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Preparation for AP® History and Geography: Western Hemisphere

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Open to: Grades 6 - 9
Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math or verbal score required

Course Format: Session Based. See calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 12 weeks (Early Fall, Late Fall, Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Mid-Summer)

Recommended School Credit:

Course Code: WHP2

green arrow Available Start Dates: 1/18/21, 4/26/21, 5/31/21, 6/21/21

Course Description

Preparation for AP® History and Geography: Western Hemisphere is designed to prepare students for Advanced Placement courses in history and the rigor of high school studies. In this course, students master the basics of geography and cartography of Europe, North America, and South America to connect natural earth features with historical human experiences in these world regions. While Europe is geographically a part of the Eastern Hemisphere, it is covered in this course as a central part of Trans-Atlantic history in the Western Hemisphere. As historians, students investigate transformative world events, individuals, developments, and processes from the Neolithic era to the Present. Students develop strong study habits, close-reading skills, and expertise in evidence-based writing. In addition, students learn to contextualize information, make comparisons, and identify cause and effect relationships.

Course Goals

Preparation for AP® History and Geography: Western Hemisphere cultivates skills in the five categories below. The College Board further defines nine historical thinking skills that fall into these major requirements.

  1. Geography and Populations
    1. Principles of Geography
    2. Regionalization
    3. Spatial Reorganization
    4. Human Adaptations to the Physical Environment
    5. Comparison World Regions
  2. The State
    1. Institutional Power
    2. Expansion
    3. Conflict
  3. Economic Systems
    1. Exchange
    2. Innovation
  4. Culture
    1. Patterns
    2. Processes
    3. Interactions
  5. Social Structures
    1. Development
    2. Transformation

This course has synchronous virtual class meetings and students may also schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor to answer questions or concerns. The instructor will schedule meeting dates/times at the start of the course. Meetings will be recorded for students who are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

Virtual classrooms, and student activities in the classroom, may be recorded and added to the course as an ongoing asset for all class students to review. Students may be invited to interact in CTY community spaces that include students and instructors and potentially specially invited guests who are not enrolled in their course. Videos from YouTube or other web providers may be present in the course. Video recommendations or links provided at end of videos are generated by the video host provider and are not CTY recommendations. Student contributions (e.g., projects, forum posts, etc.) may remain in the course after the student completes the course. These artifacts may be preserved to showcase student work or to continue important conversations. 

Materials Needed

All enrolled students will have access to the e-book, listed below, which includes plentiful primary and secondary sources in addition to core course text.

Adler, Philip J., and Randall L. Pouwels. World Civilizations: 8th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2017.

Detailed Course Information

  • Western Hemisphere Geography
  • The Ancient and Classical Eras, c. 3000 BCE – 600 CE
  • The Postclassical Era, c. 600–1450
  • The Early Modern Period, c. 1450–1750
  • The Modern Period, c. 1750–1914
  • The Contemporary Period, c. 1914 – the Present

Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.