Mr. Mandala’s The World Today

Course Overview

Teacher(s) Kevin Mandala


Phone Number: (856) 848-8200 ext. 621

Google Classroom Code: All students will be required to join the World Today google classroom. The code to join the class: veibcg5

Course Description: This course is an elective that is designed for students with a passion for learning about today’s society.  The focus of this two-semester course is on major events and trends in the world today. The first semester will focus on local and domestic issues and the second semester on international issues. Students will learn important social study skills, the importance of citizenship, and make personal connections to history.

Course Expectations and Assessments

Textbook: There is no assigned textbook for this course. Students will read articles from magazines and newspapers provided in class. Students will be required to conduct research for major projects and gather their own materials including articles that may be found online.  

Materials Required

  1. ChromeBooks are required to be brought to class every day charged, as they will be used for research and completion of assignments.

Submitting work/ Emailing Assignments: Work should be turned in through the google classroom through the provided Gateway student email only. Newly created documents should be shared with the teacher(s) at . To ensure academic honesty, instructor should be able to see revision history. Assignments may be submitted early but must be turn in work by the class period on the day the assignment is due.  Emailed assignments or shared documents after the class period it is due will be considered late.

Test Retake Policy: Test retake policy is in compliance school policy and will require a students to complete a form with parental signature prior to scheduling a retake.

Assistance Students may set up an appointment for extra help, make-up or test retakes after school Tuesday-Thursdays in Room 410. From November through January Mock Trial practice will also meet during this time.

Grading Policies: The class is divided into units with the point values for each assignment clearly labeled on the unit overview sheet posted in the google classroom at the beginning of each unit. In accordance with department policy, grades are posted by category as follows:

Support Assignments worth 10% of their final grade

Secondary Assignments worth 30% of their final grade

Primary Assignments worth 60% of their final grade

Support assignments generally include designated in class assignments- 10 points for each assignment (ranging 20-30 points per unit) including weekly current events

Secondary assignments generally include in class assignments, geography quizzes, quizzes factoring in class participation, small group projects etc. (30-50 points per unit)

Primary assignments generally include major projects (60-100 points per unit), unit tests and benchmarks (100 points per unit)

Units of Study                                 Major Assignments 

First Semester                                 

Hot Button Topics (Sept)                        Major Events Presentation, Unit Test        

Homeland Security (Oct)                        Homeland Security Scenarios, Unit Test        

Government and Politics (Oct-Nov)                Political Platform Assignment, Quiz        

Social Issues (Nov)                                Oral Debate and Argumentative Essay, Quiz

Economy, Energy and the Environment (Dec) Problem Scenarios and Unit Test

Health Care and Education (Jan)                Jigsaw and Unit Test

Second Semester                                Major Assignments

North and Central America (Feb)                Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Unit Test

Europe (Feb-March)                        Geography Quiz, EU Research Assignment, Quiz

Asia (March)                                Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Unit Test

Middle East (March-April)                Geography Quiz, Oral Debate and Argumentative Essay

Africa (April-May)                        Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Film Reflection, Unit Test

South America (May)                        Geography Quiz, Jigsaw, Unit Test

Oceania (May-June)                         Geography Quiz, Quiz, Culminating Project

Skills: The following skills will be taught during units throughout the year.

Read a political map                                 Analyze newspaper articles (current events)

Create a budget using an excel spreadsheet        Write a well-organized essay                

Analyze political cartoons.                         Create multimedia presentation.

Create a bibliography                                 Debate controversial issues

Read and create a graphic organizer                 Plan a trip around the world

Write a grant                                         Read/Write an editorial        

Classroom Behavioral Expectations

1. Respect other people’s rights, person, and property.

2. Gateway Code of Conduct will be followed and enforced.

3. Do your own work! Copying a classmate’s work or allowing someone to copy yours will equal an automatic 0 on the assignment for both of you plus an hour of detention and notice to your counselor and parents.

Absences- You are responsible for the information presented in class even when you are absent including excused absences. Please discuss long-term absences (vacations, extended college visits) ahead of time. Make a friend with someone in class who can  help you catch up.

Tardies: Majority of employers report that need and expect workers to show up on time. Being on time is a crucial workplace requirement. Attendance is taken at the beginning of class; if you are not in your assigned seat when the bell rings you are late. Excessive tardies will lower your grade and result in detention time!

Possible Films shown: The following films or clips from films may be shown in class.

If you or your parents have an objection to any of these films, substitute assignments will be made available. Other films may be added to this list as related to the curriculum.  

1. The First Grader by National Geographic (Africa)