Overview: This document is designed to give you a “bird’s eye view” of this course, my expectations, and the resources you’ll be using throughout this year. Once you have finished reviewing this information, make sure to have your parent or guardian fill out and sign the last page of this document before submitting it to me.
Availability: I am available to answer questions regarding course information, as well as any other questions or concerns you may have throughout the school year. An excellent way to contact me is through email – I will check my email daily, though any emails sent to me after 5 pm may not be seen until the next day. Additionally, I will be available in Room 120 after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment.
Course Description: Welcome to your first course in your study of history in the International Baccalaureate program, History of the Americas. Be warned: This is a college-level course! The readings in this class are college-level readings. You will be reading many primary sources and other historians’ interpretations. The reading and writing load for this course is demanding. However, always remember that the goal of this course is to give you the best possible preparation for your college career – you may even earn college-level credit
The purpose of this course is to prepare you for the IB exam and for college. Since your exam will be taken at the end of your senior year, it is critical that you save your assignments and notes in an organized format. You will need them to study for the exam. We will be creating study guides, note cards, and mind maps for your use for each unit – having these next year will make your exam preparation much easier.
Everyone, the teacher and students, is involved in the learning process. This course will often rely on a “seminar style,” which means there will be a great deal of discussion – in other words you are responsible for your own learning. You must come to class prepared in order to participate. You will find that studying these fairly recent topics from our history will be very exciting and enriching. To gain an understanding of what happened in the previous century gives us a clearer picture of why things are the way they are in our world today. Gaining that knowledge will not only prepare you for your future in the academic world, but it can also create in you a great sense of what it feels like to be an informed citizen who can make informed decisions, whether it be political, social, economic, etc. So, let us please enjoy learning about our past together this year and always remember to be positive and open-minded.
GW’s Expectations for Patriots:
Patriots arrive to class on time, every period, every day.
Patriots dress professionally by following the uniform policy all day, every day. Patriots respect the electronics policy by refraining from use while in the building. Patriots take a stand against bullies. They don’t bully, even on-line. Patriots use hall passes when traveling through the halls during class periods.
In this class there will be no textbook, instead we will be using a wide variety of documents as our class resource. The documents we will use will be both primary and secondary, and they will range from excerpts from magazines and textbooks, to speeches, letters, and scholarly journal articles. You will all have access to the documents in the form of photocopies as they become available. You should keep all of your documents in a binder, so you will ALL NEED to get a binder and use it for this class only! In essence you are all building your own textbook/resource packet in
your binder throughout the year.
2” three ring binder (or larger), to be used for this U.S. history class only Plenty of loose leaf paper or other recycled paper on which to write A pen and/or pencil to write with
Four packs of 100 notecards (will use at least 2 per semester)
10% is TIA Assessment (Once a quarter)
30% is Formative Assessments (class work, discussions, etc., 2-3 per week) 30% is Summative Assessment (Every unit, quarter, and semester) 10% is Homework (2-3 per week)
20% is Quizzes (1-2 per week)
Expectations & Procedures:
You are responsible for bringing your materials with you to class each day You are responsible for wearing the appropriate uniform, id, and abiding by the rules of your student handbook. You are responsible for treating fellow classmates and me with respect. You are responsible for doing your own work.
You are responsible for keeping your cell phones off or in your locker during my class. You are responsible for your own success in this class and in the IB Program. You are responsible for coming to this class with an open-mind and willing to think outside the box and participate.
*There will be NO late work accepted unless you have a written excuse from your parent/guardian.
Plagiarism Policy: A student who plagiarizes not only loses their own academic integrity and the respect of their teacher and peers, but is also subject to a failing grade. A student who plagiarizes is subject to a meeting with the teacher, IB Coordinator and parents, and removal from IB.
Internal Assessment: As part of the requirements for the IB diploma, each student must complete a Historical Investigation Paper. This paper is a major component of the IB History program, and you will begin the process of writing this paper in the last couple months of your junior year.
The IB History Exam and Other Assessments:
You will take this in May of your senior year. It will cover both years of IB history. Paper I: a document based paper on a 20th century topic. This paper counts as 20% of your final 1-7 mark. Paper II: an essay paper on the 20th century topics we will study. You will answer two essays, each from a different topic. This paper counts as 25% of your final mark. Paper III: another essay paper, but only on the Americas. You will choose any three questions from a possible 25 questions. This paper counts as 35% of your final mark. Internal Assessment: a historical investigation you will complete the third nine weeks of your senior year. It counts as 20% of your final mark.
Course Content Standards:
Washington High School will focus on 3 common core standards that will be demonstrated through students’ ability to engage in a Close Reading to Write.
Writing Anchor Standard 1- Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Writing Anchor Standard 4 – Produce clear and coherent writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Reading Anchor Standard 1 – Site specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
College Readiness Standards:
Main Ideas and Author’s Approach
Identify a clear main idea or purpose of any paragraph or paragraphs in uncomplicated passages
Infer the main idea or purpose of straightforward paragraphs in more challenging passages
Understand the overall approach taken by an author or narrator (e.g., point of view, kinds of evidence used) in more challenging passages
Locate important details in more challenging passages
Discern which details, though they may appear in different sections throughout a passage, support important points in more challenging passages
Show understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task by taking a position on the issue in the prompt
Focusing on the Topic
Maintain a focus on the general topic in the prompt throughout the essay and attempt a focus on the specific issue in the prompt _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gathering and Sorting of Historical Evidence
Extract relevant information
Identify and explain origin of a source
Identify the purpose of document’s creator, publisher and historical users
Locate, identify and use relevant sources
Understand and apply accepted document citation methods
The Evaluation of Historical Evidence
Identify and explain the limitation of a document
Analyze and synthesis different sources and pieces of information
Recognizing and Understanding Historical Processes and Their Relationship to Human Experience, Activity, and Motivation Integrate prior knowledge and new information
Place events in historical sequence
Defend interpretation of change or continuity
Identify different approaches and interpretations of historical events and topics
Organizing and Expressing Historical Ideas and Information
Develop and defend a thesis statement
Write clear and concise essays of various lengths
Write an appropriate essay that presents well-substantiated arguments
Title and Essential Questions:
August 26 – September 20
Unit Exam Dates: September 19-20
Intro to the Great Depression: “A Fall From Great Heights” What were the causes of the Great Depression?
What difference does presidential leadership make?
How did the Great Depression affect Canada and Brazil?
September 23 – October 25
Unit Exam Dates: October 24-25
Life During the Great Depression: “The Worst Hard Time”
What was the New Deal and did it succeed in ending the Great Depression? What was the societal impact of the Great Depression on America? How does the Depression and New Deal change American society?
October 26 – December 6
Unit Exam Dates: December 5-6
Intro to World War Two: “The Good War?”
What caused the Second World War?
Why did America wait so long to get involved in the war?
How was the war fought by Canada and the US?
Could the US have done more to prevent the Holocaust?
December 9 – January 17
Unit Exam Dates: January 16-17
Effects of World War Two: “Freedom from Fear”
What role did race, class, and gender play in US war policies at home and abroad? How did the end of WWII lead to the rise of the US as a superpower?
January 21 – February 21
Unit Exam Dates: February 20-21
The Early Cold War: “A Brave New World”
What were the differing responses to the Cold War? (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy) Was the Korean War a success?
How did the Cold War affect the political climate of the United States?
February 24 – March 21
Unit Exam Dates: March 20-21
The Cold War in Latin America: “A Nation of Enemies”
How does America exert its influence over Latin America during the Cold War? How was the Cold War viewed and fought in Latin America?
March 24 – May 2
Unit Exam Dates: May 1-2
The Vietnam Era: “A Bright, Shining Lie”
Why does the US get involved in Vietnam?
How did the US “lose” Vietnam to Communism?
How does Vietnam change American society?
May 5 – June 9
Unit Exam Dates: June 5-6
The Civil Rights Era: “Eyes on the Prize”
What were the effects and the legacy of Johnson’s “Great Society”? What were the different approaches to African-American Civil Rights? (MLK vs. Malcolm X)
Acceptance of Syllabus:
Parents/Guardians/Important Adults of my students: Please sign and return the sheet below so I know you have read the syllabus. Please contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, and I will do the same for you.
Student Name: __________________________________________________________________________________________________
Adult Name and Relation to Student: _________________________________________________________________________
Phone Number and/or Email Address: _______________________________________________________________________
Comments or concerns: ________________________________________________________________________________________