History Odyssey Modern Times Level Two


eBook or printed format


The following books must be obtained apart from this study guide. You may use any version, eBook, or print edition of these books. If you plan to purchase these books from Amazon, we appreciate you using the direct links below. There is an alternative booklist available for this title.

Main Reference Spine: The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (1999 or newer edition)
Optional Additional Reference Spine: The Story of Mankind* by Hendrik Willem Van Loon (optional)

The History Odyssey Timeline from Pandia Press (or a homemade timeline)

Other Required Books:
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Red Baron by Manfred Van Richtofen
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith or The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt

*The Story of Mankind: Due to the polarizing nature of The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon, it is optional reading in this level two course. It should be considered a possible resource for gathering information. If students choose not to read TSOM, they might need to seek out other resources on the Internet or at a library in order to complete some of the lessons. There is a free eBook edition of TSOM available at: www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/754.

Review of History Odyssey

by Cathy Duffy

History Odyssey combines classical and real-book approaches to create a complete history curriculum for grades 1 through 12. The curriculum has three levels: Level One (Elementary) for grades 1-4, Level Two (Middle School) for grades 5 and up (can actually be used for some high school students but is best for grades 5-8), and Level Three (High School) for grades 9-12. . .

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Pages: 124 pages, plus 22 worksheets and 23 maps

Grade Level: appropriate for 7th – 9th grade, target grade is 8th (appropriate for high school with modifications*)

Course type: Study guide. See the Booklist for the books and materials required to complete this course. There is an alternative booklist available for this title. 

* Modern Times Level two is a comprehensive course that is appropriate for both middle school and high school students with little modification. For high school we recommend reading The Red Badge of Courage in place of Rifles for Watie.

From British Imperialism to the American Civil War to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Modern Times level two is a complete one-year curriculum guide that combines history with literature, world geography, and writing activities. Students study events from modern times history, a time of imperialism, nationalism, manifest destiny, and technology. And it was a time of world war and attention to human rights. This comprehensive course covers success and failures of civilizations in modern history from all parts of the world.

Modern Times level two is a student guide that provides step by step lessons to teach world history from 1850 to 2000. Level 2 History Odyssey guides are written to be used independently by students with the parent/teacher assisting when necessary with lessons and assessing the student’s completed work. Modern Times level two does not require an answer key due to the subjectivity of the assignments that encourage critical thinking (i.e. there is rarely any one correct answer).**  Answer keys to map work are found in the main spine (The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia).  Rubrics are provided to assist in grading essay and research paper writing.

**Due to the complexity and enormity of Modern Times Level 2, it is the only History Odyssey course that has an available Teacher Guide. The Teacher Guide provides extensive assistance with tackling the literature readings and critical thinking assignments found in MT2. The Teacher Guide also provides tests and quizzes, suggested answers to worksheets and other assignments, teaching guidance and suggestions, group use suggestions, extra craft activities, alternative literature books, map answer keys, literature summaries, and much more.

Literature and writing instructions and assignments found in the course include advanced outlining of history readings, poetry and political cartoon/advertisement analysis, attribution of sources, How to Write a Research Paper, How to Write an Essay, creating storyboards, persuasive writing, literary analysis, conducting interviews, presenting oral reports and presentations, and historical and geographical analysis of settings in literature.

Critical thinking with history studies found in this course include identification of connections and cause/effect relationships; evaluation of the validity and type of history sources; analysis of historical documents, legislation, and speeches; timeline analysis; detailed examination of imperialism and nationalism in modern history; detailed evaluation of wars, conflicts, and regimes; in depth study of various political doctrines; and identification of connections between geography and history through extensive map work.

This guide includes:

  • 23 modern times history blackline maps
  • Worksheets
  • Recommended resource list
  • 99 detailed lessons covering:
    • Literature
    • Writing
    • Map work
    • Timeline analysis
    • Research
The History Odyssey Method– Five learning techniques are woven throughout all History Odyssey courses at age-appropriate levels: Students examine multiple resources, read historically significant literature, develop and strengthen critical thinking skills, practice and refine written and verbal expression, and study world geography and geographical significances throughout the history of humankind.

Please refer to the article The Best Way to Learn History for more information about the History Odyssey method of learning.

The History Odyssey method found in Modern Times 2:

Multiple Resources

  • Examine resources of various groups from areas such as Africa, India, Britain, Eastern Europe, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Russia, Italy, Germany, United States, Greece, China, Middle East, SE Asia, and more
  • Read about modern history events in a history encyclopedia
  • Classic literature, abridged and unabridged
  • Primary source excerpts from modern history
  • Independent research of library and online resources


  • Modern history through historic fiction
  • Classic literature, some adapted
  • Poetry, song, and short stories

Written & Verbal Expression

  • Develop points of view and present arguments through well-composed essays
  • Learn the basics for creating a thesis statement and writing a research paper
  • Practice public speaking and rhetoric skills
  • Write biographies on significant individuals during modern times and identify their effects and influences on history
  • Conduct an interview and write a firsthand account

Critical Thinking

  • Exposure to at least three sources for history events
  • Identify main ideas, subtopics, and details through advanced outlining of history readings
  • Organize, filter, prioritize, and discern vast amounts of historical data
  • Refined practice evaluating the validity of history sources
  • Detailed review of documents and legislation in modern history including long term effects
  • Analysis of poetry, political cartoons, pamphlets, and speeches in modern history
  • Identify, create, and summarize a complicated web of connections between events in modern times history
  • Detailed examination of Imperialism including the effects on native cultures in many parts of the world
  • Detailed analysis of Totalitarianism and Terrorism in many parts of the world during modern times
  • Scrutiny of wars and conflicts including long term effects and assessment of the necessity of war
  • Research and analyze the persecution of certain groups in modern history including the origin of prejudices still alive today
  • Explore various political ideologies in modern history and their long term effects
  • Literary analysis of historic fiction including characterization, theme, point of view, foreshadow, symbolism, and satire
  • Grasp the concept of time and the progression of history, and identify connections between events through multiple timeline activities
  • Compare and contrast groups in modern history
  • Analyze how different groups of people modern history were affected by religious belief
  • Practice proper attribution of sources


  • Detailed identification of land and water areas significant to modern history
  • Gain a better understanding of events in modern history through detailed map work and completing map keys
  • Learn about geographical obstacles and advantages and their effects in modern history
  • Analyze how geography influenced trade, travel, wars, spread of ideas, and the communication between groups during modern times
  • Study and map the effects of war on political boundaries and nation building
Important Copyright Information: If you choose the eBook version of this course, you are purchasing a license to use the PDF for your own children. You may make copies for your own children, but you may not share (email, download, print and distribute, resell, etc.) this eBook or any portion of this eBook to others.

Licensing is available for group, school, and co-op use. Please contact Pandia Press for details on group licensing (kate@pandiapress.com).