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BEFORE YOU WATCH: The Persians & Greeks

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. What is one reason why a lot of people today might think poorly of the Persian Empire?
  2. Why does John Green suggest it was pretty good to live under Persian rule?
  3. Which Greek playwright and comedian popularized poop jokes?
  4. What were some injustices in the Greek city-states?
  5. John Green asks, “did the right side win the Persian Wars?”
  6. What is some evidence he gives for each side of this debate?

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. You have now read a lot of different stuff about ancient empires. John Green suggests that living under an empire was often more stable and just than life under a democracy, at least in the case of ancient Greece. Do you agree? What are some elements of empires that might make them more stable than democracies? Why might they be less stable and just than democracies, at times?
  2. John Green ends this video with a few philosophical questions. What do you think is the best measurement of quality of life in the ancient world? What measurement should historians use when they make judgments about past peoples?
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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