World History: Course Description

World History Syllabus

Class Goal: To appreciate the ties that bind the human race together, and to learn to respect one another - through the study of world history.

“Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you.”

Teacher: Mr. Benjamin Graham

Welcome to the Magical History Tour…


First Quarter

Initiation, Games, historical habits of mind, geography, and Teambuilding (NCSCS Goals 1.01 – 1.03, 8.01 – 8.06) 3 days (August) Write the letter, I have never, Ninja, Dancing, Perspective study, geography.

First Humans, River Valleys, Rise of Major Religions, Empire Builders- ch 2,3 (NCSCS Goals 1, 2.1, 6.01, 8.02) sec. rev - 25, 31, 43, 53, 60, 64, 79, 86, 97, 103 1 week (Early September) Project Based Study:Hieroglyphics, Build a Pyramid

Greece - ch. 4 (NCSCS Goals 2.01, 2.02, 6.01) sec rev - 113, 120, 125, 133, 143 1 week (Mid September) Project Based Study: Write a Myth, PBS, Plato's Allegory of the Cave, newscasts

Rome and Christianity - ch 5 (NCSCS Goals 2.02, 2.03, 6.01, 7.04, 8.02) sec rev - 154, 162, 168, 174, 178 1 week (Late September) Project Based Study: “Wanted” posters

Islam, Africa, Indian Ocean Trade - ch. 6, 7 (NCSCS Goals 2.04. 2.05 2.07, 6.01, 6.02, 7.04) sec rev - 194, 202, 206, 210, 226, 234, 241, 1 week (Early October) Project Based Study:Ibn Battuta Children’s Books

Byzantines, Slavs, Middle Ages- ch. 9, 10 (NCSCS Goals 2.06, 3.02, 6.02) sec rev - 290, 296, 301, 308, 322, 328, 333, 340 1 week (Mid October) Project Based Study:Travel Brochure, Coat of Arms

SE Asia, China, Japan, Americas - ch. 8, 11 (NCSCS Goals 2.08, 3.01, 6.01, 6.02) sec rev - 252, 257 (GK - 261), 267, 272, 278, 350, 358, 362 1 week (Mid October) Project Based Study:Human Statues, Buddhist Mandalas

Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration,- Ch. 12, 13 (NCSCS Goals 3. 03,.04,.05,. 06,.07, 6.01, 6.02, 7.04, 8.01) sec rev - 381, 387, 393, 401, 413, 418, 422 1 week (Mid October) Project Based Study:Luther, Constantinople Dance


2nd Quarter

Royal Power, Enlightenment - Ch. 14 (NCSCS Goals 4.01) Sec Rev - 432, 439, 447, 451 1 week (Late October) Project Based Study: “Hello, my name is…who?”, Flags of the world.

Empires of Asia - Ch. 15, 16 (NCSCS Goals 3.01, 4.5, 6.02, 7.04) sec rev - 490, 494, 500, 517, 525, 534, 540 1 week (Early November) Project Based Study:Historical Eulogies, Istanbul Dance

American, French, and Latin American Revolutions- ch 17, 18 (NCSCS Goals 4.02, 4.03) sec rev - 517, 525, 534, 540, 553, 561, 569 1 week (Mid November) Project Based Study:Propaganda Posters, Amazing Grace, Master and Commander, Count of Monte Cristo

Industrial Revolution, Impressionism , Reform - ch. 19, 20 (NCSCS Goals 4.03, 4.05, 7.01,.02,.03,.04, 8.01) sec rev - 602, 606, 611, 616, 625, 628, 633, 639, 619, 628, 634, 641 1 week (Mid November) Project Based Study:Artists and Iron Jawed Angels

European’s New Imperialism - Ch 21 (NCSCS Goals 4.03, 4.04, 4.05) sec rev - 652, 660, 670, 677 1 week (Late November) Project Based Study:This Magnificent African Cake

WWI and Revolution - Ch 23 (NCSCS Goals 4.04, 5.01, 5.02) sec rev - 720, 727, 737, 744 1 week (Early December) Project Based Study:Capture the Flag, As a Soldier - Write a letter

Between Wars, Nationalism: Asia, Africa, L. America - Ch. 24, 25 (NCSCS Goals 4.5, 5.02,.03, 8.01) sec rev - 756, 764, 771, 775, 785, 791, 797, 803 1 week (Mid December) Project Based Study:Problem Solving: Free Trade Scenario

World War II - Ch. 26 (NCSCS Goals 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 7.01) sec rev - 813, 822, 829, 836 1 week (Late December) Project Based Study: On Trial! Should the USA have dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan?

Christmas Holiday

The Cold War, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Rise of Globalism - Ch. 27, 28, 29, 30 (NCSCS Goals 6.01, 7.01, .04, 8.03) sec rev - 854, 858, 868, 878, 882, 888, 894,905, 909, 914, 927, 934 1 week (January) Project Based Study:Genocide Study group: Hotel Rwanda


Important Stuff:

Text: Your text for this course is “World History.“ (Original, huh?) It is a pleasant little textbook and is published by McGraw Hill. It actually has some great artwork in it…..seriously…. look at it. (and it is actually very large and weighs more than a 100lb biscuit, so brace yourself!) You will keep it in our classroom every day. And though the good people of the state of North Carolina bought this book for you, it is YOUR responsibility to keep up with it. So, good luck!

Notebook: Every student will also need a three ring binder for taking notes and keeping handouts. I talk A LOT, and you will need to write down most of it, so obtain lots of paper. Yes, you also need to bring this to class daily.

Pop Quizzes: Surprise! I will give you pop quizzes, and you (nor I for that matter) will ever know WHEN this is going to happen. They are typically 5 - 10 questions in length (about important content that we have covered in the course…at any time). These pop quizzes are worth 25% of your grade.

Tests: The tests consist of short answer and essay questions. They are fun for the whole family. We usually have one per week, though it varies. Tests count 50% of your grade.


Enthusiasm Contract: This class is designed to engage you. I, your teacher, am here to serve you and we will learn from each other. We will be attempting to create a learning community that will be respectful, active, fun, and cooperative. It will take immense effort from each one of us to accomplish this. Please bring with you your enthusiasm and positive attitude every day. I can not do this without you. If you are prepared to try, to the best of your ability, to accomplish this positive learning environment, please sign your name here: X _______________________________________


Primary Source Document Studies, and Outside Readings:
Tao of Pooh.
By Benjamin Hoff (Dutton Books: 1982). Guns, Germs, and Steel. By Jared Diamond. (Norton, 1999). Ishmael. By Daniel Quinn. (Bantam, 1991). Tao Te Ching. By Lao Tzu. Translated by D.C. Lau. (Penguin Books, 1963).

Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. By Malcolm Gladwell. (Back Bay Books, 2002).

Ghengis Khan and the making of the Modern World. By Jack Weatherford (Three Rivers Press, 2005).

1421: The Year China Discovered America. By Gavin Menzies (Harper Perennial, 2004).

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World. By Tony Horwitz. (Henry Holt and Co, 2008). 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West. By Roger Crowley. (Hyperion, 2006). Sophie’s World: A Novel About The History of Philosophy. By Jostein Gaardner. (Berkley, 1996)

King Leopold’s Ghost. By Adam Hochschild. (Mariner, 1999). Salt: A World History. By Mark Kurlansky. (Penguin Books, 2002).

Cod: A Biography of The Fish That Changed The World. By Mark Kurlansky (Penguin Books, 1998).

The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy. By Pomerantz and Topik. (ME Sharpe, 2006). Runaway World: How Globalization Is Reshaping Our Lives. By Anthony Giddens. (Routledge, 2002)