The Mighty Pen: Writing and the Changing World

Great discoveries (lots of gold!). Great inventions (penicillin!). Great disasters (smallpox!). Great conflict (more wars than I can list!). The world after 1500 was full of changes that brought everyone closer together, creating synergy as people shared ideas AND creating conflict as they all struggled to share resources.

In this class, you’ll study great men and women who changed the world – for better or for worse – with their ideas and their actions. You’ll also spend time researching and sharing information that interests you about different periods of modern world history.

In addition, one of the greatest ways to create change is through great writing. So we will also focus on what makes great writing – specifically how to structure an essay so that your writing is clear and coherent and how to write creatively. You’ll also learn more about the mechanics of writing, including grammar and punctuation.

Full of activities and games, great discussions and quiet reflection — this class will possibly even create great change in you!

1:00 - 3:00



Head Mentor 
ToriAnn Perkey

Assistant Mentor
Nicole McDougal


Depth or Breadth? 

Fall Semester

Winter Semester

Materials Required

1. Access to a computer and the internet
2. A reference book that surveys world history (see below)


Homework will take approximately 3 to 4 hours a week and will include:

  1. At least 1 hour/week of historical research and note taking on the time period the class is studying. This can be reading books, watching videos and documentaries, or reviewing internet sites. Some resources will be required — including references pages in a book that surveys World History — but students will be allowed to use many of their own resources.
  2. Several fiction and biographical books assigned throughout the year (approximately 75 – 100 pgs a week)
  3. Several fairly historically accurate movies.
  4. Weekly writing assignments that will focus on essay or creative writing.
  5. Short grammar, punctuation, and mechanics exercises.

This class will be lots of fun, but it will also be a lot of work. Register because you want to learn how to work and think like a scholar as we study this fascinating time period of history and learn the important skill of essay writing.

Some possible survey world history books
From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day
The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History
The Kingfisher Atlas of World History: A pictoral guide to the world’s people and events: 10000BCE-present
A Little History of the World: Illustrated Edition (Little Histories)
When on Earth?: History as You’ve Never Seen It Before!

Some of the possible fiction books we may read
(More will be added to this list)
The King’s Fifth
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
Tale of Two Cities
The King of Mulberry Street