World Studies engages students in the study of the development and evolution of the historic, economic, geographic, political and social structures of the cultural regions of the world from the dawn of civilization to the Twentieth Century. Special attention is given to the formation and evolution of societies into complex political and economic systems. Students are engaged in critical thinking and problem-solving skills using maps, spreadsheets, charts, graphs, text and other data from a variety of credible sources. Students synthesize the information to predict events and anticipate outcomes as history evolves through the ages.


Describe the roles of citizens and their responsibilities (e.g., prehistoric societies, river civilizations, classical civilizations, feudal systems, developing nation states and neo-feudal systems).


Analyze and connect the status, roles and responsibilities of free men, women, children, slaves and foreigners across time in various civilizations.


Analyze and evaluate various ways of organizing systems of government in order to illustrate the continuity and change in the role of government over time (e.g., Hammurabi’s Code, the Twelve Tables of Rome, Justinian Code, Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution).


Compare and contrast political ideologies in order to analyze the evolving role of government in world affairs prior to the year 1900 (e.g., democracies, republics, dictatorships, various types of monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies and parliamentary systems).


Research and categorize multiple current and historical world aid organizations and assess the importance of global volunteerism as a 21st century citizen (e.g., Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Campaign, International Red Cross, Invisible Children, Peace Corps, etc.).


Examine and illustrate the trade patterns (e.g., resource allocation, mercantilism and other economic systems) of regions of the world across time and explain their significance to the evolution of global economics.


Identify types of exchange systems (e.g., barter, money) and the role forms of currency play in acquiring goods and services.


Analyze the importance of family, labor specialization and regional commerce in the development of global trade systems.


Define scarcity, demonstrate the role of opportunity costs in decision making, and examine economic reasons for the rise and fall of civilizations (e.g., Roman Empire, the Crusades and Imperialism).


Use different types of maps, terminology, and geographic tools to analyze features on Earth to investigate and solve geographic questions.


Explain how altering the environment has brought prosperity to some places and created environmental dilemmas for others.


Apply geography skills to help investigate issues and justify possible resolutions involving people, places and environments.


Explain how migration of people and movement of goods and ideas can enrich cultures, but also create tensions.


Explain how the uneven distribution of resources in the world can lead to conflict, competition or cooperation among nations, regions, and cultural groups.


Use maps, charts and graphs to depict the geographic implications of world events.


Demonstrate an understanding of prehistory, the concept of change over time and the emergence of civilization.

  • Analyze the interaction of early humans with their environment and evaluate their decisions (e.g., hunting, migration, shelter, food and clothing.)
  • Detail and predict the causes and effects of the Agricultural Revolution.


Demonstrate an understanding of ancient river civilizations and the ways in which early civilizations evolve.

  • Compare and contrast the causes and effects of the rise and decline of ancient river valley civilizations.
  • Investigate and detail the various components of culture and civilization including customs, norms, values, traditions, political systems, economic systems, religious beliefs and philosophies in ancient river civilizations.


Demonstrate an understanding of classical civilizations and the influence of those civilizations across time and space.

  • Compare and contrast the causes and effects of the rise and decline of classical civilizations.
  • Analyze the impact of religion on classical civilizations, including the rise and growth of Christianity and Hinduism, and the effects of their beliefs and practices on daily life, changes that occurred as a result of Buddhist teachings, and the influence of a variety of religions on culture and politics.


Demonstrate an understanding of Middle Age societies and the influence of those societies on the history of the world in areas of social, political and economic change.

  • Investigate and explain the influence of the Byzantine Empire, including the role the Empire played in preserving Hellenistic (Greek) learning.
  • Summarize the functions of feudalism and manorialism in Europe, China and Japan (including the creation of nation-states) as feudal institutions helped monarchies centralize power.
  • Outline the origins of religion in the Middle East and the changing role of women in that region through to the modern (or contemporary) period.
  • Identify and evaluate the individual, political, religious and economic roles in medieval society.
  • Analyze the social, political and economic upheaval and recovery that occurred in Europe during the Middle Ages, including the plague and the subsequent population decline, the predominance of religion and the impact of the crusades.
  • Summarize the economic, geographic and social influences of African and trans-Saharan trade, including education and the growth of cities.
  • Examine and assess the effects of warfare on society during the Middle Ages.


Demonstrate an understanding of the changes in society because of the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Exploration and the Enlightenment.

  • Compare the impacts of the Renaissance on life in Europe (e.g., Humanism, art, literature, music and architecture).
  • Analyze the religious reformations and their effects on theology, politics and economics.
  • Summarize the origins and contributions of the scientific revolution.
  • Explain how European needs/wants for foreign products contributed to the Age of Exploration.
  • Explain the ways that Enlightenment ideas spread through Europe and their effect on society (e.g., John Locke, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Baron de Montesquieu.)


Demonstrate an understanding of the global political environment of the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.

  • Explain the long-term effects of political changes because of the emergence of strong monarchial governments.
  • Describe the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and determine their impact on the evolution of society.
  • Analyze the causes and effects of political revolutions and determine their impact on the formation of governments and on the citizens of a society (e.g., French, Italian, German, Latin America, etc.).
  • Illustrate the significant political, commercial and cultural changes that took place in China.
  • Compare the political actions of European, Asian and African nations in the era of imperial expansion.
  • Assess the impact of colonization on both the mother countries and their colonies.
  • Explain the causes and effects of political, social and economic transformation in Europe in the nineteenth century, including the significance of nationalism, the impact of industrialization on different countries and the effects of democratization.