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Social Studies Curriculum
Social Studies - World Civilizations
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Core Standards of the Course

Standard 1
Students will gain an understanding of early civilizations and their contributions to the foundations of human culture.

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Objective 1
Speculate about the factors that led to civilized society.

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  1. Investigate hunters and gatherers.
  2. Explore man's domestication of plants and animals.
  3. Examine the role of irrigation in early agriculture.

Objective 2
Assess the impact of geography on the locations of early civilizations.

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  1. Examine why early civilizations developed in river environments.
  2. Evaluate the diffusion of civilizations.

Objective 3
Examine the major characteristics of the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and the Yellow River.

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  1. Analyze the social, political, and economic structure of ancient civilizations.
  2. Investigate the technological advancements and writing systems that developed in early river valley cultures.
  3. Identify the factors that led to the rise of cities.

Standard 2
Students will comprehend the contributions of classical civilizations.

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Objective 1
Investigate the purpose and influence of religions and philosophies on classical civilizations of Greece, Rome, China, and India.

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  1. Examine the essential elements of the belief systems of Greek mythology, Judaism, Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
  2. Examine the diffusion of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
  3. Compare and contrast the major philosophies of the Greeks and Chinese.

Objective 2
Analyze the development of classical political systems.

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  1. Contrast the evolution of Athenian democracy and Spartan rule.
  2. Examine the consequences of Persian and Macedonian expansion.
  3. Contrast Zhou feudalism, the Greek city-state, and the caste system of India.
  4. Compare the development of the Roman and Han empires.

Objective 3
Investigate the importance of the expansion of trade.

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  1. Identify routes of early colonization; e.g., Phoenician, Greek, Hellenistic, Korean/Japanese.
  2. Examine the technological improvements in transportation over time.
  3. Assess the importance of the Mediterranean and East Asian trade routes.

Objective 4
Evaluate the significance of classical sculpture, architecture, and performing arts.

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  1. Examine the importance and influence of Greco-Roman art and architecture.
  2. Assess the development of Indian and Chinese architecture and art.
  3. Investigate the importance and influence of the performing arts on classical civilizations.

Objective 5
Analyze the social organization of classical cultures.

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  1. Describe the role of slavery in Greece and Rome.
  2. Compare the role of the family in Imperial Rome and Confucian China.
  3. Explain the caste system of India.
  4. Compare the treatment of women in China, Athens, Sparta, India, and Rome.

Standard 3
Students will investigate the diffusion and interaction of cultures from the Classical Period through the Age of Discovery.

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Objective 1
Appraise the major characteristics of interregional contact that linked the people of Africa, Asia and Europe.

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  1. Describe the impact the Silk Road had on trade across Europe and Asia.
  2. Discuss the importance of cross-Saharan migrations.
  3. Examine the consequences of the Crusades.
  4. Analyze the impact of Mongol invasion on Europe and Asia.
  5. Examine the influence of Chinese culture on Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan.

Objective 2
Assess the influence of advancing technologies on the development of societies.

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  1. Identify the significant technological developments in Tang China.
  2. Investigate key technologies that diffused to Europe from Asia; e.g., gunpowder, printing.
  3. Explain the consequences of the cannon and the longbow on European warfare and society.
  4. Analyze the impact of movable type printing on Europe.

Objective 3
Compare and contrast the founding and organization of Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires to northern European trading empires.

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  1. Assess the expansion of Portugal and Spain on Africa, India, and Southwest Asia.
  2. Examine the political and military conflict between the Spanish, Portugese, and the peoples of the New World.
  3. Assess the impact of the exchange of ideas and goods on the New and Old Worlds.
  4. Investigate French, Dutch, and English merchants' impact on European overseas expansion.

Objective 4
Investigate the rise and development of the modern European political system.

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  1. Describe the political and economic importance of the growth of towns in northern Europe.
  2. Explain the political and economic consequences of the rise of national monarchies.
  3. Examine the influence of mercantilism and commercial capitalism on France, England, and the Netherlands.

Standard 4
Students will understand the influence of revolution and social change in the transition from early modern to contemporary societies.

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Objective 1
Assess the importance of intellectual and cultural change on early modern society.

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  1. Compare the “rebirth” of European culture during the Renaissance with the flowering Chinese culture of the Ming dynasty; i.e., literature,art, architecture, the humanities.
  2. Examine the key events and ideas of the Protestant Reformation, the Counter Reformation, and Neo-Confucianism.
  3. Analyze the significant ideas and philosophies of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment.
  4. Examine the roles and conditions of men, women, and children in European monarchies.

Objective 2
Investigate the role of revolution in the establishment of governmental systems.

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  1. Explain the political, economic, and social philosophies that lead to revolution.
  2. Compare and contrast major world revolutions; e.g., American, French, Russian, Chinese.

Objective 3
Analyze the economic transformation of production and distribution of goods in Europe.

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  1. Compare and contrast capitalism and socialism.
  2. Explain the significance of the agricultural revolution.
  3. Investigate the impact of the first and second Industrial Revolutions.

Objective 4
Evaluate the impact of Western imperialism in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

  1. Examine the impact of Western imperialism on Africa.
  2. Compare the reactions of China, India, and Japan to foreign domination.

Standard 5
Students will understand the interaction of peoples in the global integration of the 20th century.

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Objective 1
Analyze the political and economic global issues in the first half of the 20 th century.

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  1. Investigate the impact of totalitarianism on Europe; i.e., Stalinism, Italian fascism, German National Socialism.
  2. Examine the connections among WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII.
  3. Assess the consequences of global war on the world.

Objective 2
Investigate the impact of the Cold War on integration.

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  1. Explain the key elements of the Cold War.
  2. Examine the independence movements in the African and Asian colonial world.
  3. Determine the causes and effects of the collapse of the Soviet sphere.

Objective 3
Investigate the creation of international organizations and global integration.

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  1. Assess the impact of economic and political organizations on global relations; e.g., World Trade Organization, United Nations,Olympics.
  2. Examine the impact of advancements in worldwide communication/transportation; e.g., satellite communications, information technology/Internet, mass transportation.
  3. Analyze the impact of military alliances; e.g., North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Warsaw Pact, United Nations Geneva Convention.

Objective 4
Evaluate the impact of terrorism on the world’s political, economic, and social systems.

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  1. Assess the base of terrorist networks and activities.
  2. Examine the impact of terrorism on the lives of people.
  3. Analyze the responses of political and economic institutions to terrorism.

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