Teacher: Dr. Ken Wackes

Email Address: ken@kenwackes.net

Cell Phone: 352-601-3880

Course Web Site: http;//www.worldhistory.kenwackes.net

What will this course give you?

This course is intended to give you understanding about and enthusiasm for several major dynamics that underlie and compose world history: 1} the principles for life that God has given to mankind for an enjoyable and productive life on earth; 2} the reasons why societies, nations, and leaders have crumbled; 3} the ongoing presence of God and the people of God throughout history; 4} the various kinds of societies, cultures, and governments mankind has erected; and, 5} important epochs, persons, dates, places, and events that rise to the surface in studying world history.

Big Questions About History

A basic belief of this course is that  the Bible is our primary source to understanding history. It does not contain all the events of history, but it does provide  principles that serve as glasses through which we can understand history.

Why do people do what they do? Why do events happen as they do? Is there anyone in charge of history? Is there a master plan or is it all just a series of events driven by luck and chance? Where is history headed today and tomorrow? And where do we fit into the whole story? What we will look for in our study will be:

  1. the principles for life that God has given to mankind for an enjoyable and productive life on earth;

  2. the reasons why societies, nations, and leaders have fallen;

  3. the ongoing presence of God and the people of God throughout history;

  4. the various kinds of societies, cultures, and governments mankind has erected; and,

  5. important epochs, persons, dates, places, and events that rise to the surface in studying world history.

The Textbook and Reference Books

•  World History eTextbook by Dr. Ken Wackes, 2013 at www.worldhistory.kenwackes.net.

I wrote it with you in mind. What is worth knowing? Most printed textbooks are (1) too detailed and contain too much information, (2) take at least two years to get through, and (3) weigh a ton in your backpack. I wrote this eBookWH so that you can read about and concentrate on the big ideas of World History, especially from a Christian perspective.

•  A copy of a reference textbook, World History, by Jackson Spielvogel, Glencoe, 2008  is kept in the classroom for each student’s use.

Also use the internet to explore topics, names, places, events that interest you. The world is your library!

What are you expected to do in this course?

  1. 1.Read the entirety of this eBookWH.

  2. 2.Maintain good notes from class lectures, PowerPoint presentations and charts and diagrams on the white board.  All PowerPoint presentations are stored on DropBox for you to review on your own.

  3. 3.Keep a notebook where you will file your notes from class and your reading. Go to web sites assigned to explore maps, articles, art work, museum pieces, etc.

  4. 4.Review for 15-20 minutes every evening after having been in World History class in order to recall what we discussed that day.

  5. 5.Keep a list of vocabulary cards containing key dates, key people, and key events. Use an electronic version if possible for quick access. (You can’t lose vocal cards if they are stored online!)


Your are to keep a notebook with current information that you obtain from classroom lectures, videos, and assigned readings. The notebook will be collected on the day of each test and will receive a grade based upon its neatness, accuracy, compliance with the Cornell System of keeping notes, and completeness.

Divide each notebook page into three vertical columns: the left column should be about 2” wide, the center column about 5.5” wide, and the right column about 1” wide. See the example below.

  1. 1.You should have one page or more for each class period.

  2. 2.You should have one page for each assigned reading.

  3. 3.You should have one page for each PowerPoint or video used in class.

Keeping Notes in the Center Column:

Write your notes in the center column. Keep it brief. Be concise and precise. Usually one page will be sufficient for each class period, reading, or video/PowerPoint, and usually never more than two). You will record what has been emphasized in class by the teacher and by other students. Underline, circle, use highlighter, or whatever works for you to identify in your notes the key ideas, people, dates, events.

Key Points:

As you listen in class to lectures and discussions, view PowerPoints, or as you read through the eTextbook, jot down in the left column important people, ideas, dates, events. This will help you to quickly review.


List in the third column each instance you can find in your notes that talks about the Social, Political, Religious, Intellectual, Technological, or Economic impact. Place items dealing with literature, art, architecture in Intellectual. Some people like to add a sixth dimension after SPRITE(A) to record items dealing with literature, art, architecture.


At the bottom of the page write a brief summary of the big ideas contained in your notes. This will be your summary for quick review when studying for a test.


There will be at least one test per unit and one final exam at the end of each semester. The final exam is worth 20% of the semester grade.  There are no exemptions from the final exam.

You may retake any test within two class periods following the original test date. The two test grades will be averaged and the higher score will count for 2/3 of the test grade. In other words, if you get a 69 on the original test and an 82 on the retake, your grade will be 69+82+82 = 78.

Semester Grading

Essays/Reading Questions = 35% of grade. Unit tests = 35%.  Quizzes = 10%. Notebooks = 20%.

Readings and Reading Questions

You are to read in its entirety at least once the eWHBk. There will be occasional required readings from internet sources and from original sources found in the classroom set. There are  reading questions at the end of each unit in the eTextbook. These are to be submitted by the due dates assigned in class.

Essays and Due Dates

Choose one major character or one major event and present a two-page essay, containing at least three (3) resources with at least six (6) footnotes and a bibliography. Use a font no larger than 10-points in either Verdana, Arial, or Times fonts. One inch margin on left, one inch margin on top, .5 inch margin on right, .5 inch margin on bottom. No spelling or grammatical errors. No historical errors. Check your facts carefully. Use spell check and proof read carefully. You are to follow the rubrics for essays listed below.

General construction of the essay:

  1. (1)The thesis will seek to answer a question or a problem that originates with you concerning the major character or event featured in your essay. You must post at the top of your essay the question that you will seek to answer with your thesis.

  2. (2)The thesis statement will be the third sentence in the thesis paragraph, followed by a statement containing the 3-4 major points used to support the thesis.

  3. (3)There is to be one supporting paragraph for each of the 3-4 major points which you have posted in the thesis paragraph. Each supporting paragraph prove, clarify, or explain one major point. Therefore your essay will contain at least four to five  paragraphs: an introductory paragraph containing your thesis, and three to four supporting paragraphs, and a summary paragraph.

  4. (4)A summary paragraph completes the essay.

The grade given to the essay will be based upon the following rubrics:

Rubrics for Essays

Points will be awarded according to meeting the rubrics listed in the chart at the end of this page. If any one of the rubrics below is missing or poorly crafted, the grade for the essay cannot be higher than the numerical value for that item. The highest possible grade is 36. The passing grade is 10. No late papers will be accepted for a passing grade without prior approval.

In a grading scale of 1-100 the rubric scores equal the following:

1 = 20%   2 = 30%  3 = 45%  4 = 55%  5 = 65%

6 = 70%   7 = 80%  8 = 90%  9 = 95-100%


No plagiarizing is permitted. At least one paragraph or set of statements in each of your essays will be tested with  Google to see if your essay is your original work. When you want to use something that another author has written use quotation marks and then note in (parenthesis) where you obtained that quote. If you mention important data that you obtained from another person’s work, like statistics or opinions, cite where you obtained that data using (parenthesis).

Example footnotes:

At least six footnotes are to be included in the text and not at the bottom of the page.


“In his book, Iron and Steel, William Harris states that Wilhelm II, king of Germany was an evangelical Christian and held Bible studies in his home every Wednesday night (William Harris, Iron and Steel, p. 65).  I wonder how this played out in his normal everyday living, however, because John Jones states that Wilhelm was harsh, militaristic, and unforgiving in his treatment of his own children (John Johns, Wilhelm II, p. 102). “

Example Resources Page:

• Iron and Steel, William Harris, Scholastic Press, 1998.

• Wilhelm II, John Jones, Oxford University Press, 2001.

• “Wilhelm II,” Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.com/Wilhelm II.

Due Dates:

Units 1-4    -    Due September 29

Units 6-11    -    Due October 20

Unit 12        -    Due November 10

Unit 13        -    Due December 8

Units 14-17    -    Due February 9

Units 18-19    -    Due March 8

Units 22, 23, 24  - Due March 22

Units 25-26    -    Due April 26

Units 27-30    -    Due May 9

Electronic Presentations (Keynote, PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Educreations, )

If you choose to make your report using one of the programs listed above, the essay rubrics still apply. In the first slide place the question, the title of your essay, and your name and date. In the second slide place the “setting the stage” statement, thesis statement, and the “proofs” statement. Each supporting paragraph would be one or several slides that support a major point in your essay. This should be clearly noted on the slide. Examples: Major Point #2 or listing the item from your thesis that this slide will support by using that item in a full sentence and posting it at the top of the slide and underlined, or placed in bold font, or with a color font so that the viewer knows that this slide supports one of the major items in your thesis statement.

Electronic essays are to contain at least twelve (12 ) slides, not including the title slide or the resource slide.

The whole point of doing an essay electronically is the ability to use pictures, photographs, maps, etc., and not simply words. Pictures, photographs, maps, cartoons, etc. must be included in all electronic essays.

Unit Tests

The dates for unit tests will be posted on RenWeb and announced in class at least one week prior to the test date. The test schedule is flexible. If the class has not covered the material sufficiently, or if the material is covered more quickly than planned, test dates will be changed, but always with sufficient prior notice. Most of the tests will be primarily multiple choice with one free response essay.

Personal Expectations

  1. 1.You are to be on time, seldom absent, and actively participating in class with ideas, questions, and insights gained from reading, 

  2. 2.You will ALWAYS treat every other student and me as teacher as people who are created in the image of God,  who are loved and valued by Him. No put downs or negative talk will be allowed. The best courtesy is always to be shown to others.

  3. 3.Everyone's ideas and comments are worth hearing and considering. No questions are "dumb" and no comments "off the wall." No one is permitted to talk while another person has the floor.

  4. 4.The Bible is our final authority in determining basic principles about history. Genuine history principles are used to evaluate events, facts, etc. Evidences and primary sources are to be highly valued and used as often as possible. 

  5. 5.Full participation is always expected. No heads on desks. No materials from other classes on your desk. No working on assignments for other classes.

  6. 6.Computers, tablets, or smart phones are permitted and encouraged in class -- but only for note taking or exploring topics relevant to the class discussion on the Internet when asked to do so by the teacher. No game playing, no text messaging, no email reading or sending is permitted. Failure to abide by this invokes the regular school rules for the use of phones and tablets. This will be on an honor system and a pledge will be signed at the beginning of the school year.

  7. 7.Act as a Christian who understands that you have been given a job by God, and that job is to be a good, alert, hardworking student in this course.


  1. 1.All assignments must be turned in on time by midnight on the assigned date. Essays turned in after that deadline will receive a 10% reduction in grade per day late. After one week the grade will turn to a zero.

  2. 2.Things might come up over which you have no control or you have other major assignments due in other classes. For this reason you may postpone an essay for one week if you give me prior notice. You may do this for one essay per semester. 

  3. 3.All assignments and essays are to be submitted by email to Dr. Wackes at ken@kenwackes.net -- no paper copies are accepted.

  4. 4.Your submitted work must reflect careful thought and planning to be received for a grade. If not, it will be handed back for re-do and a grade reduction  for not meeting the original deadline.

  5. 5.On occasion a printed paper copy or one on a flash drive is to be brought to class so that the teacher can ask you to share your responses -- this can be stored on a computer, flash drive, tablet, or smart phone for use in class.

Tests and Quizzes:

  1. Daily Quizzes: there will be a 10-15 minute quiz covering the material studied in the prior class. So, always review before coming to class.

  2. Vocabulary tests will have objective questions of a M/C or matching nature. Vocabulary tests will be given during the class period prior to the unit test. The vocabulary items are names of people, key dates, places, and events you select from the chapter and include in your vocabulary card file.

  3. Unit tests will always have objective (M/C) or matching questions and/or short response essays. The unit tests will usually be composed of approximately 30-40 Multiple Choice/Matching questions and 1 Free Response essay (FRQ), all dealing with the content of the units being covered.

  4. Essays on tests or for homework will always be intended to force you to manipulate the information learned, and not just memorize and repeat it back to me. 

  5. At times a take-home test will be given as a way to allow you to spend more time in analyzing complex problems, using your textbook, class notes, or other sources of information.

Online Quizzes and Tests:

  1. At times you will take tests and quizzes at home and in class on the internet using my site at ProProfs.com. These will be announced beforehand with instructions re how to access the tests.

  2. The online tests and quizzes are timed to prevent a student from attempting to look up answers in notes or books. Once you select your answer, you will receive a message of either “Great! You are correct!” or Sorry! Here’s the correct answer.”

  3. The program will grade your work and send a copy to you at your email address and to me at mine.

Rubric Scoring for Essays

Rubrics for 65%

Rubrics for 66%+

Contains a question that is clear

and well-defined, posted at top of

essay that the essay seeks to



Each supporting paragraph contains a clear topic sentence.


Has an introductory thesis paragraph that contains three parts: (1) a “set the stage” sentence, (2) a thesis statement, and (3) an evidences or “proofs” sentence.


Each supporting paragraph contains specific data (dates, names, places, events) that proves the major point of that paragraph (the more specific data is used, the higher the score).


Has a thesis statement that makes a clear proposal (or hypothesis) that answers the question (a reader should be able to tell what the essay is about by reading the thesis statement).


Contains at least three (3) outside sources listed at the end of the essay and there must be at least six (6) footnotes.


Has a “proofs” statement containing at least three (3) evidences or proofs that tell why the thesis is a correct answer to the question.


Contains a clear summary paragraph that supports the thesis.


Has one supporting paragraph for each of the three (3) “proofs”.



Welcome to Dr. Wackes’ World History Web Site!

This site contain the information worth knowing in the units that we will study in World History including the eBookWH for the course. This site is intended to be a textbook and guide as you make your way through the course eBookWH as well as classroom lectures and classroom assignments.