IB History of the Americas Course – 12th Grade

2014 – 2016
IB History of the Americas HL – 12th Grade
Instructor: Mr. Bishop
Room: 219
Email: john.bishop@matsuk12.us
This course focuses on the years between the Start of the Colonial Era throughout
the Americas and the end of the Cold War. —broadening and reinforcing content, skills
and themes already taught. Assignments, assessments and projects align with students’
summative exam in May, 2015. While the ultimate goal stands as the successful
completion of the IB Diploma program, this course challenges students to research and
write analytically. To that end, the abilities of establishing historical context,
incorporating multiple perspectives and deriving critical theses stand as paramount
objectives. This class gives great attention to forcing students out of the narrative
regurgitation usually associated with historical inquiry at the pre-college level. Success in
this class shall no doubt prepare students for their future studies, regardless of the
This is a senior year IB course. Students must arrive each day ready to focus on
the given task. By now certain habits of study, note taking and writing must be evident.
College is near. That said, students should view this class as a history lab by which they
refine the craft of historical investigation and problem solving. In order for this to happen
the environment must be one of respect and collaboration. Attendance and participation
form essential elements of daily objectives and summative assessments. Participation
need not be constant classroom speaking, it need not always be “right.” Evidence and
diligently thought out arguments trump numerous quick, uninformed opinions.
That being said, as this is a college history preparation class, students should
expect a varying length of lecture and note taking on a daily basis. Students should also
expect homework/reading and/or research tasks everyday as well. To these ends, student
and parent need to confirm the following statements:
Initial all that apply:
Student is prepared to accept the above expectations
Student will have an internet
capable device, available in class daily
(Smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.) for research
Initial if “yes”, Student will have a computer
(laptop, tablet, desktop, etc.) at home to complete
research and type documents.
Parent Signature: ____________________________
Student Signature: _________________________________
The weight of a specific grade relates directly to the significance it has in relation
to the underlying goal—achieving high marks on the May Exam. To that end, two forms
of writing take precedence. First is research based, independent writing where students
work with a topic over time. Second is more spontaneous and time-constrained. Students
must be able to quickly recall information and organize a deep, critical plan on topics
chosen from a list. Each form of writing stands as a main component of a student’s grade,
though the second is more routinely assessed. Each task is graded as it would be by IB.
 50% - Written Assignments, Homework/Classwork and Participation
 50% - Tests, Projects,
 More details to be provided on the Internal Assessment for this course
Texts are on order.
Materials will be handed out and outside research will be plentiful.
 Other handouts and sources will be distributed in class.
SEQUENCE: (Subject to Change)
Unit 1: Independence Movements
Also included: Layout and timeline for Internal Assessments
Unit 2: Nation Building 1787-1867
Unit 3: Emergence of Americas in Global Affairs 1180-1929
Unit 4: Great Depression
-Mainly a short recap from US History, w/the addition of Non-USA
causes and effects throughout the Americas
Unit 5: Political Developments after WWII 1945-1979
Unit 6: The Cold War and the Americas 1945—1981
Unit 7: Into the 21st Century 1980-2000
Touched upon, but mainly covered in Spring Semester as part of “20th
1) 3 ring binder (REQUIRED)
2) Notebook or Notebook Paper (Required)
3) 2 writing utensils – expect not to get up to sharpen pencils in the middle of class
4) Highlighter
5) Internet capable device (if you have one)
6) A Good Attitude (Required)