1a. Beginning of the Year Introduction

EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING HAS A STORY- WHAT'S YOURS?

 
READING FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR

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Day One

What we know about "us"....and do not know....

     We are all a "recipe". Who you are today, what you look like, and how you act are a combination- a recipe of past events and genetics. Imagine where your genetics have been. Were your ancient genetics in Rome with the soldiers surrounding Caesar, or standing next to the pyramids of Ancient Egypt as they were being built? Just imagine....All of your grandparents, and great-grandparents, etc. and their world -EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE YOU-helped determine who you are and what our world today has become. You and your world would not exist as you know it if one of the pieces was missing.
 
    This year, we will travel back in time to find and see how a series of individuals changed history forever. It took just one person to change the world and future. As the fictional general Maximus in the movie "Gladiator" said, "What we do in life, echoes through eternity." We will see how the events and individual persons of yesterday have shaped the world of today. We will examine if YOU could be that one person who will change our story. We will examine the human story from many viewpoints.
  
      So what is history?  History is what humans believe to be true about the past, Why is history important? History helps us understand the past and plan for our future. It is like a map. It helps us to deal with the crisis and events in everyday life. These stories can not only help one to predict what might happen but may also help one to avoid pitfalls and common mistakes made over and over again in the past.

     Some pieces of the real stories get lost; destroyed by armies, zealots, weather or natural events (such as the city of Pompeii). Sometimes entire civilizations have been completely destroyed and with the civilization, the stories (history, fiction, myth, and legend) are destroyed also. So historians work with what pieces we have, and hope we are as accurate as possible....to make history look as it was supposed to look.  

     Some stories of "history" are a legend, lacking good solid evidence that they are real... A good example is the story of Christopher Columbus taught in schools for countless years. Columbus sailed west, why?  The REAL reason has nothing to do with proving the world was round. Sailors knew this for almost 2000 years by the time Columbus sailed. A globe, given to Queen Isabella in 1492, was missing four continents but was round all the same. What was the real reason? Columbus hoped to avoid Muslim traders who controlled a well-traveled route called the Silk Road, charging all who passed a fee.  He wanted to find a faster route to India and China(this was real). 

    The legendary tale of Columbus sailing to prove the world round was created by Washington Irving (1828) in his book A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus Volume 1  and it served as history for many years. The book was so successful that there was a sequel in 1831 and then another. Irving created in his book what he imagined the hero to be, this Christopher Columbus.  Irving also knew what would make a best-seller and did not write what really happened (filmmaker Oliver Stone does this quite often in his "historical" based movies such as  "JFK").
 
     Irving did not read Columbus's autobiographical journals or countless other accounts of the voyages. Many of his journals were kept in the Spanish royal court until the 1880's. On the 400th anniversary, they were opened to the public for the first time. Columbus' own words were not the story that Irving wrote. Irving wrote what he felt to be true using the classic theme of a self-made man, something near and dear to American hearts. There was nothing of Columbus's cruelty to Native Americans; how in his second voyage, he "punished" Native Americans if they did not bring a quota of precious jewels and gems to him. Some "Indians", as Columbus called them for he felt he had landed on islands south of India were crucified in rows of 13 as a reminder of what would happen if they did not obey. Many American school children (including me) learned Irving's story as fact!! John Ford, a famous American film director, said, "When the legend becomes truth, print the legend." And that is what Irving's books and  some books do they print the legend as though it were fact. And these stories soon become history.  Some book manufacturers did this by accident. Some omissions or changes (errors) are on purpose to stress a particular point of view. It gives readers a false picture of that world and our world.julius_caesar_he_dies_sign_md_clr.gif

Our job, this year, will be to play detective, to figure out what is real, what is a myth, what is fiction; to figure out what makes us "US".  We will work with the textbook, and numerous resources, media, and projects that will help you as students know more than just a few facts for the next test. We will recreate to the best of our ability the hows and whys of history. We will also work together as a team, learning skills to be successful in this class as well as others. After a quick review of some of the ancient world, you studied last year, we will move on in time. 

  Join us on this journey. YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT IS COMING.

THINK AGAIN. Watch this video to see if you can guess the storyline....


WHY STUDY THE STORY? YOU THINK YOU ALREADY KNOW 

DAY TWO READING

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT WATER?

    We began this year that learning humans are all a recipe. They are a recipe of all that has come before them; all genetics, customs, knowledge, and history make us who we are today. Yes, there is the molecular makeup of human beings. There is a chemical formula that makes all of the human body work efficiently and effectively. 

     A large part of this formula is WATER. Do you know that humans are 68% more or less water? Water is the one thing that holds the world together. Humans cannot survive without it. It is the most precious resource on the planet. Our future depends on how much fresh water we have or do not have. According to modern scientists, the amount of groundwater that is useable to sustain life is decreasing steadily. Wars in the future will be fought not over who controls the oil but who controls the fresh water. Living in a world that appears to have an answer for everything and a solution to many things, this claim seems ridiculous. But some of the most famous scientists in the world are worried about water and what the future holds. Water, fresh water, has always been the reason that humans have settled in most of the regions of the world.

    The first civilizations in the world generally settled around water. Water is what made groups of people great. What created civilization was a group's ability to use water with the right kind of land and the right kind of seeds. These seeds, many evolving over years, and some genetically engineered by the indigenous people of the area (corn was a product of Native American cross-breeding) had to be right for the weather conditions, the amount of water, and the type of soil. If all of these conditions were met, great civilizations grew. With the plants came domesticated animals, writing, government, and religion. When all of these things existed, the population grew and a civilization emerged. Many of these civilizations changed the world forever.

    We are going to take a quick look at these civilizations over the next few days. I know that you studied much of this last year.  We will look at a small part of each of these first ancient civilizations. We will not be looking at the Americas this year.

QUICK REVIEW OF CIVILIZATIONS STUDIED
PARTS OF
CIVILIZATION

 MESOPOTAMIA  EGYPT INDUS RIVER VALLEY
CHINA
Time Period
3500-2340 BCE
2370-1900 BCE
1900-1100 BCE
3100- 30 BCE
2500-1500 BCE
2500-1500 BCE 
Location in
modern world

Iraq and part of
Middle East
North
East
Africa
India and
Pakistan
Eastern
Asia
Body
of Water

Tigris and
Euphrates River
Nile
River
Indus River
Yellow
River
Agriculture and
domesticated
animals

Irrigation,
Dogs, Goats, Sheep,
Pigs, Cattle Flax,

Barley, Horses 
Wheat, Cats,
Cattle,

Cotton, Tea and
bananas
Chickens, Dogs, goats,
 pigs, oxen, and sheep,
Silkworm, Rice
Writing
Reading

 Cuneiform Hieroglyphics
Hieratic
 Sanskrit Pictographic writing- Symbols become words
 Government Priest kings of
many city states-
Hammurabi's Code

Pharaoh
Raj and
Kings
Emperor, war lord, god king
Architecture
Cities,
Ziggurat

Pyramids,
Cities

Domed structures
Great Wall
Eternal City



DAY THREE
READING CHARTS IN HISTORY
Click above to see the different charts and complete assignments.


WHAT IS THE STORY BELOW? WHAT IS HISTORY, AND WHAT IS NOT?


VIEW below by clicking on the link....
GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL TO ASK SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STORY TO COME

LOOK AT EVERYTHING DIFFERENTLY


HOW WILL YOU CHANGE HISTORY..."HISTORY HAS ITS EYES ON YOU".