Chris Butler

 (139)
United States - Illinois - Champaign
Chris Butler
3.8
242 votes
"A lie will travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes"--Mark Twain
 
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This is a series of 22 illustrated timelines covering world history from prehistory through the Cold War. Timelines include • Prehistory and the rise of civilization • The ancient Near East • Greece • Rome • Early Middle Ages • The Byzantine and
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10 ratings
3.9
Digital Download PPTX (21.10 MB)
The Flow of World History is history as it should be experienced: a dynamic fluid process instead of the standard names & dates approach to history you learned to hate in school, giving you world history in 244 hyper-linked color flowcharts with
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13 ratings
3.9
Digital Download PDF (61.83 MB)
In an age when the war on terrorism dominates the headlines, it's especially important that we understand what Islam really stands for to most Muslims. This Powerpoint starts with a look at the physical environment of Arabia and then covers the
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2 ratings
4.0
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The Flow of History is history for the 21st century. As a pdf file that can even be viewed in pdf readers on your iPod or iPad, it's world history in your pocket. It is history as it was meant to be experienced: a dynamic fluid process
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9 ratings
3.9
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My title for this entire unit (FC071-73 is "War, Plague, Heresy, Schism, and Revolt: the Later Middle Ages"1300-1450. These were indeed trying times that might remind one of our own times with climate change, religious turmoil, and terrorism (what
$3.45
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2 ratings
4.0
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This Powerpoint starts with a picture essay on the life of Christ as depicted by various artists through the centuries. It then traces the rise of the Church, looking at the persecutions and the secret symbols used by early Christians. It moves on
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2 ratings
3.3
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This 107 slide PowerPoint provides a visual tour of the palace and grounds of Versailles. Its main points of focus are the Sun King's daily schedule, life at Versailles for the nobles, and the symbolism (Christian, classical, and scientific) of
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4 ratings
4.0
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This lesson shows how a multitude of factors converged at one time and place, namely Britain in the 1700s, to lead to the birth of the industrial revolution. In the PowerPoint, the color flowchart develops slide by slide. There are also photos
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2 ratings
3.7
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This lesson breaks down into two parts. The first gives a brief overview of the rise of the Seljuk Turks and their problems with the Crusades and Mongols. the second part traces the rise of the Ottoman Turks from an obscure ghazi (holy warrior)
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1 rating
4.0
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Along with FC.047, this lesson especially focusses on our cultural debts to Muslim civilization, while the backdrop to this is the Muslim conquest and Christian Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula. Among the topics covered are Muslim architecture
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4 ratings
4.0
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This lesson looks first at the impact of industrialization on various aspects of people's lives: working conditions, living conditions, and family structure. It then looks at the various ways reforms were enacted to improve people's lives by 1900
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4.0
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United and inspired by Islam, the Arabs burst upon the scene in the 630s with piledriver force. This Powerpoint first looks at their whirlwind success in conquering an empire that reached from India to Spain. It then looks at the problems of ruling
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Building on the theme of the problems that having an empire brought Rome (discussed in FC.030), this lesson traces the turbulent final century of the Roman Republic from the attempted reforms by the Gracchi to Octavian's final victory at Actium that
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1 rating
4.0
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The first prerequistie for towns even to exist is the ability to feed themselves. Along those lines growth of cities throughout history, such as in Mesopotamia and the Industrial Revolution (covered in FC004 and FC109 respectively), have generally
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This lesson looks at the development of English society between the departure of the Romans in the 400s and the Norman Conquest. Starting with a short picture essay on the appearance of the real King Arthur, most likely a leader of the
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3 ratings
4.0
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The gothic cathedral represents the pinnacle of medieval engineering and architecture. In a period of some 300 years, more stone was quarried for cathedral building in France alone than all the stone quarried for Egyptian pyramids. This lesson
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4 ratings
3.6
Digital Download ZIP (16.78 MB)
Mantua is a role-playing simulation set in fifteenth century Italy at the start of the Renaissance. In it students are divided into teams to play the five major Italian city-states of the time (Milan, Venice, Florence, the Papal States, and Naples)
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4 ratings
3.7
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As with a lot of the more tragic/epic events in history, such as wars, I like to present this as a timed slide show that tells the story through pictures and text. Making this especially effective is accompanying it with somewhat somber music to
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5 ratings
3.9
Digital Download ZIP (16.31 MB)
Of all the tribes that overran the Western Roman Empire, the Franks would prove the most resilient and influential. This lesson traces the Franks from their early conquests in Gaul, through their height under Charlemagne and the fragmentation of
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This lesson focusses on the life of medieval nobles, more specifically the evolution of tournaments, chivalry, and castles. It begins with a look at wooden motte an bailey castles, and their evolution into the massive stone fortifications we think
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4 ratings
4.0
Digital Download ZIP (10.38 MB)
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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

For the last 34 years, I have taught at University High School, in Urbana, Illinois. During this time I have created a 4-year world history curriculum that breaks down as follows: Subfreshmen (7th and 8th grades combined): Prehistory and ancient civilizations, including India, China, and Japan. Freshmen: Western civilization and the Islamic world to 1500 Sophomores: World history from 1500 to 1945 Seniors: the world since 1945. All of these, except the senior course are required. The elective senior course is consistently filled to capacity of 30, usually with a waiting list.

MY TEACHING STYLE

At heart, I'm a story-teller and have always put a premium on making history as fascinating to my students as I found it while growing up. However, history is more than stories, so at the core of my teaching is a cross-referenced series of some 245 color flowcharts I've developed over the years. These graphically organize and break down the subject matter into a format that helps students see how the forces of history occur and relate to one another. The flowcharts contain the core message of what I believe are the vital lessons of history. Conceptually, I think they should be accessible to most high school students, since they break down the process of historical events step by step into individual boxes of information. Each box is simple in itself, while the progression of information from one box to the next is logical, simple, and fairly easy to understand. It's hard to pinpoint one grade level for which my Powerpoints are geared. While I've developed them for honors high school or college survey courses, most of them are so image driven that I think some are appropriate for any level from 7th grade up. There are three main components to them: the conceptual flowcharts, the visuals (pictures, maps, etc.) and the expanded notes. However, students can get psyched out if they are introduced to entire flowcharts before understanding the logic on which they have been constructed. The key is to introduce them gradually so they can build a foundation upon which understanding later flowcharts can be built. My experience has been that even students who have initial difficulty with flowcharts will get them after a few weeks. Their lasting impact became evident when many of my former students came back to tell me they continue taking notes in other classes by constructing their own flowcharts. My favorite story is how one of my former students constructed a series of her own flowcharts to make sense of a particularly difficult course. Using these, not only she, but the rest of her study group, which consisted mainly of football players, earned an A on the final. Since 2000 I've had a multi-media classroom that has allowed me to create a very visually oriented approach to teaching. The core of this is still the system of flowcharts which unfold box by box using Powerpoint. Interspersed in the presentation are lots of pictures and maps to illustrate the topic being covered to keep the lesson interesting and help visual learners. For art and the more tragic/epic events in history, such as wars, I have created timed slide shows that tell the story through pictures and text. Making this especially effective is accompanying it with somewhat somber music to set the proper mood. The excellent documentaries that Ken Burns has done for PBS are the primary inspiration for this. The major difference is I have had to condense these lessons so teachers can present them in one class period. When I first tried this approach, I was surprised at how much my students liked it. Therefore, I've applied it to my lessons on the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades, the disastrous colonization of Africa, and virtually all my lessons on art and major wars. It can be run as a timed presentation on its own, presented slide by slide for discussion, or integrated into your other lectures. For a suggested song list, feel free to email me at cbutler@flowofhistory.com To provide more variety for my classes, I also have developed several games recreating different periods of history. The most fully developed of these are "Oligarch and Democrat" on ancient Greece, "The Waters of Babylon" on ancient Mesopotamia, "Age of Kings" on Europe in the 1600s, and "Nuclear Risk" on modern diplomacy and economics, including the impact of nuclear weapons. I hope to offer these in the near future. Recently, my main projects have been to take video clips from Hollywood historical epics and include them in my presentations. Typically, Hollywood does a poor job in accurately portraying history, but even such disasters such as Troy can provide 17 seconds of footage that are useful for class. For more information on my flowcharts, ipad app, and approach to teaching history, please go to www.flowofhistory.com

HONORS/AWARDS/SHINING TEACHER MOMENT

• Beveridge Family teaching prize awarded by the American Historical Association at its national convention in 2001 for excellence in teaching history (grades K-12) • WICD TV's Golden Apple award • Who's Who of American Teachers • Uni High Teacher of the Year (voted on by the seniors) • Uni High commencement speaker (voted on by the seniors)

MY OWN EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

1973- Bachelor's degree in history from the University of Illinois 1975- Masters degree in secondary ed. from the Univ. of Illinois

ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

1981-94- Took students to Ancient Lifeways, a hands-on camp exploring ancient lifestyles and technologies 1995-2002- chaperoned students on foreign trips to Russia, France, Spain, Greece, and Japan 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010- Took student groups to Greece and Italy

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