Shawnee Mission School District

High School Course Syllabus

Course World Regional Studies
Honors
Teacher: Haley Lukes (Stojak)
email: haleystojak@smsd.org
Number 3397 School: Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Department Social Sciences Year: 2014-2015

Course
Description



The World Regional Studies course is designed to explore the political, economic, physical, and cultural
geography of Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle/South America, and Australia; and provide an introductory
overview of the historical development and events that shaped each region. Students in this course will
investigate the cultural contributions of each region and rapidly changing landscape of these regions.
Emphasis in the Honors course is on the process and analysis skills necessary for work in future advanced
placement or honors social sciences courses. There is additional emphasis on the interpretation and analysis
of primary source materials. Higher level reading, research, and writing are a component of this course.
Primary
Objectives






















3397.000
Geographic and Historical Thinking
Introduction to World Regional Studies
In order to complete a successful study of the worlds’ regions, students should have the following basic
skills and understanding:
1. Identify, explain, and apply the five themes of geography.
2. Apply the six essential elements of geography: The World in Spatial Terms, Places and Regions,
Physical Systems, Human Systems, Environment and Society, The Uses of Geography.
3. Apply geographic skills/concepts to reading and interpreting maps using a variety of map elements
(direction, distance, scale, coordinates, grids, latitude, longitude, legends/key, time zones).
4. ▲ Locate major political features, physical features, and world regions using mental maps and compare
the relative location of those features.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of how maps reflect changes over time.
6. Identify the temporal structure of a historical narrative (its beginning, middle, and end).
7. Interpret data presented in timelines, charts and graphs and other visual representations of information.
8. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships bearing in mind multiple-causation.
9. Consider multiple perspectives.
10. Demonstrate an understanding of economic systems found in the world.
11. Demonstrate an understanding of governmental systems found in the world.
12. The student will independently research topics related to physical and human geography as approved by
the instructor at least once per semester.
13. The student will produce a minimum of four written products per semester as determined by the
instructor.

3397.500
Overview of World Religions
Examine the geographical and historical factors associated with the origin, spread, and impact of
major world religions in different regions of the world.
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the important concepts underlying the following world religions:
Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
2. Compare and contrast the characteristics of the 6 major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity,
Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism.
3. Examine the geographical and historical factors that were associated with the origin, spread, and
impact of the 6 major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and
Sikhism.

The following learning outcomes are included in ALL of the world regions.
Europe, Russia and the Republics, Middle/South America, Southwest Asia and North Africa; Sub-
Saharan Africa; East Asia; South Asia; Southeast Asia; Oceania and Antarctica.
Throughout the regional study of (insert region), the students will:
1. Examine the physical and human characteristics of places and regions, their impact on developing
societies, and their connections and interdependence.
2. Apply geographic skills, concepts and technologies, to gather, display, analyze, and write about spatial
information.
3. Examine the geographic and historic factors associated with population characteristics, distribution,
and migration in the world and the causes and consequences associated with those factors.
4. Analyze economic, social, human migration, settlement, and distribution patterns and present findings
supported by textual evidence.
5. Examine the geographical and historical factors associated with the origin, spread, and impact of
major world religions in different regions of the world.
6. Examine and then analyze change and continuity relationships to a variety of historical issues,
conflicts, events, and regional problems.
7. Evaluate the historical and geographic connections of regions and sub-regions.
8. Examine current events and issues and analyze how they impact the place, region, and the global
community.

3397.9100
REGION: EUROPE
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
0.1 How have industrialization and colonization led to the diffusion of European culture around the
world?
0.2 How has the creation of the European Union changed Europe economically, socially, and
politically?
0.3 How did Communism influence the development of economic, social, and political systems of
Eastern and Western Europe?
0.4 How have demographic characteristics created a population profile unique to the continent of
Europe?
0.5 How have European industrialization and technological innovations impacted the human and
physical environment?
0.6 How have different regional conflicts in Europe created unity and disunity (i.e. Balkanization)?
0.7 How has Europe’s physical geography affected its development?

3397.9200
REGION: RUSSIA AND THE REPUBLICS
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
0.1 How does Russia’s political and cultural history influence the present day region?
0.2 How has the history of communism in Russia affected political and economic development
regionally and globally?
0.3 How has the physical geography of Russia affected population development, economic
development, and access to natural resources?
0.4 How have different regional conflicts in Northern Eurasia created unity and disunity?
0.5 How have demographic characteristics created a population profile unique to the region?
0.6 How do environmental issues affect the human and physical geography of Northern Eurasia?

3397.9300
REGION: MIDDLE AND SOUTH AMERICA
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How has European colonization of Middle and South America continued to impact the region
culturally, politically, and economically?
02. How did the culture hearths of this region shape its history?
03. How does Middle and South America’s economic activities relate to zones of elevation?
04. How do major push and pull factors affect migration from Middle and South America to the United
States and other developed nations?
05. How does the increased involvement of Middle and South America in the global market impact
Middle and South America’s standard of living?
06. Why is deforestation of the rain forest a source of global concern and how has it led to economic,
social, and political conflict?

3397.9400
REGION: SOUTHWEST ASIA AND NORTH AFRICA
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How does the global demand for oil impact this region politically and economically?
02. What impact does the scarcity of water have on this region, and what solutions have countries
implemented?
03. How have Judaism, Christianity, and Islam impacted culture and politics in this region?
04. How did Islam spread so quickly? (Mini DBQ)
05. When and how did the Arab-Israeli conflict begin, and what has been the impact on the region
today?
06. How did the culture hearths of this region shape its history?
07. How do cultural beliefs influence social customs, public policies, and decision-making?
08. How have terrorist organizations from this region affected the world?

3397.9500
REGION: SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How has the history of imperialism and colonization impacted the present conditions in Africa?
02. How have current regional and ethnic conflicts in Africa affected unity and disunity?
03. How has the global economy affected the use of Africa’s resources?
04. How have health concerns affected the population of Africa socially and economically?
05. How have demographic characteristics created a population profile unique to the continent of
Africa?
06. How do environmental issues affect the human and physical geography of Africa?
07. How have human rights become a global issue in Africa?

3397.9600
REGION: SOUTH ASIA
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How have colonialism and imperialism contributed to the political, economic, and cultural formation
of South Asia?
02. How have demographic characteristics created a population profile unique to the region of South
Asia?
03. How do cultural beliefs influence social customs, public policies, and decision-making?
04. What impact have natural forces and environmental issues had on this region?
05. How does economic disparity affect the region?

3397.9700
REGION: EAST ASIA
Essential Questions – Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How has isolationism shaped the region of East Asia?
02. How have modern conflicts affected the political and economic landscape of East Asia?
03. How are the core religious beliefs reflected in the cultural landscape and daily lives of the
people of East Asia?
04. How have urbanization and economic development of East Asia created environmental
concerns?
05. How has government policy created the population profile of East Asia?
06. How has East Asia made an impact in the global economy?
07. How has East Asia’s physical geography affected development?
08. What have been the costs and benefits of China’s one child policy? (Mini DBQ)

3397.9800
REGION: SOUTHEAST ASIA
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How have colonialism and imperialism contributed to the political, economic, and cultural formation
of Southeast Asia?
02. How has Southeast Asia made an impact in the global economy?
03. How do the countries in Southeast Asia vary in their political, cultural, and economic landscape?
04. How has physical geography affected development of Southeast Asia?

3397.9900
REGION: OCEANIA AND ANTARCTICA
Essential Questions - Questions that students should be able to answer at the completion of this unit.
01. How has European colonization continued to impact the region culturally, politically, and
economically?
02. How does Oceania’s environmental landscape impact culture?


Textbook
Used
World Regional Geography: Global Patterns, Local Lives (Fifth Edition).
Pulsipher, Lydia Mihelic and Alex Pulsipher. Bedford, Worth Freeman
Publishers. 2011.
Major Topics
Covered by Quarter

(projected schedule)
TOPIC QUARTER
Mapping Basics including North America 1
st
Qtr
Physical Geography
Human Geography
World Religions

Europe (Western and Eastern) 2
nd
Qtr
Africa (Northern and Sub-Saharan)

Southwest Asia 3
rd
Qtr
South Asia
East Asia
Southeast Asia

Russia and the Republics 4
th
Qtr
Middle and South America
Oceania and the Poles
Global Issues Presentations


Method of Evaluation





Grade for the course is based on total points accumulated. Each quarter is worth 43% of the semester grade and
the semester final is worth 14% of the semester grade. These are the areas that will be assessed:

 Tests and Quizzes: Tests and quizzes will have multiple-choice questions over unit content.
 Essays/Short Writing Prompts/DBQ: Essays and Document Based Questions (DBQ) will warrant in-depth
written analysis and synthesis of relevant information.
 Projects: Group, partner, and individual projects will be assigned with the units of study.
 Nightly Homework: Includes worksheets, graphic organizers, readings, current events, and maps. Students
will have 15-30 minutes of World Regional Studies Honors homework most nights.
 Mapping: Identification of political and physical locations on regional maps will be assigned with the units
of study.
 Classroom Discussion: Students are expected to actively and positively contribute to meaningful classroom
discussions of topical matters in a socratic format.
 Critical Thinking: Students will participate in classroom exercises that demand the use of critical thinking
such as simulations, primary and secondary readings from the book, additional supplemental readings, and
activities for the units of study.
 Individual Exploration of Topics: There is an independent study component to this course. Each quarter,
students will participate in the study of geography by exploring the subject matter from their own perspectives
and interests.
 Global Issues Research Project: This project will require extensive library and internet research and will be
done independently over an extended period of time throughout second semester. The final product will
include written and multimedia portions.

Grading Policy:
A: 90-100 % B: 80-89% C: 70-79% D: 60-69% F: 59% and below
Student Expectations/
Responsibilities








Students will…
 Respect others in the classroom by using positive language and following directions
 Arrive to class prepared and on time every day (pencils, textbooks, binders, homework must
be in the classroom before the bell rings)
 Turn in homework the day it is due (late homework will be deducted by 10% each day that it
is late)
 Request missing work if absent. District policy states you have two days for every missed day
to make-up assignments.
 Keep graded work to help study for tests
 Turn off and put away all electronic devices (unless permitted by teacher for class use)
 Maintain a safe and respectful classroom environment