UCCI Course Description

Length of Course
Full Year (2 semesters; 3 trimesters; 4 quarters)
Subject Area - Discipline
History / Social Science (A) - World History / Cultures / Historical Geography
UC Honors Designation
CTE Sector
Arts, Media, and Entertainment
CTE Pathway
Design, Visual, and Media Arts
Grade Level(s)
10 - 12


World History by Design is a course in which students will analyze significant periods in world history from the development of government systems through to modern times while building the basic skills of graphic design elements and principles. Students will use major world events such as revolutions, wars and globalization as the inspiration for design projects to synthesize the knowledge into cohesive assignments that are both content driven and conceptual. Students have the opportunity in this course to demonstrate their knowledge of historical content through the creating art, using the elements and principles of design. Students will produce a series of artistic products that reflect their comprehension of both historical content and relevant design skills; from the years of the ancient Greeks and Romans through the modern post Cold War world. Students will integrate the reading and viewing of traditional texts, primary source resources, technology manuals, digital media sources, appropriate era artwork  and tutorials to demonstrate their knowledge of design and world history. Upon completion of this course, students will have completed their world history requirement and be prepared to take additional design courses.

Recurring Assignments

Portfolio Requirement

Students in this class will be expected to select their best work and create a thematic portfolio graphically displaying a timeline of World History.  The body of selected work will be assembled into a format consistent with industry standards and could be used in conjunction with professional documents for the purpose of gaining employment.  The portfolio must exist digitally and will be developed, shared and critiqued by the instructor and the students’ peers as evidence of their learning throughout the class. This work, when compiled at the end of the year will complete a digital timeline, as each item will be presented in chronological order.

Career Pathway Connection Recurring Assignment

At the end of each unit students will be required to research suggested careers from each time period and write a 400-600 word reflection, connecting the innovations from each  precise time period with current CTE pathways. Selection of suggested career pathways for each unit will be chosen by the individual teacher. At the end of the year, a final writing assignment will be required of each student in which they reflect on the potential for those careers to still exist in 20 years and predict/consider new career pathways of the future.

Course Content

Unit 1 : Graphing Government Systems

Unit 1 Description

This unit will cover the development of government systems and introduce students to influential government thinkers from Ancient Greece, Rome and the Enlightenment. In addition students will learn the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. In order to create digital assignments in this course, students will be introduced to current industry standard software and learn basic tasks such as opening and saving files in correct formats, optimizing resolution for print vs. web, inserting/importing images and text. Students will differentiate between the different forms of government and development of those governmental systems and learn the skills of primary source analysis. From this analysis students will analyze the processes that were originally used in the production of these documents and the design choices made from analysis of the visual elements of composition, spacing and typography. Students will demonstrate these skills in their “Book of Laws” containing the legal and ethical responsibilities of a citizen, copyright laws, right to intellectual property, physical property. The basis of government ideals and design elements taught in this unit will be referenced throughout the course as historical events change over time and design skills build upon one another. Through their analysis of the mediums and the use of content students will understand the link between design and the dissemination of information.

Assignment 1: The (your school here) Book of Law

Students will be introduced to current industry standard software and learn how to do basic tasks such as opening, editing, and saving files. The instructor will model the task of creating pages for the Book of Law emphasizing principles of design such as balance and laying out text on a grid.  Students will compile a digital government policy book for their school that demonstrates a thorough understanding of law development. Students will research primary source documents from ancient Greece, Rome, and Judeo Christian influences. Students will analyze and select specific laws, interpret them into modern day language, and will cite the historical source document where their law first originated. Laws should be based for the most part on the laws that have been presented in primary source documents. (For example they should determine that “Thou shalt not kill” from the 10 Commandments should be equated with a law outlawing murder.) To formulate connections to today’s contemporary legal issues, students must include a substantial section on intellectual property rights, and must research and quote historical laws that support the facts contained in that section. Students will evaluate the concepts behind printed text layout and graphic design, and then synthesize these skills when designing the law book.  The book’s content must show clear understanding of historical legal content, while the finished product must also produce best practices of graphic design through use of industry standard software (Adobe In Design, iBooks).

Students should review one example of an historical written law to deconstruct the visual elements, specifically focusing on composition, spacing and typography. Completed books should run approximately ten pages with one law per page and one image per page.

  • Suggested software: Microsoft Word, Adobe In Design, iBooks Author Suggested websites: www.blurb.com, www.bookemon.com, www.Shutterfly.com

Assignment 2: A Glimpse of History essay

To prepare students for assignment 3, students write as one of the following philosophers (or similar) Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Beccaria, Wollstonecraft and Louis XIV and compose an essay comparing their ideas with those of another philosopher of the time. Students will be able to write persuasively about how their ideas will/have affect(ed) the revolutions in the United States, France, England or Latin America. Students will then engage in whole class discussion for each philosopher determining their ideas to support democracies or monarchies.  

Assignment 3: Graphing out Ideas

Students will be introduced to images used to communicate abstract ideas, and the design principle of movement/rhythm to create a digital infographic which uses at least four images to quickly and clearly visually represent the thoughts and ideas behind the influential philosophers studied in assignment 2. In addition to communicating the philosopher's ideas, they will display a likeness or visual depiction of the philosopher and demonstrate knowledge of the copyright law of imagery by giving credit to the original artist and the book or website where it was found. The final product will incorporate a variety of digital mediums including illustration, graphic, collage, vector art, etc. created using current industrial standard software such as Adobe Photoshop or using a web-based program such as www.creately.com. Final infographics will be displayed in a gallery walk, PowerPoint slideshow or other class presentation.  

Assignment 4: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In a 400-600 word written lesson reflection, students will compare and contrast the historical communication of ideas such as stone carvings, scrolls, papyrus, scribes, with the suggested CTE career path of a graphic designer or similar pathways.

  • Suggested software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Paint
  • Suggested websites: www.creately.com, www.charts.hohli.com, www.wordle.net, www.statsilk.com

Unit 2 : Revolutionary Layout

Using the district approved history text, students will examine various revolutionary movements through the lens of art movements and design aesthetics that originated from these social upheavals between the 16th and 19th centuries.  These new art disciplines eventually lead to modern career pathways in Art, Design and Entertainment. Students will explore the significant role art and media had in inspiring and advancing the period's changes such as: the roles of realism, romanticism, and impressionism in the Industrial Revolution, Protestant Reformation, Scientific Revolution and other major political revolutions.   

Students will create visual demonstrations of unit content incorporating contemporary styles and design principles inspired by the historical era.  By the end of the unit, students will use documents and direct instruction to understand the causes and outcomes of each Revolutionary movement and identify commonalities, differences and the effectiveness of targeted design and media in spurring demand for change.  Students will be able to create a print or web product using industry standard layout and produce 2D or 3D digital illustrations to demonstrate their learning of the revolutionary period. Students will link the rapid changes in the historical revolutions to the rapid changes in the technology available now as they produce those products.

Assignment 1: Political Pamphlets

The Scientific Revolution and Humanism had a profound effect on Renaissance art with a new focus on drawing in perspective, anatomical illustrations, and the practice of accurately recording observations.  The emergence of Humanism in Renaissance societies created a drive to see and record the world as it was. This historical career can be compared to the CTE career pathway of illustration and design for the medical and science industry.  In a quick-write, students will analyze a drawing from Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketchbook, identify specific line drawing techniques used to show texture and form, and examine the value of accurate illustration from observation on past, present and future scientific discoveries.  

After learning about illustrations of this time period, students will explore the workings of a simple machine from the time period such as a lever, pulley, gear or an anatomical process (muscle movement, hand movement) and compose a hand drawn sketch themselves.   Through tutorial videos and readings from text resources, students will be introduced to vector illustration techniques (Adobe Classroom in a Book, Adobe Tv, www.Lynda.com) or basic modeling in 3D (Trimble Sketchup Training Videos). Students will then create a final illustration based on one of the sketches. Students may use, pen, pencil and paper, vector illustration (Adobe Illustrator, Flash, Photoshop), a combination of vector and scanned hand drawn illustration, or 3D Modeling (Trimble Sketchup). Students will incorporate the illustration into an educational poster that clearly diagrams the processes.

Assignment 2: Career Pathway Connection

After researching the suggested career path of Medical and Scientific illustration, or other illustrative pathways, students will write a reflection, connecting and synthesizing the innovations from the Scientific Revolution and Renaissance artist with current digital design careers.  Students also explain why technical illustration is still a viable and engaging industry pathway in spite of the advent of video and photography.

Assignment 3: Revolutionary Layout: Inventions of the Industrial Revolution expository essay

A different type of revolution transformed the way people worked.  Students will examine how advancements in the Agricultural Revolution help set the stage for the Industrial Revolution, an increased output of machine-made goods with the use of key inventions.  Students will research the textile industry today to learn how it has been affected by new technology today, including computerization. The students will write an essay comparing and contrasting the technological innovation and labor conditions in the textile industry from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution with similar industries of today. Through the completion of this assignment students will explain how mechanical inventions caused specialization, urbanization and revolutionized the way people lived in the 19th century, as compared with the technological developments of the 21st century. The switch from handmade to machine produced goods leads to an increase in demand for natural resources which students will learn in the next unit, is a driving motive for imperialist efforts of acquiring colonies.

Assignment 4: Industrial Revolution Instruction Manual

Building on foundational knowledge developed in assignment 3, students will compile research using web resources to find the operating details for a key invention from the Industrial Revolution. (Examples: spinning jenny, cotton gin, sewing machine). Using industry standard software, students will create an instruction manual describing how to operate an Industrial Revolution age invention. The technical manual can be in brochure or poster form, and must demonstrate appropriate design concepts as well as solid technical writing principles as it directs the user on how the invention works. Using information from assignment 4, the manual should also incorporate information, about how the invention or innovation possibly changed or influenced (or could change) the lives of those affected by its invention.

Assignment 5: Essay and Pamphlet: The Political Pamphlet as an Instrument of Change

Political Pamphlets -- pamphleteering -- were the main way of propagating new and/or controversial ideas, using inexpensive and easily produced documents especially with the advent of the Industrial Revolution.  Pamphleteering remained important well into the 20th Century. Expanding on prior knowledge and study, in addition to discerning the influence of democratic documents (such as Declaration of Independence, Declaration of Rights of Man, Constitution, etc.) and those pamphlets covered in the unit, students create their own pamphlet advocating for the resolution of a critical issue of  the Industrial Revolution (child labor, air pollution, overcrowding, housing, working conditions, disease and the like).

Students will identify appropriate design strategies used to evoke an intended response.  These strategies include symbolism, controversial imagery, provocative titles, and use of the elements and principles of design; specifically color, composition, line, typography.  Design and 21st Century Workplace skills such as meeting project deadlines and collaboration will be defined as well as tutorials on creating a pamphlet layout with instruction on how to use basic tools for choosing text, shapes and color will be reviewed. Students will compare and contrast Political Pamphlets with current social media such as ibooks, blogs, twitter, instagram.

Students will research a critical social or governmental issue from the past and, in an essay, examine how pamphlets or brochures helped to influence people regarding the issue.  The essay will be written to a specifically stated target audience such as an age demographic, cultural group, etc. Then, in order to simulate the compacted turnaround, students will have 2 - 3 class periods to design a 3 - 4 page Political Pamphlet incorporating ideas and concepts from their persuasive essay with images and typography.  Using industry standard desktop publishing or layout software students apply the Elements and Principles of design to execute the final project as an interactive application or print publication(Print Pamphlet, PDF, Interactive PDF, iBook).  Students will properly cite information, quote and photo sources.

Assignment 6: Reflective essay on understanding the target audience (suitable for any graphic design career)

Students will write a reflective essay intended for a specific audience and explain how their artistic choices relate to that audience in terms of image use, design, and language.  This assignment provides students career-ready skills found in the CTE Anchor standards such as communications, career planning and management, and technical knowledge and skills.

Assignment 7: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

Reflective essay on understanding the target audience (suitable for any graphic design career): Students will devise and write a 400-600 word lesson reflection intended for a specific audience and explain how their artistic choices relates to that audience in terms of image use, design, and language. This assignment provides students career-ready skills found in the CTE Anchor standards such as communications, career planning and management, and technical knowledge and skills.

Unit 3 : Imperialist Importations

After massive movements of urbanization and industrialization, European Nations were in dire need of acquiring other lands to gather raw materials as well as markets for their manufactured goods. Students will explore areas, methods of land acquisition, positive and negative impacts of colonization. Students can gain multiple perspectives of imperialism by reading additional primary and secondary source documents. White Man’s Burden by Rudyard Kipling could provide an explanation for the European perspective and the response in Black Man’s Burden by H.T. Johnson could be used to inform the other perspective. Other listed sources can be used in the same way. Students will be introduced to techniques to create video, text and photo elements for multimedia presentations.  Students will integrate these visual art elements to create multimedia presentations that form and articulate a historical argument and demonstrate their grasp of primary source analysis. With skills acquired in this unit students will be able to compose visual presentations that deepen and support the students’ understanding of imperialistic motivations, efforts and consequences. This unit will also ensure that students can make design decisions that will evoke emotion and opinions while at the same time creating content based products.

Assignment 1: Imperialist Nations Presentation

Groups will create an annotated multimedia presentation mapping the imperialist efforts of one of eight imperialist nations: Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany.   Concurrently, students will learn basic storytelling concepts from an Arts/Media perspective, and will utilize these principles to plan and construct their presentation. Students will research the territories that imperialist nations acquired, and highlight the economic, social, and political motivations in a summary presentation (Prezi, PowerPoint, Keynote, Sliderocket). Presentations must showcase the characteristics of the imperialist country during the time, the motivations for acquiring specific geo-political areas and territories gained between 1860-1910, and how European colonization impacted the social, political, and economic conditions of the native populations. Students will select, analyze and embed primary images and insert text in their presentations and will also include discussion of  the positive and negative impact of colonization on native populations. Completed presentations will be shared with the entire class, who will give constructive input on the presentation’s artistic design qualities and the depth of its historical content.

Assignment 2: Imperialism “Beneficial or Detrimental?” persuasive essay

Using information gathered from the Imperialist Nation Presentation students write an essay in which they analyze whether the effects of imperialism on colonized areas was beneficial or detrimental economically, socially and politically to both the native and the colonizing populations. Students should incorporate and cite  relevant images from their presentation as evidence to support their claims, using industry approved software such as Microsoft Word or Adobe inDesign

Assignment 3: Blog Forum

After an exploration of current blogging sites and etiquette, students will reformulate their argument from assignment 2 in order to take a stance and defend their positions on whether or not imperialist efforts in Africa (or elsewhere) were beneficial or detrimental to native populations. Students will then post at least three comments on a teacher generated blog where their opinions will be viewed by students who will provide counter arguments. Students will attempt to persuade others to “switch sides” by evaluating the validity of opponents arguments and providing respectful rebuttals to sway the opinion of other students.

Assignment 4: Imperialist Mandala

Students will reinforce their personal stance on imperialism, by creating a mandala using industry approved software programs that visually represents their position as to whether or not  imperialism is/was beneficial or detrimental to given countries. This facilitates their continued examination of their position, and allows students to continue to consider and analyze historical evidence and primary sources for a new purpose. Students create a graphic representation of the nation/region at the center of their mandala, and should embellish the radial design with key sensory and descriptive words that describe their stance. These keywords will vary in size in accordance to what the student has identified is most relevant and important. Large words are dominant giving them more importance and highlight the design principle of emphasis. The final product will be a collage of images and descriptive words in a variety of size, shapes, spacing and text style.  Optional: Students produce a short explanatory written piece which identifies and justifies their design choices as representative of their stance Re: imperialism.

Assignment 5: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In 400 - 600 word unit reflection, students will compare and contrast the Imperialist period artists with those of current political artists or other suggested artistic pathways and construct and predict a pathway for future art directors. In completing this assignment, students formulate ideas and reasonings as to how government affects the art of the time.

Unit 4 : Digital Dissemination of WWI

Students will reinforce and build upon desktop publishing skills and be introduced to interactive documents. Students will use these skills to create interactive maps and information graphics, that demonstrate an understanding of how militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism led to a struggle for power during the World War I era. After analyzing  propaganda posters from a design and historical perspective, students will use layout and design skills to create their own poster. Students will also create war diaries as online blogs and connect communication careers from World War I-like news and war correspondents with the today’s social media correspondents. A complete visual and interactive representation of World War I is this unit’s culminating activity.

Assignment 1: Layered Map of Europe 1900-1925

Students will create a layered map that demonstrates the significant geopolitical changes throughout this imperialist period. This graphically instructive, digital document, will distinguish these five content elements in separate layers:

  • 1900 Political boundaries (pre-war)
  • 1914 Alliances emerge (road to war)
  • 1914-1918 Fronts and Battles (course of the war)
  • 1919 European political boundaries after the Treaty of Versailles (post-war)
  • 1920     Cultural groupings: language and religion

Students will utilize their design and layout skills from previous units to create these layers using industry appropriate software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop. Each layer will include a key with symbols to represent the boundaries, alliances, fronts, battles and include annotated captions.

Assignment 2: Interactive Multimedia Foldable

Students will collaborate to create a digital foldable that analyzes primary source propaganda illustrating the four main causes of WWI: Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism and Nationalism. Using industry appropriate software students will create a digital foldable that represents the four main causes of WW1 hyperlinking content related to at least one of the four causes to an original propaganda poster that corresponds with the cause.  After a brief tutorial and explanation of the elements and principles of design, students will analyze how the elements of design including color, scale, rhythm, balance are used to direct the viewer’s eye and determine what meaning and emphasis the artist was conveying.

Assignment 3: Partner Propaganda Poster

In this activity, students will practice using the skills and elements  of design used in propaganda media by governments learned from the previous activity to demonstrate their understanding of the methods of persuasion and the causes of the war. Students will pair up to conceptualize, brainstorm, sketch and revise a propaganda poster idea in order to produce an original 11x17” color poster that is persuasive in nature and that promotes one of three wartime necessities: enlistment, conservation or workforce/monetary contribution. In doing so, students will continue to explore the various aspects of the creative design process, specifically as it applies to creation of a propaganda poster. The refinement of their concept will then be transferred into a digital format using appropriate software. The completion of this assignment will demonstrate the students’ application of propaganda design elements of the time period to communicate a historical necessity during WWI.

Assignment 4: Blogging from the Trenches narrative essay

Students will analyze primary source documents such as war letters, photographs and newspaper articles to learn the human cost of war and the social and psychological conditions of war. The students will create an internet blog reporting on the sensory conditions, technology, strategy and morale of the trenches or the home front from the perspective of a person from a nation or a part of either the Central Powers or Allies. Students are equally divided into home front and war front bloggers and will choose and sign up for a free blog web site and set up their blog to include a header created through an industry approved software. The blog should be approximately 1000-1500 words in length. This blog should include primary source images as well as secondary video or audio components. The teacher should draw parallels to the role of the “embedded correspondent” in order to create a modern reference for students.

Assignment 5: Treaty of Versailles Infographic

After a teacher-guided reading of the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, students will be organized into small groups to research the public opinions of the treaty in one of the five following nations: Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria using these criteria: Territorial changes, military restrictions, War guilt, reparations and the creation of the League of Nations. Students will compile primary source research including newspaper editorials and other publications that developed in reaction to the treaty in order to analyze public opinion and determine the regional reactions to the treaty. Using their research findings students will build upon the skills learned in Unit 1 to make an infographic such as a public sentiment map and create an interactive presentation, using industry standard tools and methods to present their findings to the class.

After all students have presented their infographic and findings to the class, students will be polled individually using appropriate software or a website such as “surveymonkey” to assess their own opinion of who benefited the most in each category, and they will embed a graphic representation of the survey results into their existing infographic. Their presentation and a follow-up discussion will facilitate a compare and contrast analysis of past impressions of the Treaty to the students’ own current impression of the effects of the treaty. This will also allow students to see patterns and trends of the countries involved in the Treaty of Versailles and determine ways to represent these complex patterns and trends visually using industry standard software and techniques.

Assignment 6: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In 400 - 600 word unit reflection, students will connect the various design skills including cartography skills involved in redrawing the map of  Europe after World War I and the suggested career pathways, including the Geographic Information Systems career pathway and predict how the field may evolve in the future.

Unit 5 : Technological Totalitarianism

Students will be further introduced to creating information graphics that display complex information quickly and clearly.  Students will then use these skills to graphically compare and contrast the rise of totalitarian leaders, Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler using infographics to outline patterns and trends in world history.  Students will demonstrate their knowledge of these leaders' acquisition of power pre-World War II with interactive media. Students will produce a digital multimedia timeline and exhibit the design concepts while analyzing primary source documents, district approved informational texts, and web based supplemental sources.  Additionally, students will deepen their knowledge of specific totalitarian governments from 1919-1939 by creating digital motion graphics to differentiate between major political figures in order to prepare for their examination of WWII. Through the creation of informational and digital motion graphics, students will be able to connect significant facts about people and events that influenced the time period addressed in this unit of study.

Assignment 1: Dictator Digital Graphic Organizer

Students will use lecture notes, their textbook, and/or additional research to evaluate various dictators (Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin) that rose to power from 1919 to 1939 and  select a digital medium (digital diagrams, charts, graphs, spreadsheets etc.), to explain and represent the various methods employed by these dictators to achieve power and social control over their countries (Italy, Germany and Soviet Union).  The students will organize photographs, text, and historical information employing appropriate use of layers, colors and shapes in an industry appropriate display based upon a teacher designed rubric. Suggested programs for this activity: Digity, Powerpoint, Word, Mindmapper and Prezi.

Assignment 2: Time Warp Political Campaign Commercial and Letter

After instruction in specific control tactics utilized by the rising dictators of the time period (through lecture, textbook or additional research) students compose a 1000-1500 word letter to a relative in another country to demonstrate their understanding of the rise of totalitarian government and the personal effects of the movement on a specific totalitarian state and its people.  Building upon the letter, students then create a script and storyboard to be used as a foundation to produce an organic, two minute political campaign commercial. In the commercial, students will role play and provide conceptual clarification of the political, economic and social conditions pertaining to a totalitarian country and ruler of this time period. The script should illustrate specific examples of political transformations, economic changes, and issues related to the social climate. Students then showcase their political campaign commercials for the class with a brief presentation which highlights their understanding of the changing conditions post World War I of an specific totalitarian state.

  • Suggested programs for creating the Political Campaign Commercial: iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.

Assignment 3: Time Machine

Building upon prior knowledge, students will use industry appropriate software to create a digital timeline that will integrate student video, writing and major design concepts to reconstruct, and thus demonstrate their understanding of, the events that led to the rise of totalitarian governments. This key assignment will incorporate the essential elements and principles of design such as balance, shape, and color as students produce a final product that is logically designed and laid out.  This assignment is critical with respect to the students’ development of the portfolio. Students should be mindful that the acquisition of ‘artifacts’ from the previous assignments should be kept and assembled into a format approved by the instructor and exist in digital format. Students should research presentation methods such as Prezi, www.tiki-toki.com or http://timeglider.com to find a suitable method of presentation for their portfolio.

  • Suggested programs: Digity, Powerpoint, Illustrator, Photoshop

Assignment 4: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In a 400-600 word lesson reflection, students will examine the roles and responsibilities of managing a design project or political campaign over time.  How were campaigns for political office modified from the birth of a nation to the most recent elections for a country. Using the elements of design and their knowledge of project implementation and delivery, students compare and contrast the modes of information and design delivery based on the views and perspectives of the politician or organization campaigning.

Unit 6 : World Wide Interaction

In this unit, the students will build upon previously learned digital media techniques to create and present a variety of in-depth audio, visual and written assignments to thoroughly examine the meaning, implication and impact of the causes and consequences of WWII. Specifically, students will be able to analyze and interpret policies that led to WWII such as appeasement, militarism, and alliances. The students will use the elements of political discourse such as cartoons to demonstrate their knowledge of WWII. Using the elements and principles of design with interactive maps and infographics, students will explore developing technologies, major theaters of war, and military and political strategies, battles and major turning points.  Students will evaluate critical turning points and battles relevant to the outcome of the war and use current visual design tools to clearly and creatively represent these facts. Students will use knowledge and skills in digital arts and motion graphics to produce a Public Service Announcement (PSA)about the the human costs of war, such as the Holocaust or the Atomic Bomb. This will incorporate a skill used both historically and currently (the use of PSAs) informing students of how the content has evolved over time.

Assignment 1: Interactive Concepts

Students will analyze and interpret political cartoons of the era addressing appeasement, militarism, and alliances focusing on the rhetorical elements of purpose, audience and genre.  Students will then produce three, single frame cartoons, identifying the main causes of WWII. The students will upload and share these cartoons using digital applications such as google docs in order to solidify understanding of the subject matter and allow for real time analysis and critique.

  • Suggested programs: G-Docs, WIKI, Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram, etc.

Assignment 2: Visual Digital Battle Fronts

By utilizing emerging mapping technologies, students will produce an electronic product outlining geographical locations and dates of specific battle fronts.  Specifically, students will create interactive maps depicting the changing Eastern and Western fronts and should utilize barcodes and QR codes as a means to present certain pieces of historical information or provide editorial commentary, and to reinforce creativity and use of current technology. Working from outline map templates, the students will manipulate digital shapes, color and text to visually describe movement and fluctuation of territories on specific fronts and illustrate how geography could help or hinder allied and axis advances.

  • Suggested programs: padlet, statsilk, Red Laser, QR reader, Dipity, Google Earth, Powerpoint, Illustrator, Photoshop, QR Code Generator site 

Assignment 3: Human Rights PSA

Students will demonstrate newly learned skills in the manipulation of digital imagery in an industry relevant application by synthesizing and evaluating major historical events WWII (Holocaust and Atomic Bomb) and produce a storyboard and script for a 1 minute public service announcement that addresses human rights abuses and  world events moving viewers to a “call for action.”

  • Suggested programs: Youtube, xtranormal, Moviemaker, etc.

Assignment 4: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In a 400-600 word lesson reflection, students will compare and contrast traditional design and information delivery systems, their corresponding labor market information and employment outlook (radio, telegraph, newspapers, television, etc.)  with modern digital system of delivery (youtube, facebook, yelp, applications) and make predictions about the future dissemination of information, as well as the future labor market outlook for these careers and possible predictions about not yet existent jobs.

Unit 7 : Sequencing the Cold War

At the end of WWII the emergence of newly independent nations created an arena for conflict over political ideology and cultural self-determination to take place. Students will apply prior digital layout design concepts and skills and be introduced to sequential art techniques. Students will use sequential art techniques to analyze and demonstrate knowledge of major geopolitical changes that emerge post-WWII including the Domino theory, containment, the spread of communism, the Iron Curtain, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the arms race, and communist revolutions around the world.

Students will research the causes and effects of the Cold War as well as the impact of history and culture on the development of professional arts and media products during that period. Students will illustrate the cultural and political developments in this period sequentially in flipbooks, triptych, and animation projects in Cold War inspired styles such as art movements of the period including Pop Art, Cubism and Japanese anime.

Assignment 1: Worldwide Impact of the Cold War Sequential Art and Research Paper

Students will use their classroom text and additional research using web-based resource materials to investigate the causes and effects of the Cold War on different regions of the world paying particular interest to the political, economic, and social changes that occurred in each country including but not limited to the Soviet Union, China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, El Salvador, Germany,  and The United States. This could also be done regionally using Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and Latin America. Students will be introduced to the different artistic styles of the post-war period through visual samples, including Cubism (Picasso), Pop Art (Warhol, Lichtenstein), and Japanese anime (Astro Boy) and formulate ideas and opinions as to how each represents reaction to the period and the changing culture. Students will also be introduced to the elements of design contrast (two extreme differences) and value (the gradation between contrasts), and how they are used to convey differences.

Students will synthesize their content knowledge of at least two key changes that a nation experienced as a result of the Cold War with their ability to create sequential art that visually communicates their understanding of contrast and value to depict how the nation was impacted during the beginning (before) middle (during) and end (post) of the Cold War. Final work can be presented as a flipbook, animation, comic strip, or triptych. It will be created in one of the art styles that emerged after WWII (see above). At the same time, students write a paper that explains at least two major political, social or economic changes that their assigned country or region experienced during the Cold War. The paper should include a defense/explanation of their project and how it accurately represents the Cold War’s impact on their given country. For example, a student may write about the spread of communism into Korea, the resulting Korean war, and the armistice and creation of North and South Korea. Their sequential art piece could be an animated map of Korea and the movement of communism from north to south, back north and settling at the 38th parallel. Contrast could be shown as Communism spreading (red), democracy fighting back (white), and the instability between them (pink). The essay would then include an explanation of how their design project helps to visually articulate the issues/changes faced by the given country.

  • Suggested software: iStopmotion, Adobe Flash, Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Suggested websites: prezi, animoto, xtranormal

Assignment 2: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In 400 - 600 word lesson reflection, students will connect the advances in the arts in the post war era and the use of Pop Art and Cubism with suggested modern CTE career paths that use animation (such as digital or traditional animation for video games, advertising, education or entertainment). Students should evaluate modern trends in animation and other design pathways today and predict what the career path may be in the future.

Unit 8 : Communication in the Global Community

Since World War II, nations have worked to expand trade and commerce in world markets. Expansion in technology has blurred national boundaries and created a global economy. Students will explore and address global issues such as terrorism, climate change, and pandemics that emerge with increased global interdependence through writing and design projects. Students will study the origins, causes and effects of globalization and develop design solutions for communicating commercial, economic and social messages to a global audience. Students will be able to use these solutions to create print publications and multimedia presentations incorporating their cumulative design skills and knowledge

Assignment 1: Designing for a Global Economy

Using their text and/or other relevant resources, students will explore how the post-war era of world expansion led to an increase in production, goods and service that benefits many nations.  Students will examine the rise of multinational corporations and the challenges of designing and advertising for a global market with various tastes and cultures. After researching and viewing multinational advertising campaigns, students will construct design techniques for targeting specific audiences.

Students will create a global advertising campaign for a fictional product appropriate for  and based on their knowledge of the developing world. In groups of 3-4, students will choose four different countries (or regions) from a list provided by the teacher.  Students will use the elements and principles of design to target specific cultural art and design traditions. The students should choose their market based on need and cultural relevance.  Students will research the customs, traditions and popular culture of their assigned regions. After reviewing relevant software disciplines learned throughout the unit, each group member will choose a region and create a targeted print (poster, flyer or magazine advertisement) and/or multimedia asset (iMovie, PowerPoint, Prezi).  

Assignment 2: Creating Social Awareness for Worldwide Issues

Students will explore the differences in media designed to advertise to a global community and media designed to create local awareness.  Students will learn about globalization principles that relate to economic, social, and political challenges, and the historical background of economic interdependence, global security issues, and environmental challenges.

Students will examine and critique social justice posters created and used in America over the past fifty years, and will research a historically significant American poster and write an essay, incorporating historical background, that analyzes how the artist used the elements of design to evoke a specific reaction in relation to the historical issue.

Students will then examine and research a major issue facing the global community chosen from a teacher provided list.  Students will create a social awareness piece, using what they learned from writing the prior essay, as a print poster (Adobe InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop) or multimedia presentation (iMovie, PowerPoint) relating to current issues and challenges affecting the world today.

Assignment 3: Recurring Career Pathway Connection Writing Assignment

In 400 - 600 word lesson reflection, students will construct and identify skills needed in the suggested CTE career pathway for Commercial Artists, both past and present.  Students will compile reasonings for the importance of research in commercial art, as well as building a necessary skills list for future suggested careers that do not yet exist.  

Assignment 4: Final Career Pathway Writing Assignment

In addition, students will research one of the Careers they studied in this course as part of the Pathway Connection assignments.  In this 1000 word research paper, suggested questions to guide the students research might include:

  • Researching a famous person in the career.
  • What skills and/or education is required for someone looking to be in this profession? (What is the average cost of obtaining the training/education needed?)
  • What is the average annual salary?
  • What are the working conditions?
  • What the career prospects for someone in that field now?

Assignment 5: Final Timeline Portfolio and Resume

Students in this class will be expected to select their best work and create a thematic portfolio graphically displaying a timeline of world history.  The body of selected work will be assembled into a format consistent with industry standards and could be used in conjunction with professional documents for the purpose of gaining employment.  The portfolio must exist in digitally and will be developed, shared and critiqued by the instructor and the students’ peers as evidence of their learning throughout the class.

For the end of the course portfolio assignment students should place a link/image of their best work from each unit into their Timeline Portfolio. In addition to the Final Portfolio timeline with their best work, the last link should be a personal resume that is suitable for printing that includes references.

Course Materials

Primary Texts:

Title: District Approved World History textbook
Primary Text, Read in entirety or near entirety

Title: District approved Media and Design textbook
Primary Text, Read in entirety or near entirety

Title: Exploring Visual Design, Edition: 3rd
Publication Date: 1999, Publisher: Davis Publications
Author(s): Joseph Gatto, Albert Porter and Jack Selleck
Primary Text, Read in entirety or near entirety

Supplemental Instructional Materials:

Plato's The Republic, excerpts

Politics by Aristotle, excerpts

12 Tables  

10 Commandments

Excerpts from the Magna Carta

Images of each of the law documents (required; can be found online from www.Flickr.com, Google images, etc.) in order to facilitate learning both the CTE applications and the World History content

Biographies or research on thinkers discussed unit one

Copyright law of the United States

Documents and manuals needed for use of and teaching software (optional)

Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses; Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

White man/Black man’s Burden

King Leopold's Ghost

European Imperialism in Africa DBQ 

This website has a wealth of primary source propaganda posters, photographs and audio clips that students can utilize in all of the key assignments in this unit.

Visual examples of post WWII art including Pop Art (Warhol, Lichtenstein, Picasso, Japanese anime; use internet or textual sources)

Barefoot Gen, Astro Boy (optional)

Animal Farm movie or film (optional)

Atomic Cafe (optional)

Vietnam footage (optional)

Trimble 3D Sketchup ( Free 3D modeling software) & Training Videos

Lynda.com Online Training Resources (www.lynda.com)

Adobe TV video training (www.tv.adobe.com)

Adobe (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop) Classroom in a Book

Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education

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