Free World History Lessons

December 4th, 2008 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
World History for Us All

Age Range: 11-17+ (Middle School and High School)

Note: Sandra Wallace, a ClickSchooling subscriber in New Zealand, recommended this website and co-wrote the review. You can learn more about her at the end of this review. :)

This website is a project of San Diego State University in cooperation with the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA. While it is not complete (new material is being regularly added) it is a useful free resource for teaching world history.

The material is divided into eleven main units with nine big eras sandwiched between an introductory unit on “History, Geography and Time” and a concluding unit entitled “Past and Future.”

For each unit there are three choices:

  • A Panorama that gives the big picture overview of what was happening in that particular era;
  • Landscape units that focus on relatively large developments in that time period, usually with a cross-cultural or comparative element;
  • Close-up units, which have a narrower historical focus.

All the teaching units can be downloaded as PDF files and some can also be viewed online as Powerpoint presentations. The PDF files are reminiscent of colorfully illustrated history textbooks.

Within the structure of the 11 main units, there is a focus on three essential questions relating to humans and the environment, humans and other humans, and humans and ideas.

Seven key themes are also integrated:

  1. Patterns of Population
  2. Economic Networks and Exchange
  3. Uses and Abuses of Power
  4. Haves and Have-Nots
  5. Expressing Identity
  6. Science, Technology, and the Environment
  7. Spiritual Life and Moral Codes

The strength of this site is that it is both comprehensive and very flexible. Everything you need to study world history can be found in one place – the PDFs I have checked out have all the supporting material included, yet you can pick and choose from the units to structure a course that suits you.

You can use Panorama units to skim through some eras, while using all the relevant landscape and close-up units when you reach an era you are especially interested in.

Alternatively, you can pick and choose units that focus on the one or two key themes that you want to highlight.

While a complete world history course could be based on this site, you could also pick and choose units to supplement an existing course, or simply explore it based on interest.

One more thing….

At first glance this site may seem complicated to navigate, but if you invest some time exploring just one unit or theme, you will begin to see the format is well-organized and easy to use. :)

Sandra Wallace and
Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling
Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved
www.Homefires.com
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********* ABOUT SANDRA WALLACE **********

Sandra Wallace has a PhD in History but now happily spends her time homeschooling her four children (aged from 8 to 16) in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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