Connections to the Present and Past
Nothing in history occurs in a vacuum. Each event is cause by a previous event. In turn each event causes a future event to occur. It may help to view history as a river that flows through time, constantly moving, occasionally changing direction and speed, prone to dry spells or floods, and greatly effected by everything that is dumped into it.

Sadly, too many history teachers from all academic levels treat history as a series of puddles: shallow, murky, and unconnected. There is little effort to teach the interconnectedness of the historical narrative, instead history is broken into segments, ages, centuries, countries, or, worst of all, chapters in a textbook. Students quickly absorb this approach and forget everything immediately after the test is over. Then the students prepare to learn and forget the next chapter, and so on. Quite simply, this approach to teaching history is not acceptable.

Your assignment is twofold:
1) Try to make connections between content we are currently covering in class and the present day.
2) Try to make connections between content we are currently covering in class and content we have previously covered in class.

You will stop at a point along the river and look forward, then turn around and look back and describe what you see.

You have two choices as to how you can complete the assignment:


1) Use the internet, newspaper, magazine, etc to find a story that relates to the unit. Cut out or print the story and write a paragraph explaining the connection. Pass the article and the paragraph in with your portfolio.

2) Use the internet, newspaper, magazine, etc to find a story that relates to the unit. Copy the link to the website and post it to your id in wikispaces. Then type up your paragraph in the wiki and save it.

Connections to the Present:

1) Identify some major themes from the unit or portfolio
2) Look at news and news related websites, such as boston.com, cnn.com or Time magazine.
3) Try to make connections between that happened in the past to what is happening today.

Connections tot he Past:

1) Identify some major themes from the unit or portfolio
2) Look back to previous portfolios and answers to Connections for similar themes.
3) Try to make connections between that happened in the past to what we are currently studying

Examples:

Unit

Themes

Current Events

Renaissance and Reformation

New forms of art or new artists,

value of individual,

questioning authority,

religious violence,

refusal of large institutions to change

Rise of youtube,

bloggers vs large media corporations

Protests against government or industry

Sunni vs Shia in Iraq or the Taliban

US automakers heading towards bankruptcy

Exploration, Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment

Seeking wealth

Exploiting people for profit

Spread of disease

Using technology to gain an advantage

Using math and science to find answers

Medical breakthroughs

Questioning Authority

Explaining how humans behave


Internet as a money maker

Poor conditions in Chinese factories

Fear of flu pandemic

China, India and Russia launch space missions

US and Europe launching satellites to study cosmos

Potential cure for AIDS and cancer

Holistic treatment for medical issues


Absolute Monarchs and the English Civil War

Government controlling its citizens

Attempts at reforming a country

Government construction and public works

Resistance to authoritarian government

Armed revolution/Coup

Raising taxes and going into debt

Restricting the power of government

Voting

China installing the Great Firewall

Obama and McCain’s plans if elected

The Big Dig or the Bridge to Nowhere

Buddhists monks resisting China in Tibet

Overthrow of Indonesian and Thai governments. Iraq

No comment necessary


Democratic Congrees forcing changes to the Patriot Act

Election 2008