Sunday, November 11, 2007

Or, as my students would probably prefer, Guns, Guns and Guns

The Global Studies class I'm team-teaching is starting to read Guns, Germs and Steel this week. I think a few kids will be okay with the reading level, but the majority will struggle. So I'm looking for some sort of teaching guide for the book -- finding nothing.

Anyone know of anything out there? Anyone ever used this book with high schoolers? Am I crazy?

One thing I did was to prepare students for some of the big themes in the book using an anticipation guide. These were the questions:
Agree/disagree: The way the world is today COULD NOT be any different than it is: history follows a set course.

Agree/disagree: It's possible that things could have worked out differently in history and our world would be a very different place.

Agree/disagree: There couldn't be a world without "winners" and "losers:" someone has to win and someone has to lose.

Agree/disagree: It's possible for the world to exist without "winners" and "losers."

Agree/disagree: A person's or group's success in life depends on genetics.

Agree/disagree: A person's or group's success in life depends on what resources they grow up with.

BTW, I know this book is problematic in many ways. But I think that it's a great entry point for advanced high schoolers into a critical understanding of history, and while the reading level is difficult, it's within their "zone of proximal development." (My, I'm going crazy with the education school lingo today!)

1 comment:

Wm Chamberlain said...

Have you considered supplementing with the video? Some kids may catch on better watching it.