"Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results."


What drives history? That is, what are the contributing factors that shape the human experience? In school we attend basically the same classes and, presumably, learn the same "facts" but do we ever get to answer the question; why? Why do history and the representative societies develop, trade, evolve and fight each other the way that they do? You see it is fairly easy, and frankly BORING, to see all the names and dates and places; but it is quite another thing to deal with the reasons those things happen and are important to the story.

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is one book with a theory about what are the primary factors in creating history. (Can you guess what he considers the primary factors?)

So here is the challenge, it is available to ALL students but is especially important for those of you in Honors World History, Read this book and create a summary, details are spelled out below. That is it. The book is available on Google Books, linked below, and is very inexpensive. There is a PBS documentary you may be able to find to watch and there are numerous articles on the internet. So enjoy the book, do a presentation or use another tool to do your summary, get some credit to start your 2010/2011 school year and HAVE A GREAT SUMMER.


Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel
PBS http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/index.html
Google Books http://bit.ly/gbggs
Summary #1 http://mcgoodwin.net/pages/gungermsteel.html
Summary #2 http://www.scribd.com/doc/19595044/Notes-Guns-Germs-and-Steel


Use Easybib
How to http://bit.ly/easybib1


1. Read / listen to the book.
2. Create a summary as described below.
3. Be prepared to discuss the book in roundtable discussion throughout the year as we study the appropriate topics. This will mean that you will want to take notes about your thoughts, ideas, feelings while you are reading the book.

Note that it is not necessary for you to agree with the author.

Make sure you save your assignment on

1) Your hard-drive and
2) Flash drive/external device every time you sit down to type.
No excuses accepted that you "lost" your work (see #2-flashdrive) since I have advised you.


Think of a way in which you would like to present your summary. You should demonstrate a clear understanding of the information. You may use more then one of the following response tools:
  • Photo documentary with voice over?
  • Film
  • Music video
  • Short story/personal narrative
  • Interactive website
  • Animation
  • Text report (old school!)
  • Recording Prezi / Keynote / Google Presentation


You might have questions about the book as you are working through it this summer. First, try to help yourself (look up words you don’t know, Google terms or ideas, ask your parents for help, etc.). If you still need help then e-mail me at this address: slewis@mychawanakee.org


With any of the tools listed above please create the following for each chapter
  • One key image that the book describes or references (be sure to cite your image (easybib ), *note this image may be explicit or implicit in nature. So if the book describes difficult sea crossing for the pilgrims and the creation of The Mayflower Compact you might choose an image similar to the one found here
  • Three key points or quotes from the chapter (may be direct or paraphrased, include page numbers)
  • Three sentences or questions (min) of your personal thoughts about each chapter
  • Finally, (at the end) please consider the course and include your expectations, concerns and what you look forward to discussing with the class
  • Please remember to create an appropriate citation for each image you use or find. Remember if you did not create it you must cite it.

Note that it is not necessary for you to agree with the author.

This is a similar presentation. If you choose to do your project as a presentation it may look something like this.

How to use EASYBIB