Gandhi Questions and Resources for Indian History

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 3.54.33 PMIn our examination of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, we’ll look at several themes: 

1. Accuracy of the film.

2. Sir Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Mohandas K. Gandhi

3. How Gandhi developed his thoughts on satyagraha (non-violent resistance).

4. How Gandhi fits into the freedom movements we have already examined.

5. The role of one person in making a significant impact. What tactics could be used for other situations?

We will also discuss and examine the following critical issues in the region today: 

Gandhi is a starting point for discussing Indian history, religion, society, and politics. He is one of the great people in all of world history. Please start with some of these resources, and be prepared to dig in and add your own in the comments.

Your mission:

Choose and research one critical area of Indian history, including–but not limited to–Gandhi’s effect on any area of the world, US-Indian relations, relations between India and Pakistan, religion, outsourcing, culture, population, caste/human rights, ecology…  You are responsible for constructing a presentation that will inform us in detail about your narrow area of research.


  • At least three sources
  • A thesis statement.
  • A conclusion that ties together your sources
  • Some type of visual
  • A well-rehearsed presentation of a minimum of 2-3 minutes. You can have more time if you’d like.

Suggestions for supporting materials: 

  • Infographics
  • Learnist board
  • Handouts
  • Prezi
  • Video or voiceover

The Executive Branch

The President often gets all the credit for heading up this branch of government, but in reality it’s more than just him.  The Vice-President, the Cabinet, and all the Executive Agencies also contribute to making this third of the Federal Government strong.

This Prezi by “Beth” explains the general structure of the Executive Branch of the United States government. I wish I knew who she was to give her proper credit, but I appreciate her, just the same.

Critical Questions: 

1. Just how much power does the President have?

2. If the President is healthy, what the heck does the VP do all day?

3. What role does the Cabinet play in advising the President’s policies?

4. Which are the critical agencies in the government, and how did they come to be? How do they affect us personally?

Answer the questions before we start our inquiry, and we’ll compare our knowledge before and after we take a good solid look into this branch of government.


What is this comic saying about the power of the Executive Branch?

What is this comic saying about the power of the Executive Branch?

[image source:]








Got Power?


This Storm of the Century has been raging out there for a good bit now, and I hope that it’s treating everyone as well as can possibly be expected. I have made some resources for you–yes, a Snowpocalypse Learnist board for you to enjoy, including valuable information on “Why this storm is not named after a fish–because that would be illegal.” I included some historical clips to the Blizzard of ’78, which I do remember. I was angry, because my dad called in sick to work, and he was not sick. Therefore, he lied. Lying is bad. I didn’t quite get that by not lying, he’d be virtuous and probably a dadsicle on the side of the road, because everyone drove those awful rear wheel drive cars in the seventies that doubled for stunt crash mobiles in police chase movies.

Yes, it was bad.

Today, looking out my window, I see about two feet or so of snow with some drifts. Please leave a comment and update us as to your power, heat, and condition. Hope you’re all doing well.

Post your photos–best snowman, snow angel, or snow activity gets a prize–once I snow blow myself out to get it! Good luck!!


[Image stolen from my friend Heather’s FB profile. It’s her first snowman, which is either a victory, or pretty sad if you think about how old we are. You decide.  Location: NYC]

The People Who Represent You

We’ll be looking in depth at our state senators and congressmen, developing this post to include issues of importance to you, their committee work, and initiatives you’d like to see them tackle. You are their constituents.

Here are the links to their websites:

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Congressman Jim Langevin

Congressman David Cicilline



Critical Questions: 

1. What are they doing now–what initiatives and committees are they involved in?

2. What do they do when they come back home–do they meet with people, talk in forums, keep in touch with the district and state?

3. Have you had any direct contact with any of your senators or congressmen?

4. What would you like to see them active in proposing or accomplishing?



Analyzing a bill

Congress makes tons of laws–some are great and some are lacking. The goal of Civics is to have the skill to analyze and determine any government policy that might affect you, and to be able to work within the system to affect change.

In this case, we’re analyzing the text of a state bill–Arizona House Bill 2549.  We’ll also examine an editorial that comments on this bill.

Critical Questions:

1. What is the intention of this bill?

2. Why is it being amended?

3. What are the unintended consequences?

4. What is the public opinion of this bill?

5. Do you think this bill limits free speech or protects people from harassment and stalking?


Debrief: You must be able to project unintended consequences, analyze policies that affect you and make changes. I

Pursuit of Everything

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 8.01.13 PM

I fell in love with this manifesto–before you go back to playing Call of Duty or ignoring your parents, stay with me.

It’s been scientifically proven that you are what you do and who you  hang out with. Your top five friends will shape your life. Think–who are your friends? What do they stand for? Do they bring you up or down? In ten years, will your friends be game-changers, innovators, or sitting on a bar stool somewhere never making anything happen.

If you don’t know who your five best friends are, check your Facebook or Twitter feeds. Who is there the most?  If you count the positive comments and then the negative comments, which number would be greater?

What is the life you would like to lead? If you’re going out into the world next year and wonder what that’s going to look like, I urge you to read The Life and Times of A Remarkable Misfit by A.J. Leon.  He left his high-powered job to travel the world. If you read one page, you will become inspired, if you read two, you will probably start making plans to do something, and if you read the whole thing, you may just change the world.


Thoughts on the Second Amendment

We have examined the Second Amendment, debating and discussing the roots and the consequences of violence in society. Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days showed both sides of the debate.

This Learnist board on the Second Amendment gives the perspective of several experts on policy, politics, news, and society.  Please use this as we move further into our discussion entitled

“All we are saying…is give peace a chance.”

Does “peace” need to have restrictions on personal liberties? Can we increase our level of connectedness and involvement in the community? Is all hope lost?

Our topics will include: 

1. Continued discussion of the Second Amendment

2. Gandhi and satyagraha

3. The role of the media in perpetuating violent images

4. Personal responsibility

5. The criminal justice system in America

6. Restorative Justice: Does it work?