Sunday, June 1, 2008


I am excited. Through the school's website I am able to interact with my students who are returning next school year. We will be able to conduct a threaded discussion on any number of topics during the summer. I have, for years required a summer assignment of the AP students. While this is a great thing, it was something they were able to put off until just before school, knock out quickly without a lot of thought, and turn in.

We are going into the late 19th and 20th century, commonly called the Gilded Age, when we come back to school. The first article I will post is about Manifest Destiny. They will read and post about American exceptionalism. I look forward to the posts and counter posts of the students. They are very good at discussion and we have had many good discussions about a myriad of issues in class. I think I would like to make them encounter Jared Diamond's Theory, but I am having a tough time finding a good article. There is, however, a very interesting National Geographic special about his theory on-line that is available. I'll think about posting that for comment by the students. The key is to make them think and encounter ideas that may not agree with their own. What a great tool. I am really looking forward to it this summer.


Anonymous said...


One of my favorite areas of history because of its wide divergence of societal classes which were reported on but almost never acted on.

Have you read "The Devil in White City" by Erik Larson? It was a required reading for the Social Studies UIL contest a few years back. I read it and thought it was a fascinating account of the underside of the "gilded age."

Law and Order Teacher said...

No I haven't, but I'll put it on summer reading list. The Gilded Age is a fascinating period in history. The lack of a middle class truly made it a have and have not culture. My AP class will begin in that time period next year. Thanks for the visit.