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Ancient Empires: The Kingdoms of Africa and the Byzantines

Jacob K
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In this 4-week course students will study the African kingdoms of Mali, Ghana, Songhai, Zimbabwe and the Byzantine Empire! #academic

Class Experience

US Grade 5 - 8
Beginner Level
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
Aligned with National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS)
  • African Kingdoms - In their study of the ancient West African empires, students will locate the Sahara Desert and the Niger River, the ancient West African empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, and capital cities and strategic trading centers. - Students will identify two great rulers who shaped the ancient Mali Empire. - Analyze the importance of agriculture, gold production, and the trans-Saharan caravan trade in the growth of the Mali and Songhai empires. - Explain how Islam expanded in West Africa and assess its importance in the political and cultural life of Mali and Songhai. - Identify the resources from Ghana, Mali, and Songhai that were exchanged for goods carried by camel caravans of North African Arab traders. Describe how ideas were spread and how Islam influenced the culture of the West African Kingdoms. - Identify reasons for the decline of each of the empires. Byzantine Empire - Describe the culture and history of the Byzantine Empire - Analyze how the Byzantines combined Roman administration with Christian religious views - Explain how Constantinople was able to withstand numerous sieges and attacks, and its eventual capture - Describe how Byzantium was able to outlast Rome by over 1,000 years
I am a licensed middle school and high Social Studies teacher in the state of Ohio. I have been teaching Social Studies to middle school students for the last four years. I have used this same lesson with students in the classroom and it has always been highly engaging. I also have a Bachelor's degree in both Education and History.

Both my teaching license in Integrated Social Studies and my Bachelor's degree in History qualify me to teach this introductory course on the different African kingdoms, and the Byzantine Empire. 
0 - 1 hours per week outside of class
Frequency: included
Feedback: included
Details: Homework is always optional. I believe learners would benefit from implementing the information they learn in class, however, I also understand that each learner is unique. Learners will analyze primary source documents and answer comprehension questions based on a primary source. These activities should not take more than one hour to complete.
Frequency: included
Details: Learners will be assessed informally in each class through verbal comprehension checks and class discussion. Each class will begin with a quick review of the activities from the previous week's class to ensure students understood the material. At the end of each unit, students will complete a Kahoot, which will act as an informal summative assessment of each civilization.
Frequency: included
Details: Letter grades by request
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Hart-Davis, A. (2015). History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day. Dorling Kindersley Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. 

Overy, R. J. (2015). The Times Complete History of the World. Times Books. 

Spielvogel, J. J. (2014). Discovering our past: a history of the world. In Discovering Our Past: A History of the World (4th ed., pp. 108–345), McGraw-Hill Education.
Joined November, 2020
Teacher expertise and credentials
Ohio Teaching Certificate in Social Studies/History
Bachelor's Degree in Education from The University of Akron
I teach world history, geography, U.S history, psychology, and economics.

I currently teach Social Studies in the state of Ohio. I have my Bachelor's degree in both education and history.  I have an extensive amount of experience working with... 


Group Class


weekly or $85 for 4 classes
1x per week, 4 weeks
50 min

Completed by 26 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 10-15
1-4 learners per class

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