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Social Studies


Course Outline




Course Overview

The kindergarten History program teaches basics of world geography with the seven continents. Students will:

  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the frozen expanses of Antarctica, and the grasslands and rain forests of Africa

  • Learn what it is like to climb the Andes and ride with the gauchos

  • Become familiar with the landmarks, people, and stories of many countries in Europe and Asia, as well as North America, including Canada and Mexico

  • Learn about American History through biographies of famous figures, from Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrims to Thomas Jefferson and Sacagawea, from Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony to Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, from Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers to Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Course Outline

Our World

  • Develop basic geographic awareness of the continents, major oceans, and directions

  • Learn to use a simple globe and map

Australia: The Land Down Under

  • Locate and explore Australia, and become familiar with its land, people, and wildlife

Europe: Many Countries, Many Stories

  • Locate and explore Europe, and become familiar with its countries, people, traditions, monuments, and stories

Asia: The Asian Adventure

  • Locate and explore Asia and become familiar with its land, wildlife, people, cities, monuments, and stories

An African Safari

  • Locate and explore Africa, and become familiar with its varied geography and climate

  • Discover the various ways people and animals have adapted, and learn stories from different cultures

South American Scenes

  • Locate and explore South America, become familiar with human and animal life in the rain forest and the pampas, and visit Rio de Janeiro

Antarctica: The Frozen Continent

  • Locate and explore Antarctica, and become familiar with the land and wildlife on the world's coldest continent

North America: From Maple Leaf to Cactus Branch

  • Locate and explore North America, and become familiar with its land, people, national symbols, and cultural heritage

America the Beautiful

  • Develop geographic awareness of the major features of the United States from the song America the Beautiful

The First Americans

  • Explore the different cultures and ways of life of Native Americans from the Eastern Woodlands, Plains, and Southwest

A New World

  • Become familiar with major historical figures and events surrounding European exploration and settlement of North America, including Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrims

Becoming Our Own Nation

  • Learn the significance of the American flag

  • Identify major historical figures, events, and songs associated with the Revolutionary War and the early years of the United States

A Nation Grows Up

  • Identify major figures, real and legendary, in the westward expansion of the United States

Liberty and Justice for All

  • Understand the significance of the Civil War

  • Become familiar with reform movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for African Americans, women, and deaf people

America on the Move

  • Become familiar with pioneer life, the building of railroads, and immigration

  • Learn about the significance of the Statue of Liberty

Doers and Dreamers

  • Identify major inventors and social innovators, and understand their impact on American society

Let Freedom Ring

  • Recognize major figures, issues, and achievements in the twentieth-century civil rights movement


1st Grade:


Course Overview

This course kicks off a program that, spanning the elementary grades, provides an overview of world geography and history from the Stone Age to the Space Age. Through lively stories and activities, students will:

  • Meet nomadic children in ancient Mesopotamia who settle in the Fertile Crescent

  • Explore the great pyramids in ancient Egypt, and meet mighty pharaohs such as King Tut

  • Learn about the historical origins of Judaism through stories of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David

  • Learn about the origins of democracy in ancient Greece, as well as the first Olympic games, the Trojan War, Alexander the Great, and the marvelous myths of the ancient Greeks

  • Visit ancient India and hear stories of the historical origins of Hinduism and Buddhism

  • Travel down great rivers in ancient China, hear the wisdom of Confucius, and witness the building of the Great Wall


Course Outline

Getting Around This Great Big World

  • Reinforce basic geographic awareness using simple maps and globes

  • Learn about the work of historians and archaeologists

Early Civilizations

  • Understand how nomadic people settled down and started villages and cities

  • Recognize achievements of early kingdoms in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt

The Rise of Ancient Empires

  • Become familiar with the historical origins of Judaism

  • Learn more about civilization in Mesopotamia

Ancient Kingdoms Rise and Fall

  • Become familiar with the rise and fall of Mesopotamian, Israeli, and Egyptian empires

Ancient Greece Part I: The Land and the Myths

  • Become familiar with the geography, people, and myths of ancient Greece

Ancient Greece, Part II: From Athens to Alexander

  • Recognize the significance of democracy

  • Recognize the contrast between Greek and Spartan cultures

  • Follow the life and campaigns of Alexander the Great

Ancient India

  • Learn about the geography and history of ancient India

  • Become familiar with the historical origins of Hinduism and Buddhism

Ancient China

  • Learn about the geography of China

  • Study early leaders in Chinese history

  • Learn about the discoveries of silk and paper, the building of the Great Wall, and the development of Chinese writing


2nd Grade:

Course Overview

Second graders continue their investigation (spanning grades 1–4) into history from the Stone Age to the Space Age. Through lively stories and activities, second graders will:

  • Explore ancient Rome and meet Julius Caesar

  • Learn about the beginnings of Christianity during the Roman Empire

  • Hear stories of the raiding and trading Vikings

  • Appreciate the achievements of early Islamic civilization

  • During the early Middle Ages in Europe, meet knights in armor, and hear stories of St. George, Robin Hood, and Joan of Arc

  • Visit the medieval African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

  • Travel the Silk Road across China, and meet the powerful emperor, Kublai Khan

  • Learn about the fighting samurai and the growth of Buddhism and Shintoism in feudal Japan


Course Outline

Getting Around This Great Big World

  • Practice with simple maps and globes to reinforce geographic awareness

  • Begin to understand the work of historians and archaeologists

Ancient Rome

  • Locate Rome on a map

  • Learn about Rome's mythical and historic origins

  • Explore life in Rome and Roman gods, goddesses, and myths

From Caesar to Augustus

  • Understand the significance of the Roman republic

  • Become familiar with the rise, rule, fall, and legacy of Julius Caesar

Roman Empire and Roman Peace

  • Learn about Rome under the rule of Augustus Caesar and subsequent emperors

  • Understand the historical beginnings of Christianity

  • Learn about the relocation of the Empire's capital to Byzantium

Byzantium Rises

  • Recognize the contributions of Rome to modern civilization

  • Identify the eastern part of the Roman Empire as the Byzantine Empire

  • Explain the contributions of Justinian and Theodora

Rome Divides and Falls

  • Recognize the significance of Attila the Hun

  • Understand how Rome fell to invading warrior tribes

  • Discover Rome's lasting contributions to society

  • Explore Constantinople

The Early Middle Ages in Western Europe

  • Explore the early settling of England and France

  • Discover the legendary saga of King Arthur and his court at Camelot

  • Learn about the role of monasteries in preserving knowledge

The Rise of Islam

  • Become familiar with the origins of Islam

  • Learn about major figures, events, and cultural achievements of the Islamic Empire

A World in Turmoil

  • Learn about Charlemagne's struggle to unify European tribes

  • Explore the Vikings' lives, beliefs, and heroes

  • Learn that Vikings raided, conquered, and settled lands on both sides of the Atlantic

The Feudal World

  • Become familiar with the concept of feudalism

  • Learn about the knight's code of chivalry and about real and legendary acts of honor, courage, and courtliness

Crusades Abroad and Changes in Europe

  • Become familiar with real and legendary heroes from the Crusades and the Hundred Years War

  • Understand the significance of the terrible plague that swept Europe

Medieval African Empires

  • Explore the rich, varied lands and people of medieval Africa

  • Follow the travels of Ibn Battuta through Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean

Medieval China

  • Learn about life during the Sui, Tang, Sung, and Yuan dynasties

  • Become familiar with the major figures and architectural feats in Chinese history

  • Learn about the discoveries of the compass and porcelain, and the development of Chinese trade with Europe

Feudal Japan

  • Learn about the history and governance of feudal Japan and about the samurai's code

  • Become familiar with the Shinto religion, haiku, and a popular Japanese folktale


3rd Grade:


Course Overview

Continuing their investigation (spanning grades 1–4) into history from the Stone Age to the Space Age, third grade students will:

  • Explore the Renaissance, and meet Petrarch, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Gutenberg, Galileo, and more

  • Journey through the Age of Exploration with Dias, da Gama, Magellan, and more

  • Get to know the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas

  • Visit civilizations in India, Africa, China, and Japan

  • During England's Golden Age, meet Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh, and William Shakespeare

  • Explore Jamestown, Plymouth, and the thirteen colonies in Colonial America

  • Learn about the American Revolution

Course Outline

Where Do We Go from Here?

  • Learn how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective

  • Learn how to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on the earth's surface

  • Understand that people create regions to interpret the earth's complexity

Background to the Renaissance

  • Define "Renaissance" as rebirth, referring to a rebirth of interest in the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome

  • Describe Greece and Rome as civilizations that valued learning, reason, and human striving and potential

  • Characterize the Middle Ages as a dangerous time and an Age of Faith

  • Identify Christianity as Europe's dominant faith

  • Describe the late Middle Ages as a time when writers, thinkers, and artists rediscovered classical models

The Italian Renaissance

  • Identify Italy (with its numerous competing city-states) as the place where the Renaissance began

  • Identify Florence, Venice, and Rome as centers of Renaissance learning

  • Recognize that artists and scholars were inspired by ancient Greece and Rome

  • Describe the Renaissance ideal of a well-rounded individual (Renaissance man)

  • Identify key figures, characteristics, and accomplishments of the Italian Renaissance

The Renaissance Elsewhere and the Reformation

  • Identify the invention of the printing press as key to the spread of Renaissance ideas and ideals

  • Recognize Italy's role in spreading Renaissance ideas to northern Europe

  • State that strong monarchs emerged in England, France, and Spain

  • Identify key artistic and scientific advances in northern Europe

  • Define the Reformation as a split within Christianity

  • Identify Martin Luther as a German monk who led the Reformation

  • Know that the Reformation created political and religious splits in Europe

Moving from One World to Another

  • Locate and identify mountain ranges around the world

  • Identify selected mountain peaks on several continents

  • Explain the purpose of the scale on a map

  • Use the scale on a mp to measure the distance between places

  • Name agricultural product maps as maps that show where crops are grown, and animals are raised

  • Use an agricultural product map to get information

  • Understand how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective

  • Recognize the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface

  • Identify how physical systems affect human systems

The Age of Exploration

  • Describe the Renaissance as an age of exploration and discovery

  • List key advances in navigation that made voyages of discovery possible (for example, caravel, compass, and astrolabe)

  • Identify European motivations for voyages of discovery

  • Recognize Portugal and Spain as the leading powers of this time

  • Identify key individuals and their important voyages

The World They Found

  • Recognize that different civilizations and cultures inhabited the Americas before the arrival of Europeans

  • List the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas as three major pre-Columbian civilizations, and describe some of their skills and abilities

  • Describe the motivations of the Spanish in the New World

  • Characterize the conflict of Spanish and Native American civilizations as a clash of civilizations in which the Spanish conquered the Aztec and Inca empires

  • Identify key figures in the conflict: Moctezuma, Cortés, Atahualpa, Pizarro, and las Casas

Looking East: Ottomans and Mughals

  • Describe the Ottoman and Mughal empires as large and expanding Muslim empires during the Renaissance

  • Locate the Ottoman and Mughal empires on a map

  • Describe the Ottomans as rivals for trade and territory with European countries such as Spain and Portugal

  • Recognize Hinduism and Islam as two faiths present in India

  • Identify key places and people in the Ottoman and Mughal empires: Istanbul, Agra, the Süleymaniye mosque, the Taj Mahal, Süleyman, Akbar, and Shah Jahan

Africa, China, and Japan

  • Describe the growth of European trade with Africa, China, and Japan

  • Understand the impact of New World exploration on the development of a transatlantic slave trade

  • Locate the kingdoms of Benin, China, and Japan on a map

  • Recognize that both China and Japan closed themselves to the west in this period

  • Identify key places, dynasties, people, and products of the three areas: Benin, brass work, the Niger River, Beijing, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Ming Dynasty, silk and porcelain, the Tokugawa shogunate, and Francis Xavier

England's Golden Age and Beyond

  • Identify the reign of Elizabeth I as a golden age, or time of cultural and political flourishing

  • Describe England as an increasingly strong nation-state under Elizabeth I

  • Identify Spain as England's main rival

  • State that England began to explore and colonize North America

  • Identify Shakespeare as England's most famous bard

  • Recognize historic English concern for defense of liberties in quarrel with James I and the Glorious Revolution

The America They Found and Founded

  • Recognize that different cultures inhabited North America before the arrival of Europeans

  • List the Pacific Northwest, desert, Plains, and Eastern Woodland peoples as major cultures, and describe some of their skills and abilities

  • Describe various motivations of the English who came to the New World World (for example, gold, religious freedom, land, and freedom from imprisonment)

  • Explain that many people with maverick ideas came to the British colonies in North America

  • Identify key figures and events in early settlement: John Smith, Pilgrims, Puritans, William Penn, Quakers, James Calvert, Catholics, and James Oglethorpe

  • Identify the physical and human characteristics of places

  • Recognize the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on the earth's surface

  • Observe the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement

  • Understand how physical systems affect human systems

  • Learn how to apply geography to interpret the past

The American Revolution

  • Describe the North American colonies as proud of their English heritage of liberty

  • Explain that American colonists had made laws for the colonies in their own assemblies

  • Explain why American patriots believed that being taxed by Parliament was an attack on their liberty

  • Identify key events and figures in the American Revolution: Paul Revere's ride; the battle of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill; the Declaration of Independence; winter at Valley Forge; French aid; Yorktown; George Washington; John Adams; and Thomas Jefferson

  • Describe the result of the American Revolution as independence from England and the formation of a modern republic

America: Present to Past

  • Discover the geography of the original thirteen colonies


4th Grade:


Course Overview

Concluding their investigation (spanning grades 1–4) into history from the Stone Age to the Space Age, fourth grade students turn to the study of the modern world. They will:

  • Learn about the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, and meet Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin

  • Become familiar with James Madison and American constitutional government, as well as Napoleon in France

  • Learn about various revolutions in Latin America

  • See how great changes—nationalism, industrialism, and imperialism—shaped, and sometimes shattered, the modern world, leading to the two world wars

  • Study many inventors and innovators who achieved great advances in communication, transportation, medicine, and government

Course Outline

Finding Your Way Around the World

  • Maps, Scales, and Finding Our Place

  • The Shape of the Land

  • Grids Show the Way

Introducing the Modern World: The Scientific Revolution

  • What's So Modern About the Modern World?

  • William Harvey Gets to the Heart of Things

  • What's Under That Microscope?

  • A Fly on the Ceiling: The Story of Cartesian Coodinates

  • Young Isaac Newton

  • A New Kind of Knight

  • Curious Ben Franklin

  • Diderot's Revolutionary Encyclopedia

Two Democratic Revolutions

  • John Locke Spells Out the Laws of Good Government

  • Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence

  • James Madison and the US Constitution

  • George Washington and the American Presidency

  • The US Constitution: Three Branches of Government

  • The US Constitution: Checks and Balances

  • Rumblings of Revolution in France

  • Storming the Bastille!

  • Farewell, Louis XVI: From Monarchy to Republic

  • The Terror

  • The Rise of Napoleon

  • Washington's Farewell: Stay Out of Europe's Wars

  • Napoleon: Lawgiver and Emperor

  • Waterloo!

Latin American Revolutions

  • Haiti Went First: Toussaint L'Ouverture

  • Spanish America and Seeds of Independence

  • Miguel Hidalgo: Father of Mexican Independence

  • Simón Bolivar: The Liberator

  • Liberating the South: San Martíin and O'Higgins

The Industrial Revolution

  • James Hargreaves and the Spinning Jenny

  • James Watt and the Steam Engine

  • Fulton and McAdam: A Revolution in Transportation

  • Americans Climb Aboard

  • The First Factories

  • Capitalism and New Wealth

  • Charles Dickens: From Boy to Author

  • Karl Marx in London

  • The Great Exhibition

The Growth of Nations

  • A New Kind of Czar: Peter the Great

  • Catherine the Great

  • Nicholas Nixes Change

  • Greece Against the Ottoman Empire

  • The New American Nationalism

  • One Nation or Two?

  • The Civil War Makes One Nation

  • Lincoln's Leadership

  • The Brothers Grimm in Germany

  • Bismark Unites Germany

  • Garibaldi Fights for a United Italy

  • The Olympics Revived

The Age of Imperialism

  • Livingstone and Stanley in Africa

  • The French and the Suez Canal

  • Rudyard Kipling: Author and Advocate for Empire

  • Germany's "Place in the Sun”

  • "A Splendid Little War”: The Spanish-American War

Can Do! An Age of Breakthroughs and Enterprise

  • Louis Pasteur

  • Speeding It Up: Telegraphs, Sewing Machines, and Typewriters

  • The Wizard of Menlo Park: Thomas Edison

  • Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone

  • Carnegie and Steel

  • Mr. Eiffel Builds a Tower

  • Henry Ford Makes Cars Affordable

  • Marconi and the Radio

  • First in Flight: Orville and Wilbur Wright

  • The Panama Canal

Mostly Hard Times: War, the Roaring 20s, and Depression

  • The Great War Begins

  • In Flanders Fields

  • Lafayette, We Are Here!

  • Dashed Hopes

  • Russia's Dethroned and Lenin Rising

  • From Lenin to Stalin

  • American Women Get the Vote

  • The Roaring 20s

  • Charles Lindbergh and Advances in Flight

  • Fleming and Penicillin: Advances in Medicine

  • The Great Depression

World War II

  • The Rise of Dictators

  • Hitler's Gamble

  • Nazi Blitzkrieg and Axis Expansion

  • Churchill Leads Embattled Britain

  • The Holocaust

  • Pearl Harbor and United States Entry into the War

  • D-Day, and Victory in Europe

  • The Atomic Bomb and V-J Day

Rebuilding a Better World

  • Lending a Hand with the Marshall Plan

  • Formation of the United Nations

  • End of Empires: Gandhi in India

  • The Cold War and the Berlin Wall

  • Mao Zedong in China

  • Defeating Polio

  • A Computer Revolution

  • We Will Go to the Moon

  • A Polish Pope and Eastern Europe

  • The End of the Cold War


5th Grade:


American History A:


Course Overview

The first half of a detailed two-year survey of the history of the United States, this course takes students from the arrival of the first people in North America through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Lessons integrate topics in geography, civics, and economics. Building on the award-winning series A History of US, the course guides students through critical episodes in the story of America. Students investigate Native American civilizations; follow the path of European exploration and colonization; assess the causes and consequences of the American Revolution; examine the Constitution and the growth of the new nation; and analyze what led to the Civil War and its aftermath.

Course Outline

The Earliest Americans

  • History and A History of US

  • Maps and Directions

  • Grids (optional)

  • North American Beginnings

  • Cliff Dwellers

  • Indians of the Northwest

  • Touring the Continent

  • The Plains Indians

  • The Mound Builders

  • The Eastern Woodland Indians

European Exploration

  • Navigating Uncharted Waters

  • Discovering New Lands

  • Columbus Journeys On

  • The Spanish Conquest

  • Ponce de León and Coronado

  • More Conquistadors

  • The French Explore America

  • From England to America

Thirteen Colonies, Part 1

  • A Beginning in Virginia

  • John Smith and Jamestown

  • Tobacco and Turning Points

  • Conflict

  • Pilgrims and Promises

  • What’s a Puritan?

  • Waterways or Waterwheels

  • Thankful for Feasting (optional)

Thirteen Colonies, Part 2

  • Breaks with Tradition: Roger Williams

  • Breaks with Tradition: Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer

  • Visiting Salem

  • Elsewhere in New England

  • The Middle Colonies

  • Toleration Triumphs

  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Renaissance Man

  • Colonization Heads South

  • A Visit to Williamsburg (optional)

  • Colonial Life in the South

  • Triangles of Trade

Road to Revolution

  • Peter’s Press (optional)

  • The French and Indian War

  • Looking West

  • Boone Went Over the Mountain (optional)

  • The Stamp of English Rights

  • Give Us Liberty!

  • The Boston Massacre

  • The Shot Heard Round the World

  • Map Skills

  • A Continental Congress

  • The Fighting Begins

  • Will You Sign? 

  • Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The American Revolution

  • John and Abigail Adams

  • Decisions

  • Best Friends

  • Challenges for the Continental Army

  • Turning Points

  • Sweet Surrender

  • What Did It All Mean?

The Constitution

  • Confederation and Constitutions

  • The Northwest Ordinance

  • Thomas Jefferson: A Man for All Time

  • James Madison and a Philadelphia Summer

  • An Important Compromise

  • We the People

  • Ratification!

  • Mason Makes His Mark (optional)

  • The Constitution: Branches and Balances

  • The Constitution: What Does It Say?

  • The Bill of Rights

A New Nation

  • The Father of His Country and Ours

  • The Well Resorted Tavern

  • Parties and Change

  • Capital Ideas

  • Adams Takes the Helm

  • Who Will Decide?

  • The Louisiana Purchase and More

  • An Expedition

  • A Powerful Orator, and the Great Tekamthi (optional)

  • Another War!

  • By the Dawn's Early Light

  • The Monroe Doctrine

  • Andrew Jackson: An Uncommon Man

  • The First Six Presidents (optional)

A New Age and New Industries

  • Revolutionary Inventions

  • Transportation and Travel

  • Steaming

  • Cities Grow All Around

  • Mills and Mines

  • Writing a Document-Based Essay

Americans Take New Land

  • Write On, Sequoyah!

  • Trails of Tears

  • Movement and Migration

  • Westward Ho!

  • Shakers and Movers

  • Don't Forget to Write (optional)

  • Manifest Destinies

  • Remember More Than the Alamo

  • More and More States

  • The Mexican War

  • Rushing for Gold

Reform and Reflection

  • Reforming a Nation

  • Achieving Their Potential

  • Writing in America

  • Write Every Time (optional)

  • Art in America

  • Made in America (optional)

Slavery and Sectionalism

  • Slavery in a Free Country

  • Can a Compromise Work?

  • Frederick Douglass: A Voice Against Slavery

  • Clay, Calhoun, and Webster Speak Out

  • Another Compromise

  • Where is Justice?

  • Not Really a Railroad Underground

  • More on the Underground Railroad (optional)

  • Is It Ever Okay? (optional)

  • Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Against Slavery: John Brown

  • Abraham Lincoln: Larger Than Life

The Civil War

  • An Uncivil War

  • It Begins

  • North Versus South

  • Generals North and South

  • The War Moves Out to Sea

  • Through the Eyes of Mathew Brady (optional)

  • Proclaiming Emancipation

  • Fighting More Than a War

  • Gettysburg and Vicksburg

  • Important Words

  • Almost Over

  • Hope and Sorrow


  • Tragedy

  • Now What?

  • High Hopes

  • Guarantees

  • Write About It

  • New Era, New President

  • Executive Efforts

  • Legislative Labors

  • Single-Minded Stevens

  • A President on Trial

  • Turning Back

6th Grade:


American History B:


Course Overview

The second half of a detailed two-year survey of the history of the United States, this course takes students from the westward movement of the late 1800s to the present. Lessons integrate topics in geography, civics, and economics. Building on the award-winning series A History of US, the course guides students through critical episodes in the story of America. Students examine the impact of the settlement of the American West; investigate the social, political, and economic changes that resulted from industrialization; explore the changing role of the U.S. in international affairs from the late 19th century through the end of the Cold War; and trace major events and trends in the United States from the Cold War through the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Course Outline

Changing and Growing

  • Introduction

  • Westward Ho!

  • A Cowboy’s Life

  • Rails

  • Homesteading

  • Losing a Way of Life

  • Sorrow

Crusaders, Newcomers, and Innovators

  • Corruption and Crusaders

  • Mark His Words

  • New Arrivals

  • Barring the Doors

  • Wyoming Wins

  • Don’t Citizens Vote?

  • Finding and Organizing Information

  • Writing the Essay

  • Separate But Unequal

  • Courage

  • Differing Views

Politics, Power, and the People

  • Getting and Giving

  • Mountains of Money

  • How Much Is Too Much?

  • Building Up

  • In Office

  • A Third Party

  • Money Matters

  • Money Debates

  • A Grand Campaign

  • All Americans?

Making Things Better

  • Changes at Work

  • Samuel Gompers

  • Mother Jones

  • Raking Muck

  • Tackling Trusts

  • Citizen of the Earth

  • Woman of Peace

  • How Close Are We?

  • Progressing

Writing an Essay

  • Choosing a Topic

  • Choosing a Position

  • Writing the Essay

Entering a New Century

  • Born to Run

  • Wanting War

  • Wanting More

  • Our Youngest President

  • Our Biggest President

  • Professor President

  • Entangled in War

  • Ending War

A Fascinating Era

  • Amending Behavior

  • Doubling Voters

  • Seeing Red

  • The Twenties

  • The Jazz Age 60

  • More Jazz

  • Jazzing Things Up

  • Tell Us What It Means

  • Boom and Bust

  • Suffering

  • Democracy in Danger

Hard Times

  • Young Franklin

  • A Woman of Courage

  • Polio and Politics

  • A Powerful President

  • The Government Grows

  • Choosing a Topic

  • Forming a Thesis

  • Completing the Essay Outline

  • Writing the First Draft

  • Writing the Final Draft

The Second World War

  • Dictating Disaster

  • Hatred in Action

  • Why War?

  • War

  • Who Was Who?

  • Democracy Defended

  • Democracy Denied

  • Strategies

  • The Beginning of the End

  • Closing In

  • End of an Era

  • End of War

  • A Beginning

Recovery, Reaction, Reform

  • New Challenges

  • New Leadership

  • Fighting Bad Ideas

  • Despite the Polls

  • Seeing Red Again

  • Hunting Reds

  • The Nifty Fifties

  • New Ways of Live

  • Trouble Abroad

  • Playing for Change

  • Breaking Barriers

  • Champions of Change

  • Child Champions

A Turbulent Time

  • JFK

  • Crises

  • Time to Act

  • A Tragic Transition

  • The Great Society

  • Still Not Equal

  • More Guns Than Butter

  • Conflict Within Conflict

  • Women Speak Out

  • Moving North

  • Migrants

  • Hope and Hatred

  • Victories and Violence

Not So Long Ago

  • Marching to a Different Beat

  • The Nixon Era

  • Writing Wrongs

  • Presidential Times

  • Where in the World?

  • Who Are We Now?

Into the Twenty-first Century

  • A Complicated Election

  • Terrible Challenges

  • Grave Decisions

  • Natural Disaster

  • Election Firsts

  • Then and Now

  • States and Capitals Review


7th Grade:


Intermediate World History A:


Course Overview

Intermediate World History A surveys the story of the human past from the period before written records, prehistory, through the fourteenth century. The course is organized chronologically and, within broad eras, regionally. The course focus is the story of the human past and change over time, including the development of religion, philosophy, the arts, and science and technology. Geography concepts and skills are introduced as they appear in the context of the historical narrative. Students explore what archaeologists and historians have learned about the earliest hunter-gatherers and farmers and then move to a study of the four river valley civilizations. After a brief writing unit, they study the origins of Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism and the eras in which they developed. The second half of the course traces the story of classical Greece and Rome, the Byzantine Empire, the origins of Christianity and Islam, and then continues through the fourteenth century in Europe, North Africa, and East Asia. Historical thinking skills are a key component of Intermediate World History. Students practice document and art analysis, conduct research, and write in a variety of formats. They also practice map reading skills and look at how historians draw conclusions about the past as well as what those conclusions are.

Course Outline

History: The Map of Time

History is the study of the human past--the story of change over time. It is a story based on evidence. Our physical world is the setting that helps shape the story, real people are its heroes, and time and space are its anchors. Historians ask questions about all of these elements. How did the Egyptians build pyramids? When and where did democracy begin? Why are most of the world's great cities located on rivers? Join our odyssey through history. The questions are endless, and the answers amazing.

  • History and You

  • When?

  • Where?

  • Maps, Maps, Maps

  • Thinking Geographically

From Gathering to Growing

Imagine finding food, clothes, and shelter if there were no stores, factories, or farms. Long ago, everyone constantly struggled to survive. Today, in much of the world, only a few people produce food; most are involved in other activities. We create cities, art, and governments—all part of civilization. But what is civilization? How did it begin? How do we know what happened before people kept records? Historians and archaeologists help answer these and thousands of other questions.

  • How Long Is Long?

  • Pre-History: Hunter Gatherers and Cave Dwellers

  • Cave Paintings: What do we Know About Lascaux?

  • From Nomad to Farmer

  • Leaping Forward

The Mesopotamian Moment

Agriculture, a system of writing, the wheel, and written law all developed in one small area of the world—Mesopotamia. How do we know? We have solid evidence. As archaeologists and historians continue to work in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, our knowledge grows and changes. People a century ago knew only a fraction of what you will know about Mesopotamia. Archaeological digs and written records tell us how early people lived and worked.

  • How Do We Know?

  • Finding Sumer

  • Cities of Sumer

  • Growing Trade

  • Ideas about the Gods

  • A Ziggurat to the Gods

  • Writing it Down

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh

  • Sumer No More

  • Sargon: A Mighty Ruler

  • Hammurabi's Code

  • Nebuchadnezzar Builds

Civilization Spreads

What is the recipe for civilization? Start with water and good soil. When you figure out how to grow plenty of crops, divert some attention to other activities. Divide up the work. Start by building villages and places to store your surplus food, and then cities. Spend some time inventing a system of writing and make laws. All these ingredients first combined in Sumer, but civilizations soon sprang up in three other river valleys. Was it a good recipe? Do any of these civilizations still exist?

  • A River Rules

  • Building Power and Pyramids

  • Life in Ancient Egypt

  • Life in Ancient Egypt

  • Significant Pharaohs

  • Ramses II: Conqueror and Builder

  • Thinking About Egypt

  • By the Banks of the Indus

  • Remarkable Cities

  • Civilization Along the Yellow and Yangtze

  • The Silk People

  • Writing and Ruling

  • Mapping

Writing About the Past

It is time to use what you have learned. Historians often compare and contrast new information with what they already know. You will do the same. How were the early river valley civilizations alike? How were they different?

Write an essay to express your thoughts.

  • Think Before You Write

  • Writing

Some Lasting Ideas

People have always wondered how the world came to be and how it works. Their wonderful curiosity led to ideas and insights that have survived through the ages. Almost a billion people practice Hinduism today. Another half billion follow the teachings of Buddha. Confucianism endures in East Asia and elsewhere. How did people form these belief systems? Why have they lasted so long?

  • A Wise Teacher

  • Relationships and Rulers

  • Who Made a Difference?

  • Qin Shi Huangdi Unites China

  • The Han

  • The Origins of Hinduism

  • The Hindu View

  • The Enlightened One

  • A Search for Goodness

More Lasting Ideas

Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism played enormous roles in the development of ancient and modern Asian thought and culture. Western civilization came primarily from the Hebrews and Greeks. The Hebrews introduced enduring ideas about monotheism, justice, law, and morality. The Greeks celebrated people's ability to reason and decipher the mysteries of the world. Where did the Hebrews and the Greeks get their ideas?

  • Monotheism Takes Hold

  • Covenants

  • The Law

  • Kings

  • Renewing Their Faith

  • Another Land

  • Gods in Ancient Greece

  • The Gift of Reason

  • Stories and Games

  • Arts and Histories

  • The Polis

  • Telling Tales

Write Again

The ancient Greeks were truly amazing. They made lasting contributions to science, mathematics, art, literature, government, philosophy, and more. Do some research on the Greeks and report your findings in a well-written essay.

  • Preparing to Write

  • Organizing Thoughts

  • Writing

  • Semester Review and Geography Assessment

  • Semester Assessment

Classical Greece

The Greeks valued serious thought and individual effort, and the results were remarkable. The Greeks gave us philosophy, art, theater, and the concept of democracy. What made such accomplishments possible? Climate, terrain, war, individuals, and even diseases played a role. If any of these factors had been different, history might have taken another course.

  • Classically Different Ways of Life

  • Athens

  • An Empire Threatens

  • Free to Flourish

  • A Golden Time

  • Art and Architecture

  • The Play's the Thing

  • The Decline of Athens

  • Different Perspectives

  • Three Great Thinkers

  • Alexander the Great

Rome: Republic and Empire

The Greeks were great innovators, but the Romans built an empire on the ideas of others. We can see Roman influences even today. People still walk on Roman roads and get water from Roman aqueducts. Many modern languages have their roots in Latin—the language of Rome. The Roman Republic's form of government— representative democracy—enjoys an ever-growing influence in the world. And Christianity, born in a Roman.

Intermediate World History A: Prehistory Through the Middle Ages province and finally adopted by the Empire, has spread to all corners of the world.

  • A Republic Is Born

  • Celebrating Citizenship

  • Fighting for Power

  • Julius Caesar

  • From Republic to Empire

  • The Real Rome

  • Learning Something New Everyday: Pompeii

  • Rome and Judea

  • Jesus of Nazareth

  • A New Religion

  • Conflicts for Christians

  • Empire in Crisis

  • Barbarians at the Gate

  • Who Were They?

  • Legacies


The glory of Rome faded in Western Europe, but it remained strong in the East. The Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire, blended Greco-Roman and western Asian cultures to create its own splendor. The Byzantine Empire flourished for more than seven centuries. South of the empire, a new religion grew up on the Arabian Peninsula, and spread quickly as its followers forged a powerful empire. Why did Islam spread so quickly along the trade routes of North Africa? What lured traders to cities like Timbuktu?

  • Byzantine Beauty

  • Justinian and Theodora

  • The Origins of Islam

  • Islam Emerges

  • Religion and Empire

  • Scholars and Storytellers

  • More Mapping

  • Mapping Africa

  • Gold and Salt

  • A Man Called Mansa Musa

In Western Europe

As the Roman Empire declined, barbarians invaded Western Europe. How did people survive this dangerous time? What did Europeans do without powerful governments to maintain the old roads and protect villages? Lords built self-sufficient manors and armies to defend them. The church expanded its power into civic life. Christians traveled east and fought wars with Muslims over sacred cities. Eventually, new systems of government developed new ideas about power and justice.

  • Where to Turn?

  • Monasteries Carry On

  • Charlemagne

  • Viking Ventures

  • Gods and Leaders

  • The Structure of Medieval Society

  • Manors

  • Christendom

  • Building on Faith

  • Cultures in Conflict

  • Monarchs

  • New Ideas of Justice

  • Limiting Power

From East Asia to Western Europe Again

China, the longest continuous civilization in the world, entered a golden age under the Tang dynasty. The Chinese produced exceptional poetry, paintings, and porcelain. Inventions like the compass and fireworks would change the world. Even when fierce Mongol invaders took over China's government and, for a time, ruled the largest empire in the world, Chinese civilization lived on. Meanwhile in Europe, wars and plague brought calamity and change.

  • A New Dynasty

  • Changing the Earth

  • A Golden Age

  • Remarkable Achievements

  • The Mongols

  • Conquering Khans

  • A World Traveler

  • How Many Years of War?

  • Plague

Seeking the Silk Road

You have seen how goods and ideas spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and back again along important trade routes like the Silk Road. You have looked at people and places in many parts of the world. You have also learned about the work of archaeologists and historians and studied the connections between history and geography. Now it is time to pull together what you have learned and explore a topic in greater detail in a final research project.

  • Summing Up

  • The Big Picture

  • Trade, Trade, Trade

  • Finding Information

  • Finding More Information

  • Showing What You've Learned

  • Writing About What You've Learned

  • Writing Well


Congratulations! You have almost finished the course. To Intermediate World History A: Prehistory Through the Middle Ages wrap up World History, read some conclusions about the world before 1400 and draw some conclusions of your own. Then, demonstrate your knowledge in the Year-End Assessment.

  • Conclusions

  • Review

  • Review

  • Review


8th Grade:


Intermediate World History B:


Course Overview

Continuing a survey of World History from prehistoric to modern times, K12 online lessons and assessments complement the second volume of The Human Odyssey, a textbook series developed and published by K12. This course focuses on the story of the past from the fourteenth century to 1917 and the beginning of World War I. The course is organized chronologically and, within broad eras, regionally. Lessons explore developments in religion, philosophy, the arts, and science and technology.

The course introduces geography concepts and skills as they appear in the context of the historical narrative. Major topics of study include:

  • The cultural rebirth of Europe in the Renaissance

  • The Reformation and Counter-Reformation

  • The rise of Islamic empires

  • Changing civilizations in China, Japan, and Russia

  • The Age of Exploration, and the civilizations that had been flourishing in the Americas for hundreds of years prior to encounters with Europeans

  • The changes that came with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment

  • Democratic revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

  • The Industrial Revolution and its consequences

  • Nineteenth century nationalism and imperialism

  • The remarkable transformations in communications and society at the turn of the twentieth century

Course Outline


History is the study of the human past—the story of change over time. It is a story based on evidence. Our physical world is the setting that helps shape the story, and real people are its heroes. Historians ask questions about all of these elements. Why did Europeans of the Middle Ages build cathedrals? How did the shoguns of Japan maintain their power? What inspired explorers to set sail across the seas? Join our odyssey through history. The questions are endless, the answers, amazing.

  • Getting Started

A Renaissance Begins in Europe

Most Europeans lost touch with classical Greece and Rome in the centuries after the fall of the Roman empire. They lost touch with each other and with Asia when trade declined. But in Italy, there were constant reminders of what had been. People used stones from the Colosseum to build their homes. They walked beneath great aqueducts, and scholars still read classical works. When the plague subsided and trade picked up in the fourteenth century, Italian artists, scholars, and authors were ready to try out new ideas, and there were merchants who could afford to help them. We know this period of enormous achievement as the Renaissance.

  • Europe Reborn: Discovering Greece and Rome

  • Cities Spur Change

  • Genius in Florence

  • Rome Revived

The Spread of New Ideas

The Renaissance was not limited to Italy, and it was not limited to new styles of art and literature. Ideas spread north from Italy and artists and thinkers across Northern Europe used those ideas to create their own distinct styles. Renaissance ideas spread into other fields as well. Ideas that we take for granted today in politics and religion came about during the Renaissance. Machiavelli questioned the political world, while Luther and Calvin questioned the practices and beliefs of the Christian Church and the Church examined itself. Europe and the world would never be the same.

  • The Renaissance Beyond Italy

  • The Reformation Splits Christendom

  • The Counter-Reformation and Beyond

New Powers in Asia

While European culture grew and redefined itself, political and cultural changes occurred in Asia, too. Almost every part of Asia had suffered hardship during Mongol rule. Now, each region developed its own political and cultural identity. Great Muslim empires rose in Western and Southern Asia, and the religious differences within Islam led to political conflict in some places. Farther east in China, the Ming dynasty achieved greatness and supported tremendous cultural accomplishment. In Japan, a feudal system maintained control. And in Russia, rulers borrowed cultural ideas that would become distinctly Russian.

  • Three Islamic Empires

  • Ming China and Feudal Japan

  • Russia Rising

Europe Seeks Asia and Meets the Americas

Asia had much to offer and Europeans knew it. But how could they get the spices, silks, porcelain, and all the rest? The Ottomans controlled the ancient Silk Road, and it was terribly dangerous to travel through mountains and deserts anyway. But what if ships could sail to Asia and back again? New ship design and new navigation aids might make such trips possible. The race was on. The explorers and those who sent them knew what they were after. They had no idea that they would actually find whole worlds unknown to them. At the same time, the people of the powerful empires across the seas knew nothing of Europe or Asia or Africa. They had no idea what was about to happen.

  • Portugal and Spain Explore, and the Age of Exploration

  • Filling in the Map

  • Old Civilizations

Exploration Changes the World

Gold, glory, and God. The Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors and their sponsors knew what their goals were, and they were willing to go to great lengths to achieve them. Guns and germs helped them defeat two great empires. But the conquistadors could not have predicted the long-term and often unintended consequences of their actions. Farming changed on three continents. Diets changed. Thousands of people willingly crossed the oceans to start new lives. Millions were kidnapped and forced to cross the oceans as slaves. And millions more died of disease and abuse. We still feel the consequences today.

  • Clash of Civilizations

  • The Spanish and Portuguese Empires

  • The Columbian Exchange

  • Songhai, Benin, and the New Slave Trade

Changing Empires, Changing Ideas

Elizabeth I was quite a woman and quite a ruler. One of England’s most powerful monarchs, she had an entire age named for her, and the explorations she sponsored led to the colonies that became the United States. But England faced difficult times after Elizabeth, and a political revolution there meant that no English monarch would ever again have so much power. At the same time, a revolution in science changed the way people think and started “modern times.” Have you ever examined something to find out more about it? Or conducted a small experiment? Do you believe you can figure a lot of things out for yourself by using your mind? Then you are part of an enlightened age.

  • Elizabethan England and North American Initiatives

  • England: Civil War and Empire

  • The Scientific Revolution

  • The Enlightenment: An Age of Reason


The world changed in many ways between 1300 and 1800. Think of all that happened and all the people who influenced what happened. Which individual had the most influence on the way people thought, particularly in Europe? Could it have been Leonardo da Vinci? Or Johannes Gutenberg? How about Martin Luther, or John Locke, or Isaac Newton? Prepare to choose someone who interests you as a topic for research and writing.

  • Writing from Research

Age of Democratic Revolutions

England’s revolution was just the beginning. Educated people in many places read and thought about what had happened in England and what John Locke had said about the purpose of government. They gathered in French salons to discuss politics as well as philosophy and art. And the more they thought about it, the more they grew dissatisfied with the status quo—the way things were. In British colonies like Virginia and Massachusetts, in France, in the Spanish colonies of Latin America, and even in Russia, the time had come for change. A revolution is just that—a dramatic change—and the world was about to witness a series of revolutions. How many would succeed? How difficult would they be?

  • The World Turned Upside Down: The American Revolution

  • The French Revolution

  • Napoleon: From Revolution to Empire

  • Latin American Independence Movements

  • The Russia of the Romanovs

Revolutions in Arts, Industries, and Work

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw remarkable political revolutions. But not all revolutions are about government. In the midst of the political changes taking place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there were revolutions taking place in arts and industries, in economics, and in communication and transportation, too. Everyday life may have changed more between 1750 and 2000 than in all the human history before that. Much of that change gave people longer lives and less labor. But some of it brought human misery and indescribable hardship—problems the world is still trying to solve.

  • Romantic Art in an Age of Revolution

  • Britain Begins the Industrial Revolution

  • A Revolution in Transportation and Communication

  • Hard Times

  • Slavery in a Modern World

Picturing Your Thoughts

A picture is worth a thousand words. So, what is a whole collage of pictures worth? When you put it together thoughtfully, a collage can speak volumes and even prove a point.

  • Picturing Your Thoughts

Nations Unite and Expand

Can you name the nations of Europe? If you thought of Italy and Germany as two of them, you would be right. But that was not true 150 years ago. As old as their cultures and histories are, Italy and Germany are fairly young as unified nations. The United States had to fight to be unified 150 years ago, too. But once those issues were settled, there was time for enormous innovation. A new industrial revolution occurred, and it resulted in both astonishing inventions and a need for raw materials and markets. A new race started; this one for empire.

  • Growing Nationalism in Italy and Germany

  • The United States Fights and Unites

  • Age of Innovation

  • The New Imperialism

Answers and Questions

People of the nineteenth century were confident that they could change things for the better. So, when cities grew too fast and workers lived there in filth, it was time to take action. Scientists worked on disease. City governments worked on sanitation. Industrial workers organized unions to gain better conditions, and women demanded a voice. Writers and artists looked for answers to serious questions, too, as did musicians. And entrepreneurs—business leaders with vision—saw the cities and the people in them in a whole new way.

  • Organizing for Change

  • Reaching Millions

  • Culture Shocks

  • Remarkable Individuals

The Dawn of the Twentieth Century

The world seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as the twentieth century opened. Canals made travel from one part of the world to another faster and safer. Soon, people would be traveling at unimaginable speeds through the air, as well. And ideas about who people are and what rights they have brought people together in their demands for self-rule. In Southeastern Europe, in Central Europe, in India, and in China and parts of Africa, people developed a sense of nationalism, identity with their own country. And they demanded the freedom to throw off the old empires and rule themselves.

  • Rising Expectations in Waning Empires

  • Linking the Seas and Reaching for the Skies

  • Wrapping Up

End-of-Course Review and Assessment

Congratulations! You have almost finished the course. To wrap up World History, read some conclusions about the world between 1400 and 1917, and draw some conclusions of your own. Then, demonstrate your knowledge in the Year-End Assessment.

  • Review

  • Assessment

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