Textbook Ancillary Resources to Teaching and Learning Styles In the AP
Appleton West High School
Whether you are a veteran or novice AP teacher,
choosing the textbook for your course sets the foundation for much of your
teaching and student learning. With many textbook options to select from,
teachers can easily gloss over a major aspect of the selection process—the
teacher and student ancillary resources. With the focus on the student textbook,
and competing lists of ancillary materials that often look similar, seldom
do teachers truly have the opportunity to compare and contrast the resources
that can transform a traditional textbook selection process into a curriculum
development process for the course based on the teacher's instructional
strengths and teaching style.
Looked at from an historical perspective, "All roads
lead to Rome." AP teachers have The College Board curriculum guidelines,
and all the major textbooks will get you to the common destination. The
difference is in the scenery along your chosen route and how bumpy it will
be for you and your students. Multiple learning and teaching styles surely
dispute the adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." In fact, a quick
overview of the available ancillary resources reveals vast differences that
will result in classrooms that look and feel as diverse as a walk through
the ancient capital itself.
In preparation for this review of ancillary resources,
textbook publishers were contacted by World History Connected for
examination copies of ancillary materials for the most commonly used textbooks
in AP World History courses—Bentley, Bulliet, Spielvogel, Spodek,
and Stearns.1 Since the publishers responded
in varying degrees of comprehensiveness, this review is based only on the
actual examination copies of ancillary resources that were furnished. It
is important to note that teachers considering textbooks should insist on
seeing all of the current ancillary materials before any final decision
Ancillary resources fall into three general categories:
instructional resources, testing resources, and student resources. The resources
consist of printed materials, transparencies, CD-ROM media, and web-based
media. Some, such as instructor manuals or test questions, are often available
in multiple formats.
The first question any teacher needs to ask herself
is, "What format am I most likely to use?" For example, some textbooks come
with great PowerPoint presentations, but not all AP classrooms come equipped
with computers and projectors. While a packaged set of overhead transparencies
may be the preferred format for some teachers without a classroom computer
and projector, other teachers with a classroom overhead projector may prefer
creating their own overhead transparencies from the PowerPoint slides. Knowing
your own comfort zone, classroom resources, and instructional preferences
is the basis for making sound decisions about ancillary materials.
A second question is, "What type of content am I
looking for with visual aids?" A quick comparison of the available PowerPoint
presentations and overhead transparencies underscores vast differences in
content. Some are strictly maps, others include maps and charts, others
include artwork, photos, and diagrams, and some PowerPoint presentations
are basically text outlines. In other words, if your course makes extensive
use of maps and you choose a textbook that relies on a PowerPoint of outlines
as the primary visual aid, what you teach and how you teach it may become
a struggle. There is no way of knowing this by glancing at the publishers'
lists of resources, so careful review of the format and content of instructional
materials is critical before making a textbook decision.
With the understanding that all five textbooks are
accompanied by ancillary resources that can enhance teaching and learning,
let's analyze some specific products according to predominant teaching and
The Instructor's Manual is our starting point. As
already mentioned, these reservoirs of a multitude of resources and strategies
not only come in print form for all the textbooks, but some also include
the manual in Word or PDF documents on an accompanying CD-ROM. If your preparation
style relies on computer-based documentation, then you may gravitate to
Bentley and Bulliet, since their accompanying CD-ROMs contain the Instructor's
What do you want from an Instructor's Manual? Bulliet
provides a detailed outline for each chapter, and Spodek and Spielvogel
have brief outlines of key points, while Bentley and Stearns use summary
paragraphs for chapter sections. Bentley and Stearns also choose to provide
lecture suggestions with summary paragraphs while Spodek and Spielvogel
provide suggested themes and thesis statements, and Bulliet lists lecture
topics with a brief bibliography for instructor research.
As one would expect, all of the Instructor's Manuals
include discussion questions that could also be used for essay assignments.
Each, however, has a different style of presenting the questions and topics.
Stearns uses mostly recall questions. Spielvogel provides a topic with multiple
questions that are reminiscent of eight-part exam questions. Bulliet and
Spodek contain lists of questions for each chapter, most of which require
some higher level thinking skills. Finally, Bentley has "Issues for Discussion"
which detail background information on issues related to the chapter's material
and require the teacher to use the information to formulate questions and/or
activities for the students. If classroom discussion is important to you,
then you would want to carefully analyze the particular approach taken by
Are you the type of teacher who seeks outside resources
and relies on your Instructor's Manual to steer you in the right direction
in your search? If so, then look to Bentley for the most comprehensive bibliography
of print resources, and Bulliet for print resources categorized by key topics
in each chapter. Bentley also has a list of related videos, as does Stearns
Perhaps you prefer internet websites to explore
and use as supplements. In that case, Bulliet and Spodek have lists for
each chapter. On the other hand, if you rely heavily on primary source material
strategies, then Bentley, Spodek, and Stearns will provide you with references
to selections that are either available online, in bookstores, or in pre-packaged
ancillaries from the publisher.
All of the textbooks are full of visual aids that
assist teachers and students in understanding the content and concepts.
These maps, charts, timelines, art objects, photographs, and sketches all
help create a visual image for the learner. For teachers who find success
with overhead projectors, Spodek and Stearns each have a large packet of
transparencies available to accompany the texts, but the Stearns collection
contains only maps while Spodek's collection is a combination of maps, charts,
and graphic organizers.
For teachers who are looking for computer-based
visual aids, Bentley, Bulliet, and Spielvogel each have available a CD-ROM
with PowerPoint presentations, images, and video clips, but the content
differs significantly. Bentley's PowerPoint is heavily laden with typed
outlines of the chapter with no images except for a map or two. In contrast,
Bulliet's PowerPoint has no text outlines; instead, it uses many captioned
images of art objects and historical depictions along with maps for the
teacher to intersperse in her classroom presentations. Spielvogel has a
Multi-Media Manager CD-ROM with PowerPoint presentations to accompany five
different world history textbooks that Thomson-Wadsworth publishes, along
with visual images and CNN video clips that the accompanying user guide
explains how to assemble into customized presentations for your classroom.
Many teachers also rely on publishers to provide
test questions for each chapter. Each textbook has a CD-ROM test bank available
for instructors. These test banks all allow teachers to customize their
questions and randomize versions of the tests for better exam security.
Even though these test banks all have many similar features, there are a
few factors that are worth mentioning when trying to find a product that
matches your teaching style. Bentley and Spielvogel include a master copy
of the chapter test within their Instructor's Manuals. Bulliet and Spodek
have separate test manuals available. All of these contain master tests
that could be photocopied and used with students only with considerable
touch-up work since the correct answers and page references to the text
are included for each question. If you like a printed copy of the test to
plan your instruction and write your chapter exam, then you'll like this
feature, but in every case you will have to use the CD-ROM to actually print
a copy for your students or to drop, add, or reorder questions.
If preparing your students for the AP Exam is critical
for you, then you will want chapter tests that include five possible responses
to multiple choice questions since that is the format used by The College
Board. Bulliet, Spodek, and Stearns have only four responses to their multiple
choice questions in their test banks, although there is space for teachers
to insert their own fifth question. Bentley and Spielvogel both provide
multiple choice questions with five possible responses.
Finally, all five textbooks have ancillary resources
for students. What appeals to you is largely dependent on how you prefer
to structure your classes and resources so that students will be successful,
and that is based somewhat on matching their learning styles with your teaching
style and resource material. Bentley and Stearns both have student study
guide books that contain enhancement and review materials for each chapter.
Bentley uses an outline approach while Stearns provides brief paragraph
summaries for chapter sections. Both contain map exercises and a list of
terms, people, and events for students to master as well as a chapter self-test,
although Bentley has five response options to multiple choice questions
while Stearns has only four. Stearns has a timeline review activity, and
Bentley includes a sequencing module in the chapter's self-test. Bentley
includes a quotations module in the self-test, and Stearns provides summary
essay questions to check for understanding on the major conclusions of the
chapter. Bentley prefers a "Connections" exercise where pairs of people,
terms, or events are placed in juxtaposition for the student to determine
Meanwhile, all the textbooks offer websites for
students that contain various resources, such as chapter review questions,
web links to sites related to content, primary resources, interactive maps,
timelines, and glossaries. Each website has a different look and feel to
it, so teachers who are selecting textbooks are advised to use a focus group
of students to review the student websites for textbooks under consideration.
In conclusion, selecting a textbook without careful
review of the ancillary materials available for teachers and students is
ill-advised in this age of educational diversity. While the names of available
ancillary resources may be similar (e.g., Instructor's Manuals, accompanying
CD-ROM, overhead transparencies, student websites), teachers need to be
aware that the approaches used by each publisher differ vastly and could
allow you to capitalize on your strengths or force you to endure years of
being tied to less effective strategies for you and your students. The strength
of our AP teachers is their combination of creativity and fortitude which
results in successful classrooms with individual success, and ancillary
resources should be selected which enhance these efforts for the benefit
of AP students and schools everywhere.
Note: Valerie Cox teaches AP world history at Appleton West High
School in Appleton, Wisconsin. She is a College Board consultant, and is
a mentor for recipients of the College Board AP Start-Up Grant. She is also
a reader for the AP World History exam.
Full publication information for all ancillaries reviewed are as follows:
Jerry Bentley and Herbert Ziegler, Traditions & Encounters: A
Global Perspective on the Past, third edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006);
Richard Bulliet et al., The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History,
third edition (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005); William Duiker and Jackson
Spielvogel, World History, fourth edition (Thomson-Wadsworth,
2004); Howard Spodek, The World's History, third edition (Pearson
Prentice Hall, 2006); Peter Stearns et al., World Civilizations:
The Global Experience, fourth edition (Pearson Longman, 2004).