Classwork Resources!

Hey, guys!  I hope everything is going well in my absence.  Remember, you’ll need to have ALL of your classwork for today completed by the start of class tomorrow, so make sure to focus and get it done.

You can use this PowerPoint to help you complete your African Kingdoms WorksheetMedieval African Kingdoms and Empires.

Additionally, make sure you read the Southernization very, very carefully. It’s definitely going to play a role in your in-class comparative essay on Friday, so make sure you understand it thoroughly!

Homework: The Spread of Islam

As to tonight’s homework– you should have received a copy of The Spread of Islam in class today.  Please read the article carefully, and then respond in comments to the following discussion points.  Remember, the usual commenting policy applies– one good comment which addresses the prompts fully can receive a maximum grade of 95%, while one good comment PLUS a response to a classmate’s comment is eligible for a full 100% of credit on the assignment.  Please provide specific examples from the text when possible to support your position.

You may additionally find the following video a helpful visual:

Your discussion prompts are as follow:

Based on your readings and our discussions in class today, what factors led to the rapid expansion of Islam between the 7th and 15th centuries?  What made Islam attractive to people in sub-Saharan Africa? In India?  Central Asia? Southeast Asia?

How did Islam change as it moved into new regions?  Do you think these transformations– think about those which took place during the diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity– are beneficial to religions, or harmful?  Justify your answer with evidence from your readings.

Additionally– and I know that I don’t need to remind you wonderful people– as we arediscussing religion, please remember to keep your conversation academic and respectful, and remember that I am moderating all comments.  And comments I find inappropriate will be prevented from posting.

Have a good evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Homework: Zaption and Classical Greece Mindmap

First things first:

Are you registered to take your AP exams for this year?  If you’re not, you’re running out of time to sign up– regular registration will close on January 28th, and then you will have to pay a fifteen dollar late fee to register.  Don’t get hit with a late fee on top of the price of the regular exams– they aren’t cheap, and you should try to get the best deal you can.  ALL registration will close on February 4th, as the school has to send in its order for exams that week.

You can register for ALL of your AP exams by going to the North Cobb High School TotalRegistration portal.  Remember, we don’t take any money for exams at school– all of your payments must be handled through TotalRegistration.

And remember: If you are eligible for federal free or reduced lunch status, PLEASE make sure you pick up the AP exam waiver form from me in class or go to Admin 1 and request one– the waiver can mean that you only have to pay $15 for your exams, instead of the $104 they can cost with the processing fee, so please, please, please take advantage of the resources if they apply to you.  That’s what they’re around for!

As to tonight’s homework:

Hopefully you completed most of your Mindmap of Ancient Greece today in class, but if you didn’t, please make sure you have it completed before the start of class tomorrow.  Remember that your mindmap SHOULD involve color, illustration, or creative organization of some kind.  The more you work with and manipulate the information we address in this course, the more likely you are to be able to successfully recall the material in the future.

(Ask Ms. Shelnutt or Mr. Hargis and your friends in AP Psych if you don’t believe me!)

Your primary homework tonight is to complete the Zaption video on Alexander the Great (?) and Hellenism.  You’ll find the video linked below– I can’t embed Zaptions without a heck of a lot of tedious coding– but if you can’t use the video for some reason, please download the transcript of the video and associated question and complete the assignment on paper: Alexander, Legacies, and Greatness Zaption.

Zaption Video: Alexander, Legacies, and Greatness

Homework: Comparative Essay Prep

I hope you all have a relaxing, slightly extended weekend!  Please make sure to be careful if you’re out traveling about on Saturday; while I sincerely doubt we’ll be snowed in, there’s enough water on the roads to make life exciting (in a bad way) overnight.  So– be careful out there, okay?

Now.  Over the weekend, you will need to do some work to prepare for your first in-class comparative essay.  You’ll need this: Imperial Collapse Comparative Prompt

You may ONLY use the space below the line to write your outline, which you may use to help you write your essay on Monday.  You MUST hand-write your outline– no typing allowed, and you may not use the back of the paper.

Use your notes, use your reading on the collapse of empires, and use your textbooks.  I would STRONGLY SUGGEST that you stay away from using Internet sources unless you are absolutely confident in their accuracy.

Also: a number of you were absent today.  Please remember that unless your absence is excused, you are not eligible to make up the reading quiz you missed today.

Homework: Decline of Empires

Tonight for your homework, you need to carefully read and annotate the article “Decline and Fall of Empires.”  Once you’ve finished reading the article, please respond to the following discussion points:

Of the nine suggested causes of imperial decline, which do you think would have the most immediate consequences?  Which of the nine causes would have more gradual consequences?  Can you provide any historical examples from China– different from those already included in the article– which illustrate these points? 

What do you think of the author’s suggestion that “otherworldly or escapist religions” can be a cause of imperial collapse?  Why might this be?  Do you agree with this assessment?

In order to earn a maximum grade of 95% on this assignment, you may leave ONE thoughtful comment addressing the above points on this post.  In order to earn 100%, you should leave your original comment AND reply to a comment left by a classmate.

If you are experiencing difficulties leaving a comment, please try the following:

  1. If you can’t see the “Leave a Comment” option, scroll alllllllllllll the way to the bottom of the page and see if you can see a white box.  Sometimes, if you’ve clicked on the blog post itself, you have to scroll to the end of the page to reply.
  2. Use a computer, not your phone.
  3. Check your browser!  WordPress works best on Chrome (Mozilla’s okay, too), but Internet Explorer is not a great idea.  Always try to use the most recent version of your browser– this may mean that you need to update your browser.
  4. Clear your Internet history and cookies.  Try leaving a comment again once you’ve done this.
  5. If you still can’t leave a reply, email your comment to me instead.

And full disclosure, guys– I’m not feeling too well at present, so it may take me a while to authorize your comments tonight.  But I promise I’ll authorize them as soon as I’m able.

Homework: Legalism, Daoism, and Confucianism

For homework tonight, you will need to read two of three Chinese primary sources which you received in class.  You MUST read Legalist Views on Good Government.  You must also read ONE of the following documents: Excerpts from The Analects or Daoism.  There are no questions you need to complete with the documents– we will be using the content from these documents in order to complete an activity tomorrow in class, and you will find it rather difficult to correctly fulfill the requirements without having done the associated reading.  Make sure that you annotate your reading as appropriate and look up terms you don’t understand.

Also, please remember that your Unit Two reading quiz will be on Friday, January 22nd, so you need to be working towards finishing your unit reading as well.  You will have your first in-class comparative essay coming up on Monday, January 25th.

NOTE: If you will be absent over the next several days for the winter College Tour, please make sure that you check your email for the notes you will miss and any instructions on what we’ll be doing during the rest of this week.

Homework: Comparative Essay Grading

Apologies for the late posting on this one, guys.  I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday and today, and only just realized I hadn’t put up instructions for the homework assignment for those of you who were absent.

I know that there were several of you out on Friday– some for the AP Euro trip to the High, and some for other reasons.  You missed a lesson on how to write the Comparative Essay, which is a fairly important topic in this class.  The first thing you’ll need to do is check the drop-down menu at the top of this page labeled “Essay Writing Materials”– go to the Comparative Essay tab, and read over the materials linked on that page.  You’ll also want to watch the two videos on the page to help you better understand the process of writing the essay, and how the rubric for the essay works.

Once you feel like you have a good understanding of what to expect from the essay, you’ll need to download the following:

Your homework this weekend is to read over the annotated rubric from the 2009 Comparative Essay, and use that as a standard of grading for ONE of the three sample student essays.  On Tuesday we’ll discuss how accurately you graded the essays and address any questions you have regarding AP scoring techniques.

Other than that, your homework is to make a stab at your Unit Two Reading– the reading guide and vocabulary assignment can be found on the Unit Two Resources page.


Upcoming Due Dates:

  • Unit Two Reading Quiz (1/22)
  • Unit Two Vocabulary Assignment (1/22)
  • In-Class Comparative Essay (1/25)
  • Unit Two Test (1/29)


If you missed the Unit One Test, remember that you must schedule a time to make it up with me as soon as possible, and that you are only eligible to make up missing work if your absence is excused.

I hope you all have a thoughtful and restful Martin Luther King Day, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

Homework: The Judgments of Hammurabi

This weekend, you’re going to work on your first analysis of a primary source document for this class– an excerpt from the judgments of Hammurabi, a Babylonian king from the 18th century BCE.  After carefully reading through the text provided for you in class (Judgments of Hammurabi), please respond to the prompt at the bottom of this entry in the form of a comment on this blog post.  You’ll find the “Leave a Comment” link right under the title of this entry, next to the date.  Your comment should be thoughtful and refer to at least two specific examples in the text.

In order to encourage you to use this blog as a venue for discussion, here’s how grading for this assignment will work: a response which appropriately answers the discussion question will receive a maximum grade of 95%.  To earn that final 5% of the grade, you must respond (thoughtfully!) to one of the comments left by your classmates.

A few reminders about appropriate online interactions: as this is an academic assignment, I expect your responses to reflect all standard grammatical and mechanical practices.  Remember that tone is sometimes difficult to discern in online communication, so be sure that you express yourself clearly.  If you’re uncomfortable using your full name to post a comment, please just post using your first name and last initial– I’ll know who you are.

Comments are moderated on this blog, which means that I have to approve your first comment before you’ll see it appear.  It’s a quick process– I just have to hit something on my phone, honestly– but I’ll be evaluating Senior Magnet research presentations all day on Saturday, so I’ll only have a chance to moderate your comments during breaks, as it would be rude for me to have my phone out during presentations.  So please don’t panic if you don’t immediately see your comment on the blog– you may need to wait for a bit before I get around to moderating it.

Here’s your discussion prompt:

Consider Hammurabi’s judgments.  Do you think they would have been effective as a law code?  Who were the judgments meant to protect or benefit?  What sort of social distinctions can we see in Hammurabi’s law code?  Did any of the laws or their implications surprise you?  If so, why?

Remember to include at least two specific examples from the text in your response!

Homework: Thoughts on Civilization

Tomorrow we’ll be doing some discussion-driven work on a pretty contentious issue in world history– trying to define and understand the term “civilization.” Therefore, your homework tonight will be oriented around trying to give you some background ideas on civilization.  You should have picked up the handout today in class, but if you’ve lost it, you’ll need to download a copy of Thoughts on Civilization and following the directions on the sheet.

Your general tasks are as follow:

  1. Read over the various definitions and quotations regarding the idea of civilization.
  2. Generate at least one good comment or response to the definitions you’ve read, and at least one good question you might be interested in discussing on the subject tomorrow.
  3. Watch the Crash Course: World History video embedded below. (If you can’t see it, the raw URL is provided is provided on your handout.)
  4. Answer the associated questions regarding the video on your handout.

In order for our conversation tomorrow to be valuable, it’s extremely important that you prepare effectively by completing this work.

Welcome to AP World History!

I hope you all had a great first day back at North Cobb High School.  Remember, if you’ve got any problems with your schedule (missing classes, duplicate classes, incorrect classes) to let your teachers know immediately this week so we can get you settled into whatever courses are correct for you as quickly as possible.

Tonight, I need you to do a few things for me.  First, sit down with your parents or guardians and go over the AP World History Class Handbook which you received today in class.  We went over some of it in class, but you should really take a moment to look through the whole thing– and make sure you show it to your parents, as well.  (If they’d like their own copy, by the way, they can download a .pdf of the handbook here: APWHHandbook.)  Once you’ve read over the handbook, please sign the acknowledgment sheet at the back of the handbook, remove it, and put it in your folder to return to me.

After looking over the handbook, please take a few minutes and complete the student information survey embedded below.  Please provide the most accurate information you can so that I can have a better picture of who you are and how I can best help you be successful in the course.  You will need your handbook with you as you fill out the survey, as there are several questions which ask you to review information from the class handbook and website.

After completing your student information survey, you’ll need to get to work on your first homework assignment of the semester: establishing a baseline understanding of the geographic regions addressed in this class.

While this course is (clearly) not a geography class, it certainly helps to be able to recognize regions and have a basic geographic knowledge of the world.  After all, you certainly don’t want to mess up and write an essay on China when you were meant to write about South Asia.  To that end, tonight you will need to read the short article I handed out in class today– “The Myth of Continents” by Peter Morris.

After reading the article, please examine the associated map of the College Board’s division of the world’s regions, and answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.

  1. After considering Morris’ points, how many continents do you think there are?  Why?  Is Europe a continent in your scheme?  Why or why not?

  2. Looking at the two maps of AP World History regions, do you agree with how the College Board has divided the world?  Does it make sense to you? If you were going to make your own map of the world, how would you divide up the world’s regions?  Why?

Please make sure your answers are thoughtful, legible, and complete, and be ready to turn them in first thing on Wednesday.


Some upcoming due dates to help you get off on the right foot:

  • Student information form due tomorrow, Wednesday, January 5th
  • Student/Parent handbook acknowledgement form due by Thursday, January 7th
  • Reading quiz over Guns, Germs, and Steel (chpts. 1-14) on Friday, January 8th
  • Summer reading journal due on Friday, January 8th 
  • Unit One vocabulary due on Monday, January 11th
  • Unit One Test on Thursday, January 14th

Remember, any handouts or readings from class for Unit One will be located on the Unit One Materials page of this website.  That includes copies of the handbook, unit one vocabulary assignments, and the unit one study guide.

If you didn’t get a chance today in class, remember to register for the APWH Fall Semester Remind announcement list by texting @apwhempire to 81010.  This will allow you to receive notifications about class assignments and other events.

See you all tomorrow!

One Week to Go!

Thank you so much for your hard work on the Student Learning Objective today, guys.  I’ll let you know how you performed as soon as I get the word from the county on the time-table.  Overall, I was very pleased with how you performed, so congratulations on a job well done.

You have several things to consider this weekend, so here are your priorities for this class, in order of importance:

  1. Finish your narrative for your final research project!  If you need any clarification on instructions or my grading standards, please email me or check the material on the Final Narrative Project tab on this website.  Remember that you MUST have a hard-copy ready to turn in when the bell rings on Monday, and you must also submit an electronic copy to  Your narrative is due at the start of class on Monday, December 14th.
  2. Communicate with your group members on what you might want to do for your Final Exam Review Project.  You’ll need to bring any supplies you think you might need to school on Monday if possible.  Make sure to stay in contact with your group members this weekend.  (If you’ve forgotten who is in your group, please consult this list: Final Project Groups.
  3. Think about what placement you would like for next year: Honors U.S. History?  AP U.S. History?  I’m not inclined to place anyone in on-level U.S. History unless you have a particularly compelling reason.  Think about your course load next year, talk about it with your parents, and be ready to make a decision on Monday.
  4. REGISTER FOR THE AP EXAM!  Have you signed up yet?  Go here and take care of it now!

Have a good weekend, guys.  Work hard, get some rest, and come ready to knock Finals Week out of the park.

Homework: Zaption on 20th Century Peace Movments

We’ve been all about war this unit, and that can’t be healthy.  So please watch the following Zaption and answer the associated questions.  If you have tech difficulties with this Zaption, please try to let me know by about 6:00 PM tonight.

Zaption: Peace Movements in the 20th Century

And  because we were discussing this in third period today, take a gander at the Chinese government’s recent video proposing their new, awesome, Five Year Plan!  (Yes.  Yes, they still have Five Year Plans.  And this video is INSANE.)

Homework: The Holocaust

This weekend, please review the following material on the Holocaust (or Shoah) as a continuation of our study of World War II:

World War II and Society

After reviewing the material above, please listen to the following radio broadcast by journalist Edward R. Murrow on the liberation of Buchenwald in April of 1945.  You will find that the sound quality is far from perfect– there are lots of hisses and pops and the whine of interference, as this is the actual recording from 1945.  If you would like to, you can follow this transcript of the broadcast while you listen– but please do listen.  Sometimes the tone of voice is just as important as the words themselves:

Liberation of Buchenwald, 15 April 1945, reported by Edward R. Murrow (CBS News)

In a thoughtful comment, please respond to the following prompts:

  1. Describe the events in Germany beginning in 1933 which led to the Final Solution.  What was their purpose?  How did these actions normalize discrimination?

  2. What were the conditions like in Buchenwald when Murrow and the American troops arrive?  What sort of men did Murrow encounter in the camp?  What do you think shocked Murrow the most about the experience?  What shocked you the most about his description?

  3. At the end of the broadcast, Murrow tells his audience that “if [he] has offended [them] by this rather mild account of Buchenwald, [he’s] not in the least bit sorry.”  What is Murrow’s tone when he delivers this line?  (That is, how does he sound?)

  4. Murrow, as a journalist, believed that it was his job to make an argument– NOT to be a mere reporter of facts.  What argument is he trying to make through this report?  What does he want his listeners to feel, learn, and believe as a result of his work?  Do you think that he achieved his goal?  Why or why not?

Remember, normal commenting rules apply: one thoughtful comment which addresses all of the discussion points thoroughly will receive up to 95%,  while you must comment and leave a response on someone else’s comment in order to earn full credit.

Try to get some rest this weekend, guys– we’ve got the final push coming up over the next two weeks.  Remember you have your Unit Six test on Thursday (12/10), and your Student Learning Objective exam on Friday (12/11), so let’s get ready to power through.



Classwork: Major Actions of World War II

Using your textbooks, the following notes, and the video below, work within your groups to create a poster which identifies and describes– through words or relevant images, symbols, maps, or designs– the following aspects of the Second World War:

  • One event you and your group members identify as the starting point of World War II– justify your choice
  • The three most important events from the European (and North African) theater of the war
  • The three most important events from the Pacific theater of the war
  • One event you and your group members identify as the end of World War II — justify your choice
  • One major social consequence of the conflict
  • One major economic consequence of the conflict
  • One major political consequence of the conflict
  • One way in which you think World War II is DIFFERENT from World War I
  • One way in which you thing World War II is SIMILAR from World War I

Make sure your poster is accurate, neat, and colorful!

Notes on the conflict: World War II

Good luck!

Homework: Discussing Fascism

All right, guys– you know the drill.  Today, you need to read Benito Mussolini’s excerpt from The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism.  At the end of the excerpt, you’ll see the following questions:

  1. How did Mussolini view democracy, socialism, and pacifism?
  2. Why would Mussolini’s passionate embrace of heroism and violence appeal to so many Italians (and others) in the 1920s?

Respond to the questions in a comment below– and remember that normal commenting rules apply.  One good comment that fully addresses the questions will receive a 95%, while a comment AND a response can earn up a 100%.

See you tomorrow!