Introduction to the Course

Course Description:

This course will provide a survey of world history from prehistory to the present. As we examine scores of topics and themes we will compare and contrast the histories of various regions and study the idea of change over time. By examining change within various societies and cultures we will see how we have reached the point we are at in the world today. Looking at history with a multiple perspective approach will allow each of us to develop a greater understanding of true history. Within the context of our historical study we will examine geography, economics, political systems, and social systems as each of these relate to the development and advancement of the countries and regions that we study. Throughout the course of this semester students will continue to work on various skills including historical analysis, reading comprehension, writing, and oral communication that will aid each student in becoming a historian and not merely a student of history. 

Course Learning Objectives:
 The following is a list of our learning objectives:  
  • Critically read articles, essays, editorials, and other assigned literatures in order to pick out the major issue(s)
  • Analyzing positions on important social and cultural issues
  • Gathering sources and writing position papers that provide well thought-out, carefully constructed arguments
  • Using critical thinking skills
  • Participating in and leading discussions
  • Learning how to use proper discussion skills
Required Texts and Materials:
 World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell Inc., 2003. Handouts will be distributed throughout the semester (All handouts must be saved)

1” Binder (Specifically for World History)


Notebook (Specifically for World History)

Classroom Expectations and Rules:

This class will involve a great deal of discussion and activities.  Because of this, students will be expected to be in class and participate with meaningful questions and comments.  The issues that we explore in our discussions will often be debatable.  Due to the nature of our discussions, students must respect each other and the diverse beliefs and ideas exchanged during classroom dialogue.  Respect is the primary rule within this classroom.  As a class, we will work cooperatively for a common goal to better understand the complex world in which we live.  Working together as a class, we will make this a more rewarding experience.


Just as I have high expectations for you, you should have the same for me.  Students should expect me to answer or help answer any questions that you, the student, may have.  Students can also expect me to make time for any extra help or assistance to facilitate your success in this course. 

  • Respect—each student must respect each other and the instructor. 
  • Take care of your school and classroom
  • Be polite and helpful
  • Be in class on time with all materials and ready to work
  • Listen to instructions the first time they are given
  • Use only positive language
Topics and Units Studied

Introduction: What is history? Why do we study history?


Geographic Foundations of World History

This unit will explore the five themes of geography: place, location, region, human-environment interaction, and movement. It will begin to ask the question: has geography influenced the course of human history?  

Unit Two: Characteristics of Civilization

This unit will address the major characteristics of civilization. Students will first gain a better understanding of earliest human history and then will begin to analyze how politics, religion, economics, geography, and various social systems impacted the earliest civilizations. A special emphasis will be place on Mesopotamia and Egypt. With this unit students will create their own civilizations using ideas taken from civilizations studied. 

Unit Three: Ancient Civilizations

Students will explore various ancient civilizations, as this until will be a continuum of unit three. As students explore ancient Greece and Rome they will make comparisons to ancient China and Japan.  

Unit Four: Middle Ages

This unit will explore various topics encompassing the Middle Ages. Students will begin to understand what it was like to live in feudal societies, in both Western Europe and Japan. Students will also examine the causes and effects of the crusades, as well as, learn the effects of the plague that occurred in Europe. 

Unit Five: Renaissance and Reformation

Students will explore the ideas of “rebirth” in Europe. This unit will pay particular attention to the cultural, social, scientific, and political effects that the Renaissance and the Reformation had on European society and our world today.    
Assessment and Grading Policy
 Throughout the course of the semester you will be accessed on the following work: 

Participation (25% of final grade): Students will be graded throughout the term on participation.  Participation means coming to class prepared and participating on a regular basis.  Each day that a student is not prepared points will be taken away from his or her participation grade.  Poor behavior will also lead to a lowered participation grade.

 Reaction Papers, Projects, Quizzes, Exams. (50% of final grade):

Throughout the term students will be assigned at least two major papers/projects.  Students will be notified in advance on the due dates of these assignments and will be expected to be working on them outside of class. Students will also be accessed using both quizzes and exams. 


Homework and In-class Work (25% of final grade):

Throughout each quarter students will be developing a portfolio of what they have learned.  Students will include opening activities, notes, homework assignments, reflections, etc. within the portfolio.  Portfolios may be collected and graded at random.

 Grading Scale: 

92-100%          A

82 91%            B

74 82%            C

65-73%            D

0-64%              E