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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04052 World History & Geography to 1500 A.D.

Field of Study

In this course, students take a journey back in time to explore civilizations, world events, and notable people from prehistory through 1500 A.D. Throughout the course, students interact with the course content and display their knowledge, understanding, and historical skills through a variety of assignments and interactions with their peers.

Material Covered

Aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning, this course begins with the Paleolithic time period and the dawn of humankind, then moves to examine ancient river valley civilizations, like Mesopotamia and Egypt, ancient India and China, classical Greece and Rome, the Byzantine Empire, early Russia, the Islamic Empire, early African and American civilizations, and Europe during the Middle Ages. Culminating with the Renaissance, World History I features information about the birth and growth of the five major world religions and centralized political entities. Through interactives, media-rich content, and engaging activities, students learn about historical patterns and events and find their relevance to today.

Student Expectations

Students will complete a variety of homework assignments and required readings for each module. They will participate in discussion boards. This course contains a mix of writing, multiple-choice, and other assignments. Students are expected to complete all coursework according to the schedule posted by the instructor. Students should plan on several hours per week of work outside of the regular school day. All students must complete a final exam at the end of the course.



  • Required: Enrollment in grades 9-12
  • Recommended: Completion of a middle school-level civics class

Course Texts and Materials


  • World History: Volume I
    ISBN13: 978-0133723977
    ISBN10: 0133723976
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
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