Course outline for world history

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Mr. Riggins – Rm. 2226
* Tests will be taken in every unit/chapter in bold

First Term
Prehistory – (Chapter 1) Students will be able to define this period and explain the differences between the different periods of time such as Paleolithic and Neolithic.

  1. How do scientists/historians know about the earliest people of prehistory?

  2. How are Geography and History linked? What are the five themes of Geography?

  3. Compare and contrast the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages.

  4. Explain how the first cities emerged.

  5. What are the religious beliefs of the earliest people and how do we know their beliefs?

Key vocabulary-prehistory, archaeology, artifact, geography, latitude, longitude, nomad, polytheistic, city-state, cultural diffusion, Paleolithic, Neolithic

Ancient Civilizations – Students will be able to list and define the major ancient civilizations to include, Egypt, Mesopotamia (Middle East), Indus River Valley (India),

Yellow River (China), Greece, Rome


  1. Identify and compare the main periods of ancient Egyptian history.

  2. Explain how geography influenced life in ancient Egypt.

  3. Identify the advances that Egyptians made in learning and the arts.

Key vocabulary-delta, dynasty, pharaoh, vizier, mummification, hieroglyphics, demotic, ziggurat, hierarchy, cuneiform, satrap, barter economy, Hammurabi, pyramid age.

Mesopotamia (chapter 2)

  1. Explain how geographic features encouraged the rise of civilization in the Fertile Crescent.

  2. Identify the main achievements/advancements of civilizations of Mesopotamia.

  3. Specify how Hebrew religious beliefs were unique in the ancient world.

Indus River Valley/Yellow River (chapter 2)

  1. Make comparisons between the river valley civilizations studied so far including the Indus and Yellow River valleys.

  2. Describe how the Aryans built a new civilization in India.

  3. D
    Key vocabulary-subcontinent, Aryans, caste, Brahman, Vedic age, mystics, rajahs, Mahabharata, loess, clan, oracle bone, dynastic cycle, feudalism, yin and yang.
    escribe the ideas of early Chinese government and the achievements of early Chinese civilization.

Greece (chapter 5)

  1. Explain how geography influenced the Greek city-states and describe the kinds of governments that developed.

  2. Identify the civilizations that influenced the Greeks.

  3. Compare and contrast Sparta and Athens.

  4. Describe and explain the importance of the Persian and Peloponnesian wars.

  5. Outline the political and ethical ideas that Greek philosophers developed.

  6. Describe the new civilization Alexander the Great developed – Hellenistic.

Key vocabulary-Homer, Minoan, polis, acropolis, monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, tyrant, phalanx, Sparta, Athens, direct democracy, rhetoric

Rome (chapter 6)

  1. Why was Rome easier to unify than Greece?

  2. Describe how winning an empire affected Rome – crime, corruption, and money?

  3. Outline Rome’s greatest practical achievements including principals of law.

  4. Why did Christianity spread despite the persecution of Christians?

  5. Describe the conditions that led to the fall of Rome.

Key vocabulary-republic, patrician, plebeian, consul, dictator, tribune, Pax Romana, aqueduct, messiah, sect, martyr, pope, heresy, Caesar, Augustus, Constantine

Civilizations of Africa (chap. 8) and North America (chapter 9 and 16 ) mini unit

  1. Identify the major civilizations of North America including Mayan, Aztec and Inca.

  2. Examine the diverse societies and the migration of the people of Africa

Key vocabulary-Sahara, animism, migration, push pull factors, Beringia, maize, Mesoamerica, Olmec, Zapotec, Chavin, Maya, Aztec, Inca

*The Ancient Civilizations Unit will take several weeks and will include standards of geography, early systems of government and law, origins of religions, class systems, culture and the rights of people in each civilization.

Second Term

The Byzantine Empire and Russia – (Chapter 11) Students will be able to describe the origins of the Byzantine Empire and its influence on early Russian history. This unit will end with the Russian Revolution.

  1. How did the Byzantine Empire preserve the heritage of the Roman Empire?

  2. How did the Byzantine Empire influence the development of Russia?

  3. How did the Czars Peter the Great and Catherine the Great westernize the country of Russia?

  4. How did the Russia try and modernize in the 1800’s?

  5. What were the causes and results of the Revolution of 1905?

  6. Explain why Kaiser Wilhelm II would let Vladimir Lenin travel across Germany and into Russia in 1917?

Key Vocabulary- autocrat, patriarch, boyar, czar, Golden Bull of 1222, St. Petersburg, Decembrists, Octoberists, October Manifesto, Bloody Manifesto, Russian Revolution, Reds, Whites, Peace, Land, and Bread, Bolsheviks, Mensheviks,

Early Middle Ages - (The Rise of Europe / chapter 13) – Students will be able to explain the differences between the Early and High Middle Ages. Students will define feudalism.

1. Describe how invasions affected the people of Western Europe.

  1. Explain how Charlemagne blended Roman, German and Christian traditions.

  2. How did feudalism/feudal system shaped medieval society and the role of women?

  3. Why did reform movements spring up within the Catholic Church?

  4. Explain how new technologies led to an agricultural revolution and then a population explosion.

Key vocabulary-Islam, Charlemagne, Treaty of Verdun, Feudalism, vassals, fief, knight, chivalry, manor, serf, secular, excommunication, tithe, anti-Semitism, charter, capital

High Middle Ages – (Chapter 14) Students will be able to list and define major events including the growth of royal power in England and France, the Holy Roman Empire, literature and learning and the crusades.

  1. Describe how monarchs in England and France increased royal power.

  2. Summarize the ideas about government and law that emerged in England.

  3. Identify the issues that led to clashes between emperors and popes.

  4. Recognize how the Crusades affected Western Europe.

  5. Describe how literature and architecture reflected the changing culture of medieval Europe.

  6. Explain why the late Middle Ages were a time of decline.

Key vocabulary-common law, jury, William of Normandy, doomsday book, battle of Hastings, Magna Carta, crusade, theology, black plague, Joan of Arc

*Students will use map of the world with the ancient civilizations units and maps of the Mediterranean and Europe with the Middle Ages units.

The Renaissance and Reformation –(Chapter 17) Students will be able to define the renaissance and reformation. Students will explain why the renaissance happened in stages and the effect the Bubonic Plague had on Europe.

  1. Explain why the Renaissance and the Middle Ages began in Italy.

  2. Describe the ideas that influenced Renaissance scholars, artists, and writers.

  3. Identify the themes the northern humanists explored.

  4. List reform movements in the Catholic Church including the Lutheran reformation and Church of England.

  5. Describe the new scientific method and advances made in chemistry and medicine.

Key vocabulary-patron, humanism, perspective, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Gutenberg, indulgence, predestination, theocracy, annul, ghetto, heliocentric, gravity

The Enlightenment – (Chapter 22) Students will be able to explain how enlightenment thinkers expanded traditional ways of thinking and contradicted beliefs held by the Catholic Church.

  1. How did the Enlightenment bring together the ideas of the Renaissance and Reformation?

  2. What ideas developed during the Enlightenment help inspire England’s American colonists to declare independence?

  3. Understand the major ideas of the following thinkers: John Locke, Voltaire, Adam Smith, Baron de Montesquieu, and Mary Wollstonecraft.

  4. How did the Enlightenment thinkers want to reform the economy?

Key Vocabulary- natural laws, social contract, natural rights, free market, laissez faire, constitutional government, Navigation Acts, Act of Union, baroque

The French Revolution – (Chapter 23) Students will be able to describe the stages of the French Revolution and identify the three Estates. Students will list the accomplishments of Napoleon and explain the reasons for his downfall.

  1. Explain the social structure of the old regime.

  2. Why did the efforts at reform by the old regime fail?

  3. How did popular uprisings contribute to the French Revolution?

  4. How did people outside of France respond to the French Revolution?

  5. Explain the Reign of Terror.

  6. Explain how Napoleon rises to power.

  7. How did Napoleon build and defend his empire?

  8. How did the Congress of Vienna seek to impose a new order in Europe?

Key Vocabulary-Deficit spending, émigré, sans-culottes, Bastille, Declaration of the Rights of Man, nationalism, suffrage, plebiscite, annex, blockade, consulate, Continental System, Napoleonic Code, Waterloo, Elba, St. Helena,

The Industrial Revolution – (Chapter 25) Students will be able to describe the benefits and the drawbacks of the Industrial Revolution and describe the working conditions. Students will also be able to explain the origins of different political ideologies such as socialism.

  1. Explain how the second agricultural revolution, population explosion, and the energy revolution were factors in the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

  2. Explain why Great Britain was the first nation to industrialize.

  3. Identify the benefits and the problems of the Industrial Revolution.

  4. Explain how socialism was linked to the Industrial Revolution.

  5. Identify the reforms urged by individual thinkers.

Key Vocabulary- enclosure, factory, turnpike, urbanization, utilitarianism, socialism, communism, proletariat, bourgeoisie, iron law of wages, Communist Manifesto, Utopians,

World War I – (Chapter29) Students will be able to list the underlying causes of the war and the event that leads directly to WWI. Students will describe how the U.S. becomes involved in the war, the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles and the connection between WWI and WWII.

  1. Explain the forces that were pushing Europe toward war.

  2. Describe the causes and effects of European alliances.

  3. How were others nations drawn into the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary?

  4. Explain why a stalemate developed on the western front in World War I.

  5. Explain how the war became a global conflict.

  6. Explain how World War I became a total war.

  7. Describe the problems that Europe faced in 1918.

  8. Explain the results of the Paris Peace Conference.

Key Vocabulary- militarism, imperialism, central powers, allied powers, ultimatum, Black Hand, Schlieffen Plan, no man’s land, propaganda, armistice, atrocities, reparations, mandate, Treaty of Versailles, The Big Four, “stabbed in the back”

World War II – (Chapter 32) Students will be able to explain how the aggression of Germany, Italy and Japan will lead to WWII. Students will define Fascism, Socialism and Communism. Students will describe U.S. involvement, Allied battle plans and how the war ends.

*World History will study the world wars from a global or European point of view.

  1. Explain the rise in power of Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler.

  2. How did dictators undermine peace in the 1930’s?

  3. Why were western democracies unable to stop aggressive dictators?

  4. Identify the goals pursued by the Axis Powers in Europe and Asia.

  5. Identify the battles that were the turning points in the war in Europe and North Africa.

  6. Identify the battles that were the turning points in the war in the Pacific.

  7. How did the Allied forces defeat Germany?

  8. Why did the United States use the atomic bomb on Japan?

  9. Explain how World War II changed the global balance of power.

  10. What were the origins of the Cold War?

Key Vocabulary-appeasement, pacifism, Munich Conference, Nazi-Soviet Pact, blitzkrieg, operation barbarossa, “phony war”, Dunkirk, Atlantic Charter, Pearl Harbor, holocaust, Auschwitz, D-Day, kamikaze, containment, “iron curtain”, Berlin Airlift, NATO, Warsaw Pact

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