U.S. History 1

Essential Questions:
What does it mean to be an American?
Is the use of violence ever justified?
How is history remembered?

History of the United States to 1865, with units of study focusing on Early Humans and Migration to the Americas, Native American Civilizations and the Encounter, British Colonial America, Road to the Revolution, the Constitution, the Early Nation, and Slavery and the Divided Nation.

As all courses at this school, this is designed to develop language skills through the curriculum in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Interdisciplinary course credit for meeting ELA standard for English for Critical Analysis and Evaluation.

Course is aligned to meet Common Core Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12 in Reading and Writing.

Readings: 
journals of Columbus and Las Casas
Locke's Two Treatises
John Winthrop's City on a Hill speech
Thomas Paine's Common Sense
Declaration of Independence
U.S. Constitution
various slave narratives
People's History of the U.S.
My Brother Sam is Dead (historical fiction)
Research: 

U.S. regional geography

Mystery of "the starving time" in Jamestown colony

Native American cultures

outside research for essays and projects

Media Used: 
pbs.org
HBO mini-series John Adams
nationalgeographic.com
Interim Assessments: 

Work together to analyze slave narratives and create a presentation to the class, then create a piece of historical fiction based on the presentations

Significant Assignments: 

Letter to the Mayor: Should we celebrate Columbus Day?

Create a presentation to the class focusing on one Native American culture

Create complete paragraphs explaining John Locke's beliefs and evaluating them from your own point of view

Effectively debate the American colonies' future in February 1776

Debate issues at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and evaluate their resolution

Debate the ratification of the Constitution from the point of view of either Federalists or Anti-Federalists

Work together to create a presentation that convinces the audience to support either Hamilton's or Jefferson's vision for the new nation

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Class trip to Philadelphia and Washington, DC

Speech: Was John Brown a hero or a villain?

Project: What does it mean to be an American?

Sample PBATs: 
American Revolution Essay: Was the revolution inevitable?
Constitution Essay: The Constitution Is....
Whose fault was the Revolution?