Honors U.S. History News Letter

By Mr. Ball, Vol. 1, Issue 2, 9/4/15

The School Year is in Full Swing!

Again, welcome to U.S. History Honors! It has been a great first two weeks with lots of activities that have allowed us to get to know each other.

Our Course

U.S. History begins with Reconstruction (1865), and continues to the present. We will cover several social and political issues which have greatly affected the course of U.S. History from the late-19th century through the 21st century. In addition, we will be learning about United States foreign policy in relation to Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. In this class, students will learn to “think like a historian” as they work to enhance their analytical and critical thinking through exposure to various primary and secondary accounts of history. Such academic skills are necessary not only for students to perform well in class, but to become successful, contributing members of society who are college and career ready.

What we've done the past two weeks

- On the first day of school we played with Play-Doh. We created something that represented us and shared it with the class as an icebreaker activity.

- Your student should have emailed you this flyer on the first Wednesday of school

- We learned about our monthly assignments, Editorial Evaluations, the first one is due Wednesday, September 9.

- We've discussed Historical Thinking Skills, and the class created a story about my life based on 4-5 objects that I shared with them. We have a very creative class!

- We've dug in to Reconstruction to determine the Radical Republican and Democratic plans. We determined if African-Americans were free during reconstruction. We learned how the South's economy changed during Reconstruction. Finally, we've begun discussing motives for moving West.

Please ask your student about any and all of these topics. They should be experts!

Current Topic

Reconstruction & Westward Expansion

Most Howard County 8th grade U.S. History classes finish the year with the Civil War (1861-1865) or Reconstruction Era (1865-1877). In 9th grade we begin with reviewing the Reconstruction Era. We take a look at plans to reunify the country, how to improve the economy of the south, and the extent that African-Americans were free during this era.

Following Reconstruction we look at how the United States expanded westward. We'll learn about the motivation to move west and the challenges faced by the groups that took on the challenge.

Upcoming Events

Reconstruction & Westward Expansion Test

Our first test will be Friday, September 11th on Reconstruction and Westward Expansion. Expect to see the study guide Tuesday.

NHD Intro coming Tuesday, September 15

All Honors and GT U.S. History students are required to participate in the National History Day (NHD) contest. This is a long term project that will allow students to research a topic of their choosing. The topic must be based on this years theme, Exploration, Encounter, & Exchange. Stay tuned for more information.

We will officially introduce the NHD project, Tuesday, September 15. I will post the documents that include the due dates for each milestone on CANVAS and send a copy home with your students on Tuesday.

Contact Me

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.