20th Century World History

Sonlight 320 History / Bible Course
Age Range: 16-18 & above
Grade Range: 10-12
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Understand, engage, & transform the modern world. This astonishing century brought massive changes to global society. Discover the key events, people, conflicts, and inventions.


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Get complete lesson plans, schedule and teaching notes for the entire year. This Modern History Package includes the Level 320 20th Century World History Parent Guide and accompanying 20th Century World History Student Guide. This Modern World History Curriculum Package also includes all of the 20th Century World History books and Apologetics books scheduled in these guides.

Overview of the History

Instructor's Guides

Like the other upper-level IG teaching tools, your 320 History and Bible Parent and Student Guides walk you through each school day, so students are free to embark on their own independent study. As they work through the Student Guide, you can easily engage and track their progress with tools that include your corresponding Parent Guide (with answers and extra notes), your students' journaling and discussion.

20th Century World History

Today's world was shaped – in national boundaries, in economic policy, in technological advances – by the 20th Century. Sonlight 320 takes a year to look at this transformative century.

In 1900, it took days to travel from Europe to America. In 2000, it took hours. In 1900, only a wealthy few owned a car. In 2000, cars were common, if not quite universal. In 1900, even the radio had barely been invented and broadcasts were still several years away. By 2000, the radio had come and gone as primary entertainment, replaced by the television at first, and then an increasing array of electronics: cable, video games, computers, and the internet. In 1900, the airplane had not yet been invented. By 2000, men had gone to the moon, and satellites in orbit allowed many advances in communication.

It was an astonishing century.

In earlier programs, we don't study this century in depth. These years brought incredible suffering. There are the familiar tragedies: trench warfare in WWI, the Holocaust, the atom bomb. And there are the less-familiar tragedies: genocides in Europe, Asia and Africa; mass starvation in China and the USSR; drug wars, child labor, and human trafficking.

So it isn't as enjoyable to study this century. But it is important. And in 320, we tried to balance the horrors that occurred, with the hope of the Gospel. We include four missionary biographies (compared to the more typical one or two), because in the midst of darkness, it's good to remember that God is still at work.

Yes, the Nazi concentration camps were horrible. But God was at work even there, caring for his children in miraculous ways.

The spine, Modern History in Pictures is a complete, extensive, and succinct guide to world history. It covers key events from before 1200 and up to present day. Each topic is organized in short, focused sections. Your student will explore key historical events, the forces leading up to the events, and the consequences and effects. The entire book can be used to study for the AP World History exam; however, we focus on the sections about the 20th Century.

The spine, Modern History in Pictures, is a visual guide that offers insight into the century and explores earth-shattering events that have shaped our modern world.

This version sold on sonlight.com is printed exclusively for Sonlight. Versions not sold on sonlight.com may not match the Sonlight Level 320 Instructor's Guide.

Biographies & Historical Fiction

Sonlight's 320 History includes 21 additional books. Among them are biographies of suffragette Lizzie Stanton and scientist Albert Einstein.

There are two classic works of fiction: All Quiet on the Western Front, set in the trenches of World War I; and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, set in a Stalin prison camp in Siberia.

One book covers the establishment of Israel after World War II. One covers the unsettled experience of being a refugee.

One is about the 6000-mile trek that Mao made before he came to power. Imagine: the equivalent of fleeing across the United States and back. To write this book, the author traveled to China and interviewed survivors, 50 years later. The author's trip was 30 years ago now. An eyewitness account would no longer be possible. What a gift to be given.

This is a powerful course.

Why is 320 so important and different? Because it covers in-depth a century of human atrocities, genocide, horrible wars, achievements, accomplishments – a century that was supposed to be civilized. The other programs do not even come close to the in-depth study of the 20th Century. At all. And yes – there are dark and depressing books, books that make you sad and furious at the same time, and yet books that leave you with hope for the human race. I can't imagine skipping Sonlight 300. It was my daughter's absolute, 100% favorite course because she learned SO much about the truth of the century, and got a glimpse of where we're headed or could be headed. —Sarita Holzmann, Co-founder & president of Sonlight Curriculum

Bible / Apologetics

The Bible 310 program helps guide your older students on their way to adulthood.

The insightful and inspiring book How to Ruin Your Life by 30, challenges your kids toward making good biblical choices. Three additional books, Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ, Chip Ingram's Why I Believe, and C.S. Lewis's classic, Mere Christianity, will prepare your students to be competent apologists, able to answer those who have questions about Christianity.

Estimated daily time for 20th Century World History: Student: 1 hr.

Our high school courses are separated by subject to allow customers maximum flexibility. Feel free to buy either the History or the Literature, or both, or to mix-and-match with the History and Literature of other Sonlight courses.

Advanced Placement® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.

*AP and Advanced Placement are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product.

Instructor's Guide
  • History 320 Parent Guide
    Complete lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach Level 320, History, Geography and Bible for the entire year.
    Retail: $64.00
  • History 320 Student Guide
    The daily schedule and tools your student needs for Level 320, History, Geography, and Bible for the entire year.
    Retail: $37.00
  • The Case for Christ
    Is there credible proof that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? In The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel retraces his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith and builds a captivating case for...
    Retail: $9.99
  • Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity
    This is the perfect resource for anyone who longs not only to really know what and why they believe but also to be equipped to explain the intellectual justification for their faith in everyday language.
    Retail: $17.99
  • Mere Christianity
    One of this century's master wordsmiths presents the case for Christianity — "mere" Christianity: "a hall out of which doors open into several rooms" — the various Christian churches and denominations.
    Retail: $17.99
  • How to Ruin Your Life By 30
    Every choice comes with consequence. In trademark style, Farrar uses Godly advice and real-life stories to encourage readers toward making good choices" and reaping the benefits.
    Retail: $14.99
  • 7 Men Who Rule the World from the Grave
    Dave Breese warns us of the dangers of believing unreservedly the ideas of these seven men. He also reminds us of the only man whose life and words we can trust completely—Jesus Christ.
    Retail: $16.99
  • World War I
    In this book, Richard Maybury presents an idea-based explanation of the First World War. He explains how the explosion of the battleship Maine in 1898 was the beginning of a chain reaction that continues...
    Retail: $17.95
  • The Six Day Hero
    The Six-Day War, told from the point of view of an Israeli seventh-grader in 1967.
    Retail: $9.99
  • The Story That Cannot Be Told
    The story of a girl finding her voice and the strength to use it during the final months of the Communist regime in Romania in 1989.
    Retail: $8.99
  • Warriors Don’t Cry
    In this essential autobiographical account by one of the Civil Rights Movement's most powerful figures, Melba Pattillo Beals of the Little Rock Nine explores not only the oppressive force of racism, but...
    Retail: $18.00
  • Hero of the Empire
    This thrilling biographical account of the life and legacy of Wintson Churchill is a nail-biter and top-notch character study rolled into one.
    Retail: $18.00
  • The Blackbird Girls
    Like Ruta Sepetys for middle grade, Anne Blankman pens a poignant and timeless story of friendship that twines together moments in underexplored history.
    Retail: $8.99
  • A Night Divided
    Set during the time period of the rise of the Berlin Wall, a wonderfully crafted historical novel that is absorbing and deeply suspenseful.
    Retail: $8.99
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
    Hailed as "the greatest war novel of all time," the author says his purpose with the "All Quiet on the Western Front" book is "simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped...
    Retail: $8.99
  • God Spoke Tibetan
    Follow a disgraced Tibetan official, a hapless courier, Christian missionaries, native translators and more, to hear the moving story of how the Bible came to the Tibetan people in their own language.
    Retail: $16.00
  • There's a Sheep In My Bathtub
    What can God do when you simply trust and obey Him? Watch an unreached people explode with the Gospel--not in the first century, but in ours! Like this American family in remote, mysterious Outer Mongolia,...
    Retail: $16.99
  • First They Killed My Father
    The author tells a story reflective of the experiences shared by many Cambodians who lived through the Vietnam War. The fascinating firsthand account vividly describes events during this time in history:...
    Retail: $16.99
  • China's Long March: 6,000 Miles of Danger
    Stunning portrayal of one of the defining events in modern Chinese history: the epic 6000-mile trek of Mao Zedong and his men as they sought to escape the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek in the...
    Retail: $15.00
  • Modern History in Pictures
    Modern History in Pictures: A Visual Guide to the Events that Shaped Our World explores these earth-shattering events as never before, offering unique insight into the century that has so keenly shaped...
    Retail: $34.99
  • The Green Glass Sea
    It's 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is en route to New Mexico to live with her mathematician father. The town Soon, she arrives at a town that, officially, doesn't exist. Los Alamos is abuzz with...
    Retail: $9.99
  • The Hiding Place
    The worldwide bestseller about a staunchly Christian Dutch family whose faith overcomes the worst of the Nazi holocaust. Challenging and uplifting.
    Retail: $15.99
  • Living On the Devil's Doorstep
    A strait-laced preacher's kid becomes a minister to hippies, drug addicts, prostitutes and other societal drop-outs, first in Kabul, Afghanistan, and then on the streets of Amsterdam, Holland. Challenging.
    Retail: $14.99
  • Made You Look
    How advertising works, and what your kids (a prized demographic) should know. Familiar examples get unbiased review, raising teens' critical awareness of the messages filling their world.
    Retail: $16.95
  • Red Scarf Girl
    Multiple award-winner. A devastating, first-person story of the Chinese Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao in the late '60s.
    Retail: $10.99
  • The Road from Home
    The author writes a true-to-life fictionalized autobiography of his mother--a young Armenian girl in Turkey during the "other" 20th century Holocaust that was prelude to Stalin, Hitler, and others.
    Retail: $10.99
  • You Want WOMEN to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
    A simple but thorough introduction to the work and words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the pioneers in the women's suffrage movement.
    Retail: $7.99
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    Nobel Prize-winning author tells the story of one man and "just one of the three thousand six hundred and fifty-three days of his sentence" in a Siberian prison camp during Stalin's rule.
    Retail: $5.99
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Take up to one year to use your curriculum. If you don’t love it, return it! Complete details here.

Have a Question?

Contact Customer Service

Available 7am-5pm MT Mon-Fri.