AP World History Summer Assignment
2015-2016 School Year
Mrs. Barkley
“Why do we have to do a summer assignment? This is a commonly asked question within local educational circles. The
reason is NOT because we are trying to take away your summer and burden you with a heavy work load. However, all
students take the AP Exam on the same day in mid-May. In order for us not to get too far behind, it is imperative that we
assign you some work over the summer.
This assignment is broken down into five parts. Unless otherwise specified, all work should be written by hand and not
typed. You should use lined notebook paper that has not been torn out of a spiral notebook or composition book. The
finished assignment should be presented in a clear-faced folder with a cover page and a table of contents broken down
into the six different parts. You would be wise not to wait until the last hour to begin this assignment. It isn’t necessarily
difficult, but it is somewhat time consuming. The due date for this assignment is the first day of class.
As you begin this assignment, you may have questions. Some of them will be great questions and may suggest that I
didn’t explain something as clearly as I should have. For this, I apologize in advance. Some of your questions are
probably already addressed in this document, so read it carefully. However, know that this is a class that requires
advanced thinking skills. So, when you feel like you have a question, try to answer it on your own at first; nevertheless, if
you are still having trouble, please feel free to contact me for clarification – [email protected]
Part I - Overview of AP World
Read pages 5-23 of the AP World History Course & Exam Description (click on the link below). This reading will provide
you with an overview of the historical thinking skills this course is intended to enhance as well as the themes of world
history that provide the framework for the course. Answer the questions below. For numbers 12 and 13, nothing needs
to be written, but you will be tested on this material either the first or second week of school.
1. Define historiography.
2. How might you become proficient in the historical thinking skill of Historical Argumentation? Cite an example of this
3. What should you be able to do to demonstrate Appropriate Use of Relevant Historical Evidence?
4. Why does a course in World History not often rely on written sources as evidence? What sources do they use in lieu of
written sources?
5. How might you become proficient in the historical thinking skill of Chronological Reasoning? Cite an example of this
6. What should you do to be able to demonstrate knowledge of Patterns of Continuity and Change Over Time?
7. Why is Periodization challenging yet important in a study of World History?
8. How might you become proficient in the historical thinking skill of Comparison and Contextualization? Cite an
example of this skill.
9. What does it mean to Contextualize?
10. How might you become proficient in the historical thinking skill of Historical Interpretation and Synthesis? Cite an
example of this skill.
11. Come up with one word to describe each of the five Course Themes?
12. Memorize the following AP World Regions that are shown on page 22. They are: Southeast Asia, East Asia, Central
Asia, South Asia, The Middle East, North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa (you cannot refer to it as
South Africa as that is a modern nation-state), Latin America & the Caribbean, and North America. You should also know
Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
13. Memorize the six Unit Periods (shown on page 23) for the course. They are as follows:
Unit I- Beginnings to c. 600 BCE
Unit II- c. 600 BCE- c. 600 CE
Unit III- c. 600 CE- c. 1450 CE
Unit IV- c. 1450 CE- c. 1750 CE
Unit V- c. 1750 CE- c. 1900 CE
Unit VI- c. 1900 CE to the Present
Part II - Why Study History?
Read “Why Study History” by Peter Stearns (see link below). Write a thesis statement (this is not a summary, it is an
argument) for why the study of history is important.
Part III - The History of Our World in 18 Minutes
Watch this brief Ted Talk given by David Christian (see link below). You will need to create an account to view the video.
As you read take notes (you may need to hit pause as you notate). Afterward, write a one paragraph summary of the
purpose of Christian’s lecture. Be sure to support your answer with evidence from Christian’s point of view.
Part IV - Jared Diamond & The Neolithic Revolution
The Neolithic Revolution is considered one of the seminal events in the history of the human species. In a period of
several thousand years, humans went from a largely migratory species to an increasingly sedentary and agricultural
society. Historians have often remarked on the vital importance and positive nature of this change, as it led to the
development of cities and civilizations. However, some historians do not agree that this was a positive development. In
fact, many argue that the Neolithic Revolution was a horrendous turning point in the history of the human species. Jared
Diamond is such a thinker. In his infamous article, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” Diamond
argues that not only was the Neolithic Revolution not positive, but it has led to all the evils that exist in the world today.
Read this article:
1. Write what you believe to be Diamond’s thesis.
2. What are Diamond’s two most persuasive statements? Why?
3. Many critics of Diamond argue that he has had plenty of opportunity to join a hunter-gatherer and he refused to.
Should it influence our opinion of his argument if he is not willing to live with the consequences of it?
4. What should human beings and human societies want from their existence? Watch the video based on Diamond’s
book Guns, Germs, and Steel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36BQW1SuHQ8
5. What was Yali’s question? How did it lead Diamond to do the research which led to Guns, Germs, and Steel?
6. What is “cargo” as used in the question as posed by Yali? How was cargo viewed by many New Guineans?
7. Compare and contrast the colonialist view of “genetic superiority” vs. Diamond’s view of New Guineans in terms of
Part V – Period 1 Key Concepts Review Questions
Read pages 25-30 of the AP World History Course & Exam Description (click on the link below). This reading is an
overview of the key concepts taught for Period 1. Answer the questions below. You may print out the questions and
answer them.
Period 1: Technological and Environmental Transformations Key Concept 1.1
1. Why do anthropologists think that hunter-forager societies were egalitarian?
2. Where did hunting-foraging bands migrate from originially? ___________________
Key Concept 1.2
3. How long did settled agriculture appear in the world?
4. How did Agriculturalists have a massive impact on the environment?
5. Name some of the ways agriculture changed society.
6. Define pastoralism:
7. What impact does pastoralist’ societies’ mobility have on settled population?
8. Where did agriculture emerge when the Neolithic Revolution began? (be specific and name several)
9. Why did agricultural communities have to work together?
10. How did Pastoralists impact the environment?
11. What does “surplus of food and other goods” normally lead to?
12. Name some specific improvements in agricultural production, trade & transportation:
13. What happens as a result of elite groups accumulating wealth?
Key Concept 1.3
14. Name some of the important shared features of a “civilization”.
15. What happened to society as populations further grew?
16. Name the core and foundational societies and where they are located.
17. What gave the Hittites an advantage over other foundational people?
18. Name an early region where state expansion or empire building was located.
19. Who were often the developers and disseminators of new weapons and modes of transportation?
____________________ Name two examples _________________, ____________________
20. Name one new mode of transportation _________________________
21. Early civilizations developed monumental architecture and ____________ _______________.
Name three examples of monumental architecture and where they were found:
a. ______________________________ b.__________________________c. ____________________
22. ____________ promoted arts and artisanship.
23. Name three examples of systems of record keeping and where they were found.
a. ______________________________
b. _____________________________
c. __________________________________
24. Name one legal code that developed during this time: _______________________________.
25. Name two religious beliefs that developed during this time a. _________________b._____________
26. Name two examples of trade expansion from local to regional and trans regional.
27. Name two examples of literature from the cultures of this time period.

AP World History Summer Assignment 2015