Story of the World

Ancient World Map



Determined to break down the wall separating American History from World History, Susan Wise Bauer created The Story of the World, a narrated, integrated approach to the history of the whole world that encompasses all learning styles.

Visual learners will love the narrative style of the textbooks, audio learners will be drawn to the CDs, and kinesthetic students will gravitate the Activity Guide. Since children are usually not just one type of learner, every child will find something that holds their attention in this versatile program.

From the dawn of civilization to the downfall of the Soviet Union, these engaging narratives highlight the major events, personalities, nations, and cultures of our world in chronological order. There are four volumes to the series:

  • Volume 1 - The Ancient Times
  • Volume 2 - Middle Ages
  • Volume 3 - The Early Modern Times
  • Volume 4 - The Modern Times

Though it is geared for younger children, this curriculum can easily be used for all ages.

To do the full program each volume has four components:

  • The Textbook
  • The Activity Book
  • The Tests and Answer Key
  • The Audiobook CDs

The recommended supplements referred to by page in the
Activity Book are:

  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
  • The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World
  • The Usborne Book of World History
  • The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History


The Story of the World Textbook

The textbook comes in hard or soft cover and offers simple and straightforward read-alouds that are understandable and yes, interesting! The text serves as the backbone for each unit. Each chapter covers a time period, and is placed in the order it occurred. So that different cultures are studied side by side within that time frame. The next chapter moves time forward and as civilizations are born and die they are added or dropped from the absorbing storyline.

The chapters are further split into shorter segments to make it easy to divide lessons over several days for younger students. There are mythical tales as well as historical fiction type passages that weave in the experiences of children from that time period to stimulate further interest. The chapters are meant to be read-aloud to younger children by parents or older siblings.

Story of the World Activity Book

At the beginning of each chapter in the Activity Book, the corresponding page references are given from the supplements which further flesh out the history lessons. Then review-type comprehension questions are presented for each chapter section.

The student is asked to summarize the chapter and sample narrations are included. He them writes out his summary, illustrates it with his favorite part of the chapter. His writing can then be collected in a notebook to create his own version of world history!

A supplemental reading list is provided and the activities continue with ‘Map Work’ where a relevant map is supplied and the student identifies and marks pertinent geography. A coloring page or some other word activity is offered and the chapter closes with a selection of projects to do for hands-on ‘getting into’ history. These could be arts and crafts, writing, or science projects and are optional.

It is really important to remember, before you feel overwhelmed by the breadth of what is available...that these are suggestions. Very few families will have the time or inclination to complete them all. They are there for you to choose from…. Do what works for you and your children and don’t do the rest! No feeling guilty for leaving things undone!

Story of the World Tests and Answer Key

The Test Packet has one single page double-sided test for each chapter. There are 15-20 questions to each test consisting of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, true/false, and short answer. The answer key is included. The packet is 3-hole punched, and tests are reproducible for your family’s use only.

Story of the World

The audiobook CD set is a much appreciated addition to this curriculum. In my Resource Library, the CDs are almost always checked out. They are great for use in the car, or by an individual student with a CD player, or even for family evenings together. Young children could color while listening, or play with a learning toy such as Legos, older children can do needlework or draw. You know what would work for your family.

Narrated by Jim Weiss, a professional storyteller, the recordings are high-quality and attention-grabbing. All the information in the texts is included on CD. The different volumes have different numbers of CDs and therefore different hours of listening time. The CDs come in a box with an insert that details the track contents.

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