Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wrapping up another school year with History Connected

As the school year winds down and many of us are putting the finishing touches on our school year projects I find myself thinking back at the themes presented this year.

Above all else, this year's History Connected focused on the U.S. and the World. How actions, events, and movements within the United States impacted countries and peoples around the world. Examples can be seen in the influence of the Declaration of Independence on revolutionary nations such as Haiti, the significance of the League of Nations in a post war world and the rising stream of immigration that took place in this country starting in the mid-1800's and continuing into this new century.

I always find it exciting and eye-opening when my students learn something they did not know. Guiding them through the interwoven history of America and the world always seems to produce interesting responses.

I will never forget the conversation that I was having with my AP US History students during their lesson on the Vietnam War. During my lecture I repeated an interesting story told to History Connected during our school day seminar on the League of Nations. It seemed that Vietnamese and future Communist leader, Ho Chi Minh, had approached President Wilson during the Paris Peace Conference. Minh was hoping to discuss self-determination with a focus on the French colony of Indochina. Wilson never met with Minh but one can only imagine how history might be different today if they did meet. My students gasped and asked question after question about their failed meeting. Telling this unknown story brought my lecture to another level and kept my students thinking.

Sadly, as this is the last year of History Connected. I hope that I am able to use all of my learned knowledge with all of my future students.

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