US History Seminar: The Road to Civil War

R-603133-1142975317.jpegThis week, we have taken a closer look at Chapter 9 in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and we watched Steven Speilberg’s tale of The Amistad. We were shocked to learn that the United States grew from 1000 tonnes of cotton and 500 00 slaves in 1790, to 1 million tonnes of cotton and 4 million slaves by 1860.

We were also struck by how presidents of the United States, when facing reelection, did not want to seem too eager to side with the abolitionist side. The addiction to slavery and the creation of a slave society certainly could be deemed as deep cause for racial tensions, not to mention the Civil War, Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights movement, and the Black lives Matter movement.

Using the criteria for analyzing and determining cause and consequence, how might other historical events played into the racial strife that is the United States?

Below are a few examples of events, movements, pieces of legislation, Supreme Court decisions, and people who may have contributed to the Civil War and racial conflict:

1820 | Missouri Compromise

1831 | Nat Turner’s Rebellion

1839 | The Amistad

1850 Compromise

1852 | Uncle Tom’s Cabin

1857 | Dred Scott

1859 | John Brown’s Raid

Select one and argue briefly but powerfully how this historically significant event might have been a cause of the Civil War. Be sure to provide both primary and secondary source evidence to support your case and be sure to comment on the arguments of your peers!

Advertisements

French Immersion & Project-based Learning – Together at last!

In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers launched the first hot air balloon and were able to sustain a flight of nearly ten minutes. The petrified farm animals who were the passengers probably were’t impressed by the experience, but the brothers pushed their passion for flight to the next level. This is a project!

2faujas_39088006218994_0014_11_crop

At the Maples Met School, we love projects! As a project-based high school, we offer learners the opportunity to pursue their passion, work with passionate adults in the field, and demonstrate their learning in authentic ways.

And now, just like the Montgolfier brothers, learners can pursue their projects in French!

Beginning this fall, the Maples Met School will be offering French Immersion at the Grade 9 level. Learners will be able to engage in high quality project work, internships in the Francophone community, and exhibitions of learning all in French.

For more information about the Maples Met school, call 204.632.6641 or visit us at www.7oaks.org/school/maplesmet

As a Big Picture Learning school, our mission is to cultivate a safe and educative environment by which learners engage in critical issues of interest to them so that they can develop the skills and knowledge essential for affecting positive change through meaningful and informed action, or praxis.

 

Projects! Projects! Projects!

Over the winter break, I spent a lot of time reading, thinking, and hanging out with my kids doing projects. I also spent a great deal of time speaking with people throughout the world as to what they think a project is. What is a project?

Based on this line of inquiry, I started to comb various media outlets to get a sense of what people were doing in the world in terms of projects that might inspire Maples Met School learners. There is a huge difference between a project and an activity or hobby. Projects come from a place of questioning, of curiosity, and of purpose.

While we all know that great projects begin with a powerful essential question that questions our role within the universe, here are links to potential final products, resources, platforms, and other supports for our inquiry:

Preserving the History of a City

5926fad3ddf84f579b6b93cd294f2f36_18

Why is it important to preserve the history of a city? 

 

Create a Student-run Newspaper

Printing-press-010
Newspapers are critical to any democracy, as they hold governments to account. Why not connect with other writers, artists, and thinkers to create your own press!

Create Your own Solar Panel

FDYZR32FX5573IM.MEDIUM

 

 

 

 

Create a Bike Generator!

54cb2f2b45361_-_pedal-power-01-0314-de

Images of Winnipeg

171227_downtown_03

The Winnipeg Free Press recently published a photo essay of aerial views of the Winnipeg. What parts of the city are missing? Why? What would you include? How could you use GIS to create maps of areas of Winnipeg that are ignored? What are important areas for youth?

 

50 Book Pledge

download

The 50 Book Pledge is an amazing way to motivate yourself and also share your research with people throughout the world. No matter what essential question you’re attacking, this is a greta way of creating a digital library.

 

Radical History Poster Project

RRR10-RiversWithin

The Graphic History Collective has launched a project called the Radical History Poster Project. This is a fantastic way for learners to use their artistic talents to think historically (The Big 6!) about Canada, Treaty 1, and what it means to live in Red River.

 

Manitoba Robot Games 2018

MRGbanner12

Take a crack at the Manitoba Robot Games!

 

Northern Hydroponic Project

 

Can Flying Machines Help Save Lives?

Home_-_BBC_News

 

Create Work Benches for your School’s Fabrication Lab

build-workbenchlargeup

Hint: We need these at the Met for great projects!

 

Lego Crane (Why not?)

 

Create an interactive Periodic Table!

CUXdFHpUcAALN34

 

CBC Nonfiction Prize

download

What a perfect final product for a project! (And you could take home some loot!)

 

Mennonite Central Committee Hygiene Kits

 

Design a New Arlington Bridge

Banning Plastic Bags

plastic-bag-ban-20160831

There is some recent support for banning plastic bags in Winnipeg. This might be a really cool, authentic, and impactful project to investigate!

 

Imagine Portage & Main

Imagine-Portage-and-Main-Downtown-Winnipeg-BIZ

What should Portage and Main look like? Design it!

 

Create Your Own Zine!

zines_mini

Go underground and create a zine that reflects your manifesto!

 

Make your own Wind Turbine!

Sunplus

Aquaponics System

cheap-aquaponics-system

Lots of essential questions and tangents with this project!

DoNow: Too Much Screen-time?

texting“Three-quarters of North American teenagers either own or have access to a smartphone. Too much screen-time has been linked to sleep disruption, loneliness, anxiety, depression and even an increased risk of suicide.”

On yesterday’s version of CBC’s The Sunday Edition, the issue of too much screen-time was addressed by the host Michael Enright and his two guests, Jean Twenge and Clive Thompson. Both guests argue as to the negative consequences related to our smartphone use.

Curiously, the episode did not feature youth. Perhaps this isn’t a surprise, but your voice is important.

Have a listen and read and then respond to Michael via the Sunday Edition’s feedback page. In a concise, well-crafted, and well thought out manner, offer your insight and your argument.

 

MTS PD Day 2017 – Matt’s Pick

MTS_PD_DAY_2017_FrontEvery year as educators we are fortunate to have one day when we can all get together in order to share ideas, learn from each other, and begin new and exciting projects. I love MTS PD Day — or SAGE — or SAG, or…!

No matter which special area group I attend, whether it is Mathematics, Middle Years, MSLA, ManACE, MSSTA, or any of the other amazing groups of educators, I am always blown away by the incredible knowledge and wisdom possessed by my colleagues throughout the province.

This year, I am attending the Manitoba Social Science Teachers’ Association PD Day. (Although I am still lobbying to change the Social Science part of the group as History is a huge component of the day — and History is not a social science (I digress)). Whether you’re an Industrial Arts teacher, a school principal, a Physical Education specialist, or a Spanish language educator, I think this year’s MSSTA conference has something for all of us. Here’s my pitch:

The Keynote — What can I say?! The folks at MSSTA have secured Stephen Lewis as the keynote speaker. As former leader of the Ontario NDP, the founder of the Stephen Lewis foundation, and of course Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations. If you profess to want your learners to become global citizens, this is a must see keynote from an incredible example of what it means to be a global citizen. He is also the father of Avi Lewis and father-in-law of Naomi Klein, founders of the Leap Manifesto.

Morning Session — A must for the morning session is also the session devoted to Model United Nations. (MUNA.) If you teach Grade 9 Social Studies (Canada in the Contemporary World) or Grade 12 Global Issues, this is essential PD for you. Model United Nations, which takes place every May at CMU is possibly one of the most educative experiences for young people and educators to take part in.

coverAfternoon Session — If you’re a teacher of the History of Canada, the session on Western Canada at War is for you. In this session, the Manitoba Historical Society will provide a free copy of its journal from last year with a resource package. Participants will be asked to help create learning experiences, using the Six Historical Thinking Concepts, so that we can launch these into to the ether. (Psst…the Big Six are part of the Manitoba Curriculum and we have to teach them.)

This is a free resource and an opportunity to jam with other history teachers.

So there’s my pitch! Take it or leave and we’ll see you all out-and-about on October 20th!