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Middle School US History Semester Class: Section 1 of 3 - Flexible Pay Available

Taylor Wirthlin
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(154)
Welcome to the thrilling world of US History! In this full curriculum US History class we study American history in an engaging and interactive way. This class covers Indigenous Peoples, European Exploration, & the British colonies.

Class experience

US Grade 6 - 8
Students leaving this class will:

✅ Recognize credible information and distinguish bias
✅ Convey opinions through evidence-based arguments
✅ Have gratitude for the rights enjoyed in the United States
✅ Know how to take action in their communities

Each class of this unit will focus on at least one of the following skills to help students achieve the above goals:

1. Source: analyzing the origin of an artifact
2. Summarize: synthesizing difficult reading passages
3. Determine Context: challenging and recognizing bias
4. Challenge Credibility: determining if a source is trustworthy
5. Argue: creating logical arguments and supporting them with evidence
6. Sequence: understanding the relationship of events
Over the course of the year, this class will cover several sensitive topics including: the genocide of Indigenous Nations including the Aztec, Inca, Maya, and North American tribes from the Northeast Woodland, Southeast, Southwest, Plateau, California, and Northwest Coast regions by European explorers, the immoral Atlantic Slave Trade and conditions that enslaved people experienced, violent events that led to the American Revolution, and the battles of the American Revolution. This unit specifically will cover the genocide of Indigenous Nations. 

I am an experienced Social Studies teacher in both Utah and North Carolina. In my training and experience teaching in the classroom I have found that the best way to approach these sensitive topics is to address them explicitly and have an open conversation with my students. We discuss the mindset of historical societies, the moral implications of their actions, how it affects us to today, and why it can be difficult to talk about these subjects at times. 

I make it clear to my students that they are always welcome to meet with me individually if they are bothered by any of these discussions. I also ask them, and the parents to contact me if they are concerned with my class content or delivery. These topics can be difficult to navigate and I am always trying to improve!
Homework Offered
⭐The full curriculum class spans the entire school year from September-May. It is split into three sections, which each have two units. ⭐This class is section one which covers units 1 & 2 (see above for class schedule). Each unit includes one project and six optional enrichment activities (2 projects and 12 enrichment activities total). I provide feedback for students on all projects and enrichment activities. Each class I provide a note template that students will fill out as we move through the lesson. Information from the notes will be included in the unit final that students will take at the end of each unit to assess their learning. I also provide a coloring page each class that students can print and color during class. Each unit has one reading assignment that I ask students to complete prior to class to facilitate a class discussion.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
We will have informal assessments in each class (such as class discussions, drawing a picture to display understanding, etc.) and one short quiz in each unit. At the end of each unit we will have a final multiple choice assessment that students will do on their own time. The final assessments range from 18-30 questions.
Grades Offered
Students can turn assignments in on Google Classroom to receive a letter grade.
 1 file available upon enrollment
Students will need to purchase the book ‘A Young People’s History of the United States’ by Howard Zinn (approximately $15). 'An Outline of US History' can be found online for free at https://archive.org/details/OutlineOfUSHistory/page/n65/mode/2up
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Some sensitive topics that will be covered include: 
UNIT 1: Disease (in the Americas and in Europe), genocide of Native American Tribes, Christopher Columbus.
UNIT 2: Land theft, colonization, genocide, the Atlantic Slave Trade, the Salem Witch Trials, violent events that led to the American Revolution, and the battles of the American Revolution.

Some of the sources that we study contain inaccurate content (for example: A Young People's History of the United States uses the term "Indians" instead of Indigenous Peoples). I will always point out these inaccuracies in class as part of our discussions. If you have concerns about a specific source, please contact me.
Lessons are taught on Nearpod, an interactive learning platform that allows students to engage with the content through games, art, discussions, short answer questions and more. I believe students retain information best when they are active participants in the learning process, so I incorporate student participation as much as possible. If technology makes you stressed, have no fear! I'll provide everything you need to easily access and incorporate Nearpod into our learning. Our lessons include interactive discussions, quiz games, drawing, and many other engaging activities that will keep you on your toes and help you truly connect with the material.

This class is organized on Google Classroom. Once students enroll, I provide a link to the Google Classroom where they can access the Nearpod link for each class, find notes, and turn in assignments.

My approach to US History is based on my belief that students should be taught history from multiple perspectives. Course information and reading assignments primarily come from three history textbooks: 1) ‘A Young People’s History of the United States’ by Howard Zinn which takes a more critical look at the United States leaders and decisions and 2) 'An Outline of US History' by the United States Department of State, which takes a more supportive look at the Unites States leaders and decisions. And 'Everything You Need to Ace American History In One Big Fat Notebook' by Philip Bigler, a teenage friendly US History textbook. Students will need to purchase the book ‘A Young People’s History of the United States’ by Howard Zinn (approximately $15). 'An Outline of US History' can be found online for free at https://archive.org/details/OutlineOfUSHistory/page/n65/mode/2up

Other sources include:
‘Give Me Liberty! An American History’ Volume 1 by Eric Foner
‘Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History’ Volume 1 by Eric Foner
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(154)
Hello there! My name is Taylor Wade Wirthlin. As a baby my older sister called me Tay-low. As a kid, friends called me Taytor Tot, and as a teenager on the soccer field, I was T.W. Now students simply call me Mrs. W 🙂

My career in history and... 
Group Class


weekly or $306 for 18 classes
2x per week, 9 weeks
55 min

Completed by 29 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 12-14
3-7 learners per class

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