My Perfect School: U.S. History Curriculum


Today’s posting on my perfect school focuses in on a subject matter I currently teach:  U.S. History.  While I am biased I feel U.S. History and Government are the most important subjects a student must learn in their education.  This is because it is the history of us as a people.  It is the understanding of our Constitution, our government, and rights.  In the area of history the saying, “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it” comes to my mind when studying history.  Too much of our recent history is a repeat of history less than 70 years old.  We need to remember the past so we can learn from it, correct the mistakes of it (as best as possible), and make sure they never happen again.

My view of U.S. History is one of it being a survey course.  Students should be expected to learn about specific movements, events, people, places and facts, but teachers cannot teach students everything there is to know about U.S. History.  The goal of teaching a high school U.S. History course is for them to come out of it knowing a little bit more, maybe a lot more than they did walking in to class.

Also my objectives are very broad because with each major event or movement in this history of the U.S. so many topics can be taught, discussed, and learned.  This gives the teacher and student the academic freedom to teach about specific things that may interest them on the topic.  Here are the objectives:

History Skills – implemented throughout the entire year.

  • Read, interpret and create time lines, maps, and other charts to display information
  • Read, summarize and analyze historical information from various sources.
  • Develop vocabulary related to the study of U.S. History.
  • Defend oral and written positions on past and current events of U.S. History
  • Work individually and in groups to acquire and present information.

Original American Cultures ( Prehistory – 1400)

  • Compare and contrast the different Native tribes and societies of the American continents.
  • Identify common elements of native tribes on the American continents

American Exploration & Colonization ( 1400 – 1600s )

  • Describe the significance of the voyages and goals of the different European explorers.
  • Examine the colonial locations and goals of the countries that colonized the American continents
  • Define and give examples of the Columbia Exchange.

British Colonial History ( 1607 – 1763 )

  • Compare & contrast the features, culture, history, economics of the British American colonies;  individually and by region.  
  • Evaluate the roles of religion, slavery, trade and education in the British colonies.

American Revolutionary War ( 1760 – 1781 )

  • Evaluate the significant causes, people, places, battles, events, results and consequences of the Revolutionary War.

Critical Period ( 1776 – 1789 ) – briefly covered due to overlap in U.S. Government.

  • Evaluate the Articles of Confederation and the issues related to them.
  • Judge the compromises and major debates during the Constitutional Convention.
  • Debate the issues involved in ratifying the U.S. Constitution.

Antebellum America ( 1790 – 1850 )

  • Summarize the foreign and domestic policy actions of the U.S. of this time period.
  • Explain the significance of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Explain the issues and roles of key people that led to the development of political parties
  • Give examples of successful and unsuccessful social/economic reforms and religious movements
  • Give examples of conflicts the U.S. had with native American tribes until 1850
  • Explain the significant causes, people places, battles, events results and consequences of the War of 1812.
  • Explain the development of factories and significant inventions of early U.S. industrialization 
  • Explain the influence of immigration on the U.S. during this time period.
  • Locate and explain the significance of major trails and other transportation systems.
  • Evaluate the significant causes, people places, battles, events results and consequences of the Mexican-American War, including the war for Texan independence.

The Civil War ( 1850 – 1877 )

  • Evaluate the significant causes, people, places, battles, events, results and consequences of the Civil War.
  • Compare and contrast the different plans for the Reconstruction of the South after the Civil War.
  • Evaluate the significance of the laws, amendments, policies, court cases and people during the Reconstruction.
  • Identify the reason and results of the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.

Post-Antebellum America ( 1850 – 1918 )

  • Summarize the foreign and domestic policy actions of the U.S. of this time period.
  • Give examples of conflicts and policies of the U.S. towards native American tribes in the western United States
  • Describe reasons behind the western migration of U.S. citizens after the Civil War.
  • Explain the significance of mining, farming, cattle ranching, and railroads on Western expansion.
  • Explain the influence of immigration on the U.S. during this time period.
  • Give examples of how everyday life for U.S. citizens changed during this time period.
  • Give examples of successful and unsuccessful social, economic, and political movements during this period
  • Identify the leaders and explain the major goals, methods and successes of the Progressive movement.
  • Give examples of how everyday life for U.S. citizens changed during this time period.
  • Explain the significant interactions and policies between the U.S. and other world countries.
  • Explain the significant causes, people places, battles, events results and consequences of the Spanish-American War.

The Great War ( 1914 – 1918 )

  • Explain the significant causes, people places, battles, events, results and consequences of the Great War. 
  • Identify Wilson’s 14 Points for the Treaty of Versailles and why they were rejected by the U.S.

Post World War America ( 1918 – 1941 )

  • Summarize the foreign and domestic policy actions of the U.S. of this time period.
  • Give examples of successful and unsuccessful social, economic, and political reform movements during this period.
  • Explain the significant causes, effects and policies that led to the Great Depression.
  • Explain and evaluate the significant policies and results of those polices enacted by Hoover and Roosevelt to end the Great Depression.
  • Give examples of how everyday life for U.S. citizens changed during this time period.

World War II ( 1939 – 1945 )

  • Evaluate the significant causes, people places, battles, events, results and consequences of the World War II.

Baby Boomer Generation ( 1945 – 1972 )

  • Summarize the foreign and domestic policy actions of the U.S. of this time period.
  • Explain the significant causes, people places, battles, events, results and consequences of the Korean War.
  •  Explain the significant people, goals and events related to U.S. space exploration.
  • Explain the significant causes, people, places, battles, events, results, and consequences of the Vietnam War.
  • Explain the significant people, places, methods, events, laws and policies during the Civil Rights movement.
  • Give examples of successful and unsuccessful social, economic, and political reforms during this period.
  • Give examples of how everyday life for U.S. citizens changed during this time period.

Modern America ( 1970s – Present )

  • Summarize the foreign and domestic policy actions of the U.S. of this time period.
  • Explain and evaluate the reasons behind the impeachment of Presidents Nixon and Clinton.
  • Explain the significant causes, people places, battles, events, results and consequences of the Gulf War and the War on Terror.
  • Give examples of successful and unsuccessful social, economic, and political reform movements during this period.
  • Give examples of how everyday life for U.S. citizens changed during this time period.

I welcome the input of fellow U.S. History teachers on this subject matter.  Is there anything in particular that I missed or should be added.  Please let me know.  Also any other teachers that would wish to contribute to this blog posting about their subject matter I would appreciate the input.  Shoot me an email and we can work out a option to be a guest contributor to this blog.  Thanks and have a nice day.

Advertisements

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s