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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04053 World History & Geography: 1500 A.D. to the Present

Field of Study

This course enables students to explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from 1500 A.D. to the present. Throughout the course, students interact with the course content and display their knowledge, understanding, and historical skills through a variety of assignments and shared activities with their peers.

Material Covered

Students will study the origins of much of our heritage using primary documents, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, chronological skills, inquiry/research skills, and technology skills. The primary focus of the content in the course is from 1500 A.D. to the present, giving a clearer and more detailed view of how the world shifted from medieval ways of life and thinking to “modern” thought and action. Content will begin with the Renaissance in Italy (c. 1350) and extend to the modern day. It includes categories of historical studies such as politics and government, economics, military, society, and culture.

Student Expectations

Students will complete a variety of 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.

Additional Information

This course offers students the opportunity to think about our past in a new way and to better understand how yesterday’s actions will impact the present and future. In addition to preparing students for the corresponding SOL test, this course will also help students to develop their research, writing, and analytical skills, which will serve them well academically and in their future careers.


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

Course Texts and Materials


  • World History: The Modern Era
    ISBN13: 978-0133723946
    ISBN10: 0133723941
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
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