AP World History Modern

This page will be a continual work in progress. I plan on organizing and posting many of the activities and resources that I have created, adapted, or used for AP World History Modern in the hopes they are useful for anyone who stumbles across the page. The nature of teaching is that few ideas are uniquely your own. As such, most of what I post can be credited to ideas I have heard, other resources I have found and adapted, or collaborations that have occurred in the past.

These resources are not all presented in published form, but as I use them. Feel free to change or adapt as fits your classroom. In general I follow a rough “flipped classroom” model where students read for homework in order to get content and then use class time for skill building, analysis activities, etc. Many of the resources reflect this and only a handful of the PPT files have substantial notes or lecture material.

The files have been created using Microsoft Office products but are shared through a google drive link. Some formatting issues may arise if viewed/used through google products instead of downloaded.

Check out the most recent blog posts related to AP World History Modern!

AP World History: Teaching the Industrial Middle Classes

For the last several years I have used a set of images from French artist Honoré Daumier entitled “les bons bourgeois” as a part of my lessons on topics 5.8 and 5.9. I like to use image sets when I can, especially when lecturing the content might otherwise become boring. Image analysis breaks up the…

Teaching the complexity point in AP World

The AP history complexity point, which many teachers call the “unicorn” point, can be frustrating to teach and assess; especially considering AP exam data shows how rarely it is awarded to students. However, teaching it is still possible, adds value to student learning, and can be an opportunity for fun in the classroom. Throughout the…

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Historical Thinking & Writing

Historical thinking skill guideposts – Word File – I have these on posters in my room. They are adapted from The Big Six.

SAQ Instruction – PPT File

Intro to comparison activity – PDF File – This activity originally came from an APSI in 2016 but I’ve tried to update it to keep it relevant for introducing the comparison thinking skill.

SPICET Inquiry Chart – PDF File

Ordeal by Cheque Day 1 Activity – PDF File


Unit 1: The Global Tapestry

Unit 1 Reading Guide for Ways of the World 4th edition – World File

Topic 1.1 – Song achievements lesson – PPT File – This lesson introduced causation, argumentation and thesis writing.

Topic 1.1 – Chinese cultural diffusion primary sources – Word File

Topic 1.2 – Islamic art & architecture lesson – PPT File – Not my original idea, but I use this to get at the concept of cultural legitimacy and power. Only contextual content is directly taught.

Topic 1.3 – Southeast Asia annotated map activity – PPT File

Topic 1.4 – Aztec DBQ and Planning Sheet – I use this activity to begin practicing DBQ skills early.


Unit 2: Networks of Exchange

Unit 2 Reading Guide for Ways of the World 4th edition – Word File

Unit 2 Map Analysis Project – Project DirectionsGallery Walk Analysis Sheet

Topic 2.1 – Silk Roads SAQ practice – PPT File

Topic 2.2 – Trial of Genghis Khan DBQ – Word File

Topic 2.2 – Mongols Lecture & Asabiyyah PPT File – This lecture includes a tangent on “asabiyyah” that is on my list of “guaranteed complexity point” analysis topics. Its one of several concepts I use to get students thinking analytically across time and space.

Topic 2.3 – Indian Oceans lesson – PPT File – I use SPICET charts to do some comparison practice in order to reinforce the key concepts of the unit.

DBQ – Sub-Saharan African Achievements: This DBQ comes from the Amsco text. I usually use it as my first, formative DBQ. I have a PPT file that includes the documents and various scaffolds as well as a sample DBQ that I ask students to grade after they write their own. – PPT with Documents & ScaffoldsExample DBQ


Unit 3: Land-Based Empires

Unit 3 Notes – Word File – Based on an adapted version of the Conrad-Demarest Model. The intention is to get students to think comparatively as they read the textbook and take notes from lectures.

Russian Empire Notes – PPT File

Qing & Mughal Notes – PPT File

Ottomans & Safavids Notes – PPT File

Sikhism/Sikh Empire Primary Sources – PDF File

Perspectives on Louis XIV Primary Sources – PDF File

DBQ – Peter the Great/s Modernization of Russia – This DBQ documents are originally found in the Amsco textbook. I also have provided an incomplete DBQ example that I provide to students along with scores and feedback of their own DBQs.

Global Summit Discussion – Word File – I have used this as a “cap” on the theme of state-building across both units 3 and 4. The original idea is not mine, but I don’t remember which teacher it came from.

Reformation LEQ Practice – PPT File


Unit 4: Transoceanic Connections

Economic Transformations & Material Culture Image Analysis – PPT File

Topic 4.3 – Columbian Exchange and its Effects – Lesson includes Spanish Casta analysis, colonial differences between Spain and Britain, and contextualization practice. PPT File

Topic 4.6 – Challenges to State Power Notes – PPT File

DBQ – Atlantic Slave Trade Documents – Word File


Unit 5: Revolutions

Topic 5.2

Topic 5.6 – Meiji Restoration Context and Woodblock Analysis – PPT File

Topic 5.8 and 5.9 – Rise of the Middle Class Image Analysis – PPT File