few that are unacceptable, without revealing the student names. 
  5. Students partner according to the way I ordered the worksheets, which pairs stronger students with the weaker ones. 
Visiting warrior journal

Imagine a samurai travels to Europe and a knight to Japan. What would they write in their journals? Students write a journal entry as if they are one of the warriors in the scenario. What would a knight in Europe say about a visiting samurai? What would the samurai say? What would they teach each other?

Students can choose to write it on their blogs, make a video, write a fairy tale, or any other way. The most important requirement was that the final product had to include facts about the economy, society, and government in terms of similarities and differences from the point of view of the chosen warrior.