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November, 1998


A Beginner's Guide To The Balkans
http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/balkans_content/
Grade Level: 6-12

CONTENT:
This ABC News Special Report provides insight into current events in the Balkans. The site has an interactive map, an event timeline, biographies of major players in the crisis, discussion about the issues of peace and genocide, public response on the subject, and answers to users questions.

AESTHETICS:
The site features a rich color scheme that is reflective of the Balkan culture, with lots of images on most of the pages. The text is appealing and easy to read.

ORGANIZATION:
All the pages have the same navigational menu on the sidebar. Some pages have inset text sections that you can scroll through without having to move down the page, a nice alternative to linking to a new page. The site is "Frames Only."

REVIEW:
A Beginner's Guide to the Balkan's is an important site for teaching about the complex subject of the Balkan Crisis. It is well done and very informative, and should be of interest to anyone even a little bit curious about the subject. The site includes two interactive maps that 1) give information about the various Balkan regions, and 2) show the location and number of the Serbian death camps. There is a timeline (7000 B.C. to the present) that does a good job of introducing the reader to the different cultures involved in the clash and the roots of the enmity between them. This is a chapter in human history that we truly need to learn from, but be warned that the section on ethnic cleansing, called "Wiping People of the Map," discusses atrocities that are not appropriate for young children. Students need to be prepared in advance about the significance of the content of this site. The site is also linked to ABCNews.com's World News page.