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Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. According to Merry Wiesner-Hanks, where and when did states first emerge?
  2. According to Urmi Willoughby and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, what are some features of a state?
  3. According to Wiesner-Hanks, what kind of states were the first states in Sumer?
  4. What evidence does Willoughby use to justify the argument that Cahokia and Moundville were states?
  5. Does Willoughby think states were forced on people, or does she think people worked together to build states?
  6. What do the two scholars think of the idea that states need collective imagination?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. States are a focus of this unit, and the emergence of states was one of the most important changes that made human communities more complex. In one sentence, what is a state? And (also in one sentence), how does your definition compare with the contributors in the video?
  2. You’ve read a lot about the first farming societies. Do you think farming created the state?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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