World History and Geography

Mrs. Smielewski

This full year course introduces students to the study of world history in order to construct a common memory of where humankind has been and what accounts for present circumstances. Building upon foundations from middle school, the course begins with a period of expanding and intensified hemispheric interactions (circa 300 C.E.) and continues to the present. Emphasis is placed on skills that enable students to evaluate evidence, develop comparative and causal analyses, interpret the historical record, construct sound historical arguments, and recognize perspectives on which informed decisions in contemporary life can be based.

This course enables students to focus on large historical and geographic patterns, as well as their causes and consequences. Students study human governance systems, patterns of interactions among societies and regions, and patterns of cultural, intellectual, religious, and social changes. They analyze the impact of demographic, technological, environmental, political, and economic changes on people, their culture, and their environment. The integration of historical thinking skills and historical understandings throughout this course equips students to analyze issues and problems confronting citizens today.

Course Materials

Each day, students should bring:
  • Notebook paper, loose leaf or spiral bound,
  • Folder or notebook to keep notes, works in progress, and graded work,
  • Pen or pencil, highlighter,
  • Electronic communication device, if you have one.

Classroom Technology

For World History, our classroom is "Yellow," which means we will be using personal electronic devices with teacher permission. Devices will always be used only for educational purposes related to our classroom activities.


Students will have the opportunity for a variety of assignments, including written work that is turned in and graded, classroom participation and discussion.

ZAP: Late work is not accepted. Assignments are due at the beginning of our next class period. Students who arrive without assignments, or with incomplete assignments, will be ZAPped. A ZAP means the student is expected to stay after school with me from 2:45 to 3:15 pm that day to complete the assignment, OR the student may choose to spend time with me from 7:15 to 7:45 am the following morning. Finishing the assignment does not guarantee the student will be released before the 30-minute ZAP time is completed. Failure to report for a ZAP session will result in additional consequences. Students will receive 70% of earned credit for work turned in under the ZAP policy.

Students who have excused absences should turn in make-up work in accordance with the student handbook. This work is not considered late and does not create a ZAP situation.


35% assessment, including tests and large projects

15% concept checks, including quizzes and any warm-up questions

25% assignment, which includes classwork, homework and small projects

5% participation, including classroom interactions and contributions

20% final exam


Parents and students are encouraged to check NetClassroom regularly. I try to post assignments in advance so students can plan ahead. I also enter grades within 48 hours of receiving an assignment.

Contact Information

You are always welcome to contact me via phone or email, though phone conversations may have to wait until the end of the school day.

World History Syllabus Acknowledgment

Print Student Name: _________________________________________________________________

Student Signature: ___________________________________________________________________

Print Parent/Guardian Name: ________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Phone: ______________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Email: _______________________________________________________________

Does your student have Internet access at home (circle one) YES NO

Does your student have a personal electronic device (cell phone, tablet) that s/he will bring to school? (circle one) YES NO