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Rafael Cancel Miranda

20140503-210457.jpgLast Thursday I had an opportunity to experience history and patriotic fervor on a whole new level. Rafael Cancel Miranda came and spoke at my university. It was the closest thing to seeing history in the making that I’ve experienced. Nothing can equal learning from someone who made history, short of making history yourself.
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Rafael Cancel Miranda is a Puerto Rican nationalist and patriot. On March 1, 1954 he entered the US capitol with three other Puerto Rican nationalists and fired shots, wounding five congressmen. All of them recovered.
This is an intensive story, but is a great point to begin discussion with a class. How far do the claims of our homelands go? How does what they did compare to the wars of independence or civil strife that occurred in other countries? Is violence the best way, or the only way for a country to gain independence?

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Horrible Histories

A few year back the BBC ran a show called Horrible Histories. It was meant for children, but adults love it too. I only discovered it recently when I was looking for ways to incorporate music into a lesson plan. HH uses comedy. music, and the shock factor to teach history. It’s great for supplementing the normal format with little known facts and laughter.
Warning: If you don’t like potty humor or are grossed out- this is history as it was-so be prepared. Previewing before sharing is recommended for the faint of heart…
Here is a sample of one of their songs.

Making history fun

I received a rather eclectic education. My first exposures to history were from documentaries, reading and being read to. I loved it. Other kids liked science or english (or weird ones like my sister loved math). I loved social studies, history, geography, and couldn’t understand why everyone else seemed to think they were boring. That changed when I took US history at university. An hour and fifteen minutes twice a week of copying slides for a semester, I understand now. Whenever the teacher spoke or commented, he was very interesting, but he did a lot of reading slides.
I’m studying primary education. It’s important for kids to learn to love history when they are young, so that a dull class when they are older won’t turn them off. Here is an interesting article I found about how to make history fascinating.

Lola Rodríguez de Tió

I’m currently studying in Puerto Rico. This semester I’ve been taking Puerto Rican history. Lola is an important figure in history here. She was an author, poet and revolutionary. Perhaps what I find most fascinating about her is that after being banished from PR, she found that helping a neighboring country could help her own. She never gave up on her homeland. Here is a bio and samples of her work.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog! This blog is a fusion of two goals. It originated in my Educational Technology class and is therefore somewhat of an experiment in blogging. Beside this, I am an Education major. I can choose the subject of my blog and I have selected Social Studies. In a special way, I’ve decided to focus on citizenship and patriotism. I’ll be exploring the meaning of patriotism through history.
This was actually a personal journey for me. From a young age I wondered what it meant to be a citizen, a patriot, what it meant to say the pledge of allegiance. I hope that this blog will help guide others as they build their own identitiy.