A Historical Dissection of Empires

A Historical Dissection of Empires photo

R.C. Murphy Junior High School’s Advanced Placement World classes recently combined artistic expression with a lesson on the collapse of several postclassical societies as they completed a “dissection of an empire autopsy.”

Working in groups, the students in John Strub’s and Tracy Beauchamp’s classes examined one of the following empires: Aztec, Mali Ghana, Ming, Song or Songhai. They documented their findings – in such areas as advancements the society made; important dates; political, technological or cultural achievements; religion and cause for decline – on a large paper drawing of a person depicting a native of those regions. 

The completed projects were on display throughout the classrooms and nearby hallways. The students then completed a cumulative writing piece to answer two of five questions related to the study, as well as compared and contrasted two societies.