AP(R) World History Teaching Unit A4: Trading Patterns in AfroEurasia Before 1000 C.E
Note: Please be advised that these teaching units were created prior to the course revisions implemented in the 2011-12 academic year. However, the units still address topics central to the revised course.
[Electronic Document] This unit focuses on trade and economic patterns in the AfroEurasian world before 1000 C.E. Although most inhabitants of AfroEurasia had no direct role in long-distance trade, the unit demonstrates the significance of the interconnections among numerous goods, merchant communities, ecological zones, and transport systems for the whole population of this immense region. The lessons show students how historians use evidence to construct their understandings of the past, giving attention to the distinction between primary and secondary sources. The pedagogical strategy of this unit is to lead students through translating information on patterns of trade from maps to charts to debates about sources to narrative summaries, and then reversing the direction of translation until the unit ends up with a map as a culminating activity. The five units address the geography of commerce in AfroEurasia; the concept of "Southernization" as developed by historian Lynda Shaffer; analysis of connections among the commodities, the environment, and the transportation of goods; identification of the roles of women in AfroEurasian trade; and an overview of the elements of the AfroEurasian trading system.
Students use accounts of travelers along the different routes; practice applying archaeological evidence to historical questions; and analyze histories, geographies, and maps created during this period before 1000 CE. Classroom activities include reading and drawing maps of trade routes; Socratic seminar in the concept of "Southernization," filling in charts linking commodities, environment, and transportation; class discussion of women's roles in commerce; and a mapping exercise to develop a global synthesis of materials in the unit.
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