Today’s post is a pure brag about my teen students. I gave them the following assignment, which they had a week to complete:
Read the linked History.com article, Six Reasons Why the Ottoman Empire Fell. Choose one of the topics and:
- Research and prepare a presentation of your learning for class. Open choice of format: Google slides, Flipgrid, poem, puppet show, collage, the sky’s the limit!
- Find at least three additional sources, cite and annotate them and submit them in Classroom as a separate document.
Here are samples of the work they created:
Military Aspects (bibliography)
Rivalry with Russia (bibliography)
Lack of Advancement (bibliography)
When I am ready to tear my hair out with frustration about their adolescent behavior, I will return to this snapshot of their excellence, not only academically but as spectacular human beings.
In the secondary (Modern) World History class I’m teaching this year, we spent time talking about current events today, specifically the conflict in Ukraine. I asked the students what the motivations were for Russia to invade, and received well-informed answers: farmland; access to sea ports; feeling threatened by the possibility of Ukraine becoming a NATO member. As we explored the minute in history that is comprised of the fall of the Eastern Bloc to today, I was reminded how these young learners have no real understanding of the time of the USSR, which countries were under Soviet rule, the brutality of Stalin, the list goes on. None of them have read any of Solzhenitsyn’s works.
Archivi Mondadori, CC-BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
I have been fascinated with Russian history since I was the age of my learners, and think they would be too! So, you heard it here first, next year I’m going to teach a quarter-long or semester-long course on Russian history. Maybe it needs to be a double bock of history combined with literature. The planning and lists are already started.