Mr. Zink AP World History is a 9th grade class taken over two years, but it is taught as a college-level introductory course to world history. Expectations, curriculum, reading difficulty and class behavior norms are similar to what is expected for freshmen in college. Thirty minutes to an hour of homework per night is normal. This class is only for self-motivated, curious, hardworking students who already have self-discipline. It is not for students who show promise but do not apply themselves. Motivation for taking this class should not be the weighted grade; there must be intrinsic interest in history in order to succeed. If you have any questions over the summer, I will be periodically checking my email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, feel free to peruse my teacher website for helpful links and an additional copy of this assignment. You may access my website by visiting https://www.henhudschools.org/ and clicking on Teacher Sites, followed by selecting my name towards the bottom of the page.
The summer assignments described below will constitute your first three grades of the first quarter. All three assignments will be collected on the first day of school. The first assignment should be completed while reading Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel; the second assignment is an essay that you will write after finishing the book; and the third assignment is to fill out maps labeling various geographic features of the world. All work must be completed in its entirety. Partial work will not be accepted.
A fourth grade will involve a written test on Guns, Germs, and Steel, and will be administered during the first week of school. Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel is a big and ambitious book. It has won several significant awards and was placed on the New York Times Best Seller List for hundreds of weeks. Large questions and themes guide the author’s narrative. Since the AP World History course focuses on big ideas, concepts, themes, and trends of world history, this book is an appropriate entry into this way of thinking about history. Jared Diamond did not write this book for teenagers, so you might find parts of it difficult. You should talk the themes through with others; it is a good book to talk about because it has interesting information and controversial theories.
The book is available in paperback at major bookstores, used bookstores and online, as well at all local libraries. While I highly recommend purchasing the book so that you are able to interact with it through reflective writing in the margins, you DO NOT have to purchase the book.
Assignment #1: Reading Assignments and Chapter Summaries Part A. Read and summarize the following chapters of the book, Guns, Germs, and Steel.
A summary must be submitted for the chapters listed above. As you read Guns, Germs, and Steel and take notes on the individual chapters, also pay attention to the “big ideas” that Diamond presents throughout the book. Try to incorporate these into your chapter summaries as you see fit.
Be sure that you use your own words in your summary. Any evidence of plagiarism will result in a ZERO for this assignment and potential removal from the course for academic dishonesty. Those of you that have siblings who have taken this course before; please know that Mr. Lupien and I have kept copies of past work. I will be checking for originality!
One way to practice getting the main idea is to orally explain the main idea to someone after you have read the chapter. If you have made it easy for the person to understand, then you have likely successfully identified the main idea of the chapter.
A thorough, in-depth test on Guns, Germs, and Steel will be given within the first week of class. This counts as a test grade, so be sure to be prepared by reading carefully, and taking thoughtful summary notes.
This is an individual assignment: any copying will result in zeros for all involved. This is absolutely NOT a partner assignment.
Part B. Book Summary: After having read the chapters listed above, answer the following prompt:
It’s time for you to admire or vent… What did you think about the book, and why?
This task is fairly simple. Tell me your thoughts on the book. Which aspects were and weren’t enjoyable, and why?
Assignment #2: Post-Reading Assignment After reading the book, incorporate answers to the following questions in an essay. Your essay must have a thesis statement, which you must underline. DO NOT answer these questions in sequence, but address them together in an essay that both analyzes and evaluates Diamond’s book. Use your chapter summaries to analyze and evaluate; avoid just re-summarizing the book. Essays are expected to be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman, size 12 font. If you are familiar with MLA format, we will be using this format throughout the year. If you are not yet familiar with MLA, it does not have to be utilized for this assignment.
What question is Jared Diamond trying to answer?
What is his thesis?
To what extent is Diamond successful in supporting his thesis? Are particular chapters stronger than others? Are any chapters particularly problematic? Why?
To what extent do you agree with his theory? Explain.
Assignment #3: Map Work The accompanying map is also available on my teacher website, should you need more copies. The following geographic features must be labeled accordingly. You may do this using one map, or by using multiple maps. A test on the following features will be given the first week of class, so please be sure to know these features well. Students may also want to consider that over the course of the next two years, knowledge of EVERY country of the modern world will be tested, including most major geographic features. You may want to begin using online self-tests or other methods of rote memorization. It is important to possess strong geographical knowledge in order to understand human history, interaction and development. The completed map(s) must also be handed in on the first day of class. You may take liberties with the map: map it bigger, use multiple versions, etc…
FeaturesTo Be Labeled: Continents (in Red)
1. North America
2. South America
7. Africa Deserts (indicated with striped green lines)