Articles about history, for students, and about teaching history, for teachers ...

Students will love this journey through Western Civilization — from ancient history to modern times. My educational edition of The Jericho River has been published, and it’s ready for you to use as a supplemental teaching resource. In this new edition, you’ll find teaching tools to ignite a love of history in high school and middle

The Black General in 18th Century Europe

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 by

Revolutionary France had a black general. His name was Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. He was born in Haiti, the son of a French nobleman and an African woman enslaved on his plantation. Haiti was a French colony then, and young Dumas was a slave under French law. In fact, his father actually sold the boy when he was

A little while ago, I wrote an op-ed for History News Network — on how to make history interesting. It’s particularly valuable for anyone teaching history. To read the article, please click here or on William the Conqueror below …  

Speaks Yoda Olde English?

Friday, 26 January 2018 by

Says Yoda things like: “Powerful have you become; the dark side I sense in you.” Sounds it like speaks he English from the olden days — Shakespeare’s English, maybe. Yet uses not Yoda “thou hast” or “erstwhile” or “thee” — or any other term found no longer in English. Old English does not speak Yoda,

The Magic of History – See the Video

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 by

A little while ago, I spoke at a TEDx conference — to an audience of smart, motivated high school students. My topic was the magic of history. I told the students many of my favorite short stories from past times. I wanted to reveal history’s endless well of fun, excitement, and humor, and to explain

How an Unusual Novel and an Ohio Teacher Are Repackaging History Education A high school teacher in Ohio has done some smart, creative instruction with my novel, The Jericho River. This post describes her lesson-building and offers ideas on teaching with the book — along with links to sample lesson plans — in high school and

During the early 400’s BC, an alliance of plucky little Greek city-states beat back an invading superpower. Athens, Sparta, and their allies defeated the Persian Empire twice, in fact. Westerners often see the Persians’ defeat as a victory for freedom. The Movie “300,” for instance, casts the Greeks as freedom-fighters who saved Europe from an Asiatic

This is how the world should work …

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Scientists used to think prehistoric people domesticated the dog by adopting wolf pups and breeding the friendliest of them or the most obedient. But more recent thinking says dogs domesticated themselves. Caveman Wolf-Breeding? Dogs were first domesticated in Europe or Asia 15,000 to 40,000 years ago. But how? The traditional wolf-breeding theory has some problems.

Welcome to the Blog at DavidTollen.com!

Monday, 08 January 2018 by

Welcome to the blog at DavidTollen.com! This blog offers: Ideas for teaching history at the high school and middle school levels, and sometimes in college; and Articles on history: tales from the past that I think will particularly appeal to students. All posts will be categorized by time period and by whether they’re meant for

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