"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are." - David C McCullough

Here is the first planner of the year. 

Your textbook website also has a resource called:  LearnSmart.  It responds to your reading, and hopefully will help you improve your reading skills with this text.  Be sure to use it immediately.


5th Hour Class website: (Log-in required, and code to set-up.)


Be sure to use this general information website created by your textbook.  No password is needed. 


Good luck and stay in touch.  

Timeline for world history:  

Read over these website pages:  http://www.nchs.ucla.edu/Standards/world-history-standards/world-era-1  and  http://www.nchs.ucla.edu/Standards/world-history-standards/world-era-2 These National Standards provide a general description of our goals for this unit.  Finally, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  You will find the essay selections and a list of terms.  Both items will directly impact your preparation and performance on the test.  

Unit One: Human Beginnings, Pre-History, Civilization 

Text Pages:  2-69                                                               Chapters 1, 2, 3

Key Ideas:  The history of the earth itself stretches back around five billion years.  However, the human chapter of this long story is a relatively short one; the first humanlike apes appeared roughly four million years ago.  Relatively recently, the first modern human beings made their appearance about forty thousand years ago.  Our investigation of this prehistory allows opportunities to explore important habits of mind.  We examine our beginnings up through the increasing sophistication of the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages, when humans reached the dawn of the establishment of complex societies.

Few events in all of history can rival the significance of the rise of the first complex societies in Mesopotamia.  With it came literally --- the birth of history.  Although these early Mesopotamian societies relied on an agricultural foundation, they also developed true cities and lived a thoroughly urban existence.  Mesopotamia developed sophisticated political, religious, and social structures that influenced their neighbors and have survived the millennia since.

It could be argued that no society in the ancient world possesses the mystique of Egypt.  The image of the pyramids is indelibly etched in our collective imagination.  However, Egypt’s relation to its African neighbors, most notably Nubia, is often overlooked.  Both societies developed an agricultural foundation and later large cities.  Both areas developed sophisticated political, religious and social structures.  Eventually the Bantu migrations would transform most of Africa.  Our conclusion to this unit will be a consideration of not just what we know or are able to read about this area, but rather what it reveals about that unique time and place.  

Calendar of Activities and Assignments:

16 August:  First day of class.  Go over class outline, hand out text books, personal information worksheet (Due on August 23rd).  Introduction to what World History is.  Log-in to text website is required. Complete practice test, due August 21st. 

17 August:  Start with class activity (listening/discussion).  Also, consider the traditions of history --- rather the poles of historical approach we are drawn to.  Finally, read or allow students to read experience of history paragraph in class, discuss.  Discuss the challenges historians face with evidence, refer to “All that remains…” quote, caution students to be careful about interpretation without flexibility. 

18 August:  Text pages 2-15. Human Beginnings In-class discussion of key markers in the story of human development.  Consider “Becoming Human” presentation online.  http://www.becominghuman.org/

Examine the image of the Venus figurine on page 14. What is the significance of this image? What can it tell us about the mind-set of early humans? Why would this image represent fertility to early humans?  Possible consideration of Ain Sakhri figurine.  Chapter One Image Analysis assigned – Due August 23rd



21 August:  Text pages 15-23. Reading in class, Paleolithic into Neolithic.  Watch short excerpt of Cave of Forgotten Dreams film.  Writing completed in class. What could the cave painting on page 13 tell the modern viewer about the Paleolithic world? How does it express the Paleolithic belief of sympathetic magic? http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/chav/hd_chav.htm

Next, small group work to consider secondary sources on Neolithic Revolution – and the advent of complex societies.  All sources are posted – and should be considered by all students towards completion of the essay prompt.

22 August:  Text pages 24-47. Read texts in class regarding Mesopotamian landscape (consider maps for analysis).  Continue discussion of Neolithic transitions - and impact.  Work towards introducing the advent of larger settlements - and the beginning of history.  Quote on page 15 in text is good start typically.  Looking at the Standard of Ur.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nok4cBt0V6w         

23 August:  Consider a primary source for analysis:  Read/discuss Epic of Gilgamesh in class - some writing with guide.  Consider this website for more insight:  http://www.learner.org/courses/worldlit/gilgamesh/watch/

24 August:  Text pages 48-59.  Consider a primary source for analysis:  Read/discuss Hammurabi’s Code in class - some writing with guide. Discuss answers to reading guide.   Students should carefully look for the following information: political and legal structures; role of women; occupations; science and technology; and family structuresAssign Chapter Two primary source writing assignment – due August 28th.

25 August:  Text pages 59-65.  Students work on writing our essay in class, share examples in small groups, then regroup.  Share prior examples, discuss rubric scoring.  Note:  Rubric is posted on class website.


28 August:  Text pages 65-69.  Kingdoms of Egypt. Cultural contributions of Egypt, invasion of Hyksos, chariot revolution. Image analysis of Wall Painting – Tomb of Menna. Chapter Two primary source writing assignment due.

29 August:  Unit One Test (35 Multiple Choice questions, 5 short answer, 1 essay)

Essay:  Write a multi-paragraph essay to answer the following question.  Answer the question in detail.  This part of the test is worth 15 points.  See posted rubric for grading criteria.

Examine the profound changes brought about by the discovery of agriculture. What was the Neolithic Revolution and how did this seemingly simple discovery change the course of human history?

Key Terms: Who, what, where, why, when, how, so what?

complex society,  Lucy, Paleolithic, Neolithic, Venus figurines, Lascaux cave paintings, Chauvet Cave, metallurgy, textiles, social structures,  Neolithic “revolution” versus “agricultural transition”, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Semitic, irrigation, city-state, Sargon of Akkad, Hammurabi, Hammurabi’s Codes/Laws, Indo-Europeans, stele, Hittites, Assyrians, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, specialization, bronze and iron metallurgy, stratified patriarchal society, pastoral nomads, ziggurat , Hebrews, Israelites, Jews, cuneiform, Abraham, Moses, monotheism, polytheism, Phoenicians, mummification, Menes (Narmer), pharaoh, cataracts, hieroglyphics, Rosetta stone, pyramids, Old, Middle, New Kingdoms, Hyksos, Osiris, Isis, “holy inscriptions”, Pharaoh Akhenaten, Bantu, Neandertal, Nebuchadnezzar, Herodotus, archeology, domestication, Natufian, einkorn, Younger Dryas, note/arrange significant time periods (see end of each chapter.)  Places: Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania                Neander Valley, GermanyLascaux, France              Çatal Hüyük       Tigris, Euphrates, Nile Rivers Jericho                   steppes of Eurasia (Ukraine)         Babylon                Ur           Mesopotamia   Jerusalem               Sahara                Karacadag Mountains     Phoenicia             Nubian kingdom    Kushian kingdom       Levant   Somalia & Ethiopia (“Punt”)                               Chauvet, France   Meroë                  Jarmo

Skills:  Artifacts analysis (fertility figures, stele of Hammurabi, cave paintings, tomb painting of Menna), primary source analysis (Epic of Gilgamesh, Hammurabi’s Code), secondary source analysis (historical writing on Neolithic Revolution – advent of civilization). 

Films:  Cave of Forgotten Dreams, brief portions of Becoming Human, brief portions of Invitation of Literature – Gilgamesh 

Assignments:  Image Analysis, Primary Source analysis

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