Monday, November 28, 2016

Commemorating Mansa Musa and the West African Empires

The situation: The government of Mali would like to encourage tourists to visit their capital city, Timbuktu. To this end, they are planning a campaign to promote the history of West Africa and to commemorate Mansa Musa who ruled Mali when it was one of the most impressive empires on earth. As part of their overall plan they are developing products to sell in gift shops located near historical and cultural sites in Mali. 

Your assignment: Design an item commemorating Mansa Musa for sale in Mali's gift shops. Mali is looking for items meeting these criteria: Reflect the achievements of Mansa Musa in a positive light. Educate tourists about the history of West Africa and Islam. Are something tourists will want to purchase.

Suggested items: commemorative maps, posters, mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, books, artwork, games, trading cards, or guide books. The current government of Mali hates board games, so do not design a board game. You are not limited to the suggested items.

Each product proposal must come with a 150 word written explanation that answers these three questions:

  1.  How does the item encourage people to think postively about Mansa Musa, Islam and/or West Africa? 
  2. What does the item(s) tell tourists about the history of West Africa? 
  3. Why would tourists want to buy the item?

You will have the chance to present your product to representatives of the government of Mali in a three minute presentation. Your presentation should convince the government of Mali that your poduct will educate visitors about the history of West Africa and be something they will want to buy. Your presentation should include a visuals PowerPoint or Prezi or Google Slides.  

Keep the following questions in mind as you work on your project. :
  1.  How did West African communities change from small family groups to large empires? (Chapter 12) 
  2. How did trade in the West African empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai change over time? (Chapter 13) 
  3. What is Islam  (Chapter 9) and what changes did the arrival of Islam bring to West Africa? (Chapter 14) 
  4. How have Islamic and  West African culture contributed to the world's culture, in particular to the culture of the United States? (Chapters 10 and 15)   

Nov., 30: Introduce topic.  Student input for groups
Dec. 2: Groups meet. Brainstorm ideas for projects and topics
Dec. 6: Project time. Groups meet. Determine jobs. Begin research
Dec. 8: Project time. Research. Determine product.
Dec 12: Project time. Present proposed project to class for evaluation
Dec. 14: Project time. Project status check.
Dec. 16: Assemble projects and slide shows. Practice presentations
Dec. 19: Practice presentaions
Dec. 20: Presentations.  All projects due.  There will be no late or make-up presentations.

This is a 70% project with a single group grade based on the presentation, the final product and the advertising display. Grades will be based on the historical information presented, the overall quality of the presentation and the overall quality of the slides.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Study Hints for Tomorrow's History Test

These terms must be used on your test tomorrow:

Black plague
Byzantine Empire
Hundred Years War
Magna Carta
Medieval Town
Roman Catholic Church

These are some terms you might want to include:

crime and punishment
Eastern Orthodox Church
Joan of Arc
Justinian I
Thomas Aquinas
William I/William the Conqueror

The test will ask you to show us what you have learned.  You will have two periods to work on it.  You may include anything you have learned in history so far.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

History Test This Thursday!!!

Here are a couple of music videos to help you study for the test.

How did the Black Death contribute to the decline of Feudalism?  Think about how it reduced the number of peasants, freemen and serfs.  How could the peasants who survived improve their lives afterwards?

What is the connection between Joan of Arc and nationalism?  What is nationalism?  How did the rise of nationalism and changes to the military help bring about the decline of feudalism?

Why is Thomas Aquinas considered important? How is he connected to the development of universities? How were universities connected to the Roman Catholic Church?

 What is the connection between the Viking attacks and the development of feudalism?