- Students were given a review sheet for the final. On the sheet are three specific questions that ‘will’ be on the exam. The format for the exam was also listed.
- Note: Students who attended class today were told to do a quick net-search on the Crisis in Darfur where Genocide is taking place. With a general knowledge of what is going on in this part of Sudan, students will be able to answer the question about the topic on the final.
- Today was a great class, for me. I enjoyed the discussion about all the ‘proxy wars’ during the Cold War struggle between the Soviet Union and America. I made full use of the whiteboard today as we went through the answers to yesterday’s web search topics. I elaborated on some things to be clear everyone was understanding the major concepts, such as the relevance of NATO today still, or the irony of how Truman sent troops to Korea without notifying or asking Congress. He asked permission or authority from the U.N. (of which the U.S. is part of the Security Council with special Veto powers, like the Soviets). A student caught on and asked why the Soviets wouldn’t just say no to the vote and use their solitary veto power but I was able to explain that they were, at the time, actually Boycotting the U.N. and its authority since it would not recognize the Communist government of China within the U.N. With the Soviets not present to say ‘no’, Truman was able to get permission to head off to war, violating the conditions of his own countries Constitution of seeking approval from ‘the people’ prior to war acts. It was a fun and animated conversation, students got their information and facts straight, we made a clear chart of the Soviet and Russian leaders in their chronological order and have a better understanding of how old Russia turned from the Soviet Union under Stalin to a country that has taken efforts to reduce his legacy instead of praise it.
- P.S. I liked that they all joined in with me when I was making my ‘nuclear missile sounds’ when drawing on the board the Nuclear bomb firing over the Atlantic towards America. It’s not uncool at all to do sound effects!
- Students were given a handout with a review of the Cold War and it’s final outcome. There was also a list of 19 or so terms, dates, or significant leaders. Students went to the computer lab and spend the class looking up information on each of the listed topics. They didn’t have to find ‘in-depth’ details but had to be clear on the significance of each.
- I encouraged students to look at video clips of any of these topics on YouTube, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall. They found some pretty interesting clips.
- I surprised the students and was able to tell them what their marks were in the Unit Three Exam they wrote yesterday. (Yes, I had them corrected in a night! One very late night but one night just the same!) I wasn’t able to ‘give’ them their exams back because six other students were going to write a similar version of that exam at noon.
- Students were given a handout with notes for Unit four. We will quickly go through this unit in the last four days of school. I am finding that as we continue the students are more quickly picking up information. I went through the points of the handout on the overhead and added a lot of explanation to it through our discussion. That seems to be a really valuable part of the learning process, recently. Being there to respond during our conversations is good preparation to knowing whether you understand the information enough.
- Students wrote their Unit three exam today. Some students grumbled because they didn’t study and wanted an extra day to study for the exam but they didn’t seem to care for my compromise of allowing them to write a more difficult exam at noon tomorrow. They all wrote and ended up handing the exams in one at a time with quite happy faces. I imagine they all did fairly well.
- We’ll quickly go through Unit 4 together that focuses on two other wars, nowhere near as devestating as the two World Wars, but equally as important in the study of world history: The Cold War and the Vietnam War.
- Students wrote down a general outline or review for their test on Monday. We discussed some of the questions and had a short discussion about some of the major issues covered in the unit on WWII.
- We began reading together Section 5 that dealt with the aftermath of the war as things in Europe started settling down. We discussed the failure of the League of Nations to prevent a second World War and how the new United Nations, made to replace it, had more power to prevent such a thing from happening again.
- The history test for Unit three will be on Monday.
- We have just finished looking at World War Two and yesterday were discussing Japan’s involvement in the war and their attack on Pearl Harbour. The students voiced an obvious interest in watching the movie Pearl Harbour but we want to keep moving forward. I took a sick day today, though, so those lucky students got to watch their movie after all. We’ll have a thorough discussion of the movie and the scenes it depicts once we are finished.
- We discussed the answers to the questions of Section 3 and 4. We had a fairly good discussion that seemed to constantly bring up ideas that can only be described as ‘conspiracy theories’ because the truth is often unknown. We discussed the reality that the bodies recovered that were believed to be Hitler and his companion, Eva Braun, were never medically identified to ensure their identity. Micheal brought up the question about the Japanese to question why they would be such an aggressive nation when their numbers and territory / power were so much less than the other nations against them. We also had a bit of a discussion about Truman’s decision to drop not only one but ‘two’ A-bombs in the war against Japan. Was it necessary to use the A-bomb at that point? We had some fairly good discussions that were elaborations of the questions and answers we were going through.
- We reviewed a little where we left off before the break. We read through the overheads with answers to the questions of chapter two.
- We had a lengthy discussion on the importance of single leaders in history. The idea that Chamberlain was a determined leader for Britain who was defiant and determined to not give in to Hitler was likely one of the solitary causes of Britain holding out so long during their bombing by the Germans in their air raids at night for a consecutive 47 nights! With such a strong leader bound to not fail it greatly affected the outcome of the war for the British. The same was said of Hitler. As much as people may dislike what he believed in, his actions and accomplishments for the people of Germany were great.
- We also looked at why the Americans made the decision to join in the war effort. They had made a pact to stay out of any wars in Europe, hoping to stay away from such disasters and losses as were seen in the First World War. They eventually joined in again though. I asked the students what the biggest interest the Americans had in Europe was. It took a lot of guesses but Brandon was the only one to hit the nail on the head: Democracies. With Fascism and Communism growing all around Europe, assisting Democratic countries to keep their type of government in their countries would be of importance to America. This may be a nice exam question in the future. (Hint hint)
- We’ll continue through the answers up to section 4 tomorrow.