Recommended for use with The Passing of a Century Website
The excellent and informative history site on the 20th century that features 100 years of Events and Trends, Discovery and Milestones, People and Society with educational interactive bits (covers: politics, media, war, transport, science, leaders, art, environment and more)
-- The educational material in each section of The Passing of a Century
Here is a sampling of lesson ideas and activities which have been developed for easy implementation alongside this interactive web resource. Feel free to submit your own lesson plans or simply modifications/improvements of our exisiting lesson plans.
Enhanced - Bright, bold design, many add-on features make visit more enjoyable (1st & 2nd visits)
Standard - Loads fast, with clean attractive design (long-term use)
Basic - Loads very quickly, simple design, with no pictures or frills (to speed things up)
2. Introducing the century
a. View "The World in 1900". It is a big interactive world map that allows viewers to click on selected areas, to find out about lifestyle, society, and countries in the year 1900. Students should be encouraged to make comparisons between 1900 and the present.
b. Read "The Shameful Century", under Features. This is an essay that talks about the negative aspects of the 20th century, for example the destruction of our environment and genocide (students can find out the definition of genocide or read an example in history: "The Siege of Sarajevo") This will encourage students to think more critically about the 20th century, and not only think of it as "a century of progress and achievement".
3. Themes - Aspects of life in the 20th century
a. Warfare - Covers all the major wars in the 20th century. This section is particularly useful because students are always learning about World War I & II, and other major world conflicts. This section includes a keynote or introduction titled "War and Peace in the 20th Century". It makes good introductory reading as students will find out about the attitudes and trends of 20th century conflict. The main part is "Wars of the 20th Century" which have introductions to wars and long lists of (internal) links to years in the Chronicle where major war events took place. Sometimes, links to certain events or years have been left out, but it is always possible to use the search engine to locate the pages. Here, students can read detailed articles about several actual war events, such as "Invasion of Poland sparks off war".
b. Media - To spark off an interest in history, students could trace the history of a certain type of mass media, for example, Television. More importantly, they should see what kind of impact mass media has had on societies throughout history, for example: Propaganda in Russia.
c. Societies - By reading through the 3 case studies (Russia, Japan and South Africa), students should see and note the various trends in society throughout the 20th century. This will be a platform to find out more about issues like modernisation, communism, decolonization, civil rights movements, military expansion (war), etc. More information about such issues will be found in the Chronicle, and can be located by using the search engine. (Read the detailed guide to the Societies section)
d. People - A spotlight on some of this century's great people, such as Disney, Einstein and Lenin. This section is mainly meant as a platform for students to research more about other great people, whom they may admire or have heard about. They then have the opportunity to share what they have found, by submitting it to the Visitors' Gallery, where more people will get to view what they have researched. (This may be a source of motivation for students to do some reading and writing.)
e. Transport - This section is done in a simple manner to encourage students to learn about the past through a very relevant area of their lives. They can find out early cars, ships and planes, how they got invented and what purpose they served under Transport Trends. Through this section, students can be introduced to some important concepts such as the Space Race, by heading for Transport Trends 1960s or reading articles such as: "USSR launches Sputnik" and "First Men on the Moon" under the Chronicle.
4. Features - Trends and Milestones of the 20th Century
-- Platforms to more detailed studies
a. Art Movements in the 20th century - an overview of some important art movements in the 20th century.
b. Science & Discovery - A graphical timeline which links to all major science milestones in the 20th Century, many of which leads to more detailed articles in the Chronicle. Gives students a good idea of what kind of progress has been made. (Note: all information appears in the pop-up window, which sometimes disappears into the background, and must be brought to the front again.)
c. The Shameful 20th Century - refer to 1. Introducing the Century
d. Environmentalism - A good introduction to the growing awareness of the state of our environment. Students should learn about issues like pollution, deforestation and species extinction, as well as how these problems are being tackled.
5. Chronicle - Important events of the 20th Century
This section is filled with years of significant twentieth century events, accompanied by fun and interesting trivia. The Boxer Revolution, the gramophone, the sinking of Titanic, the Russian Revolutions, the Invasion of Poland by Hitler, the Vietnam War, the assassination of John F Kennedy, the Kosovo crisis - all of these and more, are found in the Chronicle. Students can read about the specific events they are required to know, or they can read articles related to topics they are studying, example: for racial discrimination, they could read about Apartheid in South Africa or the article "Rosa Parks and the Civil Movement".
(Note: Specific events can be easily located by using the search engine.)
6. Interactive - Learning through playing and sharing
a. Forum - Students should be encouraged to question, discuss and share views. This is a great way to learn about different viewpoints over issues, and to receive help from other visitors, when in doubt.
b. Visitors' Gallery - This is where students can share their artwork, essays, poems, songs and research about any aspect of the 20th century. This allows students to showcase their works, and also adds to the wealth of educational content on the site, which will benefit many other visitors to the site.
c. Game - An interactive entertaining game where students assume the role of a magazine photographer on a time trial. They will not only enjoy themselves, they will need to read up a little to find the correct answers. This will give them some encouragement to study history! (Note: this requires the free Shockwave 7 plug-in)
d. Quiz - A good way of testing your knowledge about the century. Recommended after a good look through the site, although hints and answers are provided within the quiz (good motivation to learn some facts).
e. Future Watch - Make fun or serious predictions about the future. Students are encouraged to think about possibilities for the next century, perhaps just by looking at things around them. It is good to find out what others think as well as to share your own opinions.
d. Polls - Polls help measure what visitors' opinions about certain issues. Students should participate in the polls after some thinking and evaluation about the issue raised. They could read articles like "The Shameful Century" to help them form an opinion.
e. Search - Best way to locate specific information or related articles on certain issues.
f. Guestbook - It would be much appreciated if you and your students could leave your kind comments to encourage us and help us improve!
This classroom guide was authored by Jason, Sizwe and Janine, please write to us via e-mail at Yeos@letterbox.com if you have any suggestions, comments or require additional information. Do let us know how we are doing by leaving a note in our Guestbook. Now, get on with it, and visit The Passing of a Century!