Lesson 2 Student Handout 2.1—States and Empires
Have students use the maps indicated in Part One to trace historical succession for states and empires in Big Era Five. Have the class use the Student Handouts and activities below to discuss the following two questions:
Using the climate and vegetation maps (Student Handouts 2.2 and 2.3), have students correlate them with the political maps in order to find out what physical regions and topographical features were encompassed by various states and empires.
Ask students also to consider how a map might be designed to show that the borders of empires expanded and contracted over time and that they were fuzzy and fluid, not sharp and fixed. How might students use computers to design maps that show how empires changed over time?
As an extension activity, scan relevant chapters in the textbook used in class to identify which states and empires get more coverage than others. Discuss what factors might determine how much coverage an empire gets in a textbook. What criteria might textbook authors use to determine which states and empires receive the most attention? Teacher and students might also discuss this issue using the National Standards for World History or state/local content standards.
This activity is designed to put some dynamism into the exercise of memorizing location and time period (historical succession) of states and empires. It is especially appropriate for Big Era Five, when political change was quite rapid.
Students work in small groups to create large maps of the hemispheres, with states and empires in the regions outlined and labeled for each of the time periods shown in the PowerPoint Overview Presentation slides 22-23. Each group reproduces the maps sized large enough so that all members of the group can stand on their map. Have them use colored markers or crayons to shade in the major states and empires in the locations where they belong.
Students tape the big maps of the states and empires to the floor of the classroom. Students then stand in a circle around the maps, either around each individual map or around the group of maps. Then, the teacher calls out a name of a state or empire, and students identify the correct time period map. They also locate the state or empire by placing one hand or one foot on the correct shaded area, taking a maximum of ten seconds to act. The teacher calls out another name of a state or empire, and another student puts a hand or a foot on the correct spot. The winner is the first player who identifies four states or empires by placing all four limbs on the map at once.
Student Handout 2.2—States and Empires