Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Africa Map Practice

Don't forget to study your map in preparation for Friday's quiz! Play the Africa Map Game to help you study. If you play this game, you will do well on the quiz.

Compare/Contrast Essay: Writing the First Draft

Today you will start writing your rough draft for your Compare/Contrast essay. It is a 100 point homework grade, and is due at the end of Thursday's class.

You will follow your outline as you begin writing. I will hand these back today. If you need to look at the outline format, you can find the document here.

A rubric for the paper can be found here. It will tell you EXACTLY what needs to be included in your paper. If you follow this rubric, you will get a fantastic grade!

Before the end of this class period, you need to show me your thesis. A complete, approved thesis gets you a 5 point homework grade.

Final drafts for these papers are due next Wednesday, December 7, 2011. They are 100 point project grades.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thesis and Outline

Today we will:

Don't be like Calvin! Use facts from your research
to support your thesis.

  • Write your thesis
  • Begin outlining your paper
Due at the end of this class period:
Outline your paper using the worksheet example. You may type the assignment or write it out by hand. A hard copy is due on your desk at the start of Monday's class (20 points).

Rules for Writing a Thesis
A good thesis statement should:
  • Directly answer the question asked. Our basic question is "How can I compare Russia to the United States?" Or, "How can I compare Russia's government under the Soviet Union to Russia's current government?"
  • Provide a road map for the paper
  • Usually be one sentence in length
  • Tell the reader how you are interpreting your subject
A Basic Compare/Contrast Thesis
Complete the following example thesis in your notebook, filling in the blanks using information from your research:
I can compare ______________ to ______________ by examining ______________, ______________ and ______________.
This is a VERY basic three-part thesis. It simply answers our question and ensures that the reader knows exactly what he/she will read in each paragraph.

An Improved Thesis
This thesis breaks a basic writing rule, however: AVOID USING THE PRONOUNS "YOU" AND "I."

In order to write an effective thesis, you must find a way to remove these pronouns. Here's an example:

  • Basic Thesis: I can compare China and India by looking at their large populations, governments, and environments.
  • Improved Thesis: While China and India both face environmental concerns due to large populations and heavy industrial growth, each country's government reacts to problems very differently.
Write your improved thesis paper in your notebook.

Outlining Your Paper
We are writing a 5-paragraph paper. Here's a basic outline:
  1. Paragraph 1: Introduction, ending with your thesis
  2. Paragraph 2: First body paragraph, including the first topic from your thesis
  3. Paragraph 3: Second body paragraph, including the second topic from your thesis
  4. Paragraph 4: Third body paragraph, including the third topic from your thesis
  5. Paragraph 5: Conclusion paragraph, including re-stated thesis
In order to get ready to write, you must outline your paper using this worksheet. You may do one of the following:
  • Print out the worksheet and fill it in by hand *recommended*
  • Write the information on the worksheet out on loose leaf paper
  • Type in your information and print it out
Whichever you choose, the outline is due on your desk at the start of Monday's class period.

Next week:
  • Classroom Monday, Wednesday and Friday to start looking at Africa
  • Computer Lab Tuesday and Thursday to write our paper
  • Quiz Friday over introduction to Africa
Africa Map Game
Want to get a head-start on studying the map of Africa? Play this map game.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Research and the Three-Part Thesis

Today we will continue working on our Russian research projects. Once we are done with our research, you will write a compare/contrast paper using your chosen topic related to Russia (and the United States). You are looking for at least 3 ways in which the two countries are similar and different based on your chosen topic.

Last week, you found a source for Russia. Today, if you haven't already done so, you need to find a source for the United States. If you are comparing Russia's modern with its historic government, you will do something slightly different. Talk to me individually.

At the end of this class period, you should have a Word document containing the following saved in the correct location on the Y: drive:

  1. The source you cited and annotated in class last week
  2. The notes you took on this source over the weekend (in an outline format)
  3. A second source cited and annotated
  4. Notes on your second source (in an outline format)

A thesis statement is an arguable sentence about your topic. Just like any argument you make in real life, the thesis has to be supported with evidence.

Once you have both sources cited and annotated, and you've taken your notes on the sources, you're ready to move on to the next step -- your thesis! For this project, we will use a very basic format: the three part thesis. See the example below:

I can compare ______________ to ______________ by examining ______________, ______________ and ______________.

In the first part of the thesis, you state what you are comparing. In the second part, you state three ways you will support your comparison.

If you finish, start working on an outline for your paper. This worksheet will help you get started.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Extra Credit: Occupy Wall Street!

Looking for some extra credit over the weekend? Watch this video from CNN. It gives a quick summary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

After watching the video, answer the following questions on loose leaf paper. Turn it in to me on Monday for 5 points EC!

  1. What is the goal of the Occupy Wall Street movement?
  2. Who are the "99%"?
  3. Who are the "1%"?
  4. What does the video tell you about the earning potential of different groups of Americans?
  5. What do you think about the group?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Researching Russia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Today we will practice two specific tasks:
  • Researching using the Big 6 method
  • Citing and annotating a source
You will complete today's activity in an MS Word document. Save the Word document to the "Y:\Ramin World Geography\Period ____\Russia Research" folder. Save the assignment as "Your Last Name - Russia."

Today's research assignment is worth 30 points.

The Big 6
Step 1: Task Definition. When conducting research, you must first identify your task. In some papers, you will decide what your purpose is. For this paper, I will define it. You must choose a topic related to modern Russia to research. You will write a 5 paragraph paper on this topic. 

Some potential topics:
  • Russia's transition from a communist government to a democratic one
  • Russia's government in comparison to the U.S. government
  • Russia's transition from a command to free market economy
  • Social issues in Russia compared with social issues in the United States
  • The Russian space program compared with the U.S. space program
  • Russia's culture and America's culture
Step 2: Information Seeking Strategies. Here's the part of your research where you make a list of potential sources. Again, for this portion of our project, use my list.
Step 3: Location and Access. Choose your source. Take a look at it, and examine its contents. Think about the following guiding questions when choosing your source:

  • How is the information in the source organized?
    • Helpful Hint: Every source has its own system of organization. Check out the way each one is organized when you start using it. Look for the index and table of contents. Ask me for help if you can't find these things! Through practice like we're doing today, you'll learn to use a wide range of sources.
    • Is the source in alphabetical order like a dictionary or encyclopedia?
    • Is there an index you can use to find pages you need?
    • Is there a search bar on the site?
  • How will I know what to look for in sources?
    • Make a list of key words and phrases related to your topic. This is what you will use to search the website using the site's search bar.
    • Helpful Hint: Don't type questions into search bars -- the Internet is not as smart as you are! You have to type in short, specific terms or phrases to get any results.
    • Never start a search with common words like "the" and "a." The website will search for these first, and you will not get the results you want.
    • When searching for a phrase, type it in quotations. This will search for the whole phrase, not just the individual words.
Part 4: Use of Information. This is where you finished during yesterday's class. In Part 4, you cite and annotate your source. Then, you begin taking notes on the source.

Think about the following when doing Part 4: 
  • Is the information complex enough for me? Or is it too superficial?
  • Does the information give me answers to your questions?
  • Does the information give you new ideas, or lead you to other sources?
  • Is the information too scientific or technical for my project's requirements?
  • Does the information in the source help me complete my task?
  • Does the information in the source give me additional ideas that could help me create or add to my thesis?
If your source fulfills these questions, you are ready to extract information from it. Do the following in your Word document:
  • Citing Your Source
    • In your Word document, cite your source following the format used in last week's class. You can review the citation format on the Purdue Owl Website.
  • Creating Your Annotation
    • Follow the same format from last week's class to annotate your source. Again, you can find help on the Purdue Owl Website.
  • Take Notes on your source. Take approximately 1 page (typed) notes on your source. Include the following in your notes:
    • An outline format -- you can ask me or your neighbor if you don't know how to do this in Word.
    • A title for this source
    • Key terms, phrases, people, dates, etc.
    • Anything else you find relevant!
Once you've completed ALL of this, you're ready to move on to your next source. For your second source, you will find a current event using one of the following newspapers:
Complete the same steps you did for your first source to access your second source.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Russia Introduction: Homework and Extra Credit

Next week, we'll start looking at a new part of the world -- Russia! In order to prepare for this topic, you have two homework options:

  • Read Ch. 16.1. Take Cornell Notes on loose leaf paper. Have them on your desk at the start of Monday's class. 20 points.
  • Read Ch. 16.1. Then, complete p. 367 #1-4 on loose leaf paper. Have your answers on your desk at the start of Monday's class.
Extra Credit Option
For 10 points extra credit, print out this Russian political map worksheet. Complete all of the steps and turn it in on Monday. You need the actual worksheet to complete the assignment -- you cannot just turn it in on loose leaf paper.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Test Review Questions

  1. Name the major rivers of Europe. Explain their importance.
  2. Name Europe's major mountain ranges. How do they affect Europe (Hint: There are at least 2 different ways)?
  3. Think about Europe's landforms. What areas can we compare them to in the United States?
  4. What is the BEST definition for the word polis?
  5. What is the difference between Nationalism and Feudalism?
  6. What are the major Romance languages? Why are they called this?
  7. In what two major ways did the Roman Empire influence modern Europe? Explain.
  8. Name and describe each of the three main levels of human organization.
  9. What is required for settlements to move from one level of organization to another?
  10. Why did some Europeans think of their continent as a queen? Explain your response.
  11. Were Athens, Rome and Sparta "modern" societies? Explain your response.
  12. What is the proper format for citing a source?
Don't forget to study your map! You can find the Europe Map Game here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writing a Postcard and your TEST

Today you will finish your "Postcards from the Past" project.

First, make sure you've saved everything to the correct folder:

  • Save your annotated bibliography to the Y:\Ramin World Geography folder. Save it as "Your Last Name - AB" in the "Greece Annotated Bibliography" folder for your correct class period.
  • If you haven't done so already, locate my "Postcard Template" in the "Y:\Ramin World Geography" folder. Save it to your period's folder in the file marked "Greece Postcards." Save it as "Your Last Name - Postcard."
You will also need to print your postcard. You have two options:
  • Print in black and white at PSM for regular credit
  • Print in color at home for regular credit + 2 points EXTRA credit on your project. This could be the difference between an "A" and a "B" -- and is a GREAT way to improve your grade in this class!
The final project is due at the start of tomorrow's class period.
  • 50 points postcard
  • 30 points annotated bibliography
Getting Your Photos
You need 2 photos for your project. 

  • 1 for your ancient topic -- Get this from the British Museum website.
  • 1 for your modern topic -- You may use any of the sources I gave you yesterday. You may have to search a little!
The Back of the Postcard
Now you're ready to start writing the back of the postcard. Begin typing the text for the back of your postcard from the past in an MS Word document. You are writing as though you are in the past, trying to relate what you are seeing to something that is familiar to your audience (i.e., the Colosseum to Soldier Field, etc.). It should be approximately 200-300 words in length. 
  • Choose a friend or family member to send your postcard to
  • Place the address in the appropriate location
  • Place an image in the location where the stamp would be -- this should be something that illustrates where you would send your card from, just like a real stamp!
  • Begin writing your 200-300 word letter comparing the ancient world to the modern world using your chosen topic. Be creative!
Your written component should include:
  1. A greeting;
  2. An introduction to your chosen topic;
  3. The body, where you show the relationship between your ancient and modern sources;
  4. A conclusion; and
  5. The closing ("Sincerely," "Wish you were here," etc.)
    I have pushed your first test of this quarter back to FRIDAY.

    Tomorrow, we will meet in the classroom to review. Your test will include:
    • 15 multiple choice, including a map and a chart, covering Ch. 12.1-12.3 and Ch. 13.1-13.2
    • 15 multiple choice questions about Europe's political map
    • Proper citation format -- you'll have to follow the same format you did in your annotated bibliography!
    • 2 short answer questions related to a map
    • 2 short answer questions based on class content.
    The test is 90 points.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Postcard Prep Work

    This postcard shows images from the islands
    off the coast of Greece.
    Finish the work from the previous post before you look at this one!

    When you're finished with the annotated bibliography, it's time to start working on your postcard. You will use a template I created in PowerPoint to complete this section of the assignment. First, take a look at these documents:
    • The project rubric
    • You can find the template for the postcard in my folder on the Y: drive. SAVE THIS to the "Postcard" folder in your class file. Save it as "Your last name -- Greece Postcard". If you don't save it, you can't edit it.
    The rubric tells you exactly what your postcard must include and how you will be graded. Here are the highlights:
    • The postcard is a 50 point project grade
    • It must have a front and a back
    • The front must contain at least two photos, a caption for each, and a postcard-style greeting (i.e., "Greetings from Ancient Athens!")
    • The back must contain a 200-300 word letter to a family member or friend (you can change the font size to make it fit the template) comparing and contrasting your ancient and modern topics using the information you got from your sources
    • The back must also contain the address for your friend/family member
    • The back must also contain an image where the stamp would go. Think -- what would an ancient stamp look like if one existed? Get creative here!
    First, save the template in the "Y:\Ramin World Geography" folder. Find your class, then save it in the "Greece Postcards" folder. Save the file as "Your Last Name - Postcard."

    We're ready to move on! But first...

    A Note on Plagiarism: NEVER copy and paste ANYTHING from a website. This is plagiarism, and it is incredibly easy for me to discover. When in doubt, make sure your writing sounds like it was written by you. If your text does not sound like your writing, I will type a  phrase into the Google search engine. This will show me exactly which sites you may have copied from.

      Thursday, November 3, 2011

      Postcards Project: The Annotated Bibliography

      An example of a modern postcard from Athens, Greece
      The first project grade you will receive for your Postcards From the Ancient World project is for you Annotated Bibliography. An annotated bibliography lists the sources that you plan to use in a project. It is different than a simple works cited page because it also includes a summary and an evaluation of the source.

      A rough draft of this annotated bibliography is due at the end of this class period. 15 points, based on half the rubric's score.

      Don't forget -- you have a quiz tomorrow over your notes on Ancient Greece and the 30 European countries I listed earlier on this blog. Play the map game tonight!

      The purpose of an Annotated Bibliography is to help you figure out whether or not you are using the best sources available for your project. You will use this method at PSM, at college, and even in the real world.

      You can find the rubric for your annotated bibliography here. It is a 30 point project grade.

      We will use MLA format for our Annotated Bibliography. You can find more information on how exactly to cite sources from the Purdue University OWL website. We will use MLA style to cite your sources.

      An example of how each entry in your annotated bibliography should look is below:

      Citation: Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. S. H. Butcher. The Internet Classics Archive. Web Atomic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13 Sept. 2007. Web. 4 Nov. 2008. ‹http://classics.mit.edu/›.
      Summary: This reading from Aristotle summarizes the Greek philosopher's ideas on poetry. It is a primary source. Aristotle tells the reader what purpose poetry serves, why it is important to the world, and why he enjoys it personally. The author's goal is to make sure that his readers understand the true worth of poets and poetry. The reading also gives an excellent example of Greek thought in the era around Alexander the Great's conquest of Asia. 
      Evaluation: Because it is a primary source, this document is very useful to me. I am able to use it to explain the way some Greeks looked at the world, and can compare this to the modern world. I would recommend that other people writing papers on Greek philosophy use this source because Aristotle is very easy to understand.

      Getting Started
      Remember -- your goal for this project is to do one of the following:
      • Compare and contrast one topic from Ancient Greece with the same topic in the modern world (i.e., Ancient Greek and Modern Chicago architecture)
      • Explain the influence of one topic from Ancient Greece on the same topic in the modern world (i.e., Ancient Greek food's influence on food in Modern Chicago)
      You have to cite two research sources for your project -- one for Ancient Greece, one for the Modern World. You already found one source -- the information from the British Museum you looked at on Tuesday! Follow the steps below to cite the source. In addition to your project grade, you will receive a 10 point homework grade for following the steps below correctly:

      Basically, the citation should look like this:

      Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access. Link.Let's break it down:
      1. Create a new Word document. Save it in the Y:\Ramin World Geography folder. Find your correct period and save the document in the "Annotated Bibliography" folder. Save the document as "Your Last Name - AB" (1 point)
      2. Put your heading in the document. The name of the assignment is "Ancient Greece Annotated Bibliography" (1 point)
      3. Begin citing your first source. First, record the author's name. For a website, unless an article has a specific author listed, use the name of the organization who produced the site. (1 point)
      4. Record the name of the page you are citing in italics. (1 point)
      5. Record the name of the institution/organization that sponsors the site. (1 point)
      6. Record the date of publication, if available. (1 point)
      7. Record the medium of the publication -- for a website, put Web. If the source were print, you would put Print. (1 point)
      8. Record the date you accessed the publication. (1 point)
      9. Record the link for your website (1 point).
      10. Check to make sure that you followed the format shown above correctly! (1 point)
      Now it's time to summarize your first source. The summary should be approximately 3-4 good sentences in length. Use the questions below to help create your summary. Ask yourself: 
      1. What was the main point/main idea/central theme of the source?
      2. What important information did you get from the source?
      3. What did you learn from the source?
      4. How will I use this source in my project?

      Finally, you must evaluate your source. This should be approximately 3-4 good sentences in length. Use the questions below to help create your evaluation. Ask yourself:
      1. Why is this a good source?
      2. Why should I trust the author? What are his/her/its qualifications?
      3. Is this source as good as, better than, or worse than other sources I've used?
      4. Would I recommend this source to other people?
      Congratulations! You've completed the first entry on your annotated bibliography. You've got your ancient Greek source ready to go. Now it's time to find a modern source.

      Remember -- you must find a source about a similar topic in the modern world. If you researched Greek art, you must find an example of modern art!

      Here are some sources you could use:

      Once you've found your source, complete the same steps you followed for your ancient source to include it in your annotated bibliography.

      Tuesday, November 1, 2011

      Postcards from the Ancient World Project

      A Greek vase.
      Introduction: Ancient Greece is seen by many as one of the most influential civilizations the world has ever seen. Nearly everywhere you go in the world today you will see, hear, taste or participate in something that first developed in the Greek world.

      Objective: In this project, you will:
      • Examine the cultural characteristics of Ancient Greece
      • Compare these cultural characteristics with the modern world (especially Chicago and the U.S.)
      • Practice writing a thesis
      • Practice visual and written communication methods
      Ultimately, you will create a postcard to explain your journey to the class and to compare the modern world with the past.

      Tasks: Each student will:
      • Research a specific aspect of Greek civilization
      • Compare this ancient information with the same topic in modern life
      • Create a post card (following the example provided) with at least two images on the front and text description on the back. This could be created using a computer program or using the handout provided.
      • Research Evidence: 2-source annotated bibliographies (one ancient, one modern) (30 point project) (Introduced Thursday)
      • Synthesis of Evidence: Post card containing images and text which explain the influence of Ancient Greece on modern life OR compare life in Greece to modern life (following the example format) (50 point project)
      Part 1: The Time Machine
      Each student will take a virtual trip back in time to Ancient Greece. In order to take this “trip,” we will use the The British Museum's online database.

      On the museum's site, you'll find a list of topics on the left hand side of the page. These include:
      • Two cities (Athens and Sparta)
      • One downtown area (The Acropolis in Athens)
      • Daily Life
      • Festivals & Games
      • Religion
      • War
      Choose one topic. You will use this topic to complete today's research session. The assignment is worth 30 points -- make sure you keep a close eye on where you are earning points!
      1. Create a new Word document. Save the document under the appropriate period for in the Y:\Ramin World Geography folder. Save your document as "Your Last Name - Your Topic Name." (2 points)
      2. Put your heading at the top of your page. Title the assignment "Ancient Greece Research." (1 point)
      3. Record your topic. Summarize the information on the introductory page for your topic (3 points).
      4. Click on the Story link on your page. What is the main idea of this page? (2 points)
      5. Go through the Story page. Record 5 specific facts about your topic (5 points).
      6. Click on the Explore link. What is the main idea of this page? (2 points)
      7. Go through the Explore page. Record at least 5 specific facts about your topic (5 points).
      8. Click on the Challenge page. Describe what is required of you in the challenge (2 points).
      9. Play through the challenge. Summarize what you learned from this activity (5 points).
      10. OPTIONAL: Look through the rest of the site. If you have time, explore the different links. Choose at least one other topic which interests you and explain your response.