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7th Grade History: Topics on World History A (Independent Study)

7th Grade History: Topics on World History A (Independent Study)

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Quick Overview

K12 Intermediate World History A surveys the story of the human past from the period before written records, prehistory, through the fourteenth century. The 7th Grade history course is organized chronologically and, within broad eras, regionally. The course focus is the story of the human past and change over time, including the development of religion, philosophy, the arts, and science and technology.

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Course Overview

K12 Intermediate World History A surveys the story of the human past from the period before written records, prehistory, through the fourteenth century. The 7th Grade history course is organized chronologically and, within broad eras, regionally. The course focus is the story of the human past and change over time, including the development of religion, philosophy, the arts, and science and technology. Geography concepts and skills are introduced as they appear in the context of the historical narrative. Students explore what archaeologists and historians have learned about the earliest hunter-gatherers and farmers and then move to a study of the four river valley civilizations. After a brief writing unit, they study the origins of Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism and the eras in which they developed. The second half of the course traces the story of classical Greece and Rome, the Byzantine Empire, the origins of Christianity and Islam, and then continues through the fourteenth century in Europe, North Africa, and East Asia. Historical thinking skills are a key component of Intermediate World History. Students practice document and art analysis, conduct research, and write in a variety of formats. They also practice map reading skills and look at how historians draw conclusions about the past as well as what those conclusions are.

Course Outline

History: The Map of Time

History is the study of the human past--the story of change over time. It's a story based on evidence. Our physical world is the setting that helps shape the story, real people are its heroes, and time and space are its anchors. Historians ask questions about all of these elements. How did the Egyptians build pyramids? When and where did democracy begin? Why are most of the world's great cities located on rivers? Join our odyssey through history. The questions are endless, and the answers amazing.

  • History and You
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Maps, Maps, Maps
  • Thinking Geographically

From Gathering to Growing

Imagine finding food, clothes, and shelter if there were no stores, factories, or farms. Long ago, everyone constantly struggled to survive. Today, in much of the world, only a few people produce food; most are involved in other activities. We create cities, art, and governments all part of civilization. But what is civilization? How did it begin? How do we know what happened before people kept records? Historians and archaeologists help answer these and thousands of other questions.

  • How Long Is Long?
  • Pre-History: Hunter Gatherers and Cave Dwellers
  • Cave Paintings: What do we Know About Lascaux?
  • From Nomad to Farmer
  • Leaping Forward

The Mesopotamian Moment

Agriculture, a system of writing, the wheel, and written law all developed in one small area of the world, Mesopotamia. How do we know? We have solid evidence. As archaeologists and historians continue to work in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, our knowledge grows and changes. People a century ago knew only a fraction of what you will know about Mesopotamia. Archaeological digs and written records tell us how early people lived and worked.

  • How Do We Know?
  • Finding Sumer
  • Cities of Sumer
  • Growing Trade
  • Ideas about the Gods
  • A Ziggurat to the Gods
  • Writing it Down
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Sumer No More
  • Sargon: A Mighty Ruler
  • Hammurabi's Code
  • Nebuchadnezzar Builds

Civilization Spreads

What's the recipe for civilization? Start with water and good soil. When you figure out how to grow plenty of crops, divert some attention to other activities. Divide up the work. Start by building villages and places to store your surplus food, and then cities. Spend some time inventing a system of writing, and make laws. All these ingredients first combined in Sumer, but civilizations soon sprang up in three other river valleys. Was it a good recipe? Do any of these civilizations still exist?

  • A River Rules
  • Building Power and Pyramids
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Significant Pharaohs
  • Ramses II: Conqueror and Builder
  • Thinking About Egypt
  • By the Banks of the Indus
  • Remarkable Cities
  • Civilization Along the Yellow and Yangtze
  • The Silk People
  • Writing and Ruling
  • Mapping

Writing About the Past

It's time to use what you have learned. Historians often compare and contrast new information with what they already know. You will do the same. How were the early river valley civilizations alike? How were they different?

Write an essay to express your thoughts.

  • Think Before You Write
  • Writing

Some Lasting Ideas

People have always wondered how the world came to be and how it works. Their wonderful curiosity led to ideas and insights that have survived through the ages. Almost a billion people practice Hinduism today. Another half billion follow the teachings of Buddha. Confucianism endures in East Asia and elsewhere. How did people form these belief systems? Why have they lasted so long?

  • A Wise Teacher
  • Relationships and Rulers
  • Who Made a Difference?
  • Qin Shi Huangdi Unites China
  • The Han
  • The Origins of Hinduism
  • The Hindu View
  • The Enlightened One
  • A Search for Goodness

More Lasting Ideas

Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism played enormous roles in the development of ancient and modern Asian thought and culture. Western civilization came primarily from the Hebrews and Greeks. The Hebrews introduced enduring ideas about monotheism, justice, law, and morality. The Greeks celebrated people's ability to reason and decipher the mysteries of the world. Where did the Hebrews and the Greeks get their ideas?

  • Monotheism Takes Hold
  • Covenants
  • The Law
  • Kings
  • Renewing Their Faith
  • Another Land
  • Gods in Ancient Greece
  • The Gift of Reason
  • Stories and Games
  • Arts and Histories
  • The Polis
  • Telling Tales

Write Again

The ancient Greeks were truly amazing. They made lasting contributions to science, mathematics, art, literature,government, philosophy, and more. Do some research on the Greeks and report your findings in a well-written essay.

  • Preparing to Write
  • Organizing Thoughts
  • Writing
  • Semester Review and Geography Assessment
  • Semester Assessment

Classical Greece

The Greeks valued serious thought and individual effort, and the results were remarkable. The Greeks gave us philosophy, art, theater, and the concept of democracy. What made such accomplishments possible? Climate, terrain, war, individuals, and even diseases played a role. If any of these factors had been different, history might have taken another course.

  • Classically Different Ways of Life
  • Athens
  • An Empire Threatens
  • Free to Flourish
  • A Golden Time
  • Art and Architecture
  • The Play's the Thing
  • The Decline of Athens
  • Different Perspectives
  • Three Great Thinkers
  • Alexander the Great

Rome: Republic and Empire

The Greeks were great innovators, but the Romans built an empire on the ideas of others. We can see Roman influences even today. People still walk on Roman roads and get water from Roman aqueducts. Many modern languages have their roots in Latin, the language of Rome. The Roman Republic's form of government, representative democracy, enjoys an ever-growing influence in the world. And Christianity, born in a Roman.

Intermediate World History A: Prehistory Through the Middle Ages province and finally adopted by the Empire, has spread to all corners of the world.

  • A Republic Is Born
  • Celebrating Citizenship
  • Fighting for Power
  • Julius Caesar
  • From Republic to Empire
  • The Real Rome
  • Learning Something New Everyday: Pompeii
  • Rome and Judea
  • Jesus of Nazareth
  • A New Religion
  • Conflicts for Christians
  • Empire in Crisis
  • Barbarians at the Gate
  • Who Were They?
  • Legacies


The glory of Rome faded in Western Europe, but it remained strong in the East. The Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire, blended Greco-Roman and western Asian cultures to create its own splendor. The Byzantine Empire flourished for more than seven centuries. South of the empire, a new religion grew up on the Arabian Peninsula, and spread quickly as its followers forged a powerful empire. Why did Islam spread so quickly along the trade routes of North Africa? What lured traders to cities like Timbuktu?

  • Byzantine Beauty
  • Justinian and Theodora
  • The Origins of Islam
  • Islam Emerges
  • Religion and Empire
  • Scholars and Storytellers
  • More Mapping
  • Mapping Africa
  • Gold and Salt
  • A Man Called Mansa Musa

In Western Europe

As the Roman Empire declined, barbarians invaded Western Europe. How did people survive this dangerous time? What did Europeans do without powerful governments to maintain the old roads and protect villages? Lords built self-sufficient manors and armies to defend them. The church expanded its power into civic life. Christians traveled east and fought wars with Muslims over sacred cities. Eventually, new systems of government developed new ideas about power and justice.

  • Where to Turn?
  • Monasteries Carry On
  • Charlemagne
  • Viking Ventures
  • Gods and Leaders
  • The Structure of Medieval Society
  • Manors
  • Christendom
  • Building on Faith
  • Cultures in Conflict
  • Monarchs
  • New Ideas of Justice
  • Limiting Power

From East Asia to Western Europe Again

China, the longest continuous civilization in the world, entered a golden age under the Tang dynasty. The Chinese produced exceptional poetry, paintings, and porcelain. Inventions like the compass and fireworks would change the world. Even when fierce Mongol invaders took over China's government and, for a time, ruled the largest empire in the world, Chinese civilization lived on. Meanwhile in Europe, wars and plague brought calamity and change.

  • A New Dynasty
  • Changing the Earth
  • A Golden Age
  • Remarkable Achievements
  • The Mongols
  • Conquering Khans
  • A World Traveler
  • How Many Years of War?
  • Plague

Seeking the Silk Road

You've seen how goods and ideas spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and back again along important trade routes like the Silk Road. You have looked at people and places in many parts of the world. You've also learned about the work of archaeologists and historians and studied the connections between history and geography. Now it's time to pull together what you've learned and explore a topic in greater detail in a final research project.

  • Summing Up
  • The Big Picture
  • Trade, Trade, Trade
  • Finding Information
  • Finding More Information
  • Showing What You've Learned
  • Writing About What You've Learned
  • Writing Well

Additional Information

Course Length 12 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials

Many K12 courses utilize physical materials in addition to the online content.  These materials may include the following.

Standard Kits

STANDARD kits contain K12 course materials that are required for completion of the course.  These kits include K12 authored materials and/or difficult to procure materials that a student needs to complete a course. Printed reference guides are not included in Standard kits.


CONSUMABLE kits contain only those materials from the standard kit that are intended for one time use. Families who purchase a Standard kit for Child A could later purchase a Consumable kit for Child B to complete the same course.


Offered for added convenience, ADDITIONAL kits contain easily obtained materials needed for the course which a family may already have in their home. 

Coach and/or Student Reference Guides are available for purchase with some courses.  Electronic versions of these reference guides are also available within digital courses.

Course Start Date

Independent Study Courses

Courses start daily for courses without a teacher.

Teacher Assisted No, this course is only available as independent study.
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To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Using  Mobile Devices with the Online School

Unfortunately, many portable devices do not support the software products required to run the Online School. These devices may include (but not limited to): Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Kindles, eReaders, and Andriod phones.

Internet Connections

It is highly recommended that a broadband connection be used instead of dial up.