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U.S. History Syllabus

U.S. History Syllabus


Course Overview


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.


Course Content


• 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


Course Materials


• Pen, pencil, and lined paper

• Notebook

• 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:

(1) Class Notes

(2) Vocabulary

(3) Assignments, Graded Papers, Tests, and Quizzes

(4) Primary and Secondary Sources


Course Policies


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. No charging of cell    phones allowed in this classroom.

• 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 return.


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.




Grading Policy


Please refer to the following grading scale:

A+ 100–98      B+ 89–87       C+ 79–77      D+ 69–67     60 Below=Fail

A 97–93          B 86–83         C 76–73         D 66–63

A– 92–90        B– 82–80       C– 72–70       D– 62–60


Personal Statement


It is very important that you review your notes and homework frequently!

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.


Additional Information


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: _____________




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Russell County Schools
404 S Main St.
Jamestown, KY 42629

Phone: 270.343.3191
Fax: 270.343.3072