I teach Advance Placement World History to ninth grade students in an inner-city urban public high school. Our school is an IB for all school in which every student works toward the International Baccalaureate diploma.
We are a diverse community of learners reaching across the spectrum of ability levels, race, religions, sexual orientation, and socio-economic levels.
Many of the students have not traveled out of state and few have traveled outside of the United States. Along with content, I strive to teach and model those "soft skills" needed for the students to succeed in the future.
As a teacher of World History, I think the faster way to kill a student's love of history is to read a textbook. Dates, details, battles, names, and terms that do not tell the story of humankind does a disservice to our past and our students.
"A History of the World in 6 Glasses" and "Salt" tell the story of our past through the use of common beverages and a well-known spice.
We know that when students can relate to the topic they are more likely to engage with the material and remember what they have read. Both of these books allow students to do just that. The books also allow us to use very concrete examples of how everyday items can have a global and historical impact.
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