Teaching world history: from StudentsFriend.com

Developing a course schedule

When I was a student in school, history teachers consistently ran out of time before they ran out of textbook, so we never learned about the last half century or so. Teachers who base their instruction on a concise and well-organized body of knowledge such as the Student's Friend can structure their courses to ensure that all course content is covered within the time allotted by the school schedule. The following procedure might work for you.

Sit down with a school calendar at the beginning of the year and divide the 24 pages of the Student's Friend by the number of weeks available for the course. This tells you the number of pages you will need to cover during an average week. With this information you can determine deadlines for completing each unit of the course. You know that you must finish Unit X by Date Y if you wish to cover all the course material.

But, it's not quite that easy. The schedule must be adjusted to allocate extra time for anticipated activities such as:

     -the usual preliminary paperwork and explanations at the beginning of the course

     -library research time for preparing research reports or multi-media presentations

     -perhaps a week-long simulation or other extended project

     -homecoming week activities

     -parent-teacher conferences

     -state-mandated standardized testing

     -final exam and other activities at the end of a semester or year

Then, of course, there are the unscheduled interruptions to be dealt with, such as school assemblies, fire drills, school pictures, etc., etc, etc. that will interrupt your teaching, causing a unit to take longer than anticipated.

Once you have a rough estimate to the weeks needed to cover each unit of four pages, you can mark your calendar with the unit-completion dates which will serve as interim deadlines to keep you on track.


If you operate on a one-semester, 90-minute block schedule, you might try to cover two pages of the Student's Friend per week. Teachers operating on a year-long, 45-50 minute schedule might try to cover about one page per week. Adjust as necessary, and you'll be the rare history teacher who adequately covers all the course content.

Below is an example of how this kind of plan might work for Student's Friend Part 1 based on a 90-minute block schedule.  (This example refers to  an earlier version of the Student's Friend with eight units instead of six, but you'll get the idea.)  Happy planning.

Course schedule for Student's Friend Part 1 - pdf file (obsolete version)

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