The Final Countdown To...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer 2015-Blog Assignment #2


Perhaps students remember Captain John Smith from their childhood.
Imaginary John Smith Rendering
Of course, Disney was way off on the true John Smith.  He was quite a self promoter, and also helped get people to move towards Virginia after a gunpowder accident.  It seems his powder bag was ignited while he was still wearing it.

The Real Captain John Smith

While accident prone, it is true that Jamestown would not have survived without his guidance.  His edict "He who doesn't work, doesn't eat," may have been stolen from the Bible, but it also saved the struggling colony and fort.  It wasn't until resupply ships came (the First Supply, mentioned in the source title), that Jamestown really had a chance. On board, a young entrepreneur named John Rolfe.  His horticultural interests would change the fate of Jamestown and England's interest in American colonies forever.

The Assignment
A. Read What Happened Until the First Supply: The General History of Virginia  There is a question at the start, but there is also an answer at the end.  They're valuable, but not necessarily what we're going to look at as a class.

B. Following the commenting guidelines, answer ANY of the following questions (choose any 2 NON-CONSECUTIVE questions), and respond to them in the comments section of this post.

  1. What kind of audience does The General History of Virginia (1624) seem intended for?
  2. Characterize Smith's style of narration. Would you call him objective, subjective, passionate, deadpan, ironic, humorous, serious? Cite examples to support your assessment.
  3. One of the most famous stories in American history is that of Pocahontas's rescue of Smith.  Some later readers have questioned the truthfulness of this account, however. It has been noted, for example, that Smith did not even mention the incident in his first narrative, and the writer James Branch Cabell has suggested that Smith borrowed the story from a book the English writer Richard Hakluyt published in 1609 or from any one of many similar stories that are found around the world (52). Citing details from Smith's writing or his life, argue that the story is totally true, partially true, or totally false.
  4. How does Smith depict the Indians in this passage?  Make a list of words and phrases that support your interpretation.
  5. Where does Smith mention God in this piece?  Write out those lines.  What effect would this have had on Smith’s readers?
  6. How does Smith depict himself in his writing?  Support your answer with specific examples from the text.
  7. John Smith famously took Jamestown's poorly provisioned and disciplined settlers and "whipped them into shape."  He famously decreed "He who does not work, neither shall he eat" (though he took that from the Biblical 2nd Book of Thessalonians 3:10). Practicality and labor have been important parts of the American identity (what it means to be American) from the settlement of Jamestown to the modern day. Based on your reading of the textbook AND the reading from John Smith, does he present that "ethos"? Defend your answer with specific examples.

C. Return in a few days and read through the responses of others.  Again, following the commenting guidelines, provide feedback, criticism, or ask questions.  Also, if somebody responds to your comment, feel free to comment back, of course, being polite.  It will help promote positive dialogue in class later this year.

Both B & C must be completed to earn full credit for the assignment.

If Jamestown interested you, or you just want to know more, check out this interactive map of the original fort.  It's really cool. Here are two supplemental podcasts regarding Jamestown (both regarding the "starving time" 1 [cannibalism] and 2 [the shipwreck that saved Jamestown]) and one on the LOST colony of Roanoke!

Summer 2015-Blog Assignment, #1

Raphael Sanchez was the treasurer of Spain for Queen Isabella of Castille and King Ferdinand of Aragon.  This short letter to Sanchez details his original journey to the Caribbean in 1492, after his return to the port of Lisbon in modern Portugal.  Columbus addressed it, "Letter addressed to the noble Lord Raphael Sanchez, Treasurer to their most invincible Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, by Christopher Columbus, to whom our age is greatly indebted, treating of the islands of India recently discovered beyond the Ganges, to explore which he had been sent eight months before under the auspices and at the expense of their said Majesties." That's a mouthful.

At the same time, it leaves some confusion, as whether Columbus recognized his mistake yet, or not.  In the address, he describes the islands he explored as "of India...beyond the Ganges."  Columbus refers to the Island of Juana.  Today, we refer to that island as Cuba.  San Salvador, the island Columbus first arrived at in the Caribbean, was already settled by the Taino who called their island Guanahani.  The Taino were a part of the greater group of Natives known as the Arawak.  For a time in the 1600s to 1925, this island was called Watlings island, and is part of the Bahamas.  Today, it is called San Salvador, again. When will it be Guanahani (or Guanahany) again?

The Assignment
A. Read the letter.  There is a question at the start, but there is also an answer at the end.  They're valuable, but not necessarily what we're going to look at as a class.

B. Consider the letter.  Answer the following questions in the form below, and submit them to Mr. Pagliaro.

For your viewing pleasure, this might help, when you've completed the readings on Columbus, as well.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Unit 5, Flipped Classroom-Sectionalism and the Slavery Controversy in the Antebellum Period

Use the resources below to prepare for class.  Students are expected to bring notes on the materials to class in order to fuel class discussion and course activities.  Coming to class unprepared will severely limit a student's understanding of the topics.

Popular Sovereignty and Westward Expansion

The Kansas-Nebraska Act (not visible on Apple Products, instead use this link) and Bleeding Kansas
How was popular sovereignty fueled by personal greed? How did it fuel the flames of sectionalism? What effects of this act were so controversial?

  • This was the best Bill presented to congress because it..."...[Removes] all past compromises with slavery and makes all future compromises impossible. Thus it puts freedom and slavery face to face and bids them to grapple. Who can doubt the result?" ~ Charles Sumner, Senator, Massachusetts.

The Sack of Lawrence - Brief reading (1 webpage)
The Pottawatomie Creek Massacre - Brief reading (1 webpage)

 The Brooks-Sumner Affair 1 - Brief reading (1 webpage)
The Brooks-Sumner Affair 2 - Brief reading (1 webpage)

Prior related blog posts: "November 15, 2010-Yale Lectures on this week's topics" - includes video

Friday, October 3, 2014

Unit 3, Meme Assignment

meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.

You know them. You love them. Here's an example of a famous one.

What does this have to do with APUSH?

For Unit 3 (the period from 1754-1800), create a historically appropriate meme.  Utilize images of people/things from the era.  Sum up the idea.  Utilize, and be sure that your meme is school appropriate.  

Copy and paste the URL of the meme created into the comments section of the blog.  This is due by October 27, so the class can use it to review for the Unit 3 test.  

This is a 25 point homework assignment (and, most likely, the 2nd to last assignment of the quarter).

Here's Mr. Pagliaro's example:

Unit 3, Boston Massacre Assignment

Paul Revere's famous engraving following the Boston Massacre

Please read the article Debunking Boston Tea Party Myths by Ray Raphael.  Then read 2 of the differing accounts people had of the Boston Tea Party.  After reading these, please complete the form below:

Remember, keep it school appropriate, and, more importantly, academic.