Required Reading/Watching Prior to completing this assignment, you should have: Read Chapter 1 of your textbook, The American Yawp, Volume I, and taken notesWatch Video Lecture 1 and take notesRead Ch

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Required Reading/Watching

Prior to completing this assignment, you should have:

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  • Read Chapter 1 of your textbook, The American Yawp, Volume I, and taken notes
  • Watch Video Lecture 1 and take notes
  • Read Chapter 2 of your textbook and take notes
  • Watch Video Lecture 2 and take notes

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Purpose

This assignment teaches you how to apply your academic History research skills to your immediate environment. In this case, you will see how much a historical event known as “The Columbian Exchange” that began over 500 years ago shapes much of your personal world today. A good way to view this phenomenon is through questions, indeed, fundamental questions that we may not think to ask. For example, what language do I speak, and where did it originate? What do I commonly eat, and where were those plants and/or animals first domesticated? If I follow a religion, where did that religion first form, and how did it reach the Americas? What letter system do I use every day, and number system, and weights and measuring systems, and where did those first emerge? Are they native to the Americas? If not, how and when did they become an everyday part of my life?

Learning Outcomes Addressed:

  • Analyze and compare political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual institutions, structures, and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures
  • Recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and the complexities of a global culture and society
  • Draw on historical perspective to evaluate contemporary problems/issues
  • Analyze the contributions of past cultures/societies to the contemporary world
  • Recognize the impact of geography, environment, and the natural world on the course of history and how choices are often limited by physical factors beyond the control of human beings
  • Grasp the capacity of human beings to make a difference in history, and recognize the complexities of cause and effect and of intended and unintended consequences

Tasks

Step 1: Gather evidence: explore your home and start listing everything you use on a daily basis. Start with the basic ingredients of the food you consume (for example, wheat in bread, corn in sweeteners, sugar in candy, etc.). Do not stop at a few ingredients. Find as many as you can. Then go to any natural fabrics in cloths, the language you speak, your own genetic background, measurement systems, beliefs, metals, architecture, etc. Try to literally list everything tangible and intangible about you and your home.

Step 2: Analyze that evidence and see what it is telling you: Look through your reading and lecture notes, as well as use Google, to find when and  where those things you listed first originated. Then use your notes as well as google when they first arrived in the Americas if they were formed elsewhere.

Step 3: Communicate your findings honestly to yourself and others: write four pages or more that show what you found (remember to communicate in statistics, events, and examples). Then show your analysis of what you found. Do you see any patterns? For example, from what continents did most of these things originate. Which continents are least represented. How might these things affect your world and your world view? How do you feel about what you found?

Criteria for success Earning a high score:

  • Gathering evidence: A successful exploration will include thirty or more specific items altogether and cover five or more general categories (such as language, genetics, illnesses, medicines, decorative plants, food, etc.).
  • Analyzing the evidence: A successful examination will include five or more observations, each supplied with detailed supporting evidence (such as why and when certain items first arrived in the Americas, or what types of things were original to the Americas).
  • Communicating honestly to yourself and others: Successful communication will include four or more pages with detailed evidence and analysis, with major topics (such as food ways) organized into paragraphs, with correct grammar and spelling.
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