Pastoralist People

An Inquiry Project


We found FIVE primary sources that you can … and in fact … MUST incorporate into your narrative and presentation. Your project should incorporate at least 3 primary sources, including some from this selection. We will include a section on our rubric that evaluates how effectively you used primary sources. You should refer explicitly to these sources within your presentation as you would in a DBQ.

An Urgent Warning: As you read these sources, be sure that you carefully consider the authors’ points-of-view and the effect their points-of-view have on how they describe the pastoralists in their sources. The introduction to each source should be closely read for this sort of information. The sources themselves should be carefully analyzed as a historian would do with any source he or she uses. Read with a critical eye!

Click here to view additional sources

Inquiry Questions

How should historians view the role of pastoralist people during the post-Classical era (600-1500)?

What is the historical legacy of these people?

Your Task...

Much like a historian, you will be responsible for researching pastoralist peoples and creating a historical narrative that accurately reflects the evidence you find. Your narrative should present a nuanced, sophisticated argument about these people. In other words, your argument should not be as simple as, "They were all good," or "They were all bad." As you conduct your research, you should consider the many different groups of pastoralists that lived during this era and consult a range of reliable sources, both primary and secondary.

You and your partners will compose a historical narrative that addresses the two inquiry questions above. As you create your presentation, it may help you to think of creating a thesis and an essay that you then illustrate through your presentation. To share your narrative with your classmates, you will create a five-to-seven minute, online presentation, using a web 2.0 tool of your choosing. All presentations should include a voice recording in which all group members participate. You will also submit a written script of your presentation.

Before you begin...

You should view and take notes on the "Introduction to Central Asia & Pastoralists" video lecture below. (Be sure you are logged in to your SJS Google Account to view.) You will also be responsible for reading Chapter 11: "Pastoral Peoples on the Global Stage" as assigned on the agenda.

Keep in mind...

Your classmates will view your presentation online rather than you presenting it to the whole class. Therefore, you should strive to make full and effective use of the features of your chosen presentation tool. Remember, style, creativity and audience engagement can have significant impact on the reception of your ideas. Below are some web 2.0 tools you may wish to use, and the graphic on the right features even more tools that you may wish to explore. You may end up using a combination of these tools to both create a presentation and to record your voice-over. Choose wisely when selecting your presentation tool--don't select a tool that will divert too much of your time and energy away from the historical content of your project.

Don't Forget to Cite Your Sources!

You should also submit a complete bibliography of the sources you use for information, using the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines listed at the Purdue OWL. (Use the citation examples labeled with a "B," as in Bibliography, not those with an "N.")

For images included in your project, you should just provide a URL alongside each picture as a caption--you don't need to include these in the bibliography.

Your project must be posted on the topics page by Class 5 of the current rotation.