What’s New: A WHP Update

What’s New: A WHP Update

Coming Soon: For the 2020/21 school year!

Writing assessments: If you’re familiar with the Big History Project (BHP), then you know how much we emphasize the importance of writing as a historical thinking practice. WHP will be no different. We are creating a series of writing assessments, which will be offered at the end of each era/unit, and will alternate between document-based questions (DBQs) and free-response questions (FRQs). 

Practice Questions: As part of our partnership with Khan Academy, we are creating a series of practice questions that will assess student understanding at the end of each lesson. These practice questions will challenge students to demonstrate their mastery of the content, at the lesson, era/unit, and course level. While we don’t ever recommend that you use these practice questions for grading purposes, they provide a valuable assessment tool for you to check on student understanding.

Teacher Resources: A quality curriculum should provide more than just quality classroom materials. We are in the process of building out key teacher resources that will help you guide your students through WHP. These include course guides and vocabulary guides (both of which you can find here), pacing guides (coming in 2021!), individual era/unit guides (coming soon!), and an online professional development course: Teaching World History (Teaching Origins / Teaching 1750).

Leveled Readings: Like the Big History Project, WHP has partnered with Newsela to create multiple reading levels of each article. These will be rolled out throughout this year, but you can expect all of them to be available for the 2020/21 school year.

Video Features: We wanted to make the videos available for viewing as soon as possible during the public preview, but you can expect additional features, such as captions, transcripts, and built-in pauses to help emphasize key ideas.

Data Explorations: In order to help students test historical claims using evidence—a central goal of WHP—we are creating a series of data explorations. These data explorations, which are primarily constructed with materials from Our World in Data (OWID), are typically made up of two parts. The first is a reading combined with a map or graph from OWID. The second part is an activity. The activity usually asks students to engage with the map or graph in three ways:

  1. To develop and demonstrate an understanding of what the map or graph actually shows
  2. To make inferences from that understanding
  3. To demonstrate the application of some “sourcing” skill in interpreting the map or graph, often by turning to the sources tab on the OWID website.

Data explorations will be found in the introductory lesson of each era/unit, and will often be supplemented by the overview video, which will present them as one piece of evidence supporting, extending, or contesting claims made by scholars on the principal topics of that era/unit.