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History, Geography, and Time Big Eras 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Past and Future
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Teaching Units: Organization and Index


This model curriculum groups instructional units into three categories. The criterion for these categories is the scale in time, geographical space, and subject matter of the topics to be explored. This system has been designed to guide teachers and students in study of the past on a variety of scales, from broad, global changes to developments that occurred within regions, civilizations, or nations. Teachers may choose to introduce students to an entire Big Era in a few class periods by focusing on the sweeping changes of the era. Or, they may devote a greater number of class days to an era, using several teaching units in all three categories of scale to examine the era in finer detail. Teachers may tailor class time spent on a Big Era to their pedagogical strengths and interests and to state or local content standards. For more discussion of scale in history, see Why an Integrative World History Curriculum in the Foundations of This Curriculum section.

All teaching units follow standard specifications for organization and design. They are listed and described below, as well as in the History, Geography, and Time, Big Eras 1-9, and Past and Future sections of the curriculum. All teaching units have been formatted in PDF to facilitate printing and duplicating of materials, especially Student Handouts. Users must download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader to have access to the teaching units.


Word History For Us All Panorama Teaching Units

Panorama Teaching Units

Each of the nine Big Eras of world history, plus the History, Geography, and Time and the Past and Future sections, offers one Panorama Teaching Unit. Panorama units address very large-scale developments in world history. Each one also includes a PowerPoint Overview Presentation. Teachers and students may view the overview presentations in HTML or download them into their own PowerPoint programs.

The Panorama units provide a model for teaching an entire era of world history in a few lessons taking no more than a week or two of class time. In this way, students may learn about large patterns of change in an era. Panorama units also serves teachers who wish, or are obligated by local and state standards, to devote more class time to particular eras than to others. The Panorama Teaching Units are tailored to the time frames of the Big Era units. This means that the unit for Big Era One (13 billion - 200,000 years ago) encompasses a much larger time frame than does the unit for Big Era Nine (1945 - present).

Word History For Us All Landscape Teaching Units

Landscape Teaching Units

Each Big Era, plus the History, Geography, and Time and the Past and Future sections, offers from two to seven Landscape Teaching Units. Landscape units focus on relatively large-scale developments in world history, though not as broad in subject matter as the Panorama units. All Landscape units have transregional, cross-cultural, or comparative elements. Teachers may use Landscape units flexibly, depending on their interests, school curriculum requirements, and instructional time available.

Word History For Us All Closeup Teaching Units

Closeup Teaching Units

Multiple Closeup Teaching Units will be developed for each of the Big Eras. Closeup units address topics in world history that are relatively more restricted in time, space, and subject matter than either Panorama or Landscape units. Some of these units will address topics that embrace more than one Big Era. Teachers may choose among Closeup units to probe more deeply into specific aspects of world history. Closeup units will be progressively added to the curriculum. We invite history and social studies educators to submit Closeup units for inclusion in the curriculum. Go to Contact Us on the Home Page for more information on submitting Closeup Teaching Units.

The table below provides links to teaching units on the site or under development.

Era
Panorama Teaching Units
Landscape Teaching Units
Closeup Teaching Units
Teaching Unit 0.1
Getting Our Bearings: Maps of time, space and history

Teaching Unit 0.2
Human history and big geography
 
Big Era One
Humans in the Universe
13 Billion - 200,000 Years ago
Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 1.1
The horizon of human history
13,000,000,000 - 200,000 years ago

Teaching Unit 1.2
Human ancestors in Africa and beyond
7,000,000 - 200,000 years ago
 

Big Era Two
Human Beings Almost Everywhere
200,000 - 10,000 Years Ago

Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 2.1
Human beings around the world
100,000 - 10,000 years ago

Teaching Unit 2.2
Language: What difference does it make?
200,000 - 40,000 BCE
 
Big Era Three
Farming and the Emergence of Complex Societies
10,000 - 1000 BCE

In Development
Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 3.1
Domesticating plants and animals
10,000 - 4000 BCE

Teaching Unit 3.2
Farmers around the world
10,000 - 1500 BCE

Teaching Unit 3.3
River valleys and the development of complex societies in Afroeurasia
4000 - 1500 BCE

Teaching Unit 3.4
Migrations and militarism across Afroeurasia
2000 - 1000 BCE

Teaching Unit 3.5
Early complex societies in the Americas
1800 - 500 BCE

Teaching Unit 3.6
People on the move in Australia and the Pacific basin
10,000 - 1000 BCE 500 BCE
Closeup Teaching Unit 3.2.5
Korea: From Calm to Conflict
Big Era Four
Expanding Networks of Exchange and Encounter
1200 BCE - 500 CE

In Development
Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 4.1
From the Mediterranean to India: Patterns of power and trade
1200 - 600 BCE

Teaching Unit 4.2
The expansion of complex society in East Asia
1200 - 300 BCE

Teaching Unit 4.3
Migration and change in Africa south of the Sahara
1200 - 200 CE

Teaching Unit 4.4
From the Mediterranean to India: An age of Greek and Persian power
600 - 200 BCE

Teaching Unit 4.5
Giant empires of Afroeurasia
300 BCE - 200 CE

Teaching Unit 4.6
Empires and city-states of the Americas
800 BCE - 500 CE

Teaching Unit 4.7
Long-distance migrations in the tropical seas
500 BCE - 500 CE

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.2.1
Belief Systems in China:
Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.4.1
The Budding of Buddhism

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.4.2
Pressured by Persia: The Persian Empire

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.5.1
Roman Art and Architecture
PowerPoint Feature!

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.5.2
Roman Slavery
PowerPoint Feature!

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.5.3
Women’s Life in Ancient Rome
PowerPoint Feature!


Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer, download powerpoint.

Big Era Five
Patterns of Interregional Unity
300 - 1500 CE
Panorama Teaching Unit

Teaching Unit 5.1
Centuries of upheaval in Afroeurasia
300 - 600 CE

Teaching Unit 5.2
Afroeurasia and the rise of Islam
600 - 1000 CE

Teaching Unit 5.3
Consolidation of the trans-hemispheric network
1000 - 1250 CE

Teaching Unit 5.4
The Mongol Moment
1200- 1400 CE

Teaching Unit 5.5
Calamities and recoveries
1300-1500 CE

Teaching Unit 5.6
Spheres of interaction in the Americas
300 - 1500 CE

Closeup Teaching Unit 3.2.5
Korea: From Calm to Conflict

Closeup Teaching Unit 4.2.1
Belief Systems in China:
Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism

Closeup Teaching Unit 5.3.1
West African Geography, Climate, and History
PowerPoint Feature!

Closeup Teaching Unit 5.5.1
Coping with catastrophe
The Black Death of the fourteenth century
1330-1355
National Center for History in the Schools


Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer, download powerpoint.

Big Era Six
The Great Global Convergence
1400 - 1800 CE



Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 6.1
Oceanic ventures and the joining of the continents
1400 - 1550 CE

Teaching Unit 6.2
The Columbian Exchange and its consequences: biological, social, and cultural
1400 - 1650 CE

Teaching Unit 6.3
Rulers with guns: the rise of powerful states
1400 - 1800 CE

Teaching Unit 6.4
The global economy takes shape
1500 - 1800 CE

Teaching Unit 6.5
The Making of the Atlantic Rim
1500 - 1800 CE

Teaching Unit 6.6
The Scientific Revolution
1500 - 1800 CE

Teaching Unit 6.7
The long reach of the major religions
1500 - 1800 CE
Closeup Teaching Unit 3.2.5
Korea: From Calm to Conflict

Closeup Teaching Unit 6.6.1
Leaders of the Enlightenment
PowerPoint Feature!

Closeup Teaching Unit 6.7.1
The Protestant Reformation
PowerPoint Feature!

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer, download powerpoint.

Big Era Seven
Industrialization and Its Consequences
1750 - 1914 CE

In Development

Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 7.1
The Industrial Revolution as a world event
1750 - 1840 CE

Teaching Unit 7.2
The Atlantic revolutions as a world event
1750 - 1830 CE

Teaching Unit 7.3
Peoples and their governments: A whole new world
1830 - 1900 CE

Teaching Unit 7.4
Humans in a hurry: nineteenth-century migrations
1830 - 1900 CE

Teaching Unit 7.5
The experience of colonialism
1850 - 1914 CE

Teaching Unit 7.6
New identities: nationalism and religion
1850 - 1914 CE
Closeup Teaching Unit 6.6.1
Leaders of the Enlightenment
PowerPoint Feature!

Closeup Teaching Unit 7.1.20
Living Rooms
1800-1900

Closeup Teaching Unit 7.5.1
Resistance to Imperialism in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
1880-1914

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer, download powerpoint.

Big Era Eight
A Half Century of Crisis
1900 - 1950 CE

Panorama Teaching Unit Teaching Unit 8.1
The causes and global consequences of World War I
1900-1920 CE

Teaching Unit 8.2
The search for peace and stability in the 1920s and 1930s
1920-1930 CE

Teaching Unit 8.3
The Great Depression
1929-1939 CE

Teaching Unit 8.4
Social change and resistance in colonial empires
1914–1950 CE

Teaching Unit 8.5
The causes and global consequences of World War II
1939–1945 CE

Teaching Unit 8.6
Revolutions in science and technology
1900-1950 CE

Teaching Unit 8.7
Environmental change: the great acceleration
1900-1950 CE
Closeup Teaching Unit 3.2.5
Korea: From Calm to Conflict
Big Era Nine
Paradoxes of Global Acceleration
1945 - present CE

Panorama Teaching Unit
Teaching Unit 9.1
World politics and the global economy after World War II

Teaching Unit 9.2
The two big powers and their Cold War
1945-1990 CE

Teaching Unit 9.3
A multitude of sovereign states
1945-1975

Teaching Unit 9.4
The scope of wealth and poverty
1945-present

Teaching Unit 9.5
The world at warp speed: science, technology, and the computer revolution
1970-present

Teaching Unit 9.6
Population explosion and environmental change
1945-present

Teaching Unit 9.7
Globe-girdling cultural trends
1980-present

Closeup Teaching Unit 3.2.5
Korea: From Calm to Conflict

Closeup Teaching Unit 9.7.1
1968: A Year of Global Protest
Past and Future
Reflecting on the Past, Thinking about the Future
In Development