Feedback Wanted: Global History Curriculum Map

(I would love thoughts, feedback, and questions on this from anyone. Thanks! I’m particularly interested in ideas for the “Understandings” and “Essential Questions.”)

Below is a draft of our curriculum map for an 11th Grade Global History & Geography course I’ll be teaching in the fall. This was a full team effort with the two other Global teachers, Rachel and Anissa.

Students completed an integrated US/Global 20th Century History class in 10th grade; it is our responsibility to teach them the rest of Global History to prepare them for the NY Global History & Geography Regents Exam at the end of the year. With the exceptions of the National History Day Unit and the Regents Review Unit, we organized the course thematically around the themes of Geography, Belief Systems, Golden Ages, Revolutions (with a primary emphasis on the French), and Colonialism/Imperialism.

Two notes of explanation:

  1. The language for the maps is based on Understanding by Design
  2. One school-wide practice at our school is the use of Gateway Assessments. There are two gateways per quarter, one of which must be a project.  Gateways are necessary and sufficient for earning course credit, so long as attendance requirements are met.

8 thoughts on “Feedback Wanted: Global History Curriculum Map

  1. Looking at Unit 4, skills/abilities section:

    The skills you’ve identified here seem (at least to me at first glance) to focus on primary-source handling. In my admittedly-limited experience, I’ve seen many problems as well with students’ ability to process secondary sources, particularly in terms of critically analyzing them and being prepared to challenge their veracity.

    The caveat being that I don’t know how relevant this is to your particular curriculum or to the Regents exams.


  2. good stuff… i like the thematic approach…being a bit unfamiliar w/ny details, policie, standards, etc. (i’m nj) there isn’t too much i can say…but it’s got diversity of approach, good design – can’t say i’d change anything w/o a closer reading


  3. Thanks, Daniel and Brian.

    @Daniel – that is a whole in the stated skills. I do much more work with primary documents than secondary documents, but it probably should be in there.


  4. Hi, the curriculum looks pretty good, but just curious as to what the student’s history background is. I graduated from an NYS school in 2008 and we did things a bit differently, 9th grade global neolithic revolution-c. 1783 (ended just before french rev), 10th grade global c. 1700 (enlightenment/absolutism review)- Present, and then 11th grade was APUSH or Regents US.

    In response to Daniel, it’s unfortunate but in high school we didn’t do much with primary sources except for DBQ docs. I think the extend to which you need to stress them has to do with the background of they students, my high school, for example, had tracking to primary sources were something the honors students worked on more, maybe less with regents.

    One rather random suggestion from a college history major, however. I’m not sure if it was a regent’s flaw or my 10th grade teacher’s flaw, but we completely skipped the revolutions of 1848, something that I have found a problem. Thanks!


    1. Sarah – a lot of good points. Thanks for your thoughts.

      What you did is the traditional approach (I’m assuming with Government and Econ in 12th Grade), and what my school did for its first three years. We’re now in the third year of transitioning in a new sequence. We have students do Government and US History through 1877 in 9th grade, an integrated course in 10th grade that combines US History since 1877 with Global History since 1884 (The Berlin Conference being the start), so that is the background to which they come to my class. I teach in the Bronx, where many, if not most, of my students, read and write well below grade level. About 25% of my students are also recent immigrants, so English is a real struggle (even for my West Indian students, who while verbally fluent, typically have very limited written English experience). Passing the Regents is a real challenge and struggle for most of my students.

      I do do a lot of work with primary sources. In fact, I don’t really use a textbook at all. I worry sometimes that I go too far in the direction your describing – not by not using textbooks, but by not emphasizing the analytical skills necessary to critically read secondary sources.

      And yeah – the Revolutions of 1848. I had the same experience when I went to college, and had never heard of them previously, but they kept on popping up everywhere. Sadly, I will be committing the same offense against my students, simply because you can’t teach everything – there are actually far great offenses I am committing against history in this course (we will probably spend half a class on the Greeks, for one). The problem is though, that for my students to really develop the skills that they need to be successful on the Regents and in college, I need to focus on depth when it comes to the content, rather than breadth, so that students get to use and develop the skills necessary to think historically and be critical, literate citizens.


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