Educational Resource

World History, Culture and Geography

Brief Course Description

Students in grade ten study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late 18th century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. They extrapolate from the American experience that democratic ideals are often achieved at a high price, remain vulnerable and are not practiced everywhere in the world. Students develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Students consider multiple accounts of events in order to understand international relations from a variety of perspectives. Students in the tenth grade will continue their focus on the making of the modern world. Topics will include the growth of self-government in England, the Enlightment, the Age of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Era, the Industrial Revolution and the philosophical reactions to it, Imperialism, Nationalism as both a constructive and destructive force, World War I and World War II, Communism and Facism in the Twentieth Centruy, the Holocaust, and post World War II international developments.

Content Objectives/Outline

  • Understand key political, economic, military, religious, and geographical forces which shaped and still shape our world
  • Know how and where civilizations were formed
  • Know about cultures (beliefs, values, accepted behaviors) of world history
  • Know about key people, events, inventions, and discoveries in world history
  • Know how various ideas, philosophies, and religions have impacted world history
  • Know motivations and forces which lead to change in world history, such as nationalism, militarism, imperialism, communism, and democracy
  • Know key conflicts and resolutions and their causes and effects
  • Possess a chronological and thematic perspective of world history
    • Unresolved Problems of the Modern World
    • Connecting with Past Learnings: The Rise of Democratic Ideas
    • The Industrial Revolution
    • The Rise of Imperialism and Colonialism
    • World War I and Its Consequences
    • Totalitarianism in the Modern World
    • Nazi Germany
    • Stalinist Russia
    • World War II: Its Causes and Consequences
    • Nationalism in the Contemporary World
    • The Soviet Union and China
    • The Middle East: Israel and Syria
    • Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana and South Africa
    • Latin America: Mexico and Brazil
  • Be able to place key influences on a timeline
  • Possess a logical sense of historical progression
  • Be able to relate key influences and themes to past, present, and future
  • Possess a mental image of various moments in world history (dress, technology, social structure, living standard)
  • Be able to make valid generalizations about various cultures, times, climates, and conflicts
  • Possess a visual sense of world history
  • Be able to develop maps, charts, and graphs which show views of the world at various points in history
  • Be able to develop charts, maps, and graphs which show such things as population, resources, movement, conflict, and change over time
  • Be able to relate charts and maps to our lives today
  • Be able to view world history from different perspectives and interpretations
  • Be able to describe key people, events, discoveries, and inventions from different perspectives and interpretations
  • Know what motivated key people, events, discoveries, and inventions
  • Understand the relationship between and influences of various cultures in world history
  • Know how cultures affected world history
  • Know how world history affected cultures of the world
  • Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills
  • Develop abilities in social studies:
    • Higher thinking (analyze, evaluate, classify, predict, estimate, generalize, solve, decide, relate, interpret, simplify)
    • Communications (present, demonstrate, persuade, collaborate, explain, defend, recommend)
    • Goal setting/attainment (brainstorm, envision, research, plan, organize, persist)
    • The quality process (plan, draft, analyze, and revise when producing products)
    • Be able to apply social studies knowledge and skills to a variety of purposes
    • Be able to support positions in a responsible manner (research, thesis, organize support, recommendations)
    • Be able to relate social studies to your life
    • View life from other perspectives and others’ point of view
    • Understand key forces (inventions, discoveries, people, events, moments) which have shaped our world
    • Explain the causes and effects key forces have on you, the present, the future
    • Use the past and present (other cultures, other situations, and different places) to solve problems, make decisions, and predict the future
    • Relate current events to your life (be conversant, know sources related to current events, conduct research)
  • Possess technical skills:
    • Read/Write/Present: Instructions, table, chart, reports (progress, research), proposal, letters (complaint, request, application, response, recommendation), manual, form, checklist, resume

Methods of Assessment
Assessment tools include the following but are not limited to:

1. Research projects
2. Portfolios
3. Oral communication
4. Student demonstrations
5. Student grades
6. Written examinations
7. Parent facilitator and education specialist observation
8. Periodic review of work by independent study teacher (IST)


  • Houghton Mifflin—World History: Patterns of Interaction
  • Houghton Mifflin—The Human Record, Sources of Global History, 3rd Ed. Volume 2: Since 1500
  • Glencoe McGraw-Hill, World History: The Human Experience
  • National Center for History in the Schools—Bring History Alive! A Sourcebook for Teaching World History