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World History Syllabus

World History/Honors World History
Ms. Roberts (
What kind of country do you want to live in? This one? Another one? Would you like to see some changes here in the U.S.?  Is, or was, there a better system of government somewhere else? In only a few short years you will be of voting age, which means our government wants to know what you think and in what direction you want the country to go. Really, it does. I want you to be ready for that first trip to the polls, and for many thereafter. And don’t tell me your vote doesn’t matter. As Plato once said, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
We are social beings and ever since the beginning, we have lived in groups, whether it was in families, tribes, religious affiliations, or nations. So in order to be the best we can be and create the best societies in which to live, we must also know the history of mankind so we know what the options are. Even though modern humans have been around for approximately 4 million years, the Agricultural Revolution, about 10,000 years ago, made the playing field of history uneven. Jared Diamond explains in Guns, Germs, and Steel how farm-based societies diversified, became advanced, and then conquered populations of other areas and maintained dominance, despite sometimes being vastly out-numbered. These conquerers gave us some of our first written records, creating a history of the world from a Western, or later European, point of view. After World War II, the vantage point has mostly been dominated by the U.S. This class focuses more on the modern world, with a brief review of ancient times, which you studied in sixth and seventh grade.
We will use your book as our main academic source, but I will supplement it with primary sources, current events, and analytical models from USC School of International Relations to fulfill our Common Core Standards. These advanced analytical tools will include DEPP, World Views, and Four Worlds. We will also learn and use the skill of deliberation for discussing controversial issues. Deliberation focuses more on an exchange of ideas and keeping an open mind whereas traditional debate is more about fortifying existing biases. All of these tools will allow us to truly analyze history at a higher level, serve as a frame of reference, and help provide a structured, accountable conversation. These analytical tools give us ways to orient ourselves amidst our ideas. We will also use maps to orient ourselves in terms of space and timelines help us orient ourselves in time.
Remember, the study of history is a social science, not a natural science. It is more like your English class in that in literary analysis, we study themes of the human condition, e.g. coming of age, culture clash, friendship, family, courage to do the right thing. In historical analysis, themes of the human condition include a quest for security, prosperity, equity, and meaning. There will be times when there are not right and wrong answers; we must remember that it is the discussion that is important.
A. Fall Semester 
Unit 1: Introduction/Democracy/Western Political Thought
(CSS 10.1/Module 1)          
Unit 2: The Enlightenment and Revolutions
(CSS 10.2/Modules 3, 4, 5, 6)
Unit 3: The Industrial Revolution
(CSS10.3/Modules 7, 8)
Unit 4: Exploration and Imperialism
(CSS 10.4/Modules 2, 9, 10)
Unit 5: World War I
(CSS 10.5-10.6/Modules 11)
Unit 6: Totalitarianism/The Great Depression
(CSS 10.7/Modules 12, 13)
Unit 7: World War II
(CSS 10.8/Module 14)
Unit 8: Cold War
(CSS 10.9/Module 15)
Unit 9: Nation Building Around the World
(CSS 10.10/Modules 16, 17)
Unit 10: Globalization
(CSS 10.11/Module 18) 
1. EXAMS/Quizzes Chapter Exams will generally follow each unit and will be worth about 30-40 points. Missed exams will be scored by duplicating the test score from the next exam or quiz taken. Students are allowed only one missed exam for credit per semester. On exam days, no exams will be given out after the first 15 minutes of class, so be on time. Students caught cheating on exams or quizzes (or any other work in my class!) will be subject to a 50% point reduction for a first offense, and a 100% point reduction for each offense thereafter, and will be reported to ISIS, the online LAUSD student data base. HRQs (History Review Quiz) or HJ (History Journal) prompts will serve as a way for us to review and/or reflect on what we have learned. Two to three entries will be randomly selected from each finished HRQ or HJ and will be entered in the grade book.  
2. WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS should meet the same requirements as in an English class. The MLA guidelines will be followed (including, but not limited to 12-point type, double-spaced, appropriate heading). These guidelines can be found online. Plagiarism (copying the work of another without proper credit/citation) will not be accepted and will be returned with no credit and without the opportunity to resubmit. Emailed papers will not be accepted. Printing is available in the library; please plan ahead so your paper is ready (printed and stapled) when it is due.
3. ASSIGNMENTS (both in-class and homework) will be checked for completion, but not always collected. Assignments will generally be worth 5-15 points, and will be in handout form, or based on reading from the text or another source. All answers should be in complete sentences.Students will be expected to be ready to share their work with the class as well as participate in class and group discussions. 
4. CLASS PARTICIPATION This class is not just about memorizing facts for tests and turning in your homework. It’s about engaging in classroom activities each day. Such activities include being part of discussions and deliberations, volunteering to read aloud, passing out papers or pens, etc. Students who are disengaged (for instance, doing homework from another class) may be docked points. Each 5 week grading period, you will be eligible for up to 15 points for participation.
5. LATE WORK will not be accepted. In the case of an excused absence, work missed is due 5 school days after the student returns and must be dated and labeled “Absent” before it is turned in. Students who are absent should get missed handouts from the BLUE Absent Folder and other information and notes from another student (Study Buddy). Work that is turned in when you’re tardy will receive a 25% point deduction. Work that is turned in after the period ends the same day will receive a 50% point deduction. Work will not be accepted after the day it was due unless you were absent or have a Late Pass. If you still have questions about missed work, make an appointment to meet with me.
6. EXTRA CREDIT will be available in the form of movie reviews (among other opportunities). Each review is worth up to 5 points, and each student can do four movie reviews, one during each 5-week grading period. (See online rubric for details.) Extra credit questions, often based on class discussions, will also be available on quizzes and exams. The number of points will vary. Students will also have the chance to earn extra credit points during class discussions by doing research on a topic for the next day of class. Information should be cited (3 sources), summarized (in your own words), and printed (typed or neatly handwritten). Extra credit (from movie reviews and research) will max out at 30 points per semester. Please see the website (Roberts) for a list of acceptable movies and follow the rubric carefully.
Grading will be on a standard 90%(A), 80%(B), 70%(C), 55%(D) scale, however classroom behavior will be considered, in addition to points earned, on progress reports. Cooperation marks will be based on classroom participation and behavior. Students who are disruptive in class will receive an S or a U. Work Habits are linked to academic marks. Students with an A will NOT receive a U for Work Habits. Students with a B or lower and 5 or more missing assignments will receive a U for Work Habits. Students with a D or F will receive a U for Work Habits.
    Grade    %        40 pt        35 pt        15 pt        10 pt     5 pt 
    A        90-100%    36-40    32-35    14-15    9-10        5
    B        80-89%    32-35    28-31    12-13    8        4
    C        70-79%    28-31    25-27    10-11    7        3
    D        55-69%    22-27    19-24    8-9        5-6        2
    F        54%         21        18        7         4         0-1
    Grade break-out The following are approximate percentages that indicate the weight of graded assignments in relation to total semester points: Exams and quizzes 50%; Homework/Projects 20%; Classwork 20%; Participation 10%. 
Students should come prepared with black or blue pens for exams and quizzes. Notebooks are required for all students and should be brought to class everyday. Students will need a 1” or 2” three-ring binder with tabs corresponding to the 5 units of study for each semester and lined paper. (A 1/2” binder will not suffice.) A 3-hole punch will be available in the classroom for student use if handouts are not pre-punched.
If at any time you feel you need extra assistance or guidance,  please ask to meet with me. Please do not plan to meet with me before class. With so many students, it is difficult for me to know you are struggling so it is your responsibility to take the  initiative and ask for help. Students and parents, please feel free to email me with questions and/or concerns. (
Be Prompt, Prepared, Polite... and Participate! These simple guidelines mean to be on time (in your seat before the bell rings), be respectful of other people and classroom equipment at all times, do your work (including written work), and plan to participate in class activities and discussions; students will be called on at random. The planet has enough styrofoam, so please don’t sit in your desk and act like a piece of it all semester! General expectations and consequences for violating these expectations follow; a student signature is required. Specific expectations are explained in Ms Roberts’ 3Ps handout.
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________________________________________ Parent Name ______________________________________Parent Signature
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