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This unit plan outlines my approach to world history with a thematic focus on the movement of people, goods and ideas. The Silk Road serves a metaphor for one of the oldest and most significant networks for long distance east-west exchange, and offers ample opportunity for students to conceptualize movement in a world historical context. This unit provides a framework for students to consider the different kinds of people who facilitated cross-cultural exchange of goods and ideas and the multiple factors that shaped human mobility. This broad unit is divided into two parts: Part A emphasizes the significance of nomadic peoples in shaping Eurasian exchanges, and Part B focuses on the relationship between religion and trade. At the end of the unit, students will evaluate the use of the term “Silk Road” to describe this trade network.


Prepared for the Central Asia in World History NEH Summer Institute

The Ohio State University, July 11-29, 2016



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