Course Syllabus

"Open House" Video

Honors World History

Fall 2021

Mr. Samuelson


Dear Students, Parents, and Guardians,

Welcome to Honors World History! World History is a required course for all Union County High School students and must be passed in order to graduate from high school. I will work to make this class fun but it does require a good amount work too. I want to give students the tools to excel in the class but this requires your effort and commitment as well. I want you to succeed as much as you do. Email is the best contact method, but we will be using the Remind app as an additional communication tool. Although I check my UCPS email often during the school day, please allow 48 hours for a response to email or phone messages during the business week. If you have not received an email response in less than 48 hours, please resend the email.

Course Overview and Purpose:

World History is a survey course, which means this course briefly covers broad topics and concepts about the field of study. This course is typically taken at the ninth grade level, and therefore draws and builds upon historical, cultural, and geographical content that the student learned in courses taken at the middle grades level.

This course will expose the student to world history in a chronological and thematic approach. The content covered in this course is based upon the North Carolina Standard Course of Study recommended goals and objectives, and the recommended strands established by the National Council for the Social Studies. Students will learn many topics, concepts, and themes with the goal to help them understand how the world has been shaped over time, how the student shapes the world they live in, how the world shapes them as individuals, and how individual and social perspective and experience shape our understanding of world history.

In addition to the overarching goal listed above, the goal of this course is to provide a broad amount of content knowledge based in history, geography, politics, economics, and culture to guide students in becoming informed and active citizens on a national and global level. The knowledge students receive in this course will be a foundation for future coursework in Civics and Economics and United States History. This course will also serve to guide the student in developing and understanding their role and responsibilities in an increasingly connected global society. The content discussed and learned in this course will help the student become a more globally conscientious and well-rounded individual that understands, analyzes, and appreciates the human experience and perspective through space and time.

Academic Integrity Expectations

Each student is expected to adhere to the rules of academic integrity, which means that you are honest and submit original work that you have created. Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. If a student is caught cheating they will receive a zero for the assignment and/or assessment and will be referred for disciplinary action in accordance with district and school policies. If a student is having trouble with an assignment they should seek help from the teacher, and not copy the ideas and work of others. If you are using someone else’s ideas, you need to cite the source. If you are unsure how to cite another person’s work please ask how. Plagiarism and cheating are very serious. Not only do you receive a zero on the assignment/assessment, you have shown you cannot be trusted to do what is right and ethical. In addition, instances of cheating and plagiarism go on a student’s academic record, which may affect their chances of being accepted at universities. The grades and points earned by cheating are not worth the consequences, which include the loss of your integrity and the loss of trust from others.

Conduct Expectations

Students are expected to behave in a polite and respectful manner at all times during class, as they will be exposed to many different political, social, and economic experiences and perspectives throughout this course. For some students this exposure may be at odds with their own beliefs, and possibly controversial. Students are expected to appreciate and respect the political, social, and economic diversity they encounter in this course, as this is in concert with the goals listed above. What students are exposed to in this course should challenge and extend their known world view. They need to understand that the way they live and think about the world is not right or wrong, but instead is one of many ways of living and thinking. Students are expected to have opinions about what they learn and to share those opinions in a fact-based, thoughtful, and respectful manner. They are not required or expected to agree or disagree with the opinions of others, but they are expected to be respectful of others’ opinions.

Students are expected to engage in a manner of maturity and mutual respect. This means that when others are talking they are not talking or are otherwise engaged in distracting activities. They are not dismissive or disdainful of others. Each student is to be valued and respected as a human being. Students that bully others, or act aggressively towards others for any reason, or in any form (verbal, physical, or suggestive) will find the behavior not to be tolerated. Students are expected to adhere to the district and school policies regarding bullying. Any student in violation of the policies will be referred for disciplinary action. Additional expectations and rules of engagement will be developed with the teacher and students. This means that at the beginning of the semester, as a class, we will discuss a set of procedures and expectations of personal conduct that everyone is expected to follow. This activity serves to establish a classroom where each student understands the expectations, and feels safe to express their perspective, knowledge, and experiences without fear of harassment and to establish a classroom where meaningful and successful learning can occur.

Academic Performance Expectations

Students are expected to be successful in this course. In order for them to be successful, they will need to be prepared for each class by studying the material, completing in-class, out-of-class, and online Canvas assignments, actively participating in class, and seeking additional help if they are having difficulties with the material. Students who work hard and put forth their best effort will be successful and have the potential to earn an A or B in this course. Ultimately, students are accountable and responsible for their own academic achievement. The teacher, parent/guardian, administration, and support staff is here to guide each student toward success. This is an honors course, and as such, there is a great deal of reading and writing. Students will need to assess their individual ability to be successful in this course, and decide if it is the right course for them. Students should expect to spend at least an hour each night working on their assignments or studying. Students may feel stressed-out or overwhelmed at the higher expectations in this course. To reduce these feelings, time-management and organizational skills are imperative. Some weeks may be heavier with assignments than other weeks, so it is essential to budget time wisely, as to not get bogged down with course readings and assignments.


Each assignment is worth a specified point value that is listed below. Students should familiarize themselves with how much each assignment is worth and keep track of their grades as a method of knowing their progress at all times.  Students are advised to keep their graded assignments if the teacher needs to refer back to the assignment for questions about grades.

Course Grade:

Tests & Projects: 60-130 points

Quizzes: 20-60 points

Homework & Classwork: 20-60 points

Grading Scale:

A= 100-90

B= 89-80

C= 79-70

D= 69-60

F= 59 and below

Student progress reports are given to students at mid-point during each six weeks. Those will be provided to parents/guardians to view student grades by logging on to the PowerSchool User names and passwords for accessing PowerSchool can be acquired in the main office at Marvin Ridge High School. It is highly suggest that each parent check regularly on their student’s grade and contact the teacher if there are any concerns. The teacher reserves the right to change/alter a grade if there is justifiable cause and at the sole discretion of the teacher.

Class Participation/Group Work: Participation is vital for the success of the class and the student’s success in the classroom. Students will receive a class participation grade every week.  Participation grades cannot be “made-up” in the case of unpreparedness. For a student to receive a 100 on participation they will be expected to actively participate in class discuss, group work, and day to day activities.

  • Homework: Homework will be assigned throughout the semester to further the classroom learning. It is nearly impossible to be successful in this course with doing homework and understanding it or asking questions about it. Homework will be given throughout each week and expected to be turned in the following day at the beginning of class.
  • Projects: Projects will be given throughout the semester to enhance the learning process and material of the World History course.
  • Essays: Essays will be assigned throughout the semester to cultivate critical/higher thinking about the course material. Essays will be an essential part of their test grades
  • Quizzes: Announced and unannounced quizzes will be given to assess student knowledge on a topic prior to the unit exam. There will be a quiz after most, but not every, chapter.
  • Tests: Tests will be given after every unit.
  • Extra Credit: There are various extra credit opportunities throughout the semester. Each quiz and test will have extra credit questions or an essay worth up to 5 points. During each grading period the students will be able to take advantage of an extra credit project opportunity. Since I provide so many extra credit opportunities throughout the semester I do not raise grades even if they are within one point away of the next letter grade.

Classroom Procedures

Each day when you walk in you are expected to sit in your seat and begin working on question posted on the board. From there we will begin the rest of class. During class, bathroom breaks will not be allowed during lecturing and assessments and must be kept short. Students must sign out before leaving during class. Students are expected to stay in their desks until the bell rings. All students must be in their desks with their textbook off the ground before the class in dismissed.


Students are expected to attend class and be on time. We will follow the school procedures regarding tardiness and absences. Students should refer to their student handbook for details.

Make-Up Work

All work is due on time. If you are absent the day an assignment is collected you have three days from your return date to school to turn in late assignments. After three days it will count as a 0. If the student is absent the day an assignment was handed out, it is the student’s responsibility, NOT the teacher’s, to obtain the homework assignment the day the return to school.


Students are asked to have the following for class:

  • A 3-ring notebook (can be shared with another class)
  • Plenty of paper or a spiral notebook
  • Black/blue pens and #2 pencils
  • Colored pencils/ markers

Use of Electronic Devices

Students must follow the district and school policies regarding the use of electronic devices. Cell phones, etc. must be turned off and stored in the correct pocket during class. Throughout the course, students will utilize their school issued laptops for education purposes. Students must follow all guidelines established regarding the use of these laptops. Students are required to bring their charged laptops to school every day. Student requests to charge their laptops will be granted at the discretion of the teacher. Students are not permitted to use the school-issued laptops during class without explicit consent from the teacher, and then only for directed purposes. Students will be taking notes every day and notes must be handwritten.

Classroom Conduct Contract

The following conduct is expected of each student:

Classroom Rules- I Will…

  • Be prepared daily will ALL required materials
  • Be respectful of myself, my teacher, other students, and school property
  • Pay attention and stay awake
  • Complete the work required of me and always put forward my best effort
  • Follow all school rules- Keep cell phones, computers, and electronic devices turned off and out of sight during class. They will be taken away at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Be in my seat and ready to begin when the bell rings


If you choose not to follow the classroom rules, ANY of the following actions may be taken:

  • Warning on the board
  • One check: 15 minute teacher detention
  • Two checks: 30 minute teacher detention with contact to parents/guardians
  • Three checks: Discipline referral to the administration

Course Summary:

Date Details Due