• Somerville High School

    World Studies

    Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Williamson


    Office Hours – Tuesdays 2:20-3:30 in 208 and by appointment


    Office Hours – Mondays 2:20-3:30pm in 315 and by appointment.


    Welcome to World Studies!  Throughout the year, we will be using a variety of methods to learn about the significant events that have influenced World History and its people.  Remember, this course is about YOU.  Therefore, it is important to be an active participant in this class.  Please read this document closely as it will be your roadmap to become a successful student in this class.


    Attendance:  Very important!  In keeping with the District’s Attendance Policy, should you reach sixteen (16) unexcused absences in the academic year, you may be required to make up the seat time you have missed using APEX, an online credit recovery system.  Please do yourself a favor in avoiding this issue.  Anytime that you are not in class, for whatever reason, please provide the appropriate documentation (doctor’s note, etc.) to the Health Office.  YOU are responsible to see me to make up any work that you have missed.  If you were absent on the day of a test, please see me immediately to schedule a make-up exam (3-day allowance max).


    Lateness:  Every time you are late for class, you interrupt your fellow classmates and myself in generating a strong environment for learning.  The rule is simple; come to class on time.  If you are habitually late to class, it will result in a teacher detention.  Should the lateness continue, it will be referred to the Administration for disciplinary points.


    Responsibility:  In addition to arriving to class on time, you must be ready to work.  This means that you are quietly sitting in your seat with a pen/pencil, along with your folder, notebook, textbook, school issued laptop (fully charged) and any necessary papers when the bell rings.  We will treat everyone in the classroom with the dignity and respect they deserve.  In addition, academic integrity (cheating, plagiarism, etc.) and respect of our classroom (garbage, desks, etc.) will be mandatory in producing a strong learning environment for all.  Use of cell phones, iPods, headphones will not be tolerated!  Lastly, Chromebooks will be used only for classwork during the class periods. Improper use will result in disciplinary consequences.

    Resources:  We will be using a wide variety of materials to explore the topics of this time period.  They will include primary sources, timelines, virtual field trips, WebQuests, Google Applications video and audio.  Everyone will be expected to participate in role-playing, class discussions, oral presentations and other class activities.


    Grades:  Please note: All students EARN grades; they are not given.  Your final marking period average will be determined through a “total point” system.  If there are 600 total available points for a marking period and a student earns 480 points, their average will be an 80%.  A student must receive a 65% or higher in order to pass this course and earn credit.




    Your marking period grade will be calculated by the following assessments:

    Tests – 80-120 possible points

    Projects – 50-80 possible points

    Quizzes – 30-70 possible points

    Classwork/Homework – 3-15 possible points


    Tests:  As we complete each topic, there will be a comprehensive test covering that material.  A brief review of the exam material will be covered the day before the exam as well as a thorough review guide.


    Final:  As this is a five-credit class, there will be a final exam.  Please note the final will cover material from the 3rd and 4th marking periods.


    Course Content:  This course will cover content and skills by Era and will address the essential question/problem outlined below.


    1. Era 1 – Our Big History – Why begin a course in human history before humans existed?
    2. Era 2 – Early Humans – What made the cultures of our early human ancestors similar to and different from each other, and what were the consequences of these convergences and divergences?
    3. Era 3 – Cities, Societies and Empires – What made life in cities and agrarian civilizations different from life in pastoral, nomadic communities or Neolithic villages?
    4. Era 4 – Regional Webs – In what ways did the connections, inter-regional relationships, fluctuations in population and spread of religions affect the way people lived and their relationships with others?
    5. Era 5 – The First Global Age – What caused the great global convergence and what were the consequences?
    6. Era 6 – The Long Nineteenth Century – To what degree was the world at the end of the nineteenth century radically different from the world at the beginning of the nineteenth century?
    7. Era 7 – The Great Convergence and Divergence – What are the distinctive features that define the world you live in from the world a century or so ago? What new trends or patterns shape your world? To what extent have these trends been a positive force?


    Final Note:  PLEASE keep this course syllabus in your folder for your records and share with your parent/guardian.  It is important that you are familiar with the policies of this course and what is expected of you.  I hope you are as excited as I am for this course…GOOD LUCK!