Monday, October 13, 2008

Today in History

In our history studies, I mean.

We are finally up to World War I. Now my boy has already read quite a bit about World War I but I was still surprised when he continually interrupted my reading to tell me what I was about to say. He may not be able to spell "Austro-Hungarian Empire" but he sure knows what it was and how it relates to the war. He knew about the Allies and the Central Powers, the Lusitania, and the battle of the Somme. I didn't even make him take notes (we're working on study skills now) but I bet he will ace the test for this chapter.*

So, it was a good "school day." But of course, if asked what he's doing in school these days, the kid will always reply with the classic answer: "oh, nothing much."

Oh, I found this passage particularly interesting:

...The Germans sent a secret telegram, in code, to the German Ambassador in Mexico, telling him to make a deal with the Mexican government. If Mexico would fight on the side of the Germans, and Germany won, Germany would reward Mexico. It would take the land thgat America had claimed during the Mexican War and give it back to Mexico....

Before the Germans could actually make this deal, British cryptographers managed to get a copy of the telegram and decoded it. American newspapers published the contents of the telegram, so that American citizens all across the country could read it. Both the British and the Americans were outraged by this sneaky attempt to pull the United States into the war.

If my kids were older, and it was appropriate to discuss the problem of media bias in this election, I'd ask: would the press handle this event differently today, and if so, how?

*I don't always give tests, and sometimes I just give open-book or open-note tests, but I need something for the old portfolio and everyone needs to learn how to take tests. I use the test booklet published for the Story of the World series.


edwardherda said...

They would handle it through Facebook and MySpace. Duh.

Marbel said...

Well that'll leave me completely out of the loop, so keep me informed, 'K?