The Student's Friend is a concise narrative of significant events, people, places, and concepts. It is available free from this website.

The Student's Friend provides students and teachers with an understandable overview of world history that focuses on essential knowledge.

If used in place of

a standard text-

book, the Student's

Friend leaves more time in the curriculum to consider important ideas and issues and for in-depth learning activities such as projects, investigations, source analysis, and simulations.

Downloads are available in pdf and MS Word formats. The online version may be used as an online history textbook, also termed a digital textbook or an electronic textbook.

Timeline: To see a concise timeline showing the four eras of history used by the Student's Friend, click here.

Related articles:  

The Student's Friend: Why and How to Use It

What teachers say about the Student's Friend

Combining world history and geography



includes maps for each unit.

(For a larger view of maps, turn your screen sideways.)

This online version may be used in classrooms as an online textbook, also termed an electronic textbook or digital textbook.

Student's Friend Part 1:

Prehistory to 1500

Unit 1 - Overview, Basic Concepts, Prehistory

Unit 2 - Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt

Unit 3 - Ancient India and China

Unit 4 - Ancient Greece and Rome

Unit 5 - Early Middle Ages: 500 to 1000

Unit 6 - Late Middle Ages: 1000 to 15000

Student's Friend Part 2:

1500 to Present

Unit 7 - 1500s and 1600s: The Early Modern World

Unit 8 - 1700s: Enlightenment and Revolution

Unit 9 - 1800s: Industrialism and Imperialism

Unit 10 - 1900 to 1950: World at War

Unit 11 - 1950 to Present: Cold War and Space Age

Unit 12 - Current Issues: A Changing World Order



Choose the format that best suits your needs:

-pdf, Portable Document File

-Microsoft Word (.docx)

To see maps of the locations featured in each unit, refer to the online version above.)


Download PDF Files

Pdf files can be opened in any web browser and printed.  They are like a photograph of the original document, which preserves its formatting.  Pdf files are not easily modified on your computer.  If you wish to modify the Student's Friend, it's probably easier to choose the Microsoft Word format below.

Printing: If you plan to print and photocopy the pdf version for distribution to your students, it might be advisable to choose a high-quality print mode on your printer.

Adobe Acrobat software can be used to view and print pdf files.   A free download is available from Adobe.

Download the Student's Friend in pdf format:

Part 1, Prehistory to 1500

Part 2, 1500 to the present


Download MS Word (.docx) word processor files

Downloading these files will allow you to edit and modify the Student's Friend in Microsoft Word.  If you wish to delete topics, add topics, change wording or page numbers etc., you can make such changes in word processor documents.

You might need to adjust some formatting options in your word processor so that your pages correspond to the pages in the Student's Friend.  If you don't need to modify the Student's Friend, your best option might be to choose the pdf format above.

If the downloaded documents don't automatically appear on your display, check the download folder on your computer.

Download the Student's Friend in MS Word format:

Part 1, Prehistory to 1500

Part 2, 1500 to the present

© 2001-2016 Michael G. Maxwell, Maxwell Learning LLC


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View or download

the Student's Friend

a concise narrative

of world history

and geography