March 14, 2017: Vinales, Cuba – There’s an angry horse tied up on the road ahead.

Cuba is one of the most challenging places I have ever traveled.  Little about the way this place is transparent.  People are very thorough, checking every box, but not necessarily in order. Continue reading “March 14, 2017: Vinales, Cuba – There’s an angry horse tied up on the road ahead.”

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The Americas: A Free, Open Textbook in Progress

Continue reading “The Americas: A Free, Open Textbook in Progress”

Five Pillars to Hold Myself Up: What do Muslims Believe?

What are the basic teachings of Islam, and what does it mean to be a Muslim? Continue reading “Five Pillars to Hold Myself Up: What do Muslims Believe?”

Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam

Who was Muhammad, and how did the Arab world of the seventh century shape his teachings? Continue reading “Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam”

Mapping Our Human Story: A Mini-Doc on Openendedsocialstudies in Action!

Here’s a short documentary featuring an Open Ended Social Studies lesson on The Silk Road playing out in a sixth grade world history classroom:

What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

An Indigenous History of North America

The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.

Pre-contact Europeans wore clothing made of natural materials such as animal skin and plant and animal-based textiles. Women wore long dresses and covered their hair, and men wore tunics and leggings. Both men and women liked to wear jewelry made from precious stones and metals as a sign of status. Before contact, Europeans had very poor diets. Most people were farmers and grew wheat and vegetables and raised cows and sheep to eat. They rarely washed themselves, and had many diseases because…

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The Inca: Church, State, and the Arc of History in the Realm of the Four Parts

Continue reading “The Inca: Church, State, and the Arc of History in the Realm of the Four Parts”