9th Grade Global History Daily Pacing Guide

When I asked my fellow social studies teachers what their biggest challenge was there was no shortage of answers. One stressor that came up a lot — even with seasoned teachers — was getting through all the content in their curriculum.

Pacing out a whole year of lessons is difficult. It’s easy to allow a week for a unit, only to have it take twice as long. And, as history teachers, it’s super hard to leave anything on the cutting floor; it’s all important!

Another mistake is not allowing for enough “wasted” days: absences, school trips, state exams, etc. I’ll bet you rush through your last unit (if you get to it) every year.

Stress no more; I’ve got you covered.

World History Curriculum

Social studies, more than most core subjects, varies from state to state. I teach in New York. Students in our state take world history (we call it global) for 2 years. Ninth graders take their first year of global history, up through approximately the Enlightenment Era. In 10th grade, they start with the French Revolution and continue up through the 21st century.

There are many ways to lay it out, but generally, these are the units for 9th grade and how much time I spend:

Prehistory (17 days)

River Valley Civilizations (22 days)

Classical Civilizations (24 days)

Belief Systems (11 days)

Byzantine Empire (9 days)

Islamic Civilization & the Mongols (8 days)

African Kingdoms (10 days)

Middle Ages(15 days)

Ming Dynasty & Ottoman Empire (9 days)

Renaissance & Protestant Reformation (13 days)

Mesoamerica (6 days)

Age of Exploration (8 days)

Age of Absolutism (9 days)

Scientific Rev. & Enlightenment (9 days)

If you add it up there are 170 days of classes accounted for. That leaves about 10 non-teaching days, which can be higher depending on your school. We have a LOT of trips as well as state testing, so 170 lessons is overshooting.

Of course, the pacing is highly subjective. Perhaps you LOVE the Renaissance and want to spend a couple of weeks on a project during that unit. Great! Just beware that you have to “steal” extra days from somewhere else.

How to Create an Effective Pacing Guide

If your curriculum is different than the one above you can calculate how to allocate your teaching time. It’s really just math.

Jot down each unit that is part of your curriculum. How many units do you have? Divide that by 170 (the number of teaching days in a year).

Next, consider the biggest units; which 2-4 topics are the most important and/or voluminous? In my curriculum, it’s the first 3 units: prehistory (which includes historical thinking skills) river valley civilizations and classical civilizations. For 10th grade it’s imperialism, the world wars and the Cold War.

For those mega units double the number of days. If you have 3 big units and added an extra 10 days to each now you have to shave from the other units. Cut the smallest 5-6 units in half.

That should give you a rough outline of how to pace out your content. As the year goes along you can tweak it as needed.

If your curriculum is similar to mine — Prehistory through 1750 — I’ve created a daily pacing guide for you. You can add notes, delete and insert rows to fit your needs. IF YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE COPY, JUST ADD YOUR EMAIL TO THE FORM ABOVE.


It’s ironic that as history teachers we often come up short on modern history. That’s the stuff most students are more interested in. It’s what directly affects their lives.

With a bit of juggling, and accepting that there will be topics missed, we can find time for the good stuff.

Happy teaching!

P.S.: Don’t leave if you haven’t checked out the word puzzles and reading passages that are available for download on this site. AND be sure to grab my free lessons!

Teach and Thrive

A Bronx, NY veteran high school social studies teacher who has learned most of what she has learned through trial and error and error and error.... and wants to save others that pain.

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