Course Syllabus

After School Office Hours: Tuesdays from 2:30-3:10

World History I Course Materials

Ms. Bel, Room 406 781-446-6290 x4889

In this course, we will examine the development of and interactions among peoples and empires across the world from the 12th through the 19th centuries. We will study the cultural, political, economic, intellectual, technological, and religious forces that shaped how people understood themselves and the world--and, therefore, how individuals and states behaved within those contexts. 

In other words, we will examine the impact of historical forces within and among communities.

As we do this work, we will draw connections around the world across both time and space, and we will begin to understand the impact and consequences of past thoughts, decisions, and actions on the present world. 

Units of Study

Unit 1 - The Power of Commerce, Ideas, and Armies (1000-1300)

Unit 2 - An Age of Rebuilding and Redefining (1300-1500)

Unit 3 - The World Built by the Atlantic System (1500-1850)

Required Supplies for Every Class:

    • World History Notebook (given to you each quarter by Ms. Bel) & all assigned readings
    • This tool kit
    • A working writing utensil
    • Laptop and charger
    • Headphones that work with your computer
    • 3 different colored highlighters

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Guiding Questions:

  • Through what forces did societies affect other societies and what determined the extent of that effect?
  • In what ways were leaders and groups--in their attempts to secure, consolidate, and expand their power--both enabled and constrained by past practice and current circumstances?
  • How did circumstances shape the means by which individuals and groups navigated and influenced the world in which they lived?
  • How have ideas, worldviews, and religions shaped individual identities as well as broad social, political, economic, and military forces?

Shared Values:

  • Diversity: We value our differences as they allow us 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's effort to develop and refine ideas, while respecting each person's ability and responsibility 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 to be successful when we struggle. 
  • Humility: We celebrate our strengths and we openly reflect in order to recognize and improve upon our weaknesses.


This is your first high school history class. Expect to be challenged. You will be asked to read, think, and write like a historian, not just memorize a list of facts. This class is built to help you strengthen these skills. If you work sincerely and responsibly, you will be successful.

Ask for the help you need. Ms. Bel cares about you. She wants you to succeed. Reach out when you have questions, need clarification or coaching, or need extra time due to an unforeseen challenge (and do so in a timely manner, not at the last minute or after the fact). We are in this together!

Curiosity, initiative, and persistence are three qualities that will carry you this year. Practice them. Doing so will require other behaviors. Treat everyone in the class with respect. Listen to and talk with your classmates in discussion. Commit yourself to personal development and not simply getting the work done. Be willing to take risks, like asking questions or sharing original ideas: we will all benefit when you do. Remember that what we do here is important. You can do it. Your teacher and classmates will help.

With all that in mind, it is therefore critical that everything you submit is genuinely your own original work. Unless otherwise directed, you must use your own words in every type of work that you do. By doing so, Ms. Bel will be able to assess your understanding, provide feedback, and help you develop as a student of history.

Technology Norms

You must put your cell phone away during class. That means your cell phone may not be accessible or visible to you. Zip it in your bag.

Put your computer in "do not disturb" mode OR turn off all notifications.

When we use computers, the only applications or web pages that are to be open are the ones we are using for this class.




  • Historical IDs & multiple choice/matching assessments
  • Essays, projects, & formal discussions
  • In-class creative, performance, & writing activities, & informal discussions
  • Quarterly notebook (overall)

*You may replace ONE assessment (ID/multiple choice/matching) each quarter by answering a new open response prompt. You must complete the replacement assignment within one week of the original assessment. The maximum replacement score is an 80.

How do I get the grade I want?

  • Do your own work as well as you can, every time, on time. 
  • Ground all of your work in SPARC evidence. Develop your content expertise and think critically about what you are learning.
  • Engage intellectually, creatively, and as a responsive human being. Contribute ideas in class. Ask questions. Think deeply. Keep yourself and your classmates on task.
  • Use the frequent feedback given during in-class norming for excellence activities. Whether it is your work or a peer’s that is examined, you should be noting, internalizing, and applying the feedback. APPLY THE FEEDBACK BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR WORK FOR A GRADE.
  • If you need help with studying, applying course vocabulary, time-management, reading, writing, or discussion, go to the Social Studies Lab or see Ms. Bel during office hours. YOU are responsible for knowing what help you need and taking the initiative to get it.

How do I access feedback on Canvas?

  • Go to Grades.
  • Click Assignments.
  • Choose Show All Details (located on the upper right side of the screen).
  • Scroll to the correct assignment and read what Ms. Bel has written.
  • Then, write down the feedback in your tracker.

Cheating/ Plagiarism

Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Any student caught plagiarizing from any source, using AI, copying material from other students, providing material to be copied, or collaborating on an individual student assignment, will face disciplinary actions according to the student handbook.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due