Ap world History Syllabus: 9th Grade

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AP World History Syllabus: 9th Grade

Advanced Placement World History (APWH) parallels the curriculum content in the New York State Regents Global History and Geography course. In order to correspond to New York State requirements, APWH is taught as a two year sequence to 9th and 10th graders. This course focuses on the interpretation of the significant periods of World History and addresses the New York State Standard for both Social Studies and English. This course will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement World History Exam in May and the Global History Regents in June. In addition, it is recommended that those students who feel qualified take the SAT II in World History in June of their sophomore year.

The purpose of the APWH course is to develop a greater understanding of historical forces that have shaped our planet. The course focuses on the evolution of global processes, the interaction of societies, the nature of changes and continuity in understanding global forces and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. Relevant factual knowledge is analyzed in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and historical evidence.
The Advanced Placement World History Course revolves around five major themes:

• Theme 1: Interaction Between Humans and the Environment

• Theme 2: Development and Interaction of Cultures

• Theme 3: State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict

• Theme 4: Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems • Theme 5: Development and Transformation of Social Structures
The course’s framework is chronological. In the 10th grade, students will focus on the second half of World History. Periodization for the 10th grade is divided into 2 segments: 1750 to 1914, 1914 to the present. We will begin with an overview of the previous period 1450 to 1750. At the completion of the course we will review world history thematically.


Ninth Grade:

Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources (2011 Bedford/St. Martins) Robert W. Strayer

Traditions and Encounters (1st Edition- 2000), Jerry Bentley and Herbert Ziegler

Supplemental Texts:

A History of Civilizations, Fernand Braudel

Wild Swans, Jung Chang

Maps of Time, David Christian

This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity, David Christian

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of our Religious Tradition, Karen Armstrong

Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond

Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Paul Kennedy

The Human Web, J.R. McNeill and H.W. McNeill

Curriculum Objectives and Tentative Course Schedule:

Fall Semester (9th Grade)

Unit I:


Curricular Requirement


Key Concept

Technology and Environmental Transformation (to 600 B.C.E.)

Expected Duration: Three Weeks

2, 3

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Textbook Reading:

Bentley, Chapters 1-5

Human Record, Chapters 1 & 2

Strayer, Chapters 1 & 2


Supplemental Materials for Analysis

• Hammurabi’s Code

• Epic of Gilgamesh

• Teachings of the Buddha

• The Upanishads

Baghavad Gita

• Hymn of the Nile


Additional Historical Reading:

• Diamond, Jared. “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.”

1c, 6, 7

Unit Lessons

• Geographic Barriers and Conduits to Movement

• Paleolithic Life & Nomadism (Australian Aborigines)

• Neolithic Revolution and its inequalities (Navajo and Iroquois)

• Pastoral lifestyle (African Saharan Peoples)

• Technology-metallurgy, pottery, textiles, wheels (Fertile Crescent)

• River Valley Civilizations (Mesopotamia, Nile, Indus)

• Early States (Sumerian, Babylonian, Egypt, Mohenjo-Daro-Harappan, China)

• Early Chinese State and the Control of Water

• Early Religious Beliefs (Egypt, Vedic Religion, Hebrew Monotheism, Zoroastrianism)

2, 4, 5b, 5c, 5d, 8, 9

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Unit Assessments:

• Unit Exam (Multiple Choice)

• Thesis writing COMP Mesopotamia & Egypt and CCOT essay for Paleolithic to Neolithic

• Students will be able to write a change-over-time essay on both the economy and the government and write a comparison essay between Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Students will be expected to explain continuities in this essay.

• SPICE worksheets for Neolithic, Egyptian and Mesopotamia

4,10, 12

Key Activities/Skills

• Working with Physical Maps of the World

• Activity on the five themes of Geography

• DVD segment on Otzi the Iceman

• Guns, Germs and Steel segment on DVD (building on Diamond article listed above) (Students will evaluate Jared Diamond’s historical interpretation)

• Debate on the Neolithic Revolution: Blessing or Curse (Students will learn to craft historical arguments from relevant evidence.)

• Discussion and Powerpoint on Megaliths and Bog Bodies

• Pastoral Role Play

• Collaborative Group-jigsaw with documents (e.g. Hymn to the Nile, Hammurabi Code, Epic of Gilgamesh)

• Writing a Thesis sentence (Students will demonstrate chronological reasoning in the development of early states)

• Comparative essay writing practice of Olmecs and Andean (Chavin, Moche) (Students will compare and contextualize the different early civilizations)

• Comparison of Ancient Writing Systems-Cuneiform, Hieroglyphs, Pictograms, Alphabets

Unit II:


Curricular Requirement


Key Concept

Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies (600 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.)

Expected Duration: Eight Weeks

2, 3

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

Textbook Reading:

Bentley, Chapters 6-11

Strayer, Chapters 4-11


Supplemental Materials for Analysis

• 10 Commandments

• Sermon on the Mount

• 4 Noble Truths

• Koran (excerpts)

1b, 8

Additional Historical Reading:

• Jerry H. Bentley, The Spread of World Religions in Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times

• Solomon Katz, From Republic to Empire, Augustus Caesar

• F.W. Wallbank, The Awful Revolution: The Decline of the Roman Empire in the West

• Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire

• Adrian Goldsworthy, The Complete Roman Army

• Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

• St. Jerome, The Fall of Rome

1c, 6, 7

Unit Lessons

• Development of Universal Religions

(Christianity, Buddhism, Islam)

• Chinese Belief systems-Legalism, Confucianism,

Taoism, Buddhism

• Development of City-States-Greece, Teotihuacan, Maya, Axum, Niger River Cities

• Development of Empires-Chin (Qin), Mauryan,

Persian, Hellenistic, Chauvin.

• Imperial Stretch- Han, Gupta, Persia, Rome

• Mediterranean Sea, Silk Road, Indian

Ocean Trade, Andean Trade Routes

• Social Systems-South Asian Caste system,

Roman Slavery, Chinese social


• Greco-Roman art and Architecture,

Chinese art

• Fall of Empires-Han, Roman & Gupta

2, 4, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Unit Assessments:

• Unit Exam (Multiple Choice)

• CCOT Essay on Roman Republic to Empire

• Essay on Fall of Rome, Han and Gupta Empires (Students will compare and contextualize the collapse of different states)

• Map Project on Empires and Trade routes

4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15

Key Activities/Skills

• Beliefs of Universal religions using texts

• Simulation using Chinese belief systems, use of Confucian Analects, Taoist and Legalist sayings

• Three-person debate between Athens and Sparta (Students will learn to craft historical arguments from relevant evidence; Students will also synthesize the various arguments into multi-causal thesis)

• Chinese & Nomad relations-Center and Periphery, Empire Game

• State Authority-Persian Royal Road map exercise

• Silk Road Trade role play and maps

• Trade Winds in the Indian Ocean

• Ancient Greek art/architecture-Powerpoint, Chinese Landscape painting-Powerpoint

-Students will examine various historical interpretations on the fall of Rome (including Heather and Goldsworthy) in preparation for the in-class debate (see below)

• Debate on the Fall of Rome (Students will utilize chronological reasoning to show the collapse of a state)

Unit III:


Curricular Requirement


Key Concept

Regional and Transregional Interactions (600 C.E to 1450)

Expected Duration: Eleven Weeks

2, 3

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

3.1, 3.2, 3.3

Textbook Reading:

Bentley, Chapters 12-21

Strayer, Chapter 8-13


Supplemental Materials for Analysis


Additional Historical Reading:

• Norman Cantor, Church, Kingship and Lay Investiture

• William McNeill, Consequences of the Black Death in Europe

• Jared Diamond, Easter Island’s End

• Ichisada Miyazaki, The Chinese Civil Service Exam System

•  R. W. Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages: Serfdom

1c, 6, 7, 9

Unit Lessons

• Bantu Expansion

• Polynesian Diaspora

• Mayan Writing and Warfare

• Moche & Mound Builders

• City-States: Axum, Niger River Cities

• Christian Europe-rise and fall of Feudalism

• Causes & Results of the Black Death

• Byzantine Empire

• Silk Road highpoint

• Spread of Islam and Islamic Culture

• Islamic Renaissance-Cordova, Baghdad

• East African West Africa-Kingdoms and Islam

• Mongol Expansion

• Russia, China, Persia under Mongol Rule

• 2nd Golden Age in China-Sui, Tang & Song Dynasties

• Social classes in China-Civil Service Exam

• Chinese Exploration and Confucian/Court Reaction

• Chinese Cultural influence on Japan, Korea, Vietnam

• Heian Japan

4, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 8, 9, 11

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Unit Assessments:

• Unit Exam (Multiple Choice)

• COMP Essay Women in Islamic World & Medieval Europe (Students will compare and contextualize the roles of women in these post-classical civilizations)

• CCOT Essay-Islam (Students will demonstrate understanding of patterns of continuity and change over time)

• Islamic Spread DBQ

• COMP Essay on Western Latin and Eastern Orthodox Europe

• COMP Essay on China and Japan (pol., cult., soc., eco.)

4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15

Key Activities/Skills

• Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa

• Map Work on Bantu and Polynesian Expansion • Foursquare Graphic Organizer on Spread of Bananas to Africa

• Gold Salt Trade in West Africa simulation

• DVD Islam: Empire of Faith

• Trade in Americas-State Control vs. Merchant

• Incan Road network and interaction-My Inca Trail Video clip

• Documents on Black Death, Black Death Video (Students will formulate a thesis using historical interpretation and synthesis, based on various sources, including the McNeill article listed above)

• European Medieval Feudalism role play

• Role of the Church in Medieval Europe

• Crusades Documents and Video

• Japanese Geography & Impact on Culture, State, etc.

• Civil Service Exam: Social Mobility In China: Real or imaginary? Debate (Students will learn to craft historical arguments from relevant evidence)

• Iroquois Decision Making Activity

• Elites and Culture: Chinese landscape painting art & Medieval European Art Powerpoints

• Mongol Committee on How to Rule China?


Unit IV:


Curricular Requirement


Key Concept

Global Interactions (1450 to 1750)

Expected Duration: Eleven Weeks

2, 3

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

4.1, 4.2, 4.3

Textbook Reading:

Bentley, Chapters 22-28

Strayer, Chapters 14-16


Supplemental Materials for Analysis

-Bartolome de Las Casas, “The Devastation of the Indies”

-Ramon Pane, “A Report Concerning the Antiquities of the Indians”

-Martin Luther, “The Ninety-Five Theses”; “Justification By Faith”

-John Calvin, “Predestination Constitution of the Society of Jesus”

-Richelieu, “Political Will and Testament”

-John Locke, “Two Treatises on Government”

-Raphael, “The School of Athens”

-Leonardo Da Vinci, “Mona Lisa”

-Michelangelo, “David”

-Tokugawa Iemitsu, “The Edict of 1635 and the Exclusion of the Portuguese” (1639)

-Nzinga Mbemba, “Letters to the King of Portugal”

1b, 8

Additional Historical Reading:

• G.R. Elton, A Political Interpretation of the Reformation

•  John M. Headley, The Continental Reformation: A Religious Interpretation

• Hans J. Hillerbrand, Men and Ideas in the Sixteenth Century: Patterns in the Reformation

• Jonathan Spence, The Ming Chinese State and Religion

• Kenneth Pomeranz, How the Other Half Traded

• Mary Jo Maynes and Ann Waltner, Women and Marriage in Europe and China

1c, 6, 7

Unit Lessons

• European Renaissance-trade, art, literature.

• Reformation: Causes, leaders and results

• Age of European Exploration-Causes, Spain & Portugal

• Columbian Exchange

• Discovery and Conquest of the Americas

• Atlantic Slave Trade

• Gunpowder Empires: Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal plus Tokugawa

• Rise of the State: Rise of France, Russia & Qing

• Collapse of Old Empires-Byzantine, Ming

4, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12,

Unit Assessments:

• Unit Exam (Multiple Choice)

• COMP Essay (Louis XIV, Peter the Great, Kangxi, Tokugawa Ieyasu)

• CCOT on English Government (1485-1690)

4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15

Key Activities/Skills

• Discussion: Did Women have a Renaissance? (Students will learn to craft historical arguments from relevant evidence)

• Movie excerpts from Luther

• Work with Documents in the European Reformation Rome (Students will utilize chronological reasoning to show the changes in European Christianity)

• Role Play with Italian, Spanish, Muslim and Chinese Merchants

• Investigation of Food: New & Old World (Students will formulate a thesis using historical interpretation and synthesis, based on various sources)

• Elites and Culture: Italian & Japanese Merchants-Renaissance Paintings & Japanese Woodblock prints (Students will compare and contextualize these different cultural flowerings of visual art)

Appendix A: Spring Term Project

A Historical Dinner Party

You are to invite five world history figures to a New Year’s Dinner Party (The date of your party is hypothetical – middle of the Age of Absolutism). You will invite one person from each of the absolute kingdoms throughout the world. These individual will be from a variety of time periods.


(1) You will be assigned an individual, and they will have a “cabinet” of advisors to be their “support” network

(2) Thoroughly research the life of Absolute Monarch you are assigned to either be or support. It is imperative, that each person from the group know the monarch’s background, accomplishments, opinions, and idiosyncrasies.

(3) Thoroughly research world events from the time associated with the Absolute Monarch period of to inform your conversation, as well as the global events at the end of the 17th and early 18th centuries.

(4) Recreate the conversation that took place around the dinner table on that New Year's Day. Discussion should focus on the compelling issues of the day. All of your guests MUST discuss all of the topics. The conversation should cover at least four of the following areas as they relate to the time period [1700] (you may include more):

• Religion • Art, music, theater, opera • Women’s Issues • Politics • Events of the times • Philosophy • Leaders • Science and Technology • Foreign Affairs • Education

(5) Treat this paper as a formal research paper. You must use footnotes when appropriate, and have an accurate bibliography. You must use at least five sources. You may not use Wikipedia. You must use standard bottom of the page citations and your bibliography must include primary sources, books, journals --all materials that you consulted in proper format.

(6) Write the paper as a "discussion." (Do NOT use a "script" format.) Include descriptions of the setting, reactions of the different participants, food, music played, clothing worn by guests and other details you think will make the evening live in the mind of the reader.

Appendix B: Periodization Review Project

Group Work: Assign one topic to each member of the group (in groups of seven, asterisk notes the comparison that should be doubled up). Please make copies of your Graphic Organizer for every member of the group and for me. I will check! (Due on the dates listed below)

(A blank Comparative Graphic Organizer is available on Ms. Steiker’s AP World History class page on the her Bronx Science webpage.)

Unit I: Pre-history to 600 BCE (Paleolithic, Neolithic and River Valley Civilizations)


* Mesopotamia and Egypt: state-building, interaction, social structure, culture

* Indus and Chinese: state-building, interaction, social structure, culture

Unit II: 600 BCE – 600 CE (Classical Foundations)



Ideas and spread of Christianity and Islam; make sure to include role of women

Ideas and spread of Buddhism and Confucianism; make sure to include role of women

Ideas and spread of Buddhism and Hinduism; make sure to include role of women

*Mesopotamia and Egypt: state-building, interaction, social structure, culture

Rome and Han; state-building, culture, economic structure

The caste system and slavery devised by early and classical civilizations

Unit III: 600 – 1450 CE – Tuesday, May 3



Japanese and European feudalism: state-building, culture, social structure

Political and social institutions in Eastern and Western Europe

Aztecs and Incas; state-building, culture, economic structure (up to, but not including, time of encounter with Europeans)

European and sub-Saharan contacts with the Islamic world

* Tang/Sung China with the Umayyad/Abbasid Caliphates: state-building, culture, social structure

Impact of migrations on Afro-Eurasia and the Americas (e.g., Aztecs, Mongols,

Turks, Vikings, and Arabs)

Unit IV: 1450 – 1750 CE – Wednesday, May 4



The “world economic system” of 600-1450 with that of 1450-1750

Causes and impacts of cultural and social changes in Latin America with those in Western Europe

Demographic and environmental changes in the Americas and in East Asia

*Roles of women in two of: Western Europe, Americas, Africa

Russia’s interaction with Western Europe with the interaction of one of the following: Ottoman, China, Tokugawa Japan, Mughal India

A European seaborne empire compared with a land-based Asian empire

Each graphic organizer will count as one homework assignment.

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