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American History

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American History Curriculum Map and Standards

American History Clear Learning Targets  

Update July 2017 - Model Lessons are under revision and migrating to the American History Course Site on the district's G Suite server. To access Course Sites, you will first need to log in to Google with your CCS email address and password. If you get a "404" message, you are not logged in to CCS G Suite (you may be logged in with a personal account).
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Instructional Resources by Unit

Jump to Unit: 
Foundations of American History 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Snapshot Autobiography - What is history? And why do historical accounts differ? In this lesson, students create brief autobiographies and then reflect on the process to better understand how history is written. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Evaluating Sources - In this activity, students sharpen their ability to source documents and learn to think critically about what sources provide the best evidence to answer historical questions.
  • Reading Like a Historian: Slavery in the Constitution - In this lesson, students consider the positions of delegates to the Constitutional Convention along with historians' interpretations to understand the apparent contradiction between all men are created equal and slavery in the Constitution. 
 Primary Sources
Industrialization and Progressivism
  • Reading Like a Historian: Jacob Riis - In this lesson, students look at Riis’s photographs and read his descriptions of subjects to explore the context of his work and consider issues relating to the trustworthiness of his depictions of urban life. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Homestead Strike - In this lesson, students use the historical thinking skills of corroboration, sourcing, and close reading to evaluate the reliability of two different accounts of one of the most violent strikes in U.S. history, the Homestead strike.
  • Reading Like a Historian: Pullman Strike - In this lesson, students read parallel accounts from two, opposing Chicago newspapers. Students read each newspaper closely to identify the key phrases that demonstrate each paper’s position on the strike. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Sharecropping - In this lesson, students critically evaluate their classroom textbook’s account of sharecropping by comparing it to a sharecropping contract from 1882. 
  • Southside: Industrialization (WOSU Columbus Neighborhoods) - During the Second Industrial Revolution, the South Side of Columbus became home to several large industries. 
  • Flytown, Godman Guild, and Italian Village (WOSU Columbus Neighborhoods) - This lesson examines the history of Flytown and the Godman Guild settlement house in Columbus in the context of Progressive Era reforms in Columbus.
  • Serving Columbus: Progressive Columbus (CCS) - In this lesson, students learn about progressive reform movements in Columbus and the social service agencies that emerged to address the challenges of urban industrial life in the early 20th century.
  • Serving Columbus: The Great Migration (CCS) - In this lesson, students learn about the Great Migration’s impact on Columbus, Ohio with an emphasis on the service organizations that emerged to meet the needs of the African-American community. 
 Questions and Assessments
 Primary Sources
 Secondary Sources
Foreign Affairs: Imperialism to Post World War I
  • Reading Like a Historian: Maine Explosion - In this lesson, students will read conflicting accounts of what caused the USS Maine explosion and analyze how each account uses evidence to support its claims. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: U.S. Entry into WW I - In this lesson, students address the question: What changed between 1914 and 1917 that caused the U.S. to enter WWI? as they corroborate a textbook account with a speech by President Wilson and an excerpt from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States
  • Postwar Disillusionment and the Quest for Peace (NEH EDSITEment) - Students will examine the rise of antiwar sentiment in the United States, as well as some of the concrete measures taken during the 1920s to prevent the outbreak of future wars.
 Questions and Assessments
Primary Sources
 Secondary Sources
Prosperity, Depression, and the New Deal
  • Reading Like a Historian: Palmer Raids - In this lesson, students explore the causes of the Palmer Raids by comparing writings from A. Mitchell Palmer and Emma Goldman and considering them within the historical context of the United States in 1919. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Marcus Garvey - In this lesson, students source biographies and government documents to discuss Garvey's “Back to Africa Movement” and consider why Garvey was such a controversial figure. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Prohibition - In this lesson plan, students consider the 18th Amendment within the historical context of the Progressive era to address the question: Why was the 18th amendment adopted? 
  • Reading Like a Historian: The Scopes Trial - In this lesson, students develop the skill of contextualization as they evaluate the Scopes Trial through five primary documents that reflect social and cultural facets of life in America during the 1920s.  
  • Reading Like a Historian: New Deal SAC - In this structured academic controversy, students analyze different types of evidence, take sides, and attempt to reach consensus on whether or not the New Deal was a success. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Social Security - In this lesson, students address this question: Was Social Security revolutionary or a program designed to appease Americans who wanted more profound change? as they analyze historical documents and evaluate competing interpretations by two historians.
Questions and Assessments
Primary Sources
 Secondary Sources
From Isolation to World War
  • Legislating Neutrality, 1934-1939 (EDSITEment) - In this lesson students examine a series of primary source documents that will help them understand why the Neutrality laws were passed, and how they were applied in the mid- to late-1930s. 
  • U.S. Neutrality and the War in Europe (EDSITEment) - Through a study of contemporary documents, students learn about the difficult choices faced by the Roosevelt administration during the first fifteen months of World War II, culminating in the decision to provide direct military aid to Great Britain. 
  • The Great Debate: Internationalists vs. Isolationists (EDSITEment) - In this lesson students will be introduced to the main arguments used by both sides. Students will trace the events of 1941, and think critically about what foreign policy would have best served national interests. 
Questions and Assessments
  • Japanese Internment (SHEG History Assessments of Thinking)  
  • Mini-Q: Why did Japan Bomb Pearl Harbor? (Mini-Qs in American History, Volume 2) 
 Primary Sources
Cold War America
  • Origins of the Cold War (EDSITEment) - This series of three lessons examines: examines: Soviet disagreements regarding Germany and Eastern Europe, containment policy in the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, and Berlin blockade and airlift. 
  • The Korean War: “Police Action” (EDSITEment) - The lesson addresses: 1) Truman's decision to send troops to Korea; 2) The decision to cross the 38th Parallel into North Korea, at the risk of a wider war with China; 3) Truman's decision to fire MacArthur; and 4) the war's growing unpopularity in the United States. 
  • Reading Like a Historian: The Cold War - In this lesson, students explore a variety of documents highlighting various issues and perspectives that led to the Cold War and address the question: Who was primarily responsible for the Cold War, the United States or the Soviet Union? 
  • Reading Like a Historian: Cuban Missile Crisis - In this lesson, students examine letters between President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Kruschev and a cable from Russian Ambassador Dobrynin to address the question: Why did the Russians pull their missiles out of Cuba? 
  Questions and Assessments
  • Mini-Q: Berlin, Korea, Cuba: How Did the US Contain Communism? (Mini-Qs in American History, Volume 2) 
  • Cold War Foreign Policy (SHEG History Assessments of Thinking)
 Primary Sources
 Secondary Sources
Social Transformations in the United States
  • Reading Like a Historian: Civil Rights Act of 1964 - In this lesson, students consider the depth of Kennedy’s commitment to civil rights by comparing two speeches, one from Kennedy and another from SNCC leader John Lewis delivered during the March on Washington. 
 Questions and Assessments
  • Mini-Q: Politics or Principle: Why Did L.B.J. Sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964? (Mini-Qs in American History, Volume 2)
 Primary Sources
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