Chris Butler
 (134)
United States - Illinois - Champaign
Chris Butler
3.8
231 votes
"A lie will travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes"--Mark Twain
 
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This lesson chronicles Otto von Bismarck's diplomacy and wars toward the eventual reunification of Germany in 1871. It then looks at the meteoric rise of German industrial power up to 1914, looking at the stresses caused by rapid industrial growth
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2 ratings
3.9
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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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This lesson focuses on the recurring patterns of revolutions in the modern era. The flowcharts for the English, Russian, and Chinese revolutions follow the same pattern as this one. Along with the concepts common to all of themis the idea that a
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1 rating
4.0
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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 starts with a flowchart on the forces leading to the Italian Renaissance and the four main ideas that came from this pivotal period. Interspersed throughout the PowerPoint are picture essays on some of the major achievements and people
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1 rating
3.8
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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
Digital Download PPTX (3.96 MB)
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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1 rating
4.0
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The importance of Napoleon's career, like that of the French Revolution, is easy to lose in all the details of his wars and battles. However, his importance has less to do with military affairs and more with being the agent of spreading the ideas
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2 ratings
3.9
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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
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1 rating
4.0
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Although this material isn't new to my course, it's the newest flowchart in the series. It's designed to make sense of the somewhat chaotic events of the French Revolution and sort out what people gained from it by the time French democracy
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1 rating
3.3
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As later lessons will make apparent, the Protestant Reformation was one of history's pivotal events, having repercussions no one at the time could have imagined. The Powerpoint starts with a look at the various long-range factors that led to the
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4 ratings
3.6
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This lesson provides a narrative of the opening events of the French Revolution, tracing its progress from the tennis Court Oath and the storming of the Bastille through the reforms of the National Assembly. It ends with the attempts to pay off the
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this lesson starts with a picture essay on other scientific breakthroughs during the Enlightenment, including several scientific scams. It then shows how many Enlightenment intellectuals were increasingly skeptical of traditional religion, in
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2 ratings
3.8
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This lesson analyzes the long and short term causes of the Thirty Years War, its vicious cycle of accelleration, and the final results. A more detailed look at its events follows in the next lesson. This is a self-contained PowerPoint that
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One of the main themes I follow in my modern history course is the development of the modern state. This presentation starts with a look at the emergence of national monarchies in France, England and Spain, then looks at the strengths and
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2 ratings
3.7
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Revised 2/7/2013 This lesson starts with a short timed slide show to dramatize how rapidly industrialization has transformed the planet in the last 100 years. It then looks at the scientific and economic background and limits to European
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2 ratings
3.8
Digital Download PPTX (4.46 MB)
This lesson, instead of following a sequence of events, shows the Marxist view of history, explaining the how it believed capitalism would destroy itself. It finally assesses the impact of Marxism, how Marx was right in some ways and wrong in
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A look at the long-range causes leading to the French Revolution. Inclluded is a hypothetical series of royal budgets to illustrate how easily the french monarchs dug themselves into debt. It could also be useful for a consumer ed. class teaching
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Building upon the geographic background and historical outline given in FC.092, this lesson views early Russian history in more detail. It especially focuses on the role of other cultures (Byzantine, Mongol, and Western European) in shaping Russian
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1 rating
3.5
Digital Download ZIP (9.72 MB)
There are two things I like about this lesson. One is the process of how Richelieu sidestepped the nobility by creating a new corps of royal governors, the intendants, while letting the nobles keep their titles and pensions. While this was an
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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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