Sometimes It’s the Journey

I was prepared to write a blog post recommending Ted Bell’s Nick McIver series as great reads for middle schoolers…historical fiction with a little time travel thrown in. Maybe a little violent but in the swashbuckling tradition. They are set on the Guernsey Islands at the start of WW II but take us back to other great historical battles. In Nick of Time, we meet Lord Nelson just a few weeks before Trafalgar, and in The Time Pirate, we stand with George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown. The second volume would be a great addition to an American history class.

There’s the recommendation…here’s the journey. Along with the review, I was going to post a list of links related to WW II and the Revolutionary War as part of my Diigo posts. I’m still going to do that but as you browse the links, you’ll see the  journey I took from checking out these animated maps to learning about the Battle of Gallipoli (which, for the record, is a WW I battle but was the brain child of Winston Churchill) to checking out even more interactive maps to thinking about the definition of genocide.

The interactive maps are examples of the way media can bring history alive. As I was reading about Gallipoli, I was thinking how useful a map would be and was a little relieved to discover that I wasn’t going to have to create it myself.

But the definitions demonstrate a much more profound use of the Web: opening the world of ideas and debate to our students. As I read about Turkey’s plan to keep Australian officials from attending the 100th anniversary, I thought about the treatment of native peoples’ around the world. Why wasn’t that genocide? Turns out there is disagreement about the definition and its application despite the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted by the United Nations in December 1948.

Meanwhile, how did I know I had reached the end of my journey? It took me here.




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