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

Linda Johnson

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 it. 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.  


Foner, Give Me Liberty

Kilborne, Woodley and its Residents

Selected primary source materials

  • Humanities/Language Arts

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