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World History Syllabus 

7th Grade World History Syllabus

Dennis Renner

World History and Geography: The Middle Ages to the Exploration of the Americas

Course Description: Seventh grade students will explore the social, cultural, geographical, political and technological changes that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire and in Medieval Europe. Students will also study the period from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, including the Islamic world, Africa, China, and Japan, but with a heavier emphasis on western civilization in Europe during the Renaissance and Reformation. Students will compare and contrast the history and geography of civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout these continents during medieval times. They will examine the growth in economic interactions among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. Students will learn about the resulting spread of Enlightenment philosophies and the examination of new concepts of reasoning toward religion, government, and science that continue to influence our world today. Students will analyze geography’s influence on the development of these civilizations as they continue their study of world history and geography. Seventh grade students will end the year by examining the Meso-American and Andean civilizations, and the age of European explorations. Appropriate informational texts and primary sources will be used in order to deepen the understanding of how these civilizations influence the modern world.

Thinking Like a Geographer

- Lesson Sequence

1. Geography Skills

2. Maps and Mapping Skills

 

Civilizations

- Lesson Sequence

1. Review Civilizations

2. What is a Civilization?

 

What Does a Historian Do?

- Lesson Sequence

1. What is History?

2. How Does a Historian Work?

3. Researching History

 

Studying Geography, Economics, and Citizenship

- Lesson Sequence

1. Studying Geography

2. Exploring Economics

3. Practicing Citizenship

 

The Decline of the Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman EmpireThe legacy of the Roman Empire and the consequences of the fall of the Roman Empire.

7.1 Analyze the legacy of the Roman Empire. (C, H)

7.2 Summarize the consequences of the fall of the Roman Empire including the continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire as the Byzantine Empire, Justinian and the significance of Constantinople. (C, E, G, H, P).

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Eusebius of Caesarea, "Ecclesiastical History," that describes Constantine

- Lesson Sequence

1. Rome's Decline

2. The Byzantine Empire

 

The Rise of Christianity

7.37 Examine the spread of Christianity north of the Alps and the roles played by the early church and by monasteries in its diffusion after the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire. (C, G, H)

7.38 Analyze the causes, course, and consequences of the European Crusades and their effects on the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish populations in Europe, with emphasis on the increasing contact by Europeans with cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean world. (C, G, H)

7.39 Explain the importance of the Catholic church as a political, intellectual, and aesthetic institution, including founding of universities, political and spiritual roles of the clergy, creation of monastic and mendicant religious orders, preservation of the Latin language and religious texts, Thomas Aquinas’s synthesis of classical philosophy with Christian theology and the concept of “natural law.” (C, H, P)

7.47 Analyze the growth and effects of new ways of disseminating information, ability to manufacture paper, translation of the Bible into vernacular, and printing. (C, H)

7.51 Explain the institution and impact of missionaries on Christianity and the diffusion of Christianity from Europe to other parts of the world in the medieval and early modern periods. (C, G, H)

- Lesson Sequence

1. Early Christianity

2. The Early Church

3. A Christian Europe

 

Islamic Civilization

Islamic World, 400 A.D/C.E. – 1500s

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.

7.3 Identify the physical location and features and the climate of the Arabian Peninsula, its relationship to surrounding bodies of land and water, including Northern Africa, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Nile River. (G)

7.4 Describe the expansion of Muslim rule through conquests and the spread of cultural diffusion of Islam and the Arabic language. (C, E, G, H)

7.5 Trace the origins of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad, including Islam’s historical connections to Judaism and Christianity. (C, H)

7.6 Explain the significance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah as the primary sources of Islamic beliefs, practice, and law and their influence in Muslims’ daily life. (C, H, P)

7.7 Analyze the origins and impact of different sects within Islam, Sunnis and Shi’ites. (C, H)

7.8 Examine and summarize the contributions Muslim scholars made to later civilizations in the areas of science, geography, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, art, and literature. (C, G, H)

7.9 Describe the establishment of trade routes among Asia, Africa, and Europe and the role of merchants in Arab society. (E, G, H)

7.10 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources to examine the art and architecture, including the Taj Mahal during the Mughal period. (C, H)

7.11 Explain the importance of Mehmed II the Conqueror and Suleiman the Magnificent. (H, P)

7.12 Write an explanatory text to describe the Shah Abbas and how his policies of cultural blending led to the Golden Age and the rise of the Safavid Empire. (C, H, P)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from The Hadith, Muhammad; excerpts from The Book of Golden Meadows, Masoudi

- Lesson Sequence

1. A New Faith

2. The Spread of Islam

3. Life in the Islamic World

 

African Civilizations

Africa, 400 A.D./C.E. – 1500s

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.

7.13 Analyze the growth of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai kingdoms including trading centers such as Timbuktu and Jenne, which would later develop into centers of culture and learning. (C, E, G, H, P).

7.14 Draw evidence from informational texts to describe the role of the trans-Saharan caravan trade in the changing religious and cultural characteristics of West Africa and the influence of Islamic beliefs, ethics, and law. (C, E, G, H, P)

7.15 Examine the importance of written and oral traditions in the transmission of African history and culture. (C, H)

7.16 Analyze the importance of family, labor specialization, and regional commerce in the development of states and cities in West Africa. (C, E, G, H, P)

7.17 Explain the importance of Mansa Musa and locate his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. (C, G, H, P)

7.18 Compare the indigenous religious practices observed by early Africans before and after contact with Islam and Christianity. (C, H)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

- Lesson Sequence

1. The Rise of African Civilizations

2. Africa's Governments and Religions

3. African Society and Culture

 

The Americans

- Lesson Sequence

1. The First Americans

2. Life in the Americans

 

Imperial China

China, 400 A.D./C.E. – 1500sStudents analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.

7.19 Create a visual or multimedia display to identify the physical location and major geographical features of China including the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Himalayas, Plateau of Tibet, and the Gobi Desert. (G)

7.20 Describe the reunification of China under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for the cultural diffusion of Buddhism. (C, G, H, P)

7.21 Analyze the role of kinship and Confucianism in maintaining order and hierarchy. (C, H, P)

7.22 Summarize the significance of the rapid agricultural, commercial, and technological development during the Song Dynasties. (C, E, H)

7.23 Trace the spread of Chinese technology to other parts of Asia, the Islamic world, and Europe including papermaking, wood-block printing, the compass and gunpowder. (C, E, G, H)

7.24 Describe and locate the Mongol conquest of China including Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan. (G, H, P)

7.25 Engage effectively in a collaborative discussion describing the development of the imperial state and the scholar-official class (Neo-Confucianism). (C, H, P)

7.26 Draw evidence from informational texts to analyze the contributions made during the Ming Dynasty such as building projects, including the Forbidden City and the reconstruction of the Great Wall , isolationism, and sea voyages. (C, E, H, P)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from The Analects, Confucius

- Lesson Sequence

1. China Reunites

2. Chinese Society

3. The Mongols in China

4. The Ming Dynasty

 

Civilizations of Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia

Japan, 400 A.D./C.E. – 1500s

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.

7.27 Compare the major features of Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion, and Japanese Buddhism. (C, H)

7.28 Explain the influence of China and the Korean peninsula upon Japan as Buddhism, Confucianism, and the Chinese writing system were adopted. (C, G, H)

7.29 Trace the emergence of the Japanese nation during the Nara, 710-794, and the Heian periods, 794-1180. (H, P)

7.30 Describe how the Heian (contemporary Kyoto) aristocracy created enduring Japanese cultural perspectives that are epitomized in works of prose such as The Tale of Genji, one of the world’s first novels. (C, H)

7.31 Analyze the rise of a military society in the late twelfth century and the role of the shogun and samurai in that society. (C, H, P)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from The Tale of Genji

- Lesson Sequence

1. Korea: History and Culture

2. Early Japan

3. Medieval Japan

4. Southeast Asia: History and Culture

 

 

Medieval Europe

Middle Ages in Western Europe, 400 A.D./C.E. – 1500s

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.

7.32 Identify the physical location and features of Europe including the Alps, the Ural Mountains, the North European Plain, and the Mediterranean Sea and the influence of the North Atlantic Drift. (G)

7.33 Describe the development of feudalism and manorialism, its role in the medieval European economy, and the way in which it was influenced by physical geography (the role of the manor and the growth of towns). (C, E, G, H, P)

7.34 Demonstrate understanding of the conflict and cooperation between the Papacy and European monarchs, including Charlemagne, Gregory VII, and Emperor Henry IV. (H, P)

7.35 Examine the Norman Invasion, Battle of Hastings, and the impact of the reign of William the Conqueror on England and Northern France. (H, G, P)

7.36 Conduct a short research project explaining the significance of developments in medieval English legal and constitutional practices and their importance in the rise of modern democratic thought and representative institutions including trial by jury, the common law, Magna Carta, parliament, habeas corpus, and an independent judiciary in England. (H, P)

7.37 Examine the spread of Christianity north of the Alps and the roles played by the early church and by monasteries in its diffusion after the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire. (C, G, H)

7.38 Analyze the causes, course, and consequences of the European Crusades and their effects on the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish populations in Europe, with emphasis on the increasing contact by Europeans with cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean world. (C, G, H)

7.39 Explain the importance of the Catholic church as a political, intellectual, and aesthetic institution, including founding of universities, political and spiritual roles of the clergy, creation of monastic and mendicant religious orders, preservation of the Latin language and religious texts, Thomas Aquinas’s synthesis of classical philosophy with Christian theology and the concept of “natural law.” (C, H, P)

7.40 Describe the economic and social effects of the spread of the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) from Central Asia to China, the Middle East, and Europe, and its impact on the global population. (C, E, G, H)

7.41 Trace the emergence of a modern economy, including the growth of banking, technological and agricultural improvements, commerce, towns, and a merchant class. (C, E, H)

7.42 Outline the decline of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula that culminated in the Reconquista, Inquisition, and the rise of Spanish and Portuguese kingdoms. (C, G, H)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from The Life of Charlemagne: The Emperor Himself, Einhard; selected accounts of the Black Death; excerpts from Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas

- Lesson Sequence

1. The Early Middle Ages

2. Feudalism and the Rise of Towns

3. Kingdoms and Crusades

4. Culture and the Church

5. The Late Middle Ages

 

Renaissance and Reformation

The Renaissance and Reformation

Students analyze the origins, accomplishments, and geographic diffusion of the Renaissance and the historical developments of the Reformation.

7.43 Trace the emergence of the Renaissance, including influence from Moorish (or Muslim) scholars in Spain. (C, H)

7.44 Cite evidence in writing explaining the importance of Florence, Italy and the Medici Family in the early stages of the Renaissance and the growth of independent trading cities, such as Venice, and their importance in the spread of Renaissance ideas. (C, E, G, H)

7.45 Summarize the effects and implications of the reopening of the ancient Silk Road between Europe and China, including Marco Polo’s travels and the location of his routes. (C, E, G, H)

7.46 Describe how humanism led to a revival of classical learning and fostered a new interest in the arts including a balance between intellect and religious faith. (C, H)

7.47 Analyze the growth and effects of new ways of disseminating information, ability to manufacture paper, translation of the Bible into vernacular, and printing. (C, H)

7.48 Outline the advances made in literature, the arts, science, mathematics, cartography, engineering, and the understanding of human anatomy and astronomy, including Leonardo da Vinci (Last Supper, Mona Lisa), Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel, The David), Johann Gutenberg, and William Shakespeare. (C, G, H)

7.49 Gather relevant information from multiple sources about Henry V, Hundreds Year War, and Joan of Arc. (H, G, P)

7.50 Conduct a research project drawing on several resources to investigate the Tudor dynasties of Henry VIII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, including their family heritage, line of succession, religious conflicts, Spanish Armanda, and the rise of English power in Europe. (H, G, P)

7.51 Explain the institution and impact of missionaries on Christianity and the diffusion of Christianity from Europe to other parts of the world in the medieval and early modern periods. (C, G, H)

7.52 Locate and identify the European regions that remained Catholic and those that became Protestant and how the division affected the distribution of religions in the New World. (C, G, H)

7.53 Explain the heightened influence of the Catholic Church, the growth of literacy, the spread of printed books, the explosion of knowledge and the Church’s reaction to these developments. (C, H, P)

7.54 List and explain the significance of the causes for the internal turmoil within and eventual weakening of the Catholic Church including tax policies, selling of indulgences, and England’s break with the Catholic Church. (C, H, P)

7.55 Outline the reasons for the growing discontent with the Catholic Church, including the main ideas of Martin Luther (salvation by faith), John Calvin (predestination), Desiderius Erasmus (free will), and William Tyndale (translating the Bible into English), and their attempts to reconcile what they viewed as God’s word with Church action. (C, H, P)

7.56 Engage effectively in collaborative discussions explaining Protestants’ new practices of church self-government and the influence of those practices on the development of democratic practices and ideas of federalism. (C, H, P)

7.57 Analyze how the Catholic Counter-Reformation revitalized the Catholic Church and the forces that fostered the movement, including St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits, and the Council of Trent. (C, H)

7.58 Identify the voyages of discovery, the locations of the routes (Da Gama, Dias, Magellan), and the influence of cartography in the development of a new worldview. (C, G, H)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from “Ninety-Five Theses”, Martin Luther; excerpts from The Travels of Marco Polo

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from In Praise of Folly, Erasmus; selected pieces from William Shakespeare; excerpts from The Prince, Machiavelli

 

- Lesson Sequence

1. The Renaissance Begins

2. New Ideas and Art

3. The Reformation Begins

4. Catholics and Protestants

 

Age of Exploration and Trade

The Age of Exploration

Students compare and contrast the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures of the Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations. Students analyze reasons for movement of people from Europe to the Americas, describing the impact of exploration by Europeans and American Indians.

7.64 Identify the locations of the Olmecs, Mayans, Aztec, and Incas and explain the impact of the geographical features and climates of Mexico, Central America, and South America on their civilizations. (C, E, G, H, P)

7.65 Describe the highly structured social and political system of the Maya civilization, ruled by kings and consisting of agriculturally intensive centers around independent city-states. (C, H, P)

7.66 Create a graphic organizer or concept map explaining how and where each empire arose (how the Aztec and Incan empires were eventually defeated by the Spanish in the 16th century). (C, G, H, P)

7.67 Explain the roles of peoples in the Aztec and Incan societies, including class structures, family life, warfare, religious beliefs and practices, and slavery. (C, H)

7.68 Use multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to describe the artistic and oral traditions and architecture in the four civilizations (Olmecs, Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations). (C, H)

7.69 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support the analysis of the impacts of the Mesoamerican developments in astronomy and mathematics, including the calendar, and the Mesoamerican knowledge of seasonal changes to the civilizations’ agricultural systems. (C, H)

7.70 Compare the varied economies and trade networks within and among major indigenous cultures prior to contact with Europeans and their systems of government, religious beliefs, distinct territories, and customs and traditions. (C, E, G, H, P)

7.71 Identify the European countries responsible for North American exploration and the modern day countries in which they settled, including France, Spain, England, Portugal, and the Dutch. Summarize the reasons for the success of these countries in colonization or North and South America. (E, G, H, P)

7.72 Analyze why European countries were motivated to explore including religion, political rivalry, and economic gain. (C, E, H, P)

7.73 Identify the voyages of discovery, the locations of the routes, and the influence of technology in the developments of a new European worldview including cartography, compass, caravel, astrolabe. (C, E, G, H, P)

7.74 Examine the impact of the exchanges of plants, animals, technology, culture, ideas, and diseases among Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries and the major economic and social effects on each continent. (C, E, G, H)

7.75 Write an opinion piece with supporting details that describes the effects of exploration on the indigenous American cultures. (C, H)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from the journals of Christopher Columbus

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from Indigenous Peoples of North America, James D. Torr

 

- Lesson Sequence

1. The Age of Exploration

2. Spain's Conquests in the Americas

3. Exploration and Worldwide Trade

 

The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment

The Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution

Students analyze the historical developments of the Scientific Revolution and its lasting effect on religious, political, and cultural institutions. Students analyze political, social, and economic change as a result of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe.

7.59 Describe the roots of the Scientific Revolution based upon Christian and Muslim influences. (C, H)

7.60 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources explaining the significance of new scientific theories, the accomplishments of leading figures including Sir Frances Bacon, Nicolaus Copernicus, Rene Descartes, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Sir Isaac Newton, and new inventions, including the telescope, microscope, thermometer, and barometer. (C, H)

7.61 Trace how the main ideas of the Enlightenment can be traced back to such movements and epochs as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Greeks, the Romans, and Christianity. (C, H, P)

7.62 Describe the accomplishments of major Enlightenment thinkers, including Locke and Charles-Louis Montesquieu. (C, H)

7.63 Explain the origins of modern capitalism, the influence of mercantilism, and the cottage industry; the elements and importance of a market economy in 17th century Europe; the changing international trading and marketing patterns; including their locations on a world map; and the influence of explorers and mapmakers. (C, E, G, H, P)

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Two Treatises of Government, John Locke; excerpts from The Spirit of Law, Montesquieu

- Lesson Sequence

1. The Scientific Revolution

2. The Enlightenment

 

Political and Industrial Revolutions

- Lesson Sequence

1. The American Revolution

2. The French Revolution and Napoleon

3. National and Nation-States

4. The Industrial Revolution

5. Society and Industry

 

Lesson sequence is subject to change upon the discretion of the teacher.

 

 


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