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The Young Historians – Continents: Europe and the Americas

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Open to: Grades 3 - 5
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)

Course Code: WHS1

Course Description

This course explores the history, culture, traditions, and beliefs of world civilizations from the continents of Europe, North America, and South America. Students learn to think chronologically and understand the major forces of change and order, in addition to the cause-and-effect relationships across a wide variety of historical experiences. It emphasizes the distinctive qualities of each civilization as well as what these civilizations have in common. It also prepares students for future work in pre-AP social studies classes.

Course Goals

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to advance the following skills:

  • Thinking chronologically about historical events and when they occur in time.
  • Understanding the movements behind major historical forces of change and order.
  • Recognizing cause-and-effect relationships throughout various histories.
  • Explaining historical relationships such as causality, correlation, continuity, and change.
  • Collaborating with peers in discussing specific features found in various histories.
  • Connecting historical events with their influence on cultures, traditions, and beliefs in various civilizations of the world.

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. Virtual class meetings are held once a week from either 7-8 a.m. ET or 7-8 p.m. ET on Tuesdays. Both morning and evening sessions are offered to accommodate students outside the ET zone, but students will only need to attend one session per week.

Virtual classrooms and student activities in the classroom may be recorded and added to the course as an ongoing asset for all course  students to review. Students may be invited to interact in CTY community spaces with 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

Core Textbook: 

The History Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) by DK
ISBN-13: 978-1465445100

Additional Textbook (selected chapters):

When on Earth? By DK   
ISBN-13: 978-1465429407

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

  • History of North America (This unit examines the historical roots of the United States of America, along with Canada, Mexico, and parts of Central America.)
  • North America – Culture, Traditions, Beliefs
  • History of South America
  • South America – Culture, Traditions, Beliefs
  • History of Europe
  • Europe – Culture, Traditions, Beliefs

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 which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.