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  • Essay #2.docx
  • I chose to read chapter 4 of Bender’s book on empires. I found it interesting to think about America as an empire. I am interested in learning about history, and I find Bender’s ideas extremely interesting, but overall, his book did seem to be somewhat of a challenge for me to read.  One reason may have been that his writing style was difficult for me to follow. It seemed to jump from one idea to the next, and then back to the original idea much later.  It was indeed a very unique approach.   


    While reading, I was unfamiliar with many of the events that were mentioned.  It seemed that I was spending the majority of time looking up events that were mentioned to avoid confusion.  If anything, his book did ignite a definite spark of curiosity within me for world history and how it is linked to that of our country. 


    Growing up, I learned about American history. I feel I am good at it, and I effectively teach it to my students.  At least I thought all of this to be true until I was presented with Bender’s ideas. American history is more than just what happened in America and what Americans have experienced throughout history.  American history is linked to global happenings and the patterns that develop throughout the entire world.  It is important to link these ideas when learning and teaching about American history.  

  • End of Class Reflection:


    I thought Bender's book was interesting.  Depending on how much history someone has studied, and how often they have read books or thought of history from different perspectives, Bender's book could be eye opening or reiteration of common themes throughout history, including America's history.  For me, I love history, but it still brought some new events and connections that I didn't know before.  Such has how the Bubonic Plague help aid Europe's desperation for new economic source and how it also aid China's decision to shut down its foreign exploration.  However, the book was not easy to read, and I am sure there are similar books out there that might be better.  However, I enjoyed the two days of class and felt that it was helpful to have time to start integrating what we have learned into lesson plans.  Thanks

  • Lesson%204.doc


    Here is my fourth Lesson.

  • I teach the beginning of the 20th century through present time to 6th grade students.   One concept that I teach in my curriculum is the various conflicts that occur during that time frame.  While it is extremely easy to make global connections while teaching about these conflicts and America’s place in them, after reviewing Bender’s approach, I have learned that it is easy to become “trapped” into teaching only about America when teaching about these truly “world” conflicts. 


    In reflecting on my teachings of World War II, I have typically provided the background of the war, and the countries that are involved, but really seem to begin teaching the bulk of my lessons when America becomes involved, and the focal point of my teaching revolves around how America is impacted. As I look through lesson ideas both on the Internet and the prepared units from top educational publishers, I have found that my approach is not unique.  All lessons that are published in America seem to focus simply on America. The World War II lesson that I created takes on more of Bender’s approach.   I focus on how children of the world were impacted by the war, and not just the children of America. 


    This class has also shed light on the fact that some of the other concepts that I teach (economics, immigration, Industrial revolution, civil rights) focus primarily on the impact these issues have on America.  These concepts have local, national and global ramifications.  It is important that students are introduced to these ideas in this manner, showing them that America's problems and issues are not only unique to our country. 

  • Here is my 4th lesson.  I am new at posting  so hopefully it will work! :)



  • Lesson plan #4

    Mark J Biberg

    Am and the World

    Based at least in part to chapter 5 of the Bender Book


    time period- Post Civil War (1865-1877)

    context- reconstrcution of the South after the Civil War

    students- high school age cyber/ online student, ability to read, write, and understand history in about par with most American teenagers (not very good).


    essential (burning question)- How was reconstruction of the south affected by post war industrialization? What was the relation between the Federal governments intention to rebuild the south and other competing interest. (transcontinental railroad).


    learning objective- students will identify the reconstruction amendments to the US Constitution and offer their assessment as to how effective were these laws in practice.


    key terms- 13 Amend (banned slavery), 14 Amend ( citizenship), 15th (right to vote). poltical inclusion, a more perfect union, constitutional progressivism (liberalism).


    process- students will read the preable to the Dec. of Indp. and the Const., students will look at the text of the Recon. Amendmnets. (all doc. will be linked to the DB)


    resources- links to Dec. of Ind., Constitution, and Recon Amend. and of course online technology in working order.


    teacher will give a lesson on the meaning of the Civil War and the legal meaning of the Civil Rights afforded in the 13th-15th Amendments.

    Teacher will try to explain the relationship between the implementation of the 13-15th amendments and theeventual focus of the Fed. government on other things (imperialism, industrialization, urbanization, Jim Crowism, etc.)


    Student feedback- students will respond with a DB entry. They will try to answer the question (s) in regards to Reconstruction. Were the rights given in the 13th-15th amendments ever realized by most blacks after the civil war? To what extent did the fed. govt. "give up" on the South in 1877 in favor of other priorities?


    reflection- teacher thinks this lesson has great potential to get the students moving in the direction of thinking globally about how the US, as a growing power, did not make decisions in a vacuum in the post Civil war world. We were impacted by the world economy and world trade.  We have other priorties at home including the 1876 centennial, stealing the 1876 election, the transcontinental railroad, the homestead act, The indian wars, the 1876 purchase of Alaska, urbanization, immigration, and the ever present dialogue between the independent, autonomous individual vs. society, the collective good, and our constitutional imperative to work towards a "more perfect union"




    Mark J Biberg



  • I chose to read Chapter 1 of “A Nation Among Nations.”  During the past week, I attended another ANUAH seminar about thematic approaches to teaching American History.  Both courses were very intesting to me as teacher and I intend to plan a unit which investigates the theme of Social Justice during the period of exploration. One of the things that interested me most during the first course was how the Europeans could justify the dehumanization of the Africans and Native Americans.  While I found the Bender book really difficult reading, I did gain some answers to questions I had during my previous course.  When I teach my 8th graders, I do try to bring in different perspectives, but often fall short of taking a transnational approach for fear of “going off topic” and not getting as much of the American History content covered as I need to.  But, if I focus on universal themes such as social justice, bringing in sources from other parts of the world makes more sense.   As an English teacher, I found it easier to take a more global approach by choosing literature that focused on particular themes.  Hopefully, students realized through the course of the reading that there were similarities which ran through the novels, short stories and poems.  But as a new Social Studies teacher, I had a difficult time letting go of the need to cover every little detail of American history.  It was a relief to think about going for depth and connections rather than just making it through the textbook.  Though looking at different sources such as getting a British and American soldier’s point of view about the Battle of Bunker Hill was not a new idea to me, the idea of looking at similarities and differences between revolutions throughout the world was a new idea to me.  It appeals to me because it shows students that there are universal themes and experiences that people share across cultures and time periods.  
  • I am excited for the prospects this new approach to teaching history will have in our classrooms.  Students will have the chance to see themselves as part of a global history instead of an isolated culture.  It will provide them with a greater understanding of why things in the past came about (because despite the way we teach history now, it did not all start in the US).  It will encourage out students to be empathic towards other cultures as they learn more about how other cultures have interacted with theirs or how they culture has interacted with other cultures in the past.  I think it will help students to understand why our culture is viewed in the light it is by other countries.


    Bender's book is not perfect in its approach.  He does perhaps spend too much time rehashing what he has already presented and some of his examples, while interesting to note, are not always of a correlating time period.  His ideas are still thought-provoking to me as an educator.  My personal criticism would be that he seems to assume the reader has an incredible understanding of history and a large background knowledge to draw from, which I do not feel that I have as of yet.  But the examples he does choose to use are interesting and flesh out the picture of our history beyond the focal point by adding a detailed background within which to place American history.

  • Here is my fourth lesson plan.  Social%20Studies%20-%20Industrial%20Revolution%20-%20Begins%20in%20...
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