Course Syllabus

World History Honors syllabus.jpg

FALL 2021 | Mr. Hartley | Marvin Ridge High School | Rm G211



The cliché "TIME WILL TELL" speaks to the impact of events past and present as judged through the lens of history. That lens will focus our course of study as we connect the dots from past to present and hypothesize about future outcomes. Far more than names and dates, history is a warning, should we heed it, against our worst instincts, a road map through current challenges and challenges ahead, hope and inspiration for the great things we can accomplish, and a guide to our better selves. Of the many stories and tales we'll explore this semester, the most important character at the center of them all will always be you.


Our 18-week semester-long course is based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study's recommended goals and objectives and the strands established by the National Council for Social Studies. It is a graduation requirement for all Union County High School students. That means you must pass it, as it sets the foundation for future classes in Civics and Economics and U.S. History.

While we will visit ancient history for occasional clarity, the main bulk of our study will be from 1200 CE to the present day, as outlined below.

UNIT 1: Global Tapestry – After a brief introduction to historical thinking and writing skills, we'll explore the influence of geography, the structure of different systems of government, and the impact of world religions, all setting the table for our historical understanding.

UNIT 2: Foundations of Culture – From Mansa Musa in Africa to the Mongols of Asia and the lords and knights of Europe, events of the Middle Ages form a cultural foundation with repercussions that are still felt today.

UNIT 3: Global Interactions – The silk road and maritime trade routes open doors to new thinking, giving rise to the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, and an age of exploration.

UNIT 4: From Revolution to Reform – A new global awareness brings demands, expectations, and growing discontent, fueling calls for revolution across the globe from America to France and beyond.

UNIT 5: Conflict of Innovation – Innovations of the Industrial Revolution increase competition between countries, fueling an expanding need for resources. Imperialism spreads, leaving its mark on the world.

UNIT 6: Global Conflict - From World War 1 to World War 2, the Cold War and smaller wars between, the global tapestry shifts as new tensions and superpowers rise. We'll examine the thread connecting them all.

UNIT 7: Progress? - Climate change and pollution, equality, and human rights, health concerns and pandemics, limited resources and the greed of nations, religion and extremism: we'll seek evidence of progress while hypothesizing future outcomes.



Trust and respect are two of the most valuable things one person can give another. I promise I'll always treat you with respect, and I expect to be treated the same by you. 

  • Be prepared, on time, and use class time wisely. When class begins, be in your seat with all materials ready to go.
  • Complete all work, make sure it's your own, and turn it in on time. Cheating and plagiarism are serious violations resulting in a zero for the assignment or test in question and a teacher conference. Late work will lose 10% grade value every day it is late, down to a 50% maximum after five days. 
  • Properly store your cell phone and other electronics. As you enter the room, make sure your phone is off and stored in your assigned pocket on the phone tree. Remove and store earbuds. Keep your computer charged and keep all other electronics off and out of sight.
  • Plan restroom breaks between classes. Do not interrupt class discussions or presentations. If a need arises during class, request it during small group or individual seatwork. You must sign out, take a hall pass, and leave your phone properly stored in the phone tree.
  • Be respectful and polite to everyone. This course will expose you to religious, political, social, and economic experiences and perspectives that may be at odds with your own. I expect everyone to appreciate the diversity of thought. I will not tolerate any behavior intent on discriminating against, harming, or demoralizing another.

I don't anticipate issues, but if warranted, the following consequences will apply.

  1. A fair warning that behavior is out of line
  2. Teacher conference. You'll need to explain yourself.
  3. Conference with parent/guardian
  4. Detention with the teacher (before or after school)
  5. Disciplinary referral to the administration

*NOTE: I may skip steps at my discretion if behavior demands it.



  • LESSON WORKFLOW generally as follows:
    • Warm-up activity
    • Introduce a Guiding Question to structure the lesson
    • Mini-lecture, presentation, or discussion for necessary background
    • Inquiry activity - small groups or individual document examination and analysis (primary and secondary resources)
    • Supporting activities 
    • Regroup, reflect, and complete the Guiding Question Tracker.
  • HOMEWORK - a packet will be issued at the beginning of each new unit, due on the day of the unit test.
  • QUIZZES - small checkpoints throughout each unit to access comprehension
  • PROJECTS - One per unit
  • TEST - at the end of each unit
  • READING AND WRITING are a regular part of this curriculum
  • MAKEUP WORK is your responsibility. Check canvas for missed assignments, call a friend, or email me. Missed work is due within three days of your return.
  • ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF. Don't sit in class, confused or lost. If you're struggling to understand something, let me know so that I can help. If you feel I've graded you unfairly, make your case. I'll listen, explain my reasoning, or change the grade if warranted. If there is something that I need to know, talk to me. 



  • Unit Tests and Projects: 50 pts
  • Homework and classwork: 30 pts
  • Quizzes and journals: 20 pts

The percentage of total points accumulated determines the final grade for each six-week grading period.

  • A = 90-100%
  • B = 80-89%
  • C = 70-79%
  • D = 60-69%
  • F = 59% or less


I look forward to our shared time this semester and the opportunity to know you all better. I'm confident we'll learn a lot together and have some fun in the process. Of course, as always, only time will tell. 


Mr. Hartley





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this class.


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Course Summary:

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