November 2015 - History Gal

Resources to Help You Discuss the Attacks in Paris

By History Gal

I don't know about you, but I've been glued to television and internet coverage about the events that unfolded yesterday in Paris. My heart breaks for the victims, the people of France, and for the state of our world. It's hard to know what to do or how to help.

Most likely, on Monday, your students will arrive with questions and will look to you for some answers. While I can't solve the world's problems or wipe away tears in a post, I can help you by gathering resources to help you approach the attacks in your classes next week. I hope they help and I pray that I won't have to write about another terrorist attack again.

Here are some resources to help you:

First a little background:
A History of IS
*Have students examine the Associated Press' Interactive ISIL Timeline and/or Life in the Islamic State.

Syria's Civil War
*Have your students read this BBC article about Syria's Civil War and/or explore the Associated Press' Interactive on Syria's Civil War.
*While the Washington Post article 9 Questions about Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask was written in 2013, it is still another good resource to direct your student to or for you to read to better understand what is going on.
*Another great resource is Vox Media's 5 Minute History of Syria's War and the Rise of ISIS.

Europe's Migration Crisis
*Have your students read this BBC article, Migrant Crisis: Migration to Europe explained in graphics and/or read Time's The 5 Big Questions About Europe's Migrant Crisis.
*Watch The EU Migrant Crisis Explained in 90 seconds

Russian Plane Crash
Students can learn about the Russian plane crash in Egypt at this Associated Press site.

Paris Attacks: November 13, 2015
*Students can learn how the attacks unfolded and view a timeline of recent deadly attacks in Europe at the Associate Press' France Attacks (more content and posts will become available in the next few days so visit the AP Interactive Twitter feed to find more information during the next several days).
*Students can also read how events unfolded in Paris on The Guardian's blog.
*Students can read a BBC article, Paris attacks: Hollande blames Islamic State for 'act of war.'

After looking over resources about the attacks in Paris and the background events, have students discuss some of the broad or big questions the attacks raise like:
1. How should the United States government react to the Paris attacks?
2. How does the fight against ISIS differ from the wars the United States and Europe traditionally have fought?
3. How should Europe and the United States balance the desire to grant sanctuary to fleeing migrants with the need for national security? sure if you even want to discuss the Paris attacks with your students? My friend from What's New? Teaching Secondary Social Studies and English with Leah explains why you should in her post 3 Reasons Why You Need to Discuss the Paris Attacks with Your Students.

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Resources for Teaching about Veterans Day

By History Gal

From the Office of Public Affairs:
History of Veterans Day
This article gives a brief summary of why Veterans Day is on November 11 and the Congressional Resolution that made it a Federal holiday.

History Channel:
Bet You Didn't Know This About Veterans Day
This includes a video and a brief article.

CNN: Memorial Day is Different Than Veterans Day
This also includes a video and a brief article to help illustrate the differences between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

The Guardian: Why Doesn't the United States Observe Armistice Day?
This is thought provoking editorial great could lead to some good class discussion or could be used as an interesting writing prompt.

Eyewitness to History: Armistice - The End of World War I, 1918 
 This is a primary account of the World War I Armistice.

Remembrance with The Royal Legion
This beautiful site explains Remembrance Day. lesson connects perfectly to Veterans or Remembrance Day. Students learn about John McCrae and the poem "In Flanders Fields."

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