Drought and Famine: Crash Course World History

Who is to blame for widespread famine? Crash Course World History guides high schoolers through a video about droughts, famines, and whether the weather or human activity is at fault for each.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use Adam Smith's quote (7:08) as a writing prompt for learners to argue whether government intervention—or the lack thereof—exacerbates famine
  • Make a cross-curricular connection between a climate unit in environmental science and an imperialism unit in world history
  • Begin a class-wide or school-wide effort to assist a region that is suffering from drought and/or starvation
  • Encourage class members to research additional examples of famine, such as the Great Famine in Ireland or the Mount Lebanon Famine in World War I
Classroom Considerations
  • Comment section is open to the public
  • Narration moves quickly; if viewers are taking notes, pause the video periodically for clarification
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Provides an insightful and well-considered historical account of the Indian famine of the 19th century, and the ways British colonialism contributed to the famine
  • Includes an interesting aside about the ways famine has historically increased lion attacks in Africa
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