History of Our World

Journey through Egypt, Mesopotamia, Africa, China, India, Europe and the Americas to discover the history of our world. This world history textbook series is an easy-to-follow secular curriculum that brings to life ancient, classical, and modern civilizations through the study of their geography, capstone events and accomplishments, famous characters, religions and daily life. This series accomplishes this through a traditional textbook Chapter/Lesson format, but uses exceptional maps, graphs, and pictures that will engage your world history student. Each lesson in the student text concludes with a fill-in-the blank review, and end-of-chapter exercises include a summary, vocabulary exercises, comprehension activities, critical thinking questions and a writing activity. Each student text has a corresponding teacher guide available that includes specific objectives, lesson preview activities, questions for discussion, reading comprehension activities that encourage critical thinking, and review activities. Pages in the teacher's edition feature smaller copies of the student text pages in the center, with teacher notes, questions, and activities filling the margins. Additional features in the teacher's edition include: objectives, vocabulary activities, discussion of pictures and maps, reading strategies, an answer key for activities in the student book, and questions for discussion. My favorite activities in the teacher manual ask students to link what they have learned to prior knowledge, to compare things and events "then and now," and the big picture exercises that include extra information for discussion and historical analysis. Although more geared to a formal classroom than a homeschool setting, we have had requests for the resource packs for this curriculum as well. These include blackline masters, transparencies, and a timeline. Reproducible masters contain chapter and primary source worksheet activities, outline maps for regions explored in the text, unit reviews and tests, the final review and test, graphic organizer forms, and an answer key. The transparencies include full-color "slides" which reference specific pages in the text, black-and-white graphic organizer forms, and blackline maps. While the colored ones are nicer to look at than functional in a homeschool setting, you could use and re-use the graphic organizer and outline map transparencies with dry or wet erase markers. The full-color, glossy timeline poster shows events and civilizations through history from 5000 B.C. to present.

I was impressed by this text's objectivity toward civilizations and its "our world" approach that avoided present-mindedness and helped foster historical thinking. The Ancient World covers world history from the first people through much of medieval history, and the Modern World picks up during late medieval times and covers up through today. Both texts are paperback. People, Places, and Ideas includes both the Ancient World and Modern World for all-in-one-volume world history, and both the student and teacher's editions are hardcover. ~ Steve




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