Student Contribution by Kevin Periaswamy
Overview of the Period
I have a few laminated global maps I use from time to time. I started class with a quick recall of what they remember from last week and if they could put it on the map. After, they worked a global flow of silver document based question. I had them start with what was confusing to them. They worked through their questions as a group. Then they wrote everything they thought someone would need to know about before they could read an essay on silver. This skill is called contextualization in AP World. We synthesized all of these ideas as a class into a paragraph.
Afterwards, the students wrote their thoughts on humanity and then a paragraph on why they felt that way. Essentially, it was them giving the reader context as to why they felt this way about humanity. Below, I’m posting a few of their paragraphs.
Overall humanity is selfish. Not everyone is, a lot of people work to help others or help the world. But a majority of the population only cares about themselves and the money that they make. There are always exceptions no matter what point of view you are talking about. But right now in the world there are still kids dying of hunger, people are getting abused, the rainforest is being destroyed and the Arctic is melting. Then when you look around and see what change is happening, there is barely any. Most people can afford to help, or volunteer or donate to places that help with these problems. You don’t have to donate or volunteer that much time, any amount helps, but people are too lazy or selfish to help. People sit and watch the news of terrible things happening or post on their stories about it, to act like they care, but in reality they don’t do anything to help. People like to think that they are helping when really they are hurting the planet everyday. And I’m not saying that I don’t do this. I do this just as much as anyone else, but realizing what you are doing wrong is the first step to creating change.
I am developing as a learner because I’m able to connect topics I learned in the time period 1200-1450 and relate them to the time period 1450-1750. Also, I haven’t been worrying as much about grades and have been focusing more on what I’m learning.
I am learning about the specific time periods we have covered. We’ve covered two time periods and I now know a vast amount of details like different empires and where they were along with religions that were prominent at the time.
The students are becoming historians. They are documenting their views on humanity — most are bleak, but we did just discuss the slave trade — and now are finding evidence to support their claims. But the best part, they are finding their voice. They are doing all of the AP skills without realizing it and writing about things they are interested in — most of them are interested in. I’m still working with a few students to get them to find something they are connecting more with.