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US History for 6th Through 8th Grades Part 2: Democracy Put to the Test

Lindsay Eyre
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(137)
Over thirteen weeks, students will learn the history of the United States from Reconstruction following the Civil War through the Great Recession of 2008.

Class experience

Students will learn the history of the United States from 1860 through 2008. They will also learn about primary sources versus secondary sources versus historical fiction. They will improve their writing and presentation skills as they complete writing assignments and present their semester project to the class.
I have taught the topic of war and revolution to children of various ages, and I am very careful to discuss only what is age appropriate, while being careful to share as clear a picture of the history as possible. I have a Bachelor's degree in History, and during my studies, I took several courses on Native American history, and wrote a part of my thesis on the movements of several tribes from the eastern United States to the west for their survival.
Students will need copies of three books: THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE by Christopher Paul Curtis; BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson; and BOMB: THE RACE TO BUILD—AND STEAL—THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON by Steve Sheinkin. They can be purchased or checked out from the library. There is no textbook for this course. Students may also need supplies for their projects, but these supplies will be up to the student and their families as they are to design their project on their own.
The second half of US History was a violent one. We will not watch or read about any gratuitous violence, and we will not go into graphic detail about any disturbing topics or events. These issues will be discussed but without unnecessary detail. I am always open to listening to parental concerns about anything they consider inappropriate and welcome feedback on this issue. There are many issues of race and discrimination in United States history. Students will be taught to look at historical events from the perspective of those marginalized, such as Native American peoples, African Americans, and immigrants. We will cover the wrongs done to these marginalized groups and what the effects may have been. We will use primary sources and first person accounts of marginalized groups. 
As a framework for my teaching, I will use The American Yawp: a Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook from Stanford University Press. This text is used in many AP U.S. History classrooms, and was written in collaboration by hundreds of respected historians from across the country. As this text is too advanced for most middle schoolers, it will be primarily used to guide us through time and important events and peoples. Students will not be reading directly from the text. We will make use of its list of primary resources whenever possible. The American Yawp is free and available for anyone to read online. Students will not have homework assignments from the textbook, though they may use it to aid them in their writing assignments. One of the main purposes of our class will be to distinguish between primary and secondary sources and to examine how historians came up with theories and explanations of events. We will avoid inaccuracies and biases in any secondary sources, but when they come up, we will address them and discuss other possible explanations from different perspectives. 
We will also read two historical fiction works: THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE by Christopher Paul Curtis and BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson. We will be careful as we read these books to identify them both as historical fiction rather than nonfiction. We will also read Steve Sheinkin's riveting story of the creation of the atomic bomb: BOMB: THE RACE TO BUILD—AND STEAL—THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON.
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(137)
I teach history and social studies, language arts and English, and art classes. I have a Bachelor's degree in History (Brigham Young University) and a Master's in Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults (Vermont College of Fine Arts). I... 
Group Class


for 13 classes
1x per week, 13 weeks
75 min

Completed by 17 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 11-14
3-10 learners per class

This class is no longer offered
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