Advanced Placement World History

Mr. Scott Keatley ([[1]])


2006-2007 Course Syllabus

I. Course Description

Advanced Placement World History is designed to prepare students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands similar to those of a full-year college survey course. AP World History develops a greater understanding of global processes, encounters, and interactions that have shaped human history since 8000 B.C.E. Daily activities focus on the mastery of a selective body of factual knowledge and the development of analytical skills required of advanced college students. Critical reading and writing skills are developed through the evaluation of primary and secondary sources, oral presentations, short essays, and research assignments. All students are required to take the AP World History Examination on May 17, 2007.

II. Course Objective

The overall theme of the course is that some knowledge of the past is necessary for understanding the present and for plotting a course to the future. History is about asking questions, analyzing evidence in an effort to answer these questions, and constructing an argument based on this evidence. The questions that follow will guide out study of world history.

World History Themes:

· What is civilization?

· What is periodization? How do historians divide time into periods?

· What is globalization?

· What is change? What is continuity? How are change and continuity related?

· How do humans interact with and change the environment?

· How do societies organize governments?

· How do humans respond to different types of governments?

· How do societies develop different social structures?

· How do the experiences of people in different classes vary?

· How has gender influenced the human experience?

· How have cultural and intellectual developments shaped human experience?

Students need to think about not just that day’s material or that week’s reading, but how everything in the course links up to an overall view of the period or the problem they’re studying.” William Gienapp, Harvard University Gazette, April 13, 2000 .

III. Habits of Mind and Skills

How do historians …

  • use the evidence to construct and evaluate arguments?
  • use point of view, context, and frame of reference to analyze documents?
  • understand and interpret information?
  • assess change and continuity over time?
  • identify global patterns of time?
  • understand the relationship between local and global developments?
  • make comparisons within and among societies?
  • understand diverse ideas, beliefs, and values in historical context?

IV. Course Organization

There are 18 weeks in each semester; I plan 16 weeks of lessons. The other two weeks are lost to testing and school activities. On average, we cover approximately one chapter every two days. Two weeks are allocated for an overview of the Foundations unit: four weeks for 600–1450 CE, three weeks for 1450–1750 CE, three weeks for 1750–1914 CE, and four weeks for 1914–present.

Global coverage is balanced throughout the course.

Week 1

Unit 1 (Foundations). What Is a Civilization?

Duiker, pgs 3-9, 9-14, 22-23, 15-22, 210-218, 36-46, 60-71, 83-87, 156-180  (85 pages)

  • “What is world history?” activities (from Johnston, The New World History)
  • Video: Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel (first episode)
  • Teach the process for comparison essays by using chapters on primary phase civilizations and a jigsaw activity
  • Write first comparison essay

Week 2

Unit 1 (Foundations). Focus on Point of View and World Religions

Duiker, pgs 31-33, 72-83, 47-57, 90-118, 120-142, 263-265, 142-148, 150-156 (94 pages)

  • Find current-events articles on the same topic from different perspectives, and use to introduce the concept of point of view
  • World religions overview: Using Internet sources, students investigate the major religions as homework
  • In-class activities on comparing and contrasting major world religions
  • Cultural diffusion exercise: Analyzing images of the Buddha from different locations
  • Mental mapping on the origins, spread, and influence of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism, using Stearns, Cultures in Motion (on mental mapping, see Johnston, The New World History)


Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” The Fray. All at Once. How to Save a Life. Sony BMG Entertainment, 2006.

Week 3

Unit 2 (600–1450). Birth and Spread of Islam and Africa

Duiker, pgs 182-201, 218-232 (35 pages)

  • Point-of-view practice using articles on wearing hajib (Council on Islamic Education)
  • DBQ practice activity on women in Islamlines are used to select relevant course content from 8000 BCE to the present.
  • Inner–outer discussion on non-Muslims living in Muslim Empire and the spread of Islam to Africa (use primary sources from Andrea and Overfield’s The Human Record)
  • Reading on the city of Baghdad from the Council on Islamic Education and comparison with the city of Pittsburgh
  • Crusades—using The Crusades from Medieval European and Muslim Perspectives

Week 4

Unit 2 (600–1450). Chinese Renaissance, India and the Mongols

Duiker, pgs 265-288, 290-312, 236-260 (72 pages)

  • Each day this week, students spend 15 to 20 minutes doing one aspect of the DBQ with a partner using the DBQ practice activity sheet. By the end of the week, all components have been covered and modeled in class; students then write a response to that DBQ over the weekend. Each year, I change the DBQ topic. I try to use topics that we do not get to discuss much in class.
  • Song dynasty activity using Asia for Educators Web site (

Week 5

Unit 2 (600–1450). Worlds Apart: Europe, the Americas and Oceania

Duiker, pgs 201-207, 314-331, 331-338, 385-409, 406-411 (64 pages)

• Compare Middle Ages European society to that of Japan

• Inner–outer circle discussion on Mongols and interaction (Reilly, Worlds of History)

• Mapping activities on interaction

Week 6

Unit 2 (600–1450). Unit Review

Duiker, pgs 338-351, 352-383 (57 pages)

  • Review activities, comparison of major learning centers, theme charts, and time lines. Because of the incredible pace of the course, the students need this time to put together the interactions between areas and to play with ideas.
  • Comparing women using primary sources from Economic Roles of Women in World History


“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Week 7

Unit 3 (1450–1750). Why the West? Europe and the “ New World”

Duiker, pgs 470-502 (33 pages)

  • World trade mental mapping
  • “Who’s the Driver—Silver Trade?” from AP World History Best Practices
  • Jigsaw on Protestant Reformation
  • The Day the Universe Changed video, with James Burke
  • Absolutism: Compare Louis XIV, Peter the Great, and Oliver Cromwell

Week 8

Unit 3 (1450–1750). Opening the Atlantic and Slave Trade

Duiker, pgs 385-412 (28 pages)

  • Primary-source activity on South American societies prior to European encounter
  • Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel video, part 2
  • Debate: Advantages/disadvantages to colonies

Week 9

Unit 3 (1450–1750). Muslim and Asian Empires

Duiker, pgs 442-467, 414-440 (53 pages)

  • Jigsaw on empires: Russia, Mughals, Safavids, Ottomans, Tokugawa, Ming, Oya
  • Comparing women using primary sources from Economic Roles of Women in World History
  • Jigsaw on free and unfree labor systems using primary sources from Free and Unfree Agrarian Workers, Peasants and Slaves, 1550–1750


Week 10

Unit 4 (1750–1914). Revolution and Industrialization

Duiker, pgs 510-539, 542-572 (61 pages)

  • Enlightenment salon: Inner–outer circle discussion
  • Comparing revolutions jigsaw (mini-research activity)

Week 11

Unit 4 (1750–1914). Imperialism

Duiker, pgs 574-600 (27 pages)

  • Mental mapping of global technological and transportation changes
  • Debate on Malthus’s theories
  • Comparing women in the industrial age using primary sources from Economic Roles of Women in World History

Week 12

Unit 4 (1750–1914). Encounters: West and East

Duiker, pgs 602-626 (25 pages)

  • A one-act play: Qianlong Meets Macartney: Collision of Two World Views
  • Compare Tokugawa to Meiji using readings from Tokugawa Japan
  • Debate: Who had most successful response to the West?


Week 13

Unit 5 (1914–the Present). World War I and Its Aftermath

Duiker, pgs 628-647, 648-654, 658-680 (53 pages)

  • Compare symbols and types of nationalism: Japan, India, Germany, and England
  • World War I simulation
  • Arts activity: Surrealism, dada, cubism, social realism (see student activities)

Week 14

Unit 5 (1914–the Present). The Great Depression and World War II

Duiker, pgs 648-654, 658-680, 684-713 (60 pages)

“150 Percent Nazi” by Peter Becker

  • Between the Wars News Show: Using sections of the text and handouts, students create news shows/skits covering the pertinent information and movements
  • Rewriting history assignment: Students respond to the question: Given your analysis of the 1920s and 1930s, was there another route the Western powers could have followed to avoid World War II?

Week 15

Unit 5 (1914–the Present). The Cold War

Duiker, pgs 722-778 (57 pages)

  • Inner–outer circle discussion: Comparing the USSR and China
  • Jigsaw on genocides from Confronting Genocide: Never Again?

Week 16

Unit 5 (1914–the Present). The Non-Western World and Globalization

Duiker, pgs 848-864, 814-845, 880-887 (57 pages)

  • Group debates on student-selected global topics


V. Course Requirements and Grades

  1. Homework (30 pts each) generally consists of reading assignments periodically checked with brief multiple-choice quizzes at the beginning of class. The quizzes check your basic understanding of the assigned reading. Atlas assignments and document exercises complete the homework grade. The lowest homework grade will be dropped at the end of the marking period.

  1. Essays (100 pts each) are an important part of the course and require students to master three specific skills: document analysis, comparative analysis, and change-over-time analysis. Practicing these skills lead to success on the AP exam while improving your writing skills in all subject areas. In class essays are timed.

  1. Examinations (200 pts each) are given at the middle and end of each making period only, and include four different types of questions: identifications, map knowledge, a short essay on specific topic, and a long essay on a broader topic. You will have the entire block to complete the examination. The midterms will consist of 70-100 questions. The Final Examination for the course will be given in December/May they will consist of a full AP exam. All exams are cumulative but will focus on the current material more so than on past material. All tests are times and use the CollegeBoard style grading system.

  1. Portfolios (100 pts) help you prepare for the AP examination. You will need to keep well organized notes and records throughout the course. Your portfolio will be checked periodically throughout each quarter and at the end of each marking period. The midterm check will be worth a homework grade and the nine-weeks check will be worth 100 pts. Instructions for portfolio organization will be distributed at the beginning of the year.

  1. Participation (20 pts each) in all discussions and debates is expected from all students. The time allotted to in-class discussion is an opportunity for students to critically evaluate the course material through an exchange of ideas. Out of class discussions are to be found at the course homepage

  1. Class work (10 pts each) is assigned every day in some form or fashion. From in class assignments such as thesis writing to analyzing documents/pictures as bell work.

VI. Course

AP World History includes a variety of readings from a college survey textbook, a collection of primary sources, and a world literature anthology. Additional reading will be provided throughout the course. Textbook prices for students who wish to purchase the textbooks will be provided upon request.

VII. Classroom Policies and Procedures

  1. Materials: All students are expected to bring their covered text, a pen, and a three ring binder loaded with filler paper to class each day unless otherwise stated. Refer to the weekly outline for information regarding which text to bring to class. Extra copies of the texts are not available in the classroom.

  1. Attendance:

    1. All students are to be in their seats ready to begin the day’s work when the bell rings. “Ready to begin” means no food, gum, drinks, hats, cell phones, or other annoying electronic devices. Your notebook should be ready for action and your homework prepared for collection
    2. Tardiness will be dealt with in accordance with school policy. Class work missed as a result of tardiness will result in a zero for the assignment. Late students are not permitted extra time for quizzes or tests.
    3. Any student with an excused absence from class is responsible for all work missed. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE UP WORK THAT YOU MISSED. Make arrangements with a classmate to get the notes, and talk to me on the day that you return to class, at the end of class. Unexcused absences will result in a grade of zero for the day’s work and on any assignments due on the day of the absence. All absences adversely affect your participation grade because you cannot participate if you are not here.

  1. Participation

    1. Students are expected to participate in all debates and discussions. The time given over to discussion provides an opportunity for students to think through their ideas and learn from others in the class.
    2. Follow the rules of common courtesy. Respect is earned not granted.
    3. Asking permission to use the lavatory does not constitute class participation and there is nothing more annoying than a student who interrupts class time and again to leave the classroom. The pass is for emergencies only. You are expected to use the facilities and take care of errands during the time between classes. I am flexible here but DO NOT abuse this flexibility.

  1. Assignments

    1. Homework is due at the beginning of class so do not plan on finishing it during class. Late homework assignments will NOT be accepted unless you have an excused absence. A copy of the doctors note should accompany all late work. If you miss class because you were dismissed early, then it is your responsibility to give me the assignment before you leave. Reading check quizzes are homework assignments and cannot be made up if missed. Remember that you lowest homework grade is dropped at the end of the quarter.
    2. Late assignments other than homework will be accepted according to School Board Policy. For excused absences, (SBBC, p11) students have two days for every day absent to make up the work, not including the day of return. A copy of the excuse note needs to be attached to all make-up work. For unexcused absences work may NOT be made up (SBBCC, p11).
    3. Homework assignments may be written on white lined paper (8 ½ x 11) with your name, date, and section in the upper left corner. Use filler paper as these assignments will be added to your portfolio. Assignments turned in on paper torn from a wire-bound notebook will not be accepted. The appearance of your assignment is something in which you should take pride. Use blue or black ink only. I will not read assignments in red, orange, pink, purple, emerald green, lemon, yellow, or any other strangely colored ink. Pencils, colored pencils, and markers are permitted on atlas assignments only. Take home essays and longer written assignments must be prepared in New Times Roman or Arial 12 pt front on standard white paper.

  1. Tests

It is your responsibility to make up tests missed due to an excused absence. You will only be excused from an examination if you have been absent for two or more consecutive days before the examination. The examination is recorded as a zero until the make up examination is graded. Students taking the make up will take an alternate form of the missed examination. The ink rules apply.

  1. Other Policies
    1. This classroom is where I spend my day and many of the items herein are my personal property. I expect that you will treat the room and its contents with respect. Before leaving the room, make sure that all materials are returned to their rightful places and that you have picked up the area around your desk.
    2. Substitute teachers are entitled to your respect and cooperation. My absences are generally announced in advance. Substitutes will collect all homework assignments, administer quizzes, and in some cases offer a lesson.


“A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.”

                                                Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”            Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays

“Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given, and transmitted from the past.” Karl Marx, Letter…,1852

VIII. Teaching Strategies

The AP themes and habits of mind influence the design of instructional strategies and content selection throughout the course.

Once the course begins, motivating students to become responsible for their own reading is the first priority, along with intense focus on the basic skills needed to be successful in AP World History during the first four weeks of the course. Daily activities that rely heavily on student participation are utilized in order to encourage them to be responsible for students’ reading at home. I use debate class openers, an art slide, a quick role-playing scenario, or a one-question reading quiz to check for general understanding of the previous night’s reading.

These activities also promote higher-level thinking about their reading by asking debate-style questions or application questions. To develop their reading comprehension of the text, I incorporate mini-lessons (10 minutes) on note-taking strategies such as mental mapping. I model the activity in class, and then students use the strategy at least twice each unit in their notebook. My goal is to encourage them to try new reading and note-taking strategies and to see how these strategies may help them. Many students find AP World History to be their first challenging course, as they did not necessarily need sound study habits and skills in order to be successful in previous classes.

Early on, I focus on the habits of mind by introducing the skills related to the DBQ and the comparison essay. Since the Foundations period is covered quickly, I choose documents that relate to that period to teach the skills. By week four, students write a response to their first DBQ and then write two or three more at home and one in class during the semester. My goal, after week four, is that students are accustomed to the pace and expectations of the course and are able to utilize the basic skills of point of view, comparison, and higher-level thinking to answer questions. To develop seeing trends over time, students maintain a change-over-time theme chart for each unit. Plus, we consistently peer-review essays and score models of all three types of essays, using the AP scoring guidelines.

In terms of the daily class structure, I strive to split the 90-minute period into three parts: an opener (debate or class activity), lecture, and student activity or 10-minute video clip. Lectures typically expand on material in their text and last for 20 to 30 minutes. I resist the temptation to rehash the textbook which is why reading is critical. The 80 minutes also provides time for simulations, role playing, and inner-outer discussions. Inner–outer discussions, or “fishbowls,” are a technique to develop critical thinking skills.

Given the quick pace of the 18 weeks, I tend to not assign large student presentations or research projects. Instead, I use debates and one group presentation related to students’ summer reading. I use a lot of pair-share techniques when working with new skills and jigsaw activiti es to cover a specific theme in an effective manner. To build their skills, I try to incorporate visual and physical applications of ideas to appeal to a variety of learning styles.

In terms of technology in the classroom, I assign a few Web-quest activities, which provide strong visuals along with information for students—for example, the Song dynasty materials at [[2]]. In the spring semester, I assign a group debate activity on student-selected global issue topics that occurs after the AP Exam.

Sunshine State Standards addressed in class:


The student understands historical chronology and the historical perspective.


...understands how ideas and beliefs, decisions, and chance events have been used in the process of writing and interpreting history.


...identifies and understands themes in history that cross scientific, economic, and cultural boundaries.


...evaluates conflicting sources and materials in the interpretation of a historical event or episode.


...uses chronology, sequencing, patterns, and periodization to examine interpretations of an event.


The student understands the world from its beginnings to the time of the Renaissance.


...understands the early physical and cultural development of humans.


...understands significant cultural, religious, and economic features of civilizations in Mesoamerica and Andean South America.


...understands political and cultural features of the Mongol Empire and the Empire ’s impact on Eurasian peoples .


...understands the rise of early civilizations and the spread of agriculture in Mesopotamia , Egypt , and the Indus Valley .


...understands the emergence of civilization in China , southwest Asia , and the Mediterranean basin.


...understands significant aspects of the economic, political, and social systems of ancient Greece and the cultural contributions of that civilization.


...understands the significant features of the political, economic, and social systems of ancient Rome and the cultural legacy of that civilization.


...understands features of the theological and cultural conflict between the Muslim world and Christendom and the resulting religious, political, and economic competition in the Mediterranean region.


...understands the development of the political, social, economic, and religious systems of European civilization during the Middle Ages.


...understands cultural, religious, political, and technological developments of civilizations in Asia and Africa .


...understands significant social, cultural, and religious features of India , and India ’s conflict with the Moslem Turks.

The student understands Western and Eastern civilization since the Renaissance.


...understands the significant political and economic transformations and significant cultural and scientific events in Europe during the Renaissance.


...understands the political, military, and economic events since the 1950s that have had a significant impact on international relations.


...knows that scientific knowledge is used by those who engage in design and technology to solve practical problems, taking human values and limitations into account.


...understands significant religious and societal issues from the Renaissance through the Reformation.


...understands the significant economic, political, and cultural interactions among the peoples of Africa , Europe , Asia , and the Americas during the Age of Discovery and the European expansion.


...knows the significant ideas and texts of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, their spheres of influence in the age of expansion, and their reforms in the 19th century.


...understands the significant scientific and social changes from the Age of Reason through the Age of Enlightenment.


...understands transformations in the political and social realms from the Age of Absolutism through the Glorious Revolution to the French Revolution.


...understands significant political developments in Europe in the 19th century.


...understands the effects of the Industrial Revolution.


...analyzes major historical events of the first half of the 20th century.

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