Your mission for Thursday, November 30th…

should you choose to accept it, is to do a comparative history of two historians – Zinn and Schweikart.  While I’m not particular about the exact selection to use, I believe these two excerpts will provide ample opportunity for you to explore and define your understanding of what a quality history should entail.  Please read and evaluate each…

Zinn                                Schweikart

In a simple word document, please utilize your analysis of each author as you work to answer the following question:  What should a historian strive to do?  In your response, beyond what you view as important, be sure to consider

  • selection of facts
  • word choice
  • inclusion of an evaluative narrator

I am hopeful that you will be able to do all of this in an hour and print your response before departing (responses will go into your journals).  There will be the challenge of having only 20 computers in the classroom [and two at the back], but having 35 students in class… but I have reserved the small computer lab 2215 for overflow during 2nd and 3rd periods.  Good luck.

Grades have been updated…

and now include the first journals.  The overall outlook was favorable.  For the most part, students have grasped the expectations and are doing well in the following ways:

  • keeping track of the good questions and answers provided by others in class
  • tracking their own thoughts regarding the ideas discussed in class
  • commenting and reacting to the documents distributed in class [not just underlining or highlighting important passages]
  • including their own thoughts in their notes

While the grades were high, and while that is good, it is not fair to say that the grades currently reflect a student’s mastery of the skills and material.  The two major writing assignments that were completed just before Thanksgiving represent both a significant challenge and a significant portion of the overall grade.  I would expect the overall grades on the two essays to be lower than the overall grades on the journals.

So, while the news is good, it would be normal for a student’s semester one grade to be lower than his/her current grade given the nature of the challenge that the writing prompts posed.  We will know so much more come January (when the essays will have factored into the grade.)

Junior Diploma Candidates – Here is your assignment for History

Read and analyze the source #1 below.   Remember that to do this effectively, you should read the history and use what you know to determine what you can about the historian. Consider the Origin, Purpose, Value, and Limitations of the source – and write a brief paragraph about each using what you know about the historian.  If you get stuck, here is a source that helps remind you of what was in the powerpoint today.

Before you leave today, print and hand your writing to me.  I’ll be in 2117.  Thanks,


Junior Diploma Candidates…

My 2nd and 3rd period students need not worry about this detail… because we are watching the Matrix.

Juniors – Wednesday morning we will be working on mastering what we need to know and do as diploma candidates concerning the IA during your Junior Year.

For today’s learning, you’ll need access to two documents on Reconstruction during the post-Civil War era in U. S. History.  Here are links to both document one and to document two.  During class today, we will work through what steps one would take to better understand the product that a historian has created.  We will grapple with the question:  How should a history be evaluated?

In doing so, we will better prepare for the IA and also get to explore some questions more near-and-dear to Theory of Knowledge.

a quick reminder for Monday

On Monday November 5th, be prepared to share your thesis and consider ways it might be improved.  What you should bring will, hopefully, represent roughly an hour of your best effort.

Be sure to bring a copy of the following:

  • Your main thesis and body theses statements listed together. [copy and paste]
  • The remainder of your draft of the essay stapled behind the MT/BT Statements on the cover page.

On Monday, we will read each others’ thesis statements, consider how effective they are as they attempt to both answer the prompt and explore ‘knowledge issues’.