Modern World History Thru Literature

From: $79.00 / month for 8 months

Grades:  7th–8th

Live Class:  Thu 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET

Dates:  Aug 21–May 3

Price:  $549

Instructor:  Beverly Graybill

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Enrollment in this class is currently closed.

Course Description

View Course Syllabus

Modern World History Book List

This literature-based middle school world history class uses engaging historical fiction, biographies, and nonfiction. Students who enroll in this course and English Through World History may receive a discount by choosing the bundle option: English with Modern World History Bundle.

This course begins with the Age of Exploration and Scientific Revolution (1400s) and cover modern world history with much focus on the 20th century. It will pick up where Mrs. G’s Ancient and Medieval World History course ended. Students will be challenged to see common themes in history.

Students will:

  • Study the following topics in history: scientific revolution, great voyages of discovery, and systems of trade; ideas of enlightenment and new views on government; the age of revolution; the Industrial Revolution; nationalism and colonial empires; World Wars; the rise and fall of communism; the space race; wars in the Middle East and terrorism; a polluted planet; the computer revolution; and current events.
  • Learn new words in context related to history and geography.
  • Compare/contrast historical events and nations.
  • Identify countries’ border changes throughout modern times and other map work.

Course Structure

Students will have readings in the text and activities posted in Canvas each week to review the material, including a review “quiz” at the end of each week. During class, review games will reinforce the material studied and students will teach mini-lessons as well. Other live class activities include readers’ theater plays.

Course Assignments will include:

  • Readings in the text including review questions; history reviews in Canvas.
  • Various worksheet type activities posted in Canvas.
  • Read historical fiction or biographies related to the topics being studied, sharing new facts learned with classmates.
  • Research mini-topics, sharing facts with classmates.
  • Two major projects, one each semester.

Who should enroll?

This class is for 7th – 8th graders, others by permission from the instructor.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Headset and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Microsoft Word and Power Point are very helpful. If a different word processing program is used, students will need to save or export documents to a pdf.

Evaluation and Feedback

All exercises in Canvas will be graded and averaged for a final grade. Optional tests will be assigned. Projects will receive additional feedback so that improvements can be made along the way.


Parents are welcome to contact me with any questions before registering their student. Once I know a student has registered, the family will receive a welcome packet with additional information about the course. I will contact parents if there is a concern with students not keeping up with the work or frequently turning in late assignments.

Required Texts

  • World History (Student Edition) Holt McDougal, 2012. ISBN: 978-0547485805 (This course uses the last half of the book, while Mrs. Graybill’s Ancient/Medieval History class uses the first half of this book).
  • The Age of Revolution by Charles Kovacs. Floris Books, 2003. ISBN: 978-0863153952 (A Kindle version is also available at Amazon)
  • If at all possible, I’d love for students to have Usborne’s The Last 500 Years, by Jane Bingham, Fiona Chandler, and Sam Taplin, if you can find it. ISBN: 978-0794527068

Students will need additional books for reference as well as historical fiction and/or biographies and nonfiction. Many of these can be obtained from your local library. View the recommended reading list: Modern World History Book List


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Instructor Bio

Bev Graybill

Bev has known since she was in elementary school she’d become a teacher, having taught her one-year-younger brother everything she knew! After attending Millersville University and earning a B.S. in Special Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a Reading Certificate, she taught for several years in both public and private schools and then left the world of teaching to start her own family.  From there, she discovered the amazing world of home schooling, teaching all of her four children for at least some of their years of school and teaching for more than 20 years at several different co-ops.  She currently also serves as a home school evaluator in Pennsylvania.  With a goal of visiting all 50 of the states, she and her husband have just a few more to go!   She also looks forward to becoming a grandma some day, but for now, her only “grandchild” is a pet pig!

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Email: bgraybill[at]