To prepare you to learn in and contribute to an information-oriented world, this yearlong course
will provide a detailed overview of United States history from the country’s beginnings to the post–
World War II era. You will gain insight into the forging of the new nation, the sectional conflicts that
nearly tore it apart, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. You will learn about nineteenth-century
industrialization and urbanization, the growth of the West and the “New South,” and political
efforts to reform capitalism. You will also analyze the effects of the Great Depression and the New
Deal, the Cold War and the United States’ role as a world power, and more recent challenges
such as movements for equality, environmental issues, and global terrorism. As a class, we will
investigate and interpret past events, learn collaboratively, encourage personal ownership of
learning, and apply what we have learned to real-world situations.
• Process Skills
• Colonization and Forging a New Nation
• Antebellum America
• Civil War and Reconstruction
• Industrialization and Urbanization
• Increasing Influences and Challenges
• The United States in a Changing World
• America at War
• Changes at Home
• Pen, pencil, and lined paper
• Textbook (and/or essays we’re reading)
• 3-ring binder to organize your class materials, so you can reference them easily and I can
find what I need to grade. I expect you to divide your binder into the following sections:
? Class Notes
? Graded Papers, Tests, and Quizzes
? Primary and Secondary Sources
Every day when you enter my classroom, I will be ready to teach you interesting and engaging
lessons. If you approach this class with a positive attitude, respect for your classmates, and a
sense of responsibility, you will be successful! My expectations for you are listed below. Make
sure you review these expectations carefully and know that I will hold you to these standards of
Respect: Every person in this class will be given an equal opportunity to express himself or herself
in class discussions, group work, writings, etc. Individuals may dress differently, have different
beliefs, or communicate in different ways, but I expect you to treat each classmate with respect. In
a discussion, a variety of opinions often surface. While you will not be asked to change your way of
thinking, you will be expected to listen to others with respect and to express your personal opinions
in a respectful manner. If you disagree with someone’s viewpoint, you are free to challenge them.
However, please take time to consider your classmates’ opinions. The ability to weigh different
perspectives and a willingness to change one’s ideas based on the presentation of new evidence
are essential skills in today’s information age.
Behavior: I expect all students to:
• Be in class on time.
• Come prepared for class with required materials.
• Respect your teacher and classmates.
• Limit unnecessary trips out of the classroom.
• Turn off and do not use cell phones and electronic devices during class.
• Turn work in on time.
• Be a benefit to a group, not a hindrance.
• Actively participate in class discussions.
• Accept an academic challenge.
School Policies: Any rule stated in the Student Handbook is, of course, a rule in this classroom as
well. Please be very familiar with all school rules and policies.
Absences: If you have a planned absence from school, please notify me in advance and I will give
you the upcoming assignments. It’s always best to make up your work before you leave. If you
have an unplanned absence from school, please see me immediately upon your return to class to
obtain any makeup work. You may also e-mail me to find out assignment details. When possible, I
will e-mail attachments to you. Regardless of the situation, please talk to me personally when you
Late Work: For excused absences (i.e. illnesses, emergencies, appointments, school activities,
parental notes), there will be no penalty for late work as long as the work is completed within one
or two days of your return. For more extended absences due to illness (documented by a doctor’s
note), late work must be completed within one week of your return. For unexcused absences
(skipping, no note from parents) or for work not completed on time, your score will be automatically
reduced by 25 percent.
Plagiarism/Cheating: I begin the year with complete trust in each of you. Please do not abuse that
trust by being dishonest. Learning cooperatively is great, and I encourage students to get together
to brainstorm and discuss assignments. When you sit down to complete an individual assignment,
however, let the work be yours alone. Penalties for cheating and plagiarism are stiff. If two papers
resemble each other too closely, I will split the points. If a paper is obviously copied, whether from
a classmate’s work, a book, or an online source, it will receive no credit.
Course Description & Syllabus—U.S. History
Please refer to the following grading scale:
A+ 100–98 B+ 89–87 C+ 79–77 D+ 69–67
A 97–93 B 86–83 C 76–73 D 66–63
A– 92–90 B– 82–80 C– 72–70 D– 62–60
Letter grades are based upon the percentage of points accumulated over the course of a
semester. While these grades will ultimately go on your transcript, I hope you will also assess
your own learning for each assignment by asking the following questions:
• How would I describe my effort on this assignment (e.g., tried my hardest, didn't really
• What did I learn?
• What am I still confused about?
• What would I do differently to improve my work?
• What resources, if any, did I use to aid me in completing the assignment?
• Did I spend time polishing this assignment, or was it done in a hurry?
• What can I do on my next assignment to perform at or above my current performance
Format of Papers: I expect all papers written outside of class to be typed. Hand in the final draft
along with all previous drafts stapled to the back. Please adhere to the following guidelines:
• Use white paper and black ink.
• Use a standard font (e.g., 12 pt. Times New Roman).
• Double-space all text.
• Use one-inch page margins.
• Include on the first page the title of your paper, your name, and your class period.
• Include page numbers on the upper right-hand corner of the page.
It is very important that you review your notes and homework frequently! Most homework has
one or more of the following aims:
• Practice reinforces the learning of material already presented in class and helps you to
master specific skills.
• Preparation provides supporting information—history, skills, definitions—for what’s
forthcoming; it will help when new material is covered in class.
• Extension or elaboration involves the transfer of previously learned skills to new
• Integration asks you to apply skills and concepts to produce a single product.
I will make every effort to communicate the purpose of homework assignments to you. If you are
having difficulties with anything covered in this course, see me as soon as possible. Times when
I am available for extra help are included below. (By appointment)
Questions and Help: If you have questions regarding your schoolwork or need extra help, you
have a number of options. You can see me after class, by appointment before or after school,
during your study hall if I am not teaching that period, and/or you may e-mail me.
Signature(s): Discuss this course syllabus with your parent(s) or guardian(s). The yellow copy is
for you to keep. Please sign and return the blue copy to me by next Friday. I am looking forward
to working with you this year.
I, ______________________ (Student), have read and understand the U.S. History
course syllabus and the course expectations.
I, ______________________ (Parent/Guardian), have read and understand the U.S.
History course syllabus and the course expectations.
Student Signature: ___________________________________Date: _____________
Parent/Guardian Signature: ____________________________Date: _____________
PLEASE PLACE THIS DOCUMENT IN YOUR CLASS NOTEBOOK FOR FUTURE