AP World History

From: $110.00 / month for 8 months

Grades:  10th–12th

Class (Sec 1):  Wed 4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

Class (Sec 2):  Thu 5:00–6:00 p.m. ET

Dates:  Aug 26, 2024–May 16, 2025

Prepaid:  $799

Instructor:  Farrar Williams

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Course Description

View Syllabus

This is an AP course that will follow the College Board’s syllabus for world history:

“In AP World History: Modern, students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes from 1200 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time. The course provides six themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organization, and technology and innovation.”

Through the themes, this course emphasizes the big picture of world history since medieval times. However, to find success in interpreting and analyzing historical sources, students must retain information and be able to call upon enough specific details about that history. My goal is to help students find that fluency with facts and then to lead them to practice those interpretation skills with discussion and reflection. Students who take the AP exam can receive college credit for this course.

Course Structure

The AP course syllabus contains 9 units:

We spend three weeks on each unit, with a tenth and final unit spent solely on review and exam preparation.

                • Unit 1: The Global Tapestry (1200-1450)
                • Unit 2: Networks of Exchange (1200-1450)
                • Unit 3: Land-Based Empires (1450-1750)
                • Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections (1450-1750)
                • Unit 5: Revolutions (1750-1900)
                • Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization (1750-1900)
                • Unit 7: Global Conflict (1900-present)
                • Unit 8: Cold War and Decolonization (1900-present)
                • Unit 9: Globalization (1900-present)
                • Unit 10: Review

Exam readiness is also woven into every unit. The units follow a pattern. We spend the first week reading, introducing and outlining the chapter. The second week is spent on more in depth responses to the information in the unit, including practice of close reading of primary sources, practice with writing skills, consideration of different perspectives on history, occasional group projects, and creative responses. The final week of each unit culminates in a practice style exam with all the components of the AP exam itself, only focused on the themes and topics from that unit. That includes multiple choice questions, short response questions, an essay, and a document-based question essay.

Students will:

                • Learn to analyze primary and secondary historical sources
                • Develop historical arguments
                • Make connections between different times and places in modern world history
                • Increase their understanding of cause and effect in historical contexts
                • Develop a strong thesis statement in a well-organized essay

Who should enroll?

Students in grades 9-12 who are:

                • Interested in history
                • Interested in a challenging social studies course
                • Capable of writing a short, organized essay and reading at a strong high school level

There are no specific prerequisites for this course. Students should be able to read and retain a college level history textbook and be able to write a simple, thesis-based essay.

I’m happy to welcome students taking their first AP course or their tenth.

Technology Requirements

                • High speed, broadband Internet
                • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
                • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
                • Students may be asked to scan or take pictures of certain assignments for submission

Evaluation and Feedback

My goal as an educator is always to help your student move forward in their skills with reading, writing, and critical thinking, especially as applied to history. Students start in different places. This is why I give extensive feedback on key writing assignments and make myself available to talk students through tricky assignments if they ask for help. The back and forth of the classroom is a big part of how we learn.

Classes are live and interactive. Assignments are marked and returned in a timely fashion and include specific feedback for the student in the case of free-response questions and essays. I respond to student messages promptly and make myself available for students to schedule short help sessions for assignments and try to reach out to students who are struggling with work.

Rubrics are provided for all writing assignments. Grades reflect the three components of each unit: chapter outlines, response assignments, and exams. There is also a small participation grade and an opportunity for extra credit in each unit.


Communication is through Canvas. Parents and students are encouraged to reach out with any questions. Additionally, I provide a short narrative progress report at the end of each quarter.


Required Texts


  • Since 1200 Ways of the World: With Sources for the AP Course by Robert Strayer, et. al., 4th edition.
  • Additionally, students will be required to choose a book from a list for a supplemental assignment during the first semester. (List of books provided in March.)


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Instructor Bio

Farrar Williams

Farrar Williams is a longtime educator with experience teaching in a variety of settings and levels. She has her undergraduate degree in history from Mount Holyoke College and her master’s in education and teaching from Goddard College. Farrar spent many years as a humanities teacher and administrator at a small Quaker middle school, where she honed her belief that education is a process, not a product, and that the goal is to bring out each student’s individual light. For the last decade and a bit, she has been homeschooling her sons, writing, and teaching in homeschool co-ops and drama groups. In addition to teaching, she’s currently an educational consultant and works with homeschool families on college admissions. When not teaching or working, Farrar is probably solving sudoku, reading a YA novel, or trying to resist putting in another batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. She lives in Washington, DC. Contact: fwilliams[at]aimacademy.online


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