This literature-based American history class integrates engaging historical fiction, biographies, and/or nonfiction “real” books with a basic American history text or informational book (choice).
Lessons will begin with Columbus and other early explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries and continue through the 20th century to the 1960s.
- Learn the people and events important in American history including the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, Westward Expansion, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II (with solely an American focus), the Cold War including the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the Civil Rights Movement.
- Learn new words in a context related to history and geography.
View US geography changing as America grows and states are added.
Students will have readings each week as well as activities posted in Canvas to review the material. Our live class time will include Mrs. G’s lesson on the same material as well as review games, mini-projects the students share, or reader’s theater plays.
Course Assignments will include:
- Readings from either United States History (Holt McDougal) or The Making of America (National Geographic) and review questions in Canvas
- Supplemental worksheet activities posted in Canvas
- Read 9 to 14 historical fiction or biographies related to the topics being studied, sharing new facts learned with classmates; complete questions about each book read in Canvas
- Research mini-projects, sharing facts with classmates
Complete two major projects, one each semester, including reading one nonfiction book for each.
Who should enroll?
This class is for 7th-8th graders, others by permission from the instructor.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Headset and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Microsoft Word and Power Point are very helpful. If a different word processing program is used, students will need to save or export documents to a pdf.
Evaluation and Feedback
All exercises in Canvas will be graded and averaged for a final grade. Projects will receive additional feedback so that improvements can be made along the way.
I give challenging unit tests so that students can get a sense whether they might be able to do AP American History in high school, but my tests are just a small percentage of the overall grade, so they won’t prevent a student from doing well in the class if everything else is done with good effort. Parents could request their student take the test “open-book” if preferred.
Parents are welcome to contact me with questions before registering. Once I know a student has registered, the family will receive a welcome packet with additional information about the course including suggested book lists for all 14 possible books. I will contact parents if there is a concern with students not keeping up with the work or frequently turning in late assignments.