Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Podcast #18 - Interview with Bill Plympton from the History Channel's Program "Shays' Rebellion"

Hello. I have a great show for you today. In a couple of weeks the History Channel will show their much anticipated documentary series named "10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America". The episode I am most interested in viewing focuses on Shays' Rebellion - Janaury 25, 1787. The entire documentary is animated. The illustrator is award winning artist Bill Plympton (Oscar nominee) and the director is award winning film maker R.J. Cutler (Peabody and Emmy Award winner, Academy Award nominee).

Today's show is an interview with illustrator Bill Plympton about the documentary. It is an interesting look at how history is mixing with graphic arts. I think the result is a powerful narrative for students that many teachers may find an interesting tool in teaching the Revolutionary War time period. Be sure to watch the History Channel on April 13th - 9:00 PM central - to view Shays' Rebellion: America's First Civil War. Check out the links below to check out video trailers of the show and more on the art of Bill Plympton.

If you have any questions or comments about the show please drop me an e-mail at

Direct Link to Speaking of History Podcast #18 - Interview with Bill Plympton from the History Channel's Program "Shays' Rebellion" - MP3 Format (18 minutes)

Podcast #18 Show Notes:

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Podcast #17 - Winston Churchill Memorial and Museum in Fulton, Missouri

Hello. It's been a crazy week of activity for the Speaking of History podcast. Linda Man of the Kansas City Star newspaper published an article on March 20th about how I use podcasts and blogs in my classroom and soon the copy was picked up by several other blogs and online newsletters. Traffic on this site has gone through the roof in the last several days and I welcome any new listeners to the podcast. Since November of 2005 we have had people from 62 different countries and all 50 states view this site. If you would like to have all new content on the site delivered to you when it is added please consider using i-Tunes or Bloglines.

In today's episode I will focus on an amazing new Winston Churchill Memorial and Library museum that has recently opened in Fulton, Missouri - the site of Winston Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" or "Sinews of Peace" speech in 1946. On the day of grand opening I interviewed John Hensley (e-mail - - the archivist and curator of the memorial. I took some pictures of the museum and have included a short photostory video here (only a minute and a half long) to give you an idea of the world class quality of this museum. The video also contains audio from the Iron Curtain speech in the background.

As always I welcome any comments or questions about the podcast. Please e-mail me at

Direct link to Speaking of History Podcast #17 - Winston Churchill Memorial and Museum Interview - MP3 format (18 minutes)

Episode #17 Show Notes:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Podcast #16 - Book Blogs, Conferences and Student Survey Stats

Hello. Time to catch up on a couple of random items today. Some updates on what I have been up to this semester and a Speaking of History first - a song. I'll also tell you about a couple of podcasts that I have been listening to lately and the results of a survey I gave my students about using my studycasts to review for tests. We also have the start of our book blog on The Year of The Hangman by Gary Blackwood. Here we go.....

If you have a comment about this episode you can e-mail me at or leave a comment on the bottom of this entry.

Direct link to Speaking of History Podcast #16 - Book Blogs, Conferences and Student Survey Results - MP3 Format (25 minutes)

Show Notes:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Year of the Hangman Book Blog is Up and Running

I'm really excited to announce that The Year of the Hangman Book Blog has started and students will soon be particpating online. I spoke about the project in episode #13 of Speaking of History. I have handed out the 60 copies of the novel that I was able to purchase with a local grant and several of my students have also purchased the book. I have been contacted by teachers and students in Nebraska, New York, Conneticut and Minnesota about joining the discussion. I have also made contact with the author and Mr. Blackwood plans on adding his comments to the discussion.

I have posted instructions for the students on adding comments and listed the four questions we will use for week one of the project. We are reading the first five chapters of the book for week one discussion.

If you would like to join us please stop by at and add a comment. If you know of any teachers that might want to join us please pass along the information or have them e-mail me at