At the turn of the millennium, there was a poll among historians on what were the most important events or developments of the past millennium. The top two (I can't remember the order) were the printing press and Protestant Reformation. Although such lists must be taken with a grain of salt, I can't think of two developments that are more important.
This lesson starts with the problems and headaches of copying and reading hand-written manuscripts, including showing an example of one such manuscript. It then looks at the various factors, including Chinese contributions, that converged in the mid 1400s to produce the printing press. Finally, it looks at the long-term impact of printing.
This is a self-contained PowerPoint that develops slide by slide while other notes for the students scroll down the side. It can be run as a timed presentation on its own, presented slide-by-slide for discussion, or integrated into your other lectures. To illustrate the lesson and capture students’ interest there are also picture essays on such topics as the problems of handwritten books, Chinese writing, and the graphic impact of printing. This packet also contains a student reading and flowchart to copy for students and three short multiple choice reading quizzes.
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