‘Social Studies’ Category
A Coke bottle dropped from an airplane disrupts the quiet life of a family of African Bushmen (the San people) living in the deep isolation of the Kalahari desert. Xi, the head of the family, takes the evil thing and embarks on a journey to the end of the world to return it to the gods. At the same time, a white teacher is fed up with city life and takes a job in Botswana. She meets a shy and bumbling scientist. Their hilarious adventures and misadventures are intertwined with Xi’s journey. In the meantime, we learn much about Africa and are treated to beautiful photography of its landscape, its skies and its animals.
What is the coke bottle that should be thrown off the edge of the world represent in your life, your family’s life, and your culture? That is, what thing has come in from the outside and has disrupted the good order of things? How did it come into your life? What has it done to disrupt things? How will you get rid of it (throw it off the edge of the world)?
Last week, our KES Ohana went to chapel. Kahu Kordell made some comments that confused many of our students. Paraphrasing what he said, he told us if anyone tells you that the missionaries were not good, don’t believe them. He also talked about our loving God and that the Hawaiian gods were not loving.
What did you personally feel about the comments?
When does Mattie move from being a child to being a young adult?
The Free African Society volunteered to take care of the sick and bury the dead, even though there was no cure for yellow fever. How do you think they felt? Why did they do that? Would you have helped?
The American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) refers to the reform movements in the United States aimed at abolishing racial discrimination of African Americans.
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were black men who had a dream, but never lived to see it fulfilled. One was a man who spoke out to all humanity, but the world was not yet ready for his peaceful words. “I have a dream, a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed… that all men are created equal.” (Martin Luther King) The other, a man who spoke of a violent revolution, which would bring about radical change for the black race. “Anything you can think of that you want to change right now, the only way you can do it is with a ballot or a bullet. And if you’re not ready to get involved with either one of those, you are satisfied with the status quo. That means we’ll have to change you.” (Malcom X) While Martin Luther King promoted non-violence, civil rights, and the end to racial segregation, a man of the name of Malcom X dreamed of a separate nation.
Do you feel breaking the law is justifiable in some cases?
What type of laws do you feel justifiable to break? Give examples of past laws?
How would you break the law if you felt there was a need for change? Do you agree with how Martin Luther King wanted change or Malcolm X?
In the most recent Time magazine, there is a big section on top ten lists of 2008 from favorite tv series to remarkable discoveries. In fact, we see lists everywhere these days, and there’s no denying the fact that we all love them. Everybody from Moses (a la Ten Commandments) to MTV (Top 10 countdowns) do lists. People just love them.
Find a top ten list and share it with the class. Write the reason you picked this list.
Do you agree or disagree with the list?
Why do people love lists?
On Tuesday, Mr. Chung showed a 2 minute video on the Chinese space program. In the video, a Chinese government official proudly mentioned that China sent a man into space, fully conscious and without shackles. The news clip goes on to discuss how China was using political prisoners for their space program. One reporter said, “China’s first manned mission occurred when political prisoner Yang Li-Wei was knocked unconscious in his cell and awoke to find himself in orbit.”
After a heated class discussion on the pros and cons of this space policy and whether the United States should themselves adopt this strategy, Mr. Chung dropped a bombshell. He mentioned that the news report was a parody and it was not true.
What were you thinking when Mr. Chung was showing the video and giving the lesson? Did you think it was a good thing that the Chinese government was doing with their prisoners?
How did you feel when you found out the news story was fake?
Why do you think Mr. Chung gave this fake lesson? What did you learn from this?
Welcome to the NASA Quest Navigation Challenge! the purpose of this Challenge is to connect students in the USA to NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission while teaching them about different methods of Earth-based and space-based navigation. Please click on links on right under NASA to learn about this project.
Teach the class two things you learned from your research about NASA and Polynesian wayfinding.
Arctic ice is melting sea levels are rising and glaciers are shrinking at alarming rates. And the Earth is getting unmistakably warmer. But is this vast potentially catastrophic climate change the result of human behavior? Or is it simply the Earth’s natural cycle of warming and cooling periods that have occurred since the planet formed?
What are your thoughts on global warming?
In a recent survey, 52% said the U.S. should spend more.
“NASA has paid for itself many times over by leading to the development of things likd GPS and weather satellites. It’s such a good investment that its budget should be increased.”—-Craig Chrisco, Petaluma, Calif.
“U.S. leadership in space is critical. China, Russia and others will launch weapons into space that are aimed at the earth. Funding NASA is needed to protect our country.”–S.H., League City, Tex.
41% said the U.S. should spend less.
“NASA funds could be put to better use for things on earth, like health care and education. We have no need to go to the moon again or other planets.”–J.D., Blue Springs, Missouri
“NASA should concentrate on robot missions, which have been successful in the past. Space station programs should be moved to the commercial sector; this would cut costs and promote competition.”–R.N., Baltimore, Md.
7% said the current U.S. spending is fine.
What do you think?
Pearl Harbor is a harbor on the island of Oahu, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7th, 1941 brought the United States into World War II.
It was the native Hawaiians who originally called the Pearl Harbor area, “Wai Momi,” meaning “Water of Pearl”. It was also called “Puʻuloa”. Pearl Harbor was the home of the shark goddess Ka’ahupahau and her brother (or son) Kahiʻuka. The gods were said to live in a cave at the entrance to Pearl Harbor and guard the waters against man-eating sharks.
Kaʻahupahau is said to have been born of human parentage but to have changed into a shark. These gods were friendly to man and it is said that the people of Ewa whom they protected would keep their backs scraped clean of barnacles. The ancients depended on Kaʻahupahau to protect the harbor’s abundant fish ponds from intruders. The harbor was teeming with pearl-producing oysters until the late 1800′s.
Are students today getting the entire story, in all its bloody treachery and cruelty, so that they can evaluate history and make up their own minds? If the Columbus myth taught in schools has been replaced by all the facts, then future generations will have a better chance of understanding our history and each other.
Should we celebrate Columbus Day?
Today, Ms. Pecoraro spoke with us and gave her perspective on Columbus? She strongly believes we should celebrate Columbus Day. Why do you think Ms. Pecoraro has this perspective? Can you understand her point of view? Did she change your mind about Columbus?
The Electoral College consists of 538 popularly elected representatives who formally select the President and Vice-President of the United States. The Electoral College is an example of an indirection election.
Why do you think some of our Founding Fathers wanted Congress to select the President? (Remember that in colonial times, not everyone could read, and there was no radio, TV or Internet to update people on national events.)
Do you think the U.S. President should be chosen by popular vote? Why or why not?
Most children your age have some idea of what they want to be when they grow up. In colonial times, a 10-year-old had to make decisions about what he would do for the rest of his life. If you were a 10-year-old living during those times, what do you think you would want to be when you grew up?
What are manners? What are some manners children are supposed to have today? What were colonial children’s manners supposed to be like? Do they surprise you, why? How do they compare to your manners today? Why do you think they differed?
How do we travel in the 21st century? When and why would we use these types of transportation? How do you think people in the 18th century traveled? How would their different from ours? How would it be similar? How long did traveling take in the 18th century? What would it be like to travel a long distance back then.
In History Channel’s 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, one of the events was on September 9, 1956 when Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Tell me why this is considered a turning point in American history based on what you learned these past 2 weeks concerning post-WWII America?
Propaganda is a set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people. Instead of just providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. The most effective propaganda is often completely truthful, but some propaganda presents facts selectively to give loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of opinion, perspective, or behavior of the target audience.
If you watch CNN and watch the BBC, you’ll see quite a different perspective in news. The US tends to keep news localized unless it affects US interests, BBC reports on interests across the world.
In our current elections, notice how the candidates vilify each other. Sometimes politicians lie just to get votes.
How can you recognize propaganda?
How can you protect yourself against propaganda?
Is propaganda ever good? Cite examples.
In the pre-World War II years, the Black athlete was restricted from competition in all the professional sports. Only in the Olympics, because of its international nature, were Black athletes allowed to compete unrestricted.
After World War II, the attitude of Black people changed dramatically. For most people, Jackie Robinson has the honor of integrating professional sports by signing with baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers.
Today, are Blacks now represented in all sports at all levels?
Why do you think Blacks were not allowed to play sports with the Whites?
Do you believe that Blacks now have an equal opportunity to play sports?
Please cite examples from the video you saw last week.
Read the following perspectives on colonization:
Thesis I about colonization
Europeans colonized the Americas, and Asia (India) in order to bring civilization, religion, and government to these regions. The European nations should be honored and praised for spreading their culture and bringing civility to the uncivilized.
Thesis II about colonization
European colonization in the Americas, and Asia clearly represented imperialistic nations searching for greater land, wealth, and authority. The European nations should not be honored as discoverers or as people spreading civilization; Instead, they should be seen as conquerors, destroying advanced cultures and societies in the pursuit of greater power.
Questions to Ponder
Do people ever have the right to take another’s property? If so, when? If not, why not? Why did Europeans believe they had the right to take and use land that had been Native American land?
Within a few generations of the European’s arrival, the Native American population of the Americas was reduced by 90%. What caused this decrease? Was it essential? Is this an example of genocide? Was the purpose of European colonization to spread civilization or promote national interest?
Between 1500 and 1750, the nations of Western Europe took over almost all of North and South America. Between 1750-1900, they did the same in Asia and Africa. They claimed to have done so to spread Christianity and their idea of civilization. The greatest immediate changes that resulted from this conquest and colonization were that the natives in these areas became poorer while Europe became immensely rich and powerful. Do you think the Europeans were being honest when they claimed to be doing this for the good of Native Americans, the Asians, and the Africans?
Jared Diamond was born of Polish-Jewish heritage to a physician father and a teacher/musician/linguist mother. After attending the Roxbury Latin School, he earned an A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1958 and his Ph.D. in physiology and membrane biophysics from Cambridge University in 1961.
In Diamond’s best-known work, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel (1998), Diamond’s quest is to explain why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered other peoples. He identifies the introduction and proliferation (spread) of agriculture and technology as important developments in creating powerful states. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies do not reflect cultural or racial differences, but rather originate in environmental and geographical differences such as the most productive crops and farm animals.
What did you learn from studying Guns, Germs, and Steel that you did not know before?
Do you agree with Jared Diamond’s arguments? Why or why not? Make connections with your previous knowledge of our world.
Mr. Chung’s Thoughts: After reading your comments the past few days on slavery, I felt the anger and indignation radiating from your comments. How could people treat each other this way? I am glad you feel this way towards slavery, but what bothers me is that we are clumping different groups of people together-Whites, Europeans, Americans, Black Americans, Black Africans and steoreotyping them. As we read more into history, we will learn there were Whites who were vehemently opposed to slavery and helped Blacks escape to the North; there were Whites who believed slavery was an abomination but still held slaves themselves (an example was America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson). There were Black Africans who actually helped the slavers capture people for slavery. There were European Whites who respected the ways of the Native Americans and actually went to live with them as equals. I mentioned at the beginning of the year, textbooks do not tell the whole truth but this applies to good examples as well. There are many people and events that are shining examples of American idealism. I wonder why these examples are omitted from our textbooks.
I am not making excuses for slavery, but this was the accepted paradigm of those times. Imagine growing up and experiencing racism everyday, and taught and shown that some races are superior and some races are inferior. You would just accept it as the truth. What is remarkable is some people questioned this paradigm, struggled with it, and overcame it. These are the stories we can learn from. We all have the ability to be good or bad. It is our ability to think and reflect that will help us make good choices, individually and as a society.
I hope by the end of the year, all of you will see the importance of history–that history is not just a group of facts to be memorized but it is about the choices people make and the consequences resulting from those actions. Our past is what makes us who we are now; and for us to create a brighter future for all of us, we in the present must make good choices.