Course Syllabus

10th Grade Modern World History




Instructor: Emily Giddings



Hello and welcome to 10th grade Modern World History class! This year, we will continue working on important skills that you started practicing last year, like reading, writing, research, and collaboration, while studying world history from the 19th century to the present.  Keep this syllabus in the front of your binders all year, as it includes important information about our curriculum and classroom expectations that you may want to reference later on. I’m excited to work together this year!


Curriculum: What will we be learning?


Guiding Questions for the Year

  • If people historically built empires, then why did they come to reject this norm in the modern era?
  • In what ways did the struggle to define identity drive power dynamics in modern history?
  • Why and how did the global economic landscape shape individual rights and national vitality?


Units of Study

Late 19th Century: The “isms” and global interactions

World War I

Between the Wars

One Wellesley Curriculum Unit

World War II

The Cold War & Decolonization


Supplies to bring to class daily


  • Pens/pencils
  • 3-ring binder
  • Spiral notebook or loose leaf paper in the binder
  • Laptop and charger
  • Textbook (provided)
  • Earbuds/headphones


Grading - how will you be assessed?


Cycle Quizzes


Each cycle, you will take a short content and/or skill quiz on what we learned during that cycle.

Skill Building


Any assignments that focus on developing the following skills:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Collaboration

These may be homework, smaller in-class assignments, and larger projects or assessments.

Content Mastery


Any assignments in which students must show their understanding of the historical content or interpretations of history that we are studying.  This will include gauging the student’s sense of:

  • Chronology
  • Biography
  • Geography
  • Historical fact
  • Historian Interpretations

These assignments may include homework, smaller in-class assignments, and larger projects or assessments.

Student Accountability


At the end of each term you will get a Student Accountability grade based on the following criteria:

  • Timeliness (be on time to class)
  • Attendance (all absences must be excused)
  • Preparedness (have everything for class, including homework)
  • Assignments handed in completed and on time
  • Participation

Note: Some assignments will get both a “Skill Building” and “Content Mastery” grade.


Community - how will we get to know each other so that we can help one another learn?


One time per cycle for  about 15 minutes and each half-day we will engage in community-building activities using a Restorative Practices curriculum.  Restorative Practices is a social science that strives to build engaged, healthy, and safe communities using guiding protocols.  This will allow us to learn about one another as people, to build foundational relationships that will support our academic collaborations, and if necessary to work through difficult conversations as a group.  


Policies & Expectations - How is class run?


Values to Live By

Diversity: We value our differences as they allow us learn to see the world through varied perspectives.  

Kindness: We treat one another with patience, respect, and empathy.  We hold each other to high standards while actively supporting one another’s efforts to grow.   

Integrity: The work and ideas we present are our own.  We give credit to the scholars who help us shape our understanding.  We support one another in developing our own ideas while respecting our ability to think and succeed as individuals.  

Resilience: We lean into challenges and persevere when we face something new or difficult.  We build strategies that help us be successful when we struggle.

Humility: We celebrate our strengths and we openly reflect in order to recognize and improve upon our weaknesses.


Feedback & Revisions

As a class, we value growth mindset - or the idea that we can improve with feedback on our work.  To that end, feedback is not a commentary on your worth as a person. It is a series of suggestions that will help you build skills and acquire knowledge.  In addition to feedback sessions built into class, students can seek support before or after school from me, and can visit the Social Studies lab.

Revision Policy Q1: Open Revisions: Students may revise and resubmit any major assignment (writing workshops, essays, or projects) as long as the student has submitted the original work on time and has shown effort on the original submission.  Revised work must be submitted within one cycle from when the assignment was returned by the teach.  Revisions must demonstrate a thoughtful and sincere effort at improving work; superficial, rushed, or basic revisions will not be considered for a grade change.

Revision Policy Q2-Q4: Student-Directed Revisions: At the start of all major assignments, students will take a short reflective survey that asks them to select what specific area(s) of the assignment they may choose to revise as long as the student has submitted the original work on time and has shown effort on the original submission.  For example, if the assignment is a traditional essay, students may select the option to revise their evidence. If the assignment is a non-traditional project, students may select one portion of the project to revise.  Revisions must demonstrate a thoughtful and sincere effort at improving work; superficial, rushed, or basic revisions will not be considered for a grade change.

  • Q2: Students may select two areas of an assignment to revise
  • Q3: Students may select one area of an assignment to revise
  • Q4: Students may schedule a conference with Ms. Shapero to pitch a revision plan before making changes to their work.

This policy will provide you with ample opportunity to improve your work, and therefore your grade.  The expectation is that students take advantage of this opportunity throughout the course.


Late Work & Makeup Work

Students are expected to submit their work on time.  Grades on late work will not be reduced, however the student accountability grade for the quarter will be lowered for each late assignment.  Students are encouraged to communicate early and often to seek extensions. Extension requests must be made at least two school days before the assignment due date.

Students who are absent have the same number of days that they were out to complete missed work (with the exception of Cycle Quizzes - see below).  For example, if a student is out on Monday and returns to school on Tuesday, any work that was assigned on Monday is due Wednesday.  However, assignments that were due on the date of the absence will be collected immediately upon the student’s return to school.  For example, if a major paper was due Monday and the student was absent, the student must submit that paper when they return to school on Tuesday.  

Cycle Quizzes: Must be made up the day that you return to school.  Please email me or see me first thing in the morning to find a time.  Quizzes that are not made up on the day you return will not receive a grade.


Promptness and Behavior

We start and end class on time.  Late arrival will cause you to miss important material.  Students are expected to actively contribute to a productive and respectful work environment.  Students who disrupt learning in the classroom will be expected to reflect on their behavior with the group during our community-building sessions.



  • All of our class materials will be on Canvas.  Students will also get paper copies in class.
  • Students will submit major text-based assignments to Canvas, and not in hard copy.  Submissions to Canvas will also automatically run through


  • In order to encourage students to focus on growth and learning, PowerSchool grades will only be updated one time per cycle on Day 7.
  • Students will get major assignments with feedback returned before that assignment is added to PowerSchool.  
  • I encourage students and parents to have open conversations about the best way for your family to use PowerSchool.  It can be a great tool that can also sometimes distract us from our larger learning goals.

 Cell Phones:

  • Cell Phones:  Technology provides us with some extremely powerful resources, but it can also lead to great distractions. The Wellesley High School Student Handbook states “In order to prevent disruption in classrooms and to respect the academic environment the use of handheld electronic devices is prohibited during class time without express teacher approval.”
  • In order to implement the Wellesley High School handheld electronic devices including cell phones policy, students will be asked to “park” their cell phones when the cell phones are not being utilized for academic purposes.  
    • It is an expectation that you will turn your phone off (or turn it on silent mode) and place it in an assigned numerical “parking lot” space provided by Ms. Shapero.  
    • The cell phone parking lot is located in a secure and visible location in the classroom. Cell phone retrieval will occur at the end of class or when needed for academic purposes as expressly stated by your teacher.
  • You are not permitted to have your phone on your person during class unless expressly permitted by your teacher.  If your device is not placed in the parking lot and is visible during class time (this includes bathroom and water breaks), then the phone will be confiscated and consequences will follow those stated in the Student Handbook.


  • Laptops may be used only for the academic purpose of class time.
  • Students should charge their laptops before coming to class.
  • Students using laptops for social media, to do work for other classes, to visit websites that are irrelevant to the topic of class, or for imessage will be asked to put their computers away for the remaining duration of that class period.  Any work that they cannot complete as a result will need to be completed on their own time.
    • Students will be asked to forego bringing their computer to class if there are multiple instances of misuse of laptops during class time.

Signature & Questions

Please sign and return this sheet to indicate that you have read the syllabus and have no further questions about Ms. Shapero’s academic, behavior, and technology policies.  If you need any clarification before signing, please email me at


Student signature: _______________________________________


Parent/Guardian signature: _____________________________________


Date: _______________


Course Summary:

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