US History or Accelerated US History: History, Culture, and Identity of the United States (Required; US)

Grades 10–11
With departmental recommendation, students may take the accelerated US history course instead.

In this course, students explore, interrogate, and analyze the historical impetus for why humans in North America have structured societies to look and operate in various ways. Students are then ready to engage with the open-ended question: how ought we (re)structure how our societies operate after understanding the history of America from the pre-Columbian period to present day? Students explore the tension between individual freedom and majority rule, analyze the causes and consequences of major events and developments, draw parallels between past and current events, and explore multiple perspectives on the construction and meaning of “US history.” In addition, students develop a nuanced understanding of the three branches of government and their interaction. Students are encouraged to challenge their biases and preconceptions and to reach their own conclusions about American history. The course is structured chronologically in the first semester and thematically in the second semester to allow students a more in-depth look at topics in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students are evaluated through quizzes, tests, papers, group discussions, class projects, and short, informal writing exercises. Themes, skills, and topics in this course complement those in English 10.  

Texts:
Foner, Give Me Liberty, 6th edition
Foner, Voices of Freedom, Volumes 1 and 2
Selected primary source materials

Accelerated History, Culture, and Identity of the United States 
Prerequisite: Departmental approval

In addition to the work outlined in History, Culture, and Identity of the United States, this accelerated course places special emphasis on critical reading, essay writing, and increased primary source analysis in order to engage with each unit’s essential questions. This course uses a greater variety of exercises that ask students to take on historical perspectives, in addition to participating in more active historical simulations. Furthermore, the course makes extensive use of document-based questions as well as other challenging modes of inquiry. 

Texts:
Foner, Give Me Liberty, 6th edition 
Foner. Voices of Freedom Volumes 1 and 2, 5th edition 

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