WWII veterans tell their stories – Central Florida WWII Museum

November 1, 2010

Part of the Veterans History Project, a museum in Florida interviews World War II veterans, and much of the material shows up on YouTube.

These interviews offer great resources for student projects, and are simply a grand way to capture history.

See this story about “Flying the Hump,” transporting war materiel over the Himalayas into China; it’s an interview with E. W. “Bill” Cutler, one of the fliers who survived:

This interview caught my attention for a personal reason.  My uncle, Bruce Davis, died flying the route.  His aircraft and remains were recovered more than 30 years later — someone stumbled on the wreckage accidentally.  When an aircraft went down for any reason (usually weather), the crews passed into a limbo that comprised a special hell for their families.  It was almost impossible that anyone would survive, as Cutler details.  But, with no wreckage and no remains, there were always questions.

Update: Brother Dwight informed me his father-in-law served at the last base before the airplanes went over the mountains.  We have more family Himalayan connections than I knew.

This interview has a mere 152 views as of this posting — pass it around, let’s bump the viewing total up, and get the story out.  At YouTube, the Central Florida WWII Museum has its own channel, listing several similar interviews.

I could see each student assigned to one interview, to tell the story of the interview to the class, to research the background of the theatre of war discussed, the battle, the incident, the armaments, the nations and people involved — to make a history narrative out of the interview, in other words.    What other uses do you see?

Here’s the rest of the story:  The museum has not yet been built.  This project, the video interviews, is a place-holder, a way to communicate while raising the money to build an edifice to honor the veterans more appropriately.  It’s a virtual museum — one your students may browse from the classroom.  How cool is that?


History in photos – great art, good student project?

August 12, 2010

Earlier I found an idea I’ve not been able to incorporate into my classes, but which I still like:  Take historic photos of your town, go to the same place today and see what it looks like.

Comparing historic images with places today

Students could do this: Comparing historic images with places today

A Russian photographer takes the exercise further, and creates sometimes-stunning art.

Sergey Larenkov has photos from Europe in World War II.  He blends parts of those images with photos of the same places today, in cities across Europe. He has images from Berlin, Leningrad, and other cities (crawl over his LiveJournal site — there’s good stuff).

Sergey Larenkov, World War II historic photo overlay on modern shot - Leningrad?

Sergey Larenkov, World War II historic photo overlay on modern shot - is this Leningrad? Whose soldiers, what year?

Sergey Larenkov work, the Siege of Leningrad, and Leningrad today (reverting to the name St. Petersburg)

Sergey Larenkov work, the Siege of Leningrad, and Leningrad today (reverting to the name St. Petersburg)

Ghostly, no?

The photos show the destruction of war, and how far Europe has come since then.  It’s an astounding view of history.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, these photo mashups are worth ten thousand words or more.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Alices’ blog at My Modern Met.

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World War II, fought out on Facebook

April 11, 2010

It’s not exactly family safe, so I’ll link.  For a college class, I’d ask students to determine if the piece is accurate, and if not, what really happened.

What would it have looked like had World War II been fought with Facebook postings?


Look at the past: A class project?

January 30, 2010

Look at this stuff, at Pillar Post.  Could your students do something like this for your town?

image by Bu Yourself, at Pillar Post

image by Bu Yourself, at Pillar Post

Students would have to find the old photos at the library, or at your local historical association or museum.  Most of your students already have the electronic photo equipment though . . .

Just an idea.

Resources, and more:


Bill of Rights Institute cosponsors prize for National History Day

January 21, 2010

I get e-mail:

THE BILL OF RIGHTS INSTITUTE SPONSORS NATIONAL HISTORY DAY PRIZE
Students nationwide can compete for the Constitutional Rights in History prize

The Bill of Rights Institute announced their collaboration with National History Day (NHD) today. The Institute is sponsoring the Constitutional Rights in History prize, awarded to an outstanding entry in any category from both the senior and junior divisions which documents and analyzes how individuals have exercised their constitutional rights throughout American history.

The 2010 theme for National History Day is “Innovation In History: Impact and Change.” Students must demonstrate through their project how their chosen individual’s actions had an impact on history.

Each year more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. The Bill of Rights Institute’s prize will be awarded at the National Finals held in June 2010 in College Park, Maryland.

For more information about History Day, go to http://www.nationalhistoryday.org/.

© 2010 Bill of Rights Institute
200 North Glebe Road, Ste 200
Arlington, VA 22203


Gilded Age project

October 27, 2009

I really like this project, and I wish I’d come across it about a month ago:

The Gilded Age Class Documentary Project

The Gilded Age – Class Documentary Project

Instructors:  Rachel Duffy, Marc Ducharme

May, 2005

Adapted from:  The Gilded Age WebQuest – Documenting Industrialization in America

By: Thomas Caswell and Joshua DeLorenzo

What do you think?


Quick assist for students doing papers on climate change

October 14, 2009

So, you’re a student doing a paper on climate change, and you need help limiting the topic, or finding information about related topics.

Hot Topic has just the thing:  Interactive “debate maps.

Hot Topic is a website dedicated to the issue climate change in New Zealand — after the book by the same name.

Does anyone know where similar maps might exist for other social studies topics?


I’d give the kid a good grade, I think

July 22, 2009

Can any teacher recognize genius in the classroom?  Especially when I taught in alternative programs, I was frequently astounded by the great work students did that was just enough off the mark of the assignment that it might have gotten a zero were it not so brilliant, and had I not had a few extra minutes to grade (thanks to smaller classes).

Wee Mousie’s Cinema Burlesque — what do you do with stuff like that?

This is the stuff Creative Commons is made for, by the way.


National History Day film on DDT

March 8, 2009

Student production from 2008:

The film’s credits say it was done by Michael Seltzer — it’s rather obviously a student production, but there is also a Dr. Michael Seltzer active in environmental protection.  Are they related?

Best I can tell is that this documentary didn’t win any national awards If the non-winners are this good, I wonder what the winners look like?

Why aren’t all the winners posted on the website of the National History Day organization, or on YouTube?


When on Earth, Google as the Earthlings do

March 7, 2009

I’m probably way behind the curve, but this looks to me as if it could be developed into a classroom exercise of some sort.

At Geevor Tin Mine Museum’s Weblog, I stumbled onto Whenonge #7 — When on Google Earth #7 (archaeology edition).

These wacky archaeologists!  They get a Google Earth image of some dig, post it, and challenge people to identify the dig and the time in history the site was actually occupied.  The first to identify the site accurately gets to host the next round.

Hey, take a look at these things.  They would make great slides for a presentation, but they’re also just cool.

Mystery image for When on Google Earth #7 (archaeology)

Mystery image for When on Google Earth #7 (archaeology)

Like so much in archaeology, this game comes to us from our methodological cousins in geology. Shawn Graham adopted their game, and modified it for our use at whenonge #1. Chuck Jones had the first correct answer, and then hosted whenonge #2. The mysterious and elusive PDD got #2 right but never claimed his prize, so Chuck struck back with whenonge #2.1. Paul Zimmerman got the correct answer to #2.1 and hosted whenonge # 3. Heather Baker got the correct answer to #3 and hosted whenonge # 4, and Jason Ur won and hosted of whenonge # 5 . Dan Diffendale won that,  #6 was hosted on whenonge #6 and i won this! so here we are… be the first to correctly identify the site above and its major period of occupation in the comments below and you can host your own!

What’s that?  There’s a geology version, too?  Good heavens!  The geologists are past #150!

WoGE #124 - Where on Google Earth #124; I dont know where this is, but it looks cool.

WoGE #124 - Where on Google Earth #124; I don't know where this is, but it looks cool.

It’s the sort of geeky game that airline real estate lawyers could play with airports, football geeks could play with collegiate football stadia, or baseball geeks with Major League Baseball parks.  Hiking, camping and wilderness geeks could do a National Parks and National Monuments version, with real aficianadoes including trails in National Wilderness Areas from the National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Why not a simple geography version?  Cities with more than 2 million population; national capital cities, state capital cities; Civil War battlefields; famous battlefields; volcanoes; 7 Wonders of the World.

Maybe someone in the Irving, Texas, ISD can get their geography kids to use their computers and put up a website devoted to some of these issues.


Typewriter of the moment: Sheryl Oring, and “the next president”

December 14, 2008

Sheryl Oring at her typewriter, collecting messages from Americans to the next president.

Sheryl Oring at her typewriter, collecting messages from Americans "to the next president."

Remember Sheryl Oring?  In the spring of 2008 she was wandering the nation with her typewriter and portable table in tow, typing out postcards to “the next president” from people she found in public spaces willing to share their hopes for the next presidential administration.

Five weeks away from the inauguration of Barack Obama, I wonder what Oring’s postcards could tell us?  Where is she now?

Check out her website, I Wish to Say.  Maybe your classroom could support a similar project from your students.  What do these cards tell us about Americans?  What do they tell us about our electoral process?  What do they tell us about our hopes and fears?  DBQ, anyone?

One of several thousand postcards from Americans, collected by Sheryl Oring (and typed by her) to send to the next president -- who we now know will be Barack Obama.

Two of several hundred postcards from Americans, collected by Sheryl Oring (and typed by her) to send to "the next president" -- who we now know will be Barack Obama.

Many of the postcards will be on display through January 25, 2009, at the McCormick Foundation‘s Freedom Museum in Chicago.  Admission is free.

In comments, tell us what you would have told Oring to put on a postcard from you.

Resources:


Geography lesson: New York City

November 19, 2008

Bookmark this site, geography teachers:  Farm School is going to New York City for the “American Thanksgiving” holiday.  Check out the long list of rich resources.

Any student or teacher doing a project on modern New York City should send a note of Thanksgiving to Farm School, eh?


Harappa and Mohenjodaro sources

October 5, 2008

The Maharajah of Cashmere  The Illustrated London News  December 18, 1875  [From a longer story on the Prince of Wales visit to India in 1875.] With regard to the Maharajah of Cashmere, whose residence and political relations, beneath the Himalayas and in the Valley of the Upper Indus, are very remote from Bombay, we defer any notice of him till the Prince of Wales goes to visit him in Cashmere. The portrait of this Maharajah is from a photograph by Messrs. Bourne and Shepherd, of India.
The Maharajah of Cashmere The Illustrated London News December 18, 1875 (From a longer story on the Prince of Wales visit to India in 1875.) – “With regard to the Maharajah of Cashmere, whose residence and political relations, beneath the Himalayas and in the Valley of the Upper Indus, are very remote from Bombay, we defer any notice of him till the Prince of Wales goes to visit him in Cashmere. The portrait of this Maharajah is from a photograph by Messrs. Bourne and Shepherd, of India.”

World history teachers, bookmark this site:  Harappa.com

It’s a rich site about India and Pakistan, and includes information and images about the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilizations.

Great images for your classrooms, or for your students’ projects.

Tip of the old scrub brush to John Maunu teaching AP World History in Grosse Ile, Michigan.

(Full text of description of site from the Asian Studies WWW Monitor below the fold.)

Read the rest of this entry »


Does mood affect how well you do homework?

September 22, 2008

Interesting discussion around how a student’s mood affects retention of material covered in homework, from the students at Extreme Biology.

What is your experience?


Let your students blog

September 22, 2008

One way to get better use out of technology is to let your students use it.  How about having students make posts to a blog, for credit?  They learn how to write, they learn technology, and they learn the class material.

Here’s a great example of a classroom-driven blog, where the students do most of the work: Extreme Biology. Miss Baker’s Biology Class holds forth from a school in the northeast, with 9th grade and AP biology students doing most of the work.

Here’s another good example, from another biology class (in Appleton, Wisconsin — close to you, James!):  Endless Forms Most Beautiful (every biologist will recognize the title from biology literature).

The idea is attracting some attention in science circles, especially with an idea that working scientists ought to drop by from time to time to discuss things with students.

How do your students use technology to boost their learning?


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