Overview: This course is a reading and discussion-based exploration of America from World War II through to current times. Special focus will be placed on the social, political, agricultural, economic, and military factors that have impacted this aspiring nation, making it what it is today, using the past to explain the present.
Danzer, Gerald; de Alva, Jorge Klor; Krieger, Larry S.; Wilson, Louis E.; Woloch, Nancy
The Americans. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2012. (A-class)
Bailey, Thomas A.; Cohen, Lizabeth; Kennedy, David M.; The American Pageant. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2015.(Honors-class)
Required Items: Notebook (single subject only please), pens in blue or black, a folder system for retaining loose papers.
Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe the ways in which America staked a claim to the superpower status it holds today. Class will commence with an in depth analysis of the factors that lead to World War II and the linkage between the outcome which yielded the Cold War. Students will be asked to infer how diabolical leaders like Hitler and Mussolini were able to garner support for their devious requests. Commenting on the differences between Communism and Democracy, Socialism and Capitalism, students will then paraphrase the strife between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., which would lead to nuclear proliferation and the ideal of the “domino theory” embroiling America in Vietnam.
Special emphasis will be placed on the Civil Rights Movement, the events that pre-dated it, and how it augmented America, providing opportunities for minorities not only in the 60’s, but today and with the election of President Obama, tomorrow. Operation Desert Storm was an integral event in the early 1990’s which is still controversial today. Questions such as: Why did we go? What was the end result and did we go far enough will be answered. Students will also receive and in-depth look at the Great Recession, its’ causes and lasting effects.
Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina will be analyzed, paying close attention to the federal response and how this impacted early storm warnings as well as disaster relief assistance later on. Along the lines of civil rights, we will also discuss the unfolding of the L.A. riots in 1992 and the underlying reasons for racial strife. Time will also be allocated to discuss the rise in domestic and foreign terrorism (9/11, Waco Tx, Oklahoma City bombing, 1992 Atlanta Olympic bombing, etc.). Lastly, students will see the ebb and flow of politics in an increasingly globalized economy during the late 20th early 21st centuries.
- Tests/Project (65%-Honors/50%-CP)
- There will generally be tests at the end of each chapter. Tests will have inclusive review sessions afterschool (optional) and recap sessions afterward to cater to student deficiencies. While these are not cumulative, there is a final exam, which will be. This exam is worth 16% of your FINAL GRADE(MP=28%).
- Projects may be situational papers, debates, creating advertisements for various inventions or events, mock trials, drawing political cartoons, comparing themes or events, role playing, or retrospectively looking at a historical topic and writing about its implications for today and how it changed history. A missed assignment will constitute ½ of a letter grade subtracted for each day late .
- Homework/Classwork (25%-Honors/30%-CP)
- Homework will be checked at the beginning of each period and given 1 to 2 times per week. Homework is not busy work, and is a good opportunity to reinforce the day’s lesson or find areas of deficiency…so please take it seriously as it is crucial to your grade!! If you miss an assignment or were absent, please consult me. You have the same amount of time to makeup an assignment (for full credit) as you were out (i.e. out two days, two days to make up the work). Late work is also accepted throughout the MP but for no more than a 65% and will be populated in genesis at the end of the marking period.
- Class Participation (10%-Honors/20%-CP)
- As I choose to conduct my class in an open forum where students are encouraged to share opinions and ideas on varied topics, this allows me another way to assess student comprehension. It is strongly recommended that all students participate.
*Extra credit will be available from time to time. If there is a project/topic that interests you, feel free to ask about how to earn some extra credit. I would be more than happy to accommodate you. Extra Credit is due 1 week from the end of any MP at the latest.
- A = 90-100
- B = 80-89
- C = 70-79
- D = 65-69
- F = 64 and below
*Please refer to student handbook for dates of report cards, interims, and marking periods
Readings: While I will be utilizing the textbook for main ideas and much of the information throughout the year, I will be supplementing this with work from scholarly journals, novels, and excerpts from college textbooks to bring in primary documents as well as acclimate students to higher levels of writing. Please read to comprehend, as this information will be on the tests.
- Be punctual
- Be prepared
- Be respectful (of me as well as other students)
- Do not leave classroom without permission
- Plagiarism (i.e. cheating) will not be tolerated. First offense will be met with a ‘zero’ on the assignment for both parties, administration referral, and a call to parents. This applies to any work you do, be it research paper, tests, or other compositions.
- No loitering in hallway
- Be ready with your homework out and working on your “warm-up” when the bell rings at the beginning of class
- Only books/pens/paper allowed on desk nothing else (i.e. bags)
- Fire drill (straight off, across road, and 20ft behind “Do Not Enter” sign)
This is to give you a basic idea of how the year will progress. Each unit is a chapter in the text and will be tested individually.
Unit 1 – World War II
Unit 2 – 1950’s
Unit 3 – Cold War
Unit 4 – Civil Rights
Unit 5 – Kennedy/Johnson
Unit 6 – Vietnam
Unit 7 – Nixon/Ford/Carter
Unit 8 – Reagan/Bush/Clinton
Unit 9 – Modern Era
Please read and discuss this document with your parents. Once finished please have them, as well as you sign off that it has been read and understood in its entirety. By signing this you understand not only the course content but also policies which must be maintained.
- Tests/Project (65%-Honors/50%-CP)