World History Extra Credit: World Bicycle Relief


As extra credit, we are taking donations for a “class bike” to be sent to someone in Africa (and/or also a mechanic’s toolkit to help create a lasting job for someone).  To learn more about what bicycles can do, view this video:

Now, come up with a creative way to raise awareness and money for the “Power of Bicycles!”  Here is a link to helpful tools with information, statistics, and logos that you can use to create your own flyer, video, etc. to spread the word.

Donations are welcome, but I can’t just give you points for money.  To earn extra credit, you need to RAISE AWARENESS.  This could be something as simple as tweeting a video or information mentioning @PowerOfBicycles, taking a screenshot, and emailing it to me.  That would be 1 point.

For more points, you can get creative!  Have a lemonade stand and pass out flyers that you make showing people where the money goes.  Sell some old stuff in your garage and pass out a flyer you make showing people where the money goes.  Come up with a fundraiser to do here at school, again involving a homemade flyer that shares information on the World Bicycle Relief.  Donate a portion of your babysitting earnings, grass-cutting money, etc. and give the person who is paying you a homemade flyer showing them where their money is going.

Depending on the time and effort involved, you can earn up to 10 bonus points.  Collections will be taken through Friday, June 6th.  Grab some friends and make a difference!

APUSH: Final Project, CLE History and U.S. History


For our final project, you will select a topic of local history and explain how it relates to U.S. History.  We’re pretty lucky to live in a city that has such a unique past and also witness the revitalization of downtown that is currently happening.  Cleveland’s rise, fall, and rise again is a fascinating tale that parallels many other aspects of U.S. History!

You will choose a topic or location and dive into the history of this topic.  How does it relate to the BIGGER PICTURE of what was happening in the U.S. during this time?  In what ways can you draw American History into this story on local history?  Anything in the Northeastern Ohio area that is not ALREADY on the Cleveland Historical App is open for research!

Assignment can be found here: AP US History Final Project 2014 and the rubric can be found here: APUSH Final Project Rubric

Here’s an example of a very well-done project:

And another:

And here’s a tutorial that explains the goals of the project:

APUSH: How to Tackle a DBQ


So I’m at a workshop today, which means you get to hear my voice that I recorded last year in my really warehouse-y room (sorry for the echo!).  I’ll walk you through how to create your DBQ outline, and then you can use your notes, book, etc. to create your OWN outline!  I am mostly concerned with your thesis, brainstorm, and your GENERAL setup.  IT’S AN OUTLINE…do NOT write the whole essay!  Don’t worry, you’ll get to do that in later units.


The September 11th Attacks

Using your ChromeBook, visit this site to learn about the attacks on America on September 11, 2001.  Click on “September 11 Attack Timeline.”

Browse the interactive timeline, listening to the sounds of people lost, the heroes who saved others, and the video of the day’s events.

Your assignment is to list the 5-10 most surprising, shocking, interesting, and heartbreaking things you learn about this day.  This could be one of the phone calls, a video, a story, etc.  Why did this moment stand out in your mind?  You may use any moments between 5:45am and 8:30pm. You may submit this on paper or via Google Docs.

Please use headphones when listening to video and audio.  First, because it will be too loud in class if everyone is listening at the same time.  Second, because this is still a very hard topic for me to teach and talk about.  It has been over 12 years, yet I remember it like it was yesterday.  A classmate of mine from Miami University named Kelly was on American Airlines Flight 11.  I will always picture this day through her eyes.


World History: Modern Middle East Unit

Here is a copy of your study guide:  Study Guide Middle East

Here are the notes on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Background on Israeli Palestinian Conflict, and here is a video where I explain these notes:

Here are some very important notes on our discussion of Iran: Iran Today, and here are some questions that we discussed in class: Iran Prior to 1979

Here are some very important notes on Iraq, the Gulf War, the rise of terrorism, and the current Arab Spring: Iran Iraq Gulf War to Arab Spring

Here is a video where I explain these notes on the Iran-Iraq War and Persian Gulf War, all the way to the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003:

World History Class: 5/6

Hi World History!  I made you a video since I can’t be here.  Here it is–be sure to get your study guide out to follow along!

Now, grab the Cornell Notes, a book, and get to it!  Cornell Notes will be checked first thing on Wednesday.  Don’t forget that our test is on Thursday–it would be a good idea to go over your study guide tonight, too!

World History Homework due Monday, 5/5: Hotel Rwanda Reflection

After viewing the movie, Hotel Rwanda, in class, I want you to think about how this movie is a reflection of historical events. How did each character or event show what happened during the genocide of 1994?

Your task is to write a short reflection (200 word minimum) on the movie and how you see history in the film.  How are things we’ve been discussing in class present in the film?


Paul Rusesabagina: Hotel Manager

Interhamwe: Hutu extremist militia, which was led by George Rutagunda

Hutu Army, led by General Bizimundu: leading a good deal of the killings in Rwanda

Gregiore: Paul’s hotel staff guy, who was part of the Interhamwe

Colonel Oliver: UN Colonel; helped Paul

Madame LaMancha: Red Cross volunteer

Due Monday, 5/5.  You may hand write this or share it with me via GoogleDocs at

Here is a pretty amazing article we’ll be examining on Monday about the legacy of this event, forgiveness, and a nation dealing with the aftermaths of one of the fastest genocides in World History.

APUSH: National Exam Helpful Stuff

Here are lots of things to help you prepare for the national exam on Wednesday, May 14:

Here is a practice Multiple-Choice test: see me for a scantron and I can run it through for you!  2001 Practice Test

“Big Picture Practice” can be found here:  BIG PICTURE REVIEW

DBQ Practice Outline Template:  DBQ PRACTICE Template

Helpful Hints for the DBQ:  DBQ Success

Link to DBQs from 1973-1999 are here.

Link to all the past DBQs and FRQs, including their respective scoring guides, from 1999-2013 can be found here!

Here is a PDF timeline of major eras in U.S. History:  Basic Timeline APUSH

Helpful hints for the final week:  Helpful Hints for the Final Week

The TRUTH About Somalia Today

Today, you will be an investigative reporter and you will be collecting research for a story on the famine and humanitarian crisis in Somalia.  Like most Americans, you know a good deal about the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” Battle of Mogadishu and have heard of the Somali pirate attacks.  But most Americans’ knowledge of Somalia stops there.  You are going to change that with your research.  You need to CHANGE the attitudes of Americans by your research, and show the average American that Somalia’s situation is extremely complex and does not stop in 1993, and also that ordinary people can play a role in helping the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

WARNING: Some of the images you will see are quite graphic and disturbing.  But to tell this story accurately, you need to see what is actually happening right this moment in Somalia.

Stop #1: What is the current situation in Somalia?

Questions to consider include the following:

  •  What environmental factors are causing problems in Somalia?
  • How is Somalia still not unified today, and what problems does this cause for people who live there?

Resources to use include all New York Times coverage of the famine in Somalia, including not only news stories and photographs, but also the editorial “Starving in Somalia”; the videos “Driven by Drought” and “Somalia’s Child Soldiers”; and the graphics “Somalia: A Country Broken Into Pieces” and “Conflict Exacerbates Drought and Famine in Somalia.” and the TimesCast video “Photographing Somalia”

Stop #2: U.S. Involvement today in Somalia

In January 2014, the U.S. sent advisers to Somalia for the first time since the “Black Hawk Down” incident of 1993.  Read this article and answer the following question:

  • Why did the U.S. send advisers to Somalia, and what are their goals?

Stop #3: How YOU can help!

Nothing is worse than reading about horrible situations and feeling powerless to help.  In many ways, raising awareness can go a FAR way in helping in Somalia.  The more people understand the situation, the easier it will be to pressure lawmakers to take action, both here in the U.S. and in the U.N.

View the following ways to help by visiting these sites:

10 Ways to Help in Somalia

UNICEF: Somalia

Now answer the following question:

  • What are at least 3 things that YOU can do here (in Rocky River!) to help alleviate the suffering in Somalia?


Lesson credits:  New York Times Education and PBS

APUSH: Unit 14 Helpful Stuff

Here it is…I bet you never thought we’d get here…THE LAST UNIT! (*applause*)  Think about how far you’ve come and how much work you’ve put in to get here, and pat yourself on the back.

Now, onto business!  Here are some helpful notes and stuff that will make Unit 14 a little easier:

Conformity in the 1950s and the Red Scare: Conformity and Red Scare

Notes on the Civil Rights Movement can be found here: Civil Rights Movement

Please view the following video and the times listed for a few important events:  The Murder of Emmett Till (10:43-25:32) and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts (47:26-53:00)

And for some unbelievable footage from Little Rock, AR, view the following from 7:41-11:50 AND 13:58-20:28:

Birmingham became, quite literally, the front line of the Civil Rights Movement.  View from 27:00-end of this clip to see Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the Birmingham demonstrations/Bull Conner/Governor George Wallace, and the March on Washington.  Think about how what King was doing paralleled the earlier views of Abolitionists, and even related to Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.

Helpful stuff on Kennedy and LBJ can be found here: New Frontier and Great Society

Domestic Issues from George H.W. Bush to the election of George W. Bush: Domestic Issues 1988 to 2000

Here are some Critical Thinking HINTS:  Stop by for help if you need it!

Chapter 29: #1 = 15, #2 = 1 (So now you know the first AND last event)

Chapter 30: 11 Cs, 9 Ls

Chapter 31: 7 Fs, 5 Ts

Chapter 32: 4Rs, 5Bs, 5Ds, 1N

Chapter 33: I’d be happy to help you with these, but no way to really give “hints.” Slight update on #9, though–”from 1976-2004…”

Crash Course A-Palooza!

Here’s some good stuff from Crash Course U.S. History.  John Green TOTALLY STOLE MY LINE about ME being the only good thing coming out of the late 1970s!  I’ve been saying that for years.  You’re welcome, John Green.