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BEFORE YOU WATCH: International Commerce, Snorkeling Camels, and The Indian Ocean Trade

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 John Green, how did Indian Ocean trade compare to the Silk Road?
  2. Why does John Green describe Indian Ocean trade as a ‘Monsoon Marketplace?’ What was the significance of monsoons?
  3. Who controlled how Indian ocean trade worked and protected trade routes?
  4. What traveled across long distances because of Indian Ocean trade?
  5. Why did Islam spread to Indonesia more than to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam?
  6. How did cities along Indian Ocean trade routes benefit from trade? What were some downsides?

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. John Green questions whether “states and governments and the funny-hatted people who rule them are the real movers and shakers in history”. He ends the video by claiming, “it’s almost as if the merchants decide where the people with the funny hats go, rather than the other way around.” Do you find his evidence for this convincing? What about today? Do politicians control business or does it ever work the other way around?
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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