.United States History, 7th GradeThis is an American History course that covers the United States’ development from European Exploration, the Revolutionary War through the Civil War. Students will have varied instruction, including lecture, self-discovery, research, simulation, cooperative and independent assignments, tests, and various types of media. We will also emphasize reading comprehension strategies, note taking methods, study skills, critical thinking skills, and expository research and writing.
Text: History Alive is an online book in which students can access from home. Each student will be shown in class how to registar.
History Alive! The United States Through Modern Times captures the story of the United States from the precolonial era to the 21st century.
The First Americans
Essential Question: How did the first Americans adapt to their environments?
In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students hypothesize the geographic origins of American Indian artifacts to explore how the first Americans in eight cultural regions adapted to their environments.
- European Exploration and Settlement
Essential Question: How did Europeans explore and establish settlements in the Americas?
In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images depicting European exploration and settlement to discover how European nations explored and established settlements in the Americas.
3. The English Colonies in North America
Essential Question: What were the similarities and differences among the colonies in North America?
In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students analyze the similarities and differences among the English colonies in North America by creating and visiting sales booths in a “colonial fair.”
- Life in the Colonies
Essential Question: What was life really like in the colonies?
Students work in pairs in a Social Studies Skill Builder to analyze primary and secondary source material to explore eight aspects of life in the American colonies, including rights of colonists, religion, education, and life for enslaved African Americans.
- Toward Independence
Essential Question: When is it necessary for citizens to rebel against their government?
In a Response Group activity, students participate in a series of colonial town meetings to debate whether to rebel against British rule. In the process, they evaluate the events that deeply divided the American colonists and eventually caused them to rebel against the British government.
- The Declaration of Independence
Essential Question: What principles of government are expressed in the Declaration of Independence?
Students learn about key events leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and, in a Writing for Understanding activity, analyze key excerpts of the Declaration and the principles of government they express.
- The American Revolution
Essential Question: How was the Continental army able to win the war for independence from Great Britain?
In an Experiential Exercise, students participate in a game of Capture the Flag. They compare their experience to the determining factors of the war for independence from Great Britain—examining the strengths and weaknesses of each side, important battles, and other key factors in the conflict—to determine how the British were defeated.
- Creating the Constitution
Essential Question: What compromises emerged from the Constitutional Convention?
In an Experiential Exercise, students examine the factors that led to the creation of a stronger central government under the U.S. Constitution by re-creating a key debate from the Constitutional Convention.
- The Constitution: A More Perfect Union
Essential Question: How has the Constitution created “a more perfect Union”?
In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students work in pairs to explore the key features and guiding principles of the U.S. Constitution by assuming the role of law students taking a final exam on the Constitution.
- The Bill of Rights
Essential Question: What freedoms does the Bill of Rights protect and why are they important?
In a Response Group activity, students learn about the important rights and freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights by analyzing a series of scenarios to determine whether the Bill of Rights protects certain actions taken by citizens.
- Foreign Affairs in the Young Nation
Essential Question: To what extent should the United States have become involved in world affairs in the early 1800s?
In a Response Group activity, students assume the roles of foreign policy advisers to early presidents to evaluate the extent to which the country should have become involved in world affairs.
- A Growing Sense of Nationhood
Essential Question: What did it mean to be an American in the early 1800s?
In a Writing for Understanding activity, students visit an art exhibit, cotillion, and literary gathering to experience American culture in the early 1800s. They then create a chapter of a book describing what it meant to be an American in this period.
- Andrew Jackson and the Growth of American Democracy
Essential Question: How well did President Andrew Jackson promote democracy?
In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images of key events in the presidency of Andrew Jackson to evaluate how well he promoted democracy.
- Manifest Destiny and the Growing Nation
Essential Question: How justifiable was U.S. expansion in the 1800s?
In a Response Group activity, students re-create each territorial acquisition of the 1800s and then evaluate whether the nation’s actions were justifiable.
- Life in the West
Essential Question: What were the motives, hardships, and legacies of the groups that moved west in the 1800s?
In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create and perform minidramas about eight groups of people who moved to the West in the 1800s to explore these people’s motives for moving, the hardships they faced, and the legacies they left behind for future generations.
- An Era of Reform
Essential Question: To what extent did the reform movements of the mid-1800s improve life for Americans?
Students examine the reform movements of the mid-1800s to evaluate to what extent they improved life for Americans. In a Response Group activity, they debate the extent to which grievances from the Declaration of Sentiments have been redressed today.
- The Worlds of North and South
Essential Question: How was life in the North different from life in the South?
In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images from the mid-1800s to compare the different ways of life in the North and the South.
- African Americans in the Mid-1800s
Essential Question: How did African Americans face slavery and discrimination in the mid-1800s?
In a Writing for Understanding activity, students analyze quotations and examine images to discover how African Americans faced slavery and discrimination in the mid-1800s. They then create a journal describing some of the experiences of a slave in the period.
- A Dividing Nation
Essential Question: Which events of the mid-1800s kept the nation together and which events pulled it apart?
In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images depicting the growing conflict between the North and the South to understand why the nation could not prevent civil war.
- The Civil War
Essential Question: What factors and events influenced the outcome of the Civil War?
In an Experiential Exercise, students take on the role of soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg and encounter key aspects of what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War and then write about their experiences.
- European Exploration and Settlement