These are student submissions for an assignment I gave in AP World History this year, and about which I've previously posted here. The instructions I gave are attached for anyone who cares, although I'll probably modify them a bit if I choose to do it again next year. The basic idea was that students would do some background research on several holidays, then go into a bit more depth with one of them. Students were given several options of how to do this, one of which was to compose a blog-style post -- like these. This being a World History class, I pushed them to emphasize what the various rituals and the evolutionary changes in the holidays suggested about the times and places in which they occurred.
While your comments on the actual assignment are welcome, I'd ask that those be posted on the original blog post already mentioned. What would be much appreciated HERE are your comments on the student posts themselves.
For those of you not sure how blunt to be with young 'ens, a good general rule is to be as specific as possible with both positives and negatives. The cliche is to open with something good, then be clear and specific about what could be better, and finish on a positive.
It's also central to the goal of the assignment that students connect rituals, beliefs, and such, to the times and places in which they developed. While it's interesting if the Druids left out sugar-coated bones for Zool to consume, it's only history if we can connect that to something in their value system, culture, or other historical paradigm that helps us better understand the 'why' behind the 'what'. That sort of thing. We're trying to understand big-picture world history, after all - change and continuity, comparing and contrasting, and such.
THESE KIDS ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND IN AP HISTORY AT THAT. The cute little darlings you might picture are their younger brothers and sisters. Be honest - they can handle it. Mostly.
That being said, whatever the format or substance, as long as it's genuine and not personally abusive (I generally handle that part personally), your comments are very much appreciated, however you choose to present them.