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List of Benchmarks for World History

Standard 22.Understands the growth of states, towns, and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa between the 11th and 15th centuries
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands influences on the economic development of Sub-Saharan empires (e.g., the importance of agriculture, gold production, and the trans-Saharan caravan trade to the growth of the Mali and Songhay Empires; the importance of trade within the major city-states and populations of Sub-Saharan Africa)
   2. Understands social and religious features of West Africa (e.g., what art reveals about the societies and rulers of Benin and Ile-Ife, the story of Solomon and Sheba and the role of Sheba in African history)
   3. Understands the emergence of commercial towns on the East African coast and the significance of Swahili as the language of trade
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands the development of the empires of Mali and Songhay (e.g., the importance of Islamic expansion in the political and cultural life of Mali and Songhay; the economic, social, and religious characteristics of the two empires; the observations of Ibn Battua and Leo Africanus in Mali and Songhay; the importance of the Monarch Mansa Musa in Mali)
   2. Understands religious aspects of Ethiopian society (e.g., the expansion of the Christian Ethiopian kingdom and its search for wider connections in the Christian world, the major achievements of the Zagwe Dynasty in Ethiopia and how this dynasty affected both Coptic Christians and Muslims)
   3. Understands significant features of the major population centers of Bantu and the East African coastal region in the 2nd millennium CE (e.g., influences on the economic and cultural life of Kilwa and other East African coastal cities, the Bantu state of Great Zimbabwe and its links to the Indian Ocean trade, consequences of the contact between Bantu farmers and Khoisan hunter-gatherers in the early 2nd millennium)
   4. Understands how architecture (e.g., the churches of Lalaibela and of Kalash in Ellora, India) reveals the influence of foreign states and the end of African isolation
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands how art and architecture reveal elements of Ile-Ife, Benin, and other African societies (e.g., the role of the ruler, political power, gender differences, foreign contact, technology)
   2. Understands the political, social, economic, and religious development of the West African Sudan and the East African coast between the 8th and 13th centuries (e.g., how these areas were affected by outside influences, the role of commerce in their development)
   3. Understands the influence of religion on African culture (e.g., Islamic and Christian expansion in Africa and why Islam was successful there; the differences between Coptic and Latin Christianity and how Coptics adapted African traditions to Christianity; the Zagwe Dynasty's achievements through patronage of Christian art and architecture, and characteristics of Ethiopian art and rock churches)
   4. Understands the role of language in shaping African society (e.g., class structure and cultural influence of Swahili-speaking towns of East Africa; relationships among modern Bantu languages and what these relationships reveal about migrations of Bantu-speaking peoples; the interaction of religion with wealth, language, and country of origin in influencing social status)
   5. Understands the network of trade between East Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Persian Gulf (e.g., sources of traded items, controlling parties), the goods traded, and the importance of city-states such as Kilwa in this network