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    Lee M. Zeisloft                                                           

    AP World History Syllabus 2016-2017 (610) 282.1421 ext. 7191


    Course Description

    AP World History is a rigorous, college-level course designed to explore human history from 8000 B.C.E. to the present.  The course is broken up into six time periods with a focus on examining five themes central to the development of the modern world.  There will be an emphasis on the analytical and writing skills necessary for success at the collegiate level. The course devotes considerable time to the critical evaluation of primary and secondary sources, analysis of historiography (the principles, theories, or methodology of scholarly historical research and presentation) and inquiry into global connections that have shaped our present world. A special emphasis will be given to preparation for the AP Exam, including historical writing through essay and document-based questions (DBQ) as well as objective evaluations. Students are assessed on their mastery of the course goals when they take the College Board AP World History Exam in May.


    AP Exam Format:

    Section 1:

    ?      Part A: 55 multiple choice (55 minutes) 40% of Total Exam Score

    ?      Part B: 4 Short Answer Questions (50 minutes) 20% of Total Exam Score

    Section 2:

    ?      Part A: DBQ (55 minutes) 25% of Total Exam Score

    ?      Part B: Long Essay Question, 2 options (35 minutes) 15% of Total Exam Score


    Primary Text

    Ways of the World: A Global History with Sources. Robert W. Strayer. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

    Primary Sources

    Worlds of History: A Comparative Reader. (Third Edition) Kevin Reilly.  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.

    Supplemental Reading:

    This course includes excerpts from sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past:


    ?      Standage, Tom. A History of the World in 6 Glasses.  New York. Walker and Company, 2005



    ?      Bridging World History; multi-media series from the Annenberg Foundation (

    ?      Internet History Sourcebooks Project; a collection of public domain and copy permitted historical text for educational use (

    Themes and Key Topics:

    Students in this course must learn to view history thematically. The AP World History course

    is organized around five overarching themes that serve as unifying threads throughout the

    course, helping students to relate what is particular about each time period or society to a

    “big picture” of history. The themes also provide a way to organize comparisons and analyze

    change and continuity over time. Consequently, virtually all study of history in this class will

    be tied back to these themes by utilizing a “SPICE” acronym.


    Theme 1: Social -- Development and Interaction of Cultures

    ?      Religions

    ?      Belief systems, philosophies and ideologies

    ?      Science and technology

    ?      The arts and architecture


    Theme 2: Political -- State Building, Expansion and Conflict

    ?      Political structures and forms of governance

    ?      Empires

    ?      Nations and nationalism

    ?      Revolts and revolutions

    ?      Regional, transregional, and global structures and organizations


    Theme 3: Interaction Between Humans and the Environment

    ?      Demography and disease

    ?      Migration

    ?      Patterns of settlement

    ?      Technology


    Theme 4: Culture -- Development and Transformation of Social Structures

    ?      Gender roles and relations

    ?      Family and kinship

    ?      Racial and ethnic constructions

    ?      Social and economic classes


    Theme 5: Economic -- Creation, Expansion and Interaction of Economic Systems

    ?      Agricultural and pastoral production

    ?      Trade and commerce

    ?      Labor systems

    ?      Industrialization

    ?      Capitalism and socialism


    Historical Periodization

    The course will be organized into six periods from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present.  Each time period will be explored through the five themes listed above.


                                        Period Title                                                       Date Range

    Period 1:          Technological and Environmental                    c. 8000 B.C.E.  to 600 B.C.E.



    Period 2:          Organization and Reorganization                    c. 600 B.C.E.  to 600 C.E.

                            of Human Societies


    Period 3:          Regional and Transregional                            c. 600 C.E. to 1450



    Period 4:          Global Interactions                                          c. 1450 to 1750


    Period 5:          Industrialization and Global                             c. 1750 to 1914



    Period 6:          Accelerating Global Change                           c. 1900 to the present

                            and Realignments


    Key Concepts:

    Wondering what is studied in each of the eras?  The key concepts define the most essential course content knowledge particular to a given historical period.  They provide a conceptual framework to help teachers and students understand, organize and prioritize historical developments within each designated historical period.


    Unit 1 First Things First: Beginnings in World History, to 600 B.C.E

    ?      Key Concept 1.1. Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth

    ?      Key Concept 1.2. The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies

    ?      Key Concept 1.3. The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral and Urban Societies


    Unit 2 The Classical Era in World History, 600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.

    ?      Key Concept 2.1. The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions

    ?      Key Concept 2.2. The Development of States and Empires

    ?      Key Concept 2.3. Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication and Exchange


    Unit 3 An Age of Accelerating Connections 600 C.E. to c. 1450

    ?      Key Concept 3.1. Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks

    ?      Key Concepts 3.2. Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions

    ?      Key Concepts 3.3. Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences


    Unit 4 The Early Modern World c.1450 to c. 1750

    ?      Key Concepts 4.1. Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange

    ?      Key Concepts 4.2. New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production

    ?      Key Concepts 4.3. State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion


    Unit 5 The European Moment in World History c. 1750- c. 1914

    ?      Key Concept 5.1.  Industrialization and Global Capitalism

    ?      Key Concept 5.2.  Imperialism and Nation State Formation

    ?      Key Concept 5.3.  Nationalism, Revolution and Reform

    ?      Key Concept 5.4.  Global Migration


    Unit 6 Accelerating Global Change and Realignments c. 1900 to the Present

    ?      Key Concept 6.1.  Science and the Environment

    ?      Key Concept 6.2.  Global Conflicts and Their Consequences

    ?      Key Concept 6.3.  New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society and Culture


    Course Pacing:

    Unit 1:  Beginnings in World History to 600 B.C.E.

    ?      8/29 - 9/8 (4 teaching days)

    ?      Chapters 1 and 2


    Unit 2: The Classical Era in World History, 600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.

    ?      9/12 - 10/12 (11 teaching days)

    ?      Chapters 3 - 6


    Unit 3: An Age of Accelerating Connections 600 C.E. to 1450

    ?      10/14 - 11/23 (15 teaching days)

    ?      Chapters 7 - 12


    Unit 4: The Early Modern World 1450 to 1750

    ?      11/30 - 1/19 (15 teaching days)

    ?      Chapters 13 - 15


    Unit 5: The European Movement in World History 1750 - 1914

    ?      1/23 - 3/7 (15 teaching days)

    ?      Chapters 16 - 19


    Unit 6: Accelerating Global Change and Realignments 1900 to the Present

    ?      3/9 - 4/25 (15 teaching days)

    ?      Chapters 20 - 23