The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters are the three main agricultural crops of various Native American groups in North Americawinter squashmaize (corn), and climbing beans.

This lesson was reported from:
Adapted in part from open sources.

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Open Ended Social Studies has the chapters that your world history textbook is missing

What is the root cause of our world’s troubles?  

If you ask me, it’s not a trade imbalance or a terrorist threat.  If we’re talking about the problem that lies at the heart of everything, it’s got to be a severe, devastating lack of empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Continue reading “Open Ended Social Studies has the chapters that your world history textbook is missing”

Open Ended Social Studies on YouTube: The Inca

Check out the inaugural episode of the Open Ended Social Studies YouTube series on the Inca.  It’s a great supplement to our featured lesson on the Inca.  Continue reading “Open Ended Social Studies on YouTube: The Inca”

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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July 11, 2016: Live from Deep in the Amazon

I am writing you from Iquitos, Peru, a muddy, rough and tumble town deep in the Amazon.  I’m looking out at the river as I write this actually.  It’s the closest I’ve ever felt to the end of the world…  there is no road through the rainforest to this city…  the only access is by river or by air, and it feels just slightly off.  Like everyone is on their own.  Everything is crumbling in the oppressive heat and humidity, and while it feels like anything could happen, it probably won’t, because, you know, the resigned shrug of an insignificant frontier town. Continue reading “July 11, 2016: Live from Deep in the Amazon”

Popcorn paved the way for the Aztec Empire

In the beginning, there was teosinte, the wild ancestor of modern corn.  Its kernels are too tough to eat or grind into flour.  It was consumed not as corn on the cob or as a torilla, but instead as popcorn.   Continue reading “Popcorn paved the way for the Aztec Empire”