Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Final investigation

Here is a straight up lesson on the Progressive Era and its music. You may work on these in class. The project has two due dates: a blog post analysis of a song/sheet music by Friday 1.June.2012; and the creative work is due Monday 4.June.2012.

1. Using the Interactive Timeline from Digital History scan the decades between 1870 and 1930. Look for clues about how industrialization first affected Americans. Note any unrest, environmental issues, injustice for workers and the rise of reform movements.

Keep the First Amendment in mind while you think about how we Americans express ourselves.

2. Examine all of these images of sheet music from the late 1800s and early 1900s. (They are in a couple formats; all are multi-paged.)

Out in the Snow: a drunkard's child
The Alcoholic Blues (some blues)
Can You Tame Wild Wimmen
The Argentines, the Portuguese and the Greeks
The Battle of the Sewing Machines
Tammany: a pale face pow wow

3. Choose one song to study in detail. Inspect its cover, lyrics, music, etc., and, by June 1, write a blog post including the following, in any order.

a. Describe any important, interesting or surprising details of the cover and sheet music. Look for anything unfamiliar, identifiable (names, geography), play the music if you can.

b. Reflect on the purpose(s) of the audiences and authors. Whom do you think the publishers intended to play the piece? Why?

c. Identify the reform movement touched by the song. If you wrote a song with a similar purpose for a similar audience/purpose today, how would it be different?

c. Ask at least four questions you have about these works that are not answered by the texts (the sheet music) themselves.

5. Read about the 1970 Kent State massacre. Listen to the Neil Young's Ohio written days after the massacre, performed by Crosby, Still, Nash and Young. (The comments demonstrate how heated this event remains today.)

6. Remind yourself about the Occupy Movement and its goals.

7.  Write a song, at least one verse and a chorus, that speaks to either a Progressive Era reform or Occupy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

MM Presentations

For full credit any student who missed the run-through Thursday should post his presentation as well as any critical notes here. Barring that, you can e-mail it to me or use Noteshare or Google Docs to post/share it.

If you want my input, post/share before Friday (today) at 8:30 p.m. The final draft is due in Monday's class. If your stuck and want ideas, google PowerPointless and watch any number of the (mostly) amusing youtube videos about what not to do in this format.

Once again, the whole class has not been available to arrange student critique for your drafts.

Consequently, I offer two choices:

1. You all have e-mail, pick someone and mail your presentation to him or her.

2. Send me an e-mail briefly describing why peer review has been a nearly unattainable goal in this class.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

While You're With Kate:

You can work on your presentations.

For images visit this website and see if any sites the article recommends might suit your purposes. Sourcing and attribution are critical and Wikicommons presents a no-conflict opportunity to gain access to some amazing primary documents and images.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Multi-Media Presentations

Leta: Dred Scott

Riley: Robert E. Lee

Craig: Robert B. Taney  Seven Days Campaign

Magazine pitch (what you want to say generally with enough information to intrigue an editor, and why it needs saying) due Monday 7.May.2012.

We'll tweak a presentation rubric that day too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dred Scott Questions for Comment Here or in Class

If history is divided into heroes and villains, Chief Justice Robert B. Taney must be considered a villain.

1. Why do I say this?

2. Can you find anything about him online that redeems him, even partially?

3. Using this link to learn about one of the famous dissenting opinions and say whether the author, Justice Benjamin Curtis could be described as a hero.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Project, Sullivan Ballou assignment reminder:

As we read more about the Civil War, keep your mind open for a person, battle, event, or cultural representation that you would like to explore through a paper and an alternative digital medium. What medium you choose may depend on your topic.

While you search, take time to make yourself conversant in the lives and historic effects of two men, Dred Scott and Frederick Douglass. They are covered in your text and in many places online.

My goal is for you, during Wednesday's class, to explore these two men together, using notes you take between now and Wednesday afternoon, and arrive at one or more big question or observation about their places in our country's complexion.

Also, after you listen to the last ten minutes of the first Civil War episode, defend or challenge the filmmakers' use of Sullivan Ballou's letter in the closing minutes of their introduction.

Write this as a short essay, three to five paragraphs. Revise it at least once, edit it and put it in a Google Doc. Then share it with me by Friday, sooner is fine.

Here is a rubric that will cover this essay.

Three Paragraph Essay Rubric

1. The initial paragraph of the essay summarizes what the piece is about.
Exceeds: Demonstrates insight and outside connections, amplifying original assignment beyond original question
Meets: Covers topic clearly
Partially Meets: Does not describe the topic fully

2. The second paragraph gives the writer's clear opinion on the subject.
Exceeds: Opinion is clear and supported by evidence placed smoothly into the exposition
Meets: Opinion is clear and supported by connected evidence
Partially Meets: Has either opinion or evidence or neither

3. The third paragraph provides a conclusion and ties the essay together.
Exceeds: Demonstrates depth of analysis, research and/or new insight gained
Meets: Ties ideas and information together to demonstrate accurate examination of topic
Partially Meets: Information provided does not relate to earlier ideas, or conclusion only partially connects previous thoughts

4. The essay is clear and easy to read and is well researched/explained.
Exceeds: Fluent use of language adds to the reader’s understanding
Meets: Language used provides accurate and interesting information
Partially Meets: Language obscures meaning

5. The essay is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
Exceeds: No errors
Meets: 1-2 errors
Partially Meets: Enough errors that the meaning is obscured

6. Word choice.
Exceeds: Word choice demonstrates deep understanding and appreciation of topic, including appropriately placed terms of art
Meets: Word choice offers clear understanding
Partially Meets: Word choice obscures meaning

7. Paragraph coherence and unity.
Exceeds: All paragraphs contain topic sentences and unified, coherent supporting sentences and all three paragraphs relate logically
Meets:  All paragraphs contain topic sentences and supporting sentences and all three paragraphs relate to one another
Partially Meets: Paragraphs are disconnected from each other and sentences do not relate

Monday, April 23, 2012

Riley's Answers

1. Why did Wilmer McLain say the Civil War "began in his front yard and ended in [his] front parlor"?
Wilmer McLain owned a farm in Virginia. The first battle of the Civil War, Bull Run, took place on his property. McLain moved to a different property close to Appomattox Courthouse, also in Virginia. When Lee surrendered to Grant at the end of the war the official proceedings took place in McLain’s new living room.

2. What percentage of the male population died in the Civil War?
According to the Civil War documentary by Ken Burns 2% of the male population died off.

3. How did the friction between states rights and a federal government contribute to the start of the Civil War?
The states thought they had more power to make decisions and the Federal Government thought they should be more powerful. This became very apparent when the question of slavery was raised.
4. Discuss writer Shelby Foote's premise that the "Civil War defines us" as Americans.
Shelby Foote believed that our country was at a crossroads. Although the war was a horrible thing, it shaped us as a nation.
5. Discuss Thomas Jefferson's comment that to keep slavery in the U.S. was like "holding a wolf by the ears.."
Slavery had been an issue since the Revolutionary War. In the documentary it said slavery sat like a coiled snake under the benches of the Constitutional Convention. The Southern States depended on slavery as a workforce if they were to let slavery go the economy would fall.
6. If one in seven Americans were owned by another American and essentially no one in the northern states held slaves, discuss the complexion (literal and figurative) of the population in the South. How did slavery remain as part of the culture?
Slaves were more abundant in the South. This contributed to a different looking population compared to the Northern States where everyone was mostly white.
7. Who is Alexis de Toqueville? How did his 1830s era observations and books inform the non-slave owning world of what America was like?
Alexis de Toqueville was a French political writer. He informed the non slave owning Americans that there really wasn’t equality in America because black people and Native Americans were second class citizens.
8. Who was John Brown?
John Brown was a unsuccessful businessmen and an abolitionist. He worked in the underground railroad helping slaves escape. He got in trouble in Kansas where he is men murdered pro slavery settlers. He was caught by then Colonel Robert E. Lee at Harper’s Ferry Virginia. He was tried, convicted of murder and hanged. He became a martyr of the North according to the History Channel.
9. Who was William Lloyd Garrison?
William Lloyd Garrison was an abolitionist who ran a militant newspaper, The Liberator. He called for complete freedom for black people. He believed slavery was a sin and people who owned slaves were criminals.
10. Who was Elijah Lovejoy?
Elijah Lovejoy was born in Albion, Maine. He graduated from Colby and he studied to be a minister. He believed in the gradual abolition of slavery and published editorials in St. Louis Missouri. Mobs destroyed his printing press three times. He died defending freedom of speech when a mob tried to seize his printing press for the fourth time according to bookrags.com.
11. What is meant by "Bleeding Kansas"?
Bleeding Kansas describes the conflicts that took place while decisions were being made whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a free or slave state.

14. How did the presidential election of 1860 lay the groundwork for Civil War?
Lincoln was pro abolition and was not supported by the South. The vote was divided in the South and split the vote. When Lincoln became president the Southern states started seceding.
15. What state was the first to pass a secession bill? What significance does 
this have today, if any?
The first state to pass a secession bill was South Carolina. The Civil War documentary by Ken Burns said the cotton gin made the processing of cotton faster and more slaves were needed. South Carolina was a big cotton state and had the most to lose if slavery was abolished. The Civil War basically ruined their economy. They are still one of the poorer less educated states.