World History Syllabus

"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb

Growth Mindset:

Please watch this video and discuss with a partner, "What is a Growth Mindset?"


 Introduction to World History:

          The first two weeks of school we will be reading a book by David Christian, one of the leading historians in the “big history movement” has a tidy little book called This Fleeting World, which incredibly enough sums up (in a pretty coherent way!) the history of the world in under 100 pages. The book covers the "Big Ideas" in the  Forager Era, the Agrarian Era, and the Modern world for that students can make connections in our study of World History. Beginning on September 12, 2016 we will begin our journey of the last 500 years of World History: the creation of the global economy, the industrial revolution and subsequent political revolutions, the world wars, etc, with basic causes and effects. This will enable students to have a chronological literacy of World History.

The World History class will be taught thematically. We will be integrating the "Big History Project" at, the Stanford, "Reading like a historian" at ,The  Seven Key Themes of World History. These themes are not my creation, but instead come from World History For Us All, a truly fantastic project put together by Ross Dunn and San Diego State University.

The Three Essential Questions

World History for Us All introduces three overarching thematic questions as guides for organizing classroom activities and discussions:

Humans and the Environment
Humans and Other Humans
Humans and Ideas

The Six Themes that  are aligned with your English Class:

English                                                                                                    World History

Extending Freedom's Reach  Development of Western thought/Revolution, Liberty, Self-Government
Virtue or Vengeance World War I
Blindness and Sight Rise Totalitarian Governments After World War I/ World War II
What is the Allure of Fear? International Developments after World War II
Do people need to Belong Imperialism, Colonization, and Decolonization
What do our possessions reveal about us? Globalization and the Modern World/ Nation Building Mexico, and China


Within each unit we adhere to basic chronology, but we span the entire 500 years. For example, in What do our possessions reveal about us?, we covered the silver trade of the 1600s, imperialism, and free vs. fair trade of the 20th century, just to name a few.

Teaching thematically allows students to make cross-continental and cross-century analogies and references in an informed way. It is revealing of how a thematic approach allows educational opportunities that would be lost in a traditional chronological curriculum. For example, in the unit on Blindness and Sight  what better way to explore than Machiavelli in such a context. Now typically in a traditional classroom, Machiavelli would be brought up in the context of the Renaissance, and so when introduced teachers would have to pull from relatively obscure Europeans leaders from that time period to serve as examples. They may make reference to contemporary leaders, but you can’t talk much about Stalin, Mao, or Hitler because you haven’t covered that material yet, and don’t want to overwhelm them with information from another unit.

Literacy in History and Social Studies:

Students will be required to Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions in all their writing activities.

Students  will be use Cornell Notes daily when reading and analyzing texts, primary documents, and other secondary/informational text.

Educational Apps and Virtual Tours:

1. Google Cardboard

2. Timeline WW2

3. Virtual History Rome

4. Pyramids 3D

5. Street Museum: Londinium

6. History: Maps of the World

7. Back in Time

8. Timeline world War 2 with Dan Snow

9. Past and Present

10. World History Simulations at :

Extracurricular Credit:

Students who are visual learner and Kinesthetic learners will be allowed for extra-credit to play three approved World History games: Civilizations III, Age of Empires, and Rise of Nations  as a research project and explain how these games are related to the Big Ideas and Themes in World History. Please see this website for research on Gaming and Education: