World History I Honors
World History I Honors is a survey course that covers a wide range of topics, ideas, peoples, and times. The scope of this course will be much larger than the focused two years of social studies in 7th and 8th grade. This course will start by developing student skills in and understandings of basic geographical principles. Next, students will explore the beginnings of human society and development of complex civilizations located within important river valleys in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. Then the course will shift its focus to the roots of Western civilization with the study of classical Greece and Rome, as well as the early medieval era in Europe.
As a result of the varied topics in this course, students will be introduced to important themes that they will continue to study and learn about throughout high school (and most likely into college as well). Students will be expected to explain the role of geography and climate on human civilization. Students will also examine both universal and unique components of cultures from the past. Students will study the development of different forms of government and compare the strengths and weaknesses of each. They will also read about and discuss important and revolutionary ideas and philosophies that changed human thought and learning and still have influence on the world today.
Additionally, though this course focuses on ancient history, it will still provide useful knowledge and learning for students to use in a modern global society. Students will discover that even before the advances in communication and transportation technology of the 20th and 21st centuries, resources, goods, technologies, beliefs, and ideas spread throughout the world and connected communities and nations together. Also, students will learn about the important conflicts and conquests that shaped many of these civilizations and empires.
Studying history requires students to read, think about what they have read, and write about what they have read. Students will get practice in writing a thesis and supporting it with relevant, accurate, and detailed evidence from both primary and secondary sources. Improving expository and persuasive writing skills is a major goal in this course. A student will need strong expository writing skills in order to explain causes and effects of major historical events and movements. Persuasive writing is a component to the SBAC testing that students take their junior year. In World History 1, students develop these skills by writing formal essays centered on historical issues.
This course will also require students to label, shade, interpret, and analyze maps and other types of graphic data. Students may have to examine geographical regions or differences between groups of people from a map, identify changes over time in the same region, or make predictions about future events. It is necessary for students to know about the important places vital to history.
· You will need to use a binder and/or a sturdy folder to hold and organize the materials for this class. You should always have lined loose-leaf paper to take notes and complete work with.
· A cover for your textbook. Textbooks are expensive and it is costly to have them fixed/replaced. Students who have seriously damaged their textbooks will be charged for repairs/replacements.
· Pens and pencils (Pencils are needed for Scantron sheets. Pens must be used on written tests, quizzes, and in-class essays.)
· It is always wise to have index cards, highlighters, Post-it notes, and flash drives available at home.
The grade for each ten-week period is divided into the following categories:
Homework/Classwork: 20 percent
Homework includes your reading and other specific assignments. I will assign homework for most classes. The more you focus on and actively engage with your assignments, the more prepared you will be for tests—most of your studying will have been done ahead of time.
Participation includes group work, discussions, and class and group participation. Class discussions will require that students have done the assigned reading; we will then expand upon that and attempt to make conclusions, connect what we have read to other things we have learned, and see how the history we are studying has relevance to current events. Being disruptive and disrespectful in the classroom will lower your participation grade!
· Quizzes and Essays: 35 percent
Quizzes are based on nightly readings from the textbook or other outside sources. For the reading quizzes students may sometimes use their notes if they have taken them. Essays will be done in class. Students will often have class time to organize essays beforehand. This will be a major portion of this course in order for you to improve persuasive writing skills.
· Tests and Projects: 45 percent
Tests are based on whole chapter and/or larger units of study. Tests will be made up of several types of questions such as multiple-choice, matching, true or false, and fill-in-the-blank. Unit tests will have significant writing sections as well. Projects are long-term individual or group research assignments. You may be asked to create a poster or pamphlet, prepare a PowerPoint presentation with a group, follow a WebQuest, or participate in a debate.
The four ten-week grades (20% each) plus the mid-term exam (10%) and the final exam (10%) will count as the FINAL grade for the course.
With our schedule, classes do not meet every day of the week, so on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, we will not meet as a class—but students should expect to be working on assignments every night. Being absent on the day class does not meet will not excuse students from turning in work if they were present the day it was assigned as well as the day it is due. It is important not to miss class! Even with borrowing someone else’s notes, it is difficult to make up the things learned from discussions and from hearing and seeing lessons and activities firsthand. Being successful in this course means being here for every class possible.
See the Student Handbook for policies on tardiness, absence, credit, and grades.
Making up work: Obviously, some absences are unavoidable and will be excused. Students may make up work for excused absences. Check the website or contact classmates to get the assignment for the next class (or e-mail me, but I may not be checking my e-mail often once I leave the building for the day). If illness, a family death, or something else means a student will miss several classes, try to reach me so that I make the assignments available in advance. In most cases, make-up work has to be turned in before the end of a unit, but that will depend on when the absence occurs.
Tests and quizzes will be made up as soon as possible—within the first few days of returning to school. See me immediately to arrange to take the test during lunch/activity period or after school.
Cheating and the Honor Code
The Student Handbook describes the consequences for cheating—which includes plagiarism. When any student turns in homework or a test, he/she is saying that he/she did all the work and gave credit to others when their work was used as sources. Copying the exact words out of the textbook to answer assigned questions is plagiarism and is unacceptable. We will be covering source citation in class. For class essays and projects, students will be expected to use formal documentation (such as MLA style).
Success in This Class
A student is the only one who can guarantee his/her success. Teachers, parents, and other students can offer help and guidance, but each individual has to do the work that brings personal success. In high school, grades reflect the effort and the quality of student work. But grades aren’t the only sign of success. I hope this class will be fun for all students and will help them to think about what is happening in the world in terms of what has happened in the past.
If a student has a concern or a problem with the class or his/her grade, then the student should come speak to me personally about it before talking to another teacher, counselor, or administrator. That is a matter of respect and courtesy between a student and a teacher. Likewise, I will approach individual students about any issues or concerns before approaching parents, counselors, or administrators. For questions or concerns, please see me before school, during lunch/activity period, or after school. Feel free to e-mail me as well.
Rules of the Classroom
This is a short list of my major expectations. I have the right to add or amend rules as we progress through the class if I feel it is necessary and proper.
1. Civility is of the highest importance to successful learning. We learn best when we listen to others, are open to their ideas, and offer others the respect we also wish to receive.
2. Be on time and ready to work and learn. A pass is always required if you are late to class.
3. Once the bell rings, class has started. You should end all personal conversations after the bell rings. Be in your seat and ready to start.
4. Being prepared for class is a sign of respect. Bring all the supplies you need and do all the assigned work.
5. Students will raise their hands if they wish to speak during class. Additionally, students are responsible for listening in class and for all instructions/directions given orally.
6. Students will sign out whenever they leave class and will sign in when they return or are tardy.
7. Food and drink will be allowed in the classroom until it becomes a distraction, makes a mess, or is left behind as trash in the classroom. This includes chewing gum as well.
8. Do not touch anything on my desks without permission. I will respect your property and privacy and expect that you respect mine.
9. We all have rights—to have the quiet atmosphere needed for discussion and learning, to have our property (and communal property, such as the classroom) respected. Students that misuse or abuse classroom materials and resources will lose their privilege to use them.
10. Use of electronic devices such as cell phones and iPods are not allowed in class. They should be turned off and placed in lockers. If they are used during class, those items will be confiscated and a parent/guardian will have to pick them up at school.
11. There will be no whining about or haggling over grades. If you have a question or concern about grades, I will be more than happy to discuss it before school, during lunch/activity, or after school. It is not appropriate for a student to demand shared class time to argue over his/her individual scores.