AP World History Modern

Teacher Resources

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 teachers who stumble across the page. There are also links to primary sources and other openly available lesson resources that I commonly use. 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!

Scaffolding Historical Thinking Skills

In the race to cover content it is easy to overlook the importance of scaffolding historical thinking during instruction. It is easy to ask students to analyze causes and effects, make comparisons, or effectively source documents; but harder to make sure students have a clear path to showing proficiency. Without clear scaffolding, without a system…

Earning Complexity in AP World: The Power of However

Although the complexity point is difficult for students to earn, it is possible. Depending on the historical thinking skill or topic being written about, there are some easy frameworks students can use in their arguments to make writing with complexity a habit.


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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

Writing the DBQ – PPT – This is my PPT for introducing the DBQ at the end of Unit 2. I follow it up with a formative DBQ that we write collaboratively.

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

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

Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization

Topic 6.1 – Rationales for Imperialism

  • Intro to Imperialism with Image Analysis Activity – PPT File
  • Primary Source: ABCs of British Patriotism – PDF File

Topic 6.2 – State Expansion

  • Strategies for Imperial Conquest and Maintenance LEQ Planning Chart – Word File – This also works as a review after Topics 6.4 and 6.5 since it requires discussion of economic imperialism.

Topic 6.3 – Indigenous Responses to Imperialism

Topic 6.5 – Economic Imperialism

Unit 7: Global Conflict

Lessons of the World Wars – PPT

World War II as a Turning Point – PPT

Unit 7 Key Concept Review – Word File – Just a simple review I like to do at the start of a class to get students thinking about evidence to illustrate course key concepts. It’s just a timed brainstorming; sometimes I have students write quick thesis statements.

Unit 8: Cold War & Decolonization

Topic 8.1 – 8.2 – The Cold War

  • Cold War Lessons 1 and 2 – PPT – I moved through these topics very fast this year and utilized lecture combined with some activities from the OER Project. I will definitely reapproach this next year when I have a bit more time.

Topic 8.4 – Spread of Communism after 1900

  • Global Communism – PPT

Topic 8.5 – Decolonization after 1900

  • Indian Independence & Partition – PPT File
  • Egypt: Independence & the Cold War – PPT File
  • Issues of Decolonization – PPT File – This sets up the poster project and case studies.
  • Decolonization Poster Projects – DirectionsExample 1Example 2 – I use these projects as case studies to cover the various examples of decolonization. The digital posters allow students to review/study from each other’s projects.

Topic 8.7 – Resistance to Established Power Structures

Topic 8.8 – End of the Cold War

  • End of Cold War – PPT – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan covered in an earlier lesson. After this presentation I like to outline LEQs focused around the causation skill. Great opportunity to push students towards complexity.

Unit 9: Globalization

Trends of Globalization – PPT – Unit 9 topics condensed into an overview presentation.