7th Grade American History - Brownell

Mr. Dorsey’s 7th Grade American History Syllabus
402.556.3772, ext 1112 / [email protected]
Description and Rationale
This is a detailed survey of American history from the American Revolution to the dawn of the 20th Century. All
major time periods will be discussed as will elements of Civics. Students will also study “history from below,”
to ensure American social history is covered just as thoroughly as the political, economic and military histories
of the country. Students will learn new vocabulary, study chronological sequences, use geography skills, and
learn how the past constantly influences the modern society in which we live.
Learning Objectives
Connection of Past and Present -
Students should connect past events to current U.S. issues and be able to
define turning point events that have created the current American social
and political climate. Students will demonstrate a respect for and
appreciation of successes and failures of the American people.
Social and Historical Vocabulary - Students will use appropriate historical terminology in both class discussion
and essays.
Historical Perspective Students will participate in projects, class discussions, quizzes, tests, essay
writing, and reading that are designed to help them grasp their place in
American society and the past’s influences on the present.
Communication Skills Students will improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills through
class activities, allowing them to take sides in historical conversations and
develop their own historical opinions.
Independent Study Students will participate in class activities such as silent reading, reading
aloud, project development, research, and discussion to help in their
learning of the material.
Teaching Methods
Lectures will promote a large amount of student/teacher interaction as well as student/student interaction.
Students will also be involved in discussions, (such as Socratic Seminars), group work, and research. Other
activities such as current events discussion, time line building and student presentations will be used. Some units
will be taught using a student-oriented discovery approach.
Course Materials
This course will use McGraw Hill’s Discovering Our Past textbook as its primary resource, which is available on
the iPads. This course will also use time line activities and geography activities as resources, civics lessons, as
well as many complementary primary sources.
Outline of Topics
1st Semester- Causes of the American Revolution; the Revolutionary War; the Constitution and American
Government; the Early Republic; the Jefferson Era; Madison and the War of 1812; Jacksonian Democracy;
Manifest Destiny;; Branches of Government
2nd Semester- The Age of Reform; 2014 Olympics, Olympic history; Sectionalism and Slavery; the American
Civil War; Reconstruction; The West and Indian Wars; Expansion of American Industry; Big Business; Politics,
Immigration, and Urban Life at the Turn of the Century; Political Parties
Evaluation/Grading Procedures
Students will be evaluated through class participation (10%), homework assignments (25%), projects and papers
(25%) and quizzes and tests (40%). Student’s progress will be communicated through written evaluations/reports
and through Veracross.
Technology Policy
iPads will be brought to class on a daily basis unless directed in advance. The textbook is not available on the
iPad this year, but we will practice note-taking skills and do research using these devices multiple times per
week. Students signed an acceptable use policy at the beginning of the year. Violation of this policy in my
classroom will result in possible restrictions of its usage, including loss of laptop privileges.
Absent Work
Students have one extra day for every day they are absent to make up work. However, absent students are
expected to approach me and set up an acceptable timetable for completion of work when gone for more than
two days in a row or three days in a week. These agreements will be a compromise agreed to by both parties. If
the work is not turned in by the agreed-upon date, it will suffer late penalties.
Late Work Policy
Work is considered late if it is not submitted electronically or in writing by the beginning of class on the due
date. Any assignment suffers a 10% penalty for every day it is late. After 5 school days, the grade becomes a
Activities Policy
If you are a member of a sport or activity and miss class, you are responsible for getting the work in on time.
Leaving school early for an event means you must turn in the assignment before you leave or it is late. Coming
in the next day without your homework for that day will suffer a late penalty. It is your responsibility to balance
academics and extra-curricular activities.
Weekly Schedule/Length of Course
M-F, 45 min/class, 2 Semesters.