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History of the Ancient World essay questions and persuasive writing topics,help!


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I’m trying to follow the SWB high school history and writing plan. I am very bad at coming up with writing topics. I have the mp3 writing in the high school years in which she lists ideas but I think I need to see it modeled in a chapter or two of the book I’m using(though it might help if it was modeled from anything-I have Spielvogel also) and then maybe I can follow the model.

 

My son just read Chapter 25-27. The Harappan Disintegration, The Rise of the Hittites, and Ahmose expels the Hyksos

 

I think I need two types writing topics.

 

The first is a topic for persuasive writing. I know SWB gave ideas in the writing lecture, but from these short chapters I can’t turn those ideas in to a thesis. I know eventually he should be coming up with a thesis but I can’t guide him toward doing that until I can do it myself. Am I the only one having trouble coming up with these persuasive writing topics?

 

The second is just short essay questions to check for comprehension and aid in remembering the material. He did not like doing the WTM recommended ideas of listing key dates, people and why they are important(there was more to it I think). Since he needs to write more and is willing to write paragraphs instead of the lists I think I need to try that. I can probably come up with this type of writing topic myself, but if anyone out there has some written already and would be willing to share them I would greatly appreciate it.

 

Thanks,

Kendall

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Here is what I came up with for the essay questions for chapters 25-27. Feel free to critique them!

 

Answer one question for each chapter. For each question write an outline and then write a paragraph.

 

Ch 25 What are the theories about why the Harappan culture disintegrated?

 

Ch 25 Who lived in that area after the disintegration?

 

Ch 26 Tell about Hattusilis and Mursilis. Answer with a paragraph. Include dates when possible.

 

Ch 27 Who was Ahmose? Answer in a detailed paragraph

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I wish there was some sort of student-led guide, activity sheet series, etc. to pair with SWB's History of the Ancient World. I actually emailed SWB over the summer and asked if there was! Her publisher kindly emailed me back and said they were not aware of anyone developing a guide to go along with her book....rats.

 

I am using that book as the "spine" for our Winter Promise Quest for the Ancient World series this year. The Mystery of History book was too babyish for my 14 yo. She begged for something meatier.... we looked at History of the Ancient World on Amazon and she thought she could handle it... so far, so good!

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The UCLA Center For History in the Schools has a wonderfully useful paperback called Bringing History Alive. Each chapter focuses on a historical era across cultures, and then each is broken down into categories K-2, 3-5, etc. through high school. Each grade section then has many, many specifics, including activities for younger kids, discussion questions, mapping ideas, and multiple writing projects ranging from the creative to the more straightforward essay type. The book emphasizes the identification and discussion of major historical developments, issues, and ideas. Plus you can use it all the way through high school.

 

(There's also a book on US history.)

 

http://nchs.ucla.edu

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Here is what I came up with for the essay questions for chapters 25-27. Feel free to critique them!

 

Answer one question for each chapter. For each question write an outline and then write a paragraph.

 

Ch 25 What are the theories about why the Harappan culture disintegrated?

 

Ch 25 Who lived in that area after the disintegration?

 

Ch 26 Tell about Hattusilis and Mursilis. Answer with a paragraph. Include dates when possible.

 

Ch 27 Who was Ahmose? Answer in a detailed paragraph

 

I have never used the history source to which you are referring, so I cannot address the topics contained within those chpts directly.

 

However, if you would like an honest assessment of your questions listed above, I would categorize those more as report or short answer type questions and not really essay questions. An essay is a piece of writing that addresses an arguable position. It requires the student prove their position with evidence that supports their thesis. It is not just a factual presentation of information.

 

I know absolutely nothing about the book or topics that you have listed (so take these suggestions with a huge grain of salt), but here are some pitiful examples of essay topics based on zero knowledge other than your list of questions......

 

How did the disintegration affect the inhabitants and culture of the area?

 

Compare three theories on the disintegration of Harappan culture demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses. Defend the theory you believe to be the most accurate. (make sure to give evidentiary support as to why that theory seems the most valid)

 

A simple book on learning how to develop a thesis is The Lively Art of Writing.

 

HTH

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Wow, thank you everyone! A few questions

 

Mrs. Mungo - I was actually meaning those questions to be just factual recall summary type questions. I misnamed them essays. Do you just have your student summarize each chapter? If so about how long are the summaries?

 

KarenAnne-Thanks for that resource-I'm headed to that site next

 

8Filltheheart- (I have 8, too:)) Thank you so much. What you did is exactly what I needed! I meant those questions to be factual recall, but you have given me ideas of how to take the chapter material and turn it into something persuasive. This will help so much. I have the Liverly Art and need to pull it out. Getting a good essay topic is something my oldest is struggling with his first semester in college because I haven't taught it well. I'm determined to fix that for the rest of them!

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Mrs. Mungo - I was actually meaning those questions to be just factual recall summary type questions. I misnamed them essays. Do you just have your student summarize each chapter? If so about how long are the summaries?

 

Her summaries are not in essay form, it's more of an outline. It's the book context that stands in for a historical summary. So, she doesn't really do that with every chapter, no. She writes a brief outline for each chapter. She then writes a book context for each literary work and a persuasive essay for each literary work.

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