• U.S History Syllabus

    U.S. History Ms. Kemp

    2020-2021 lkemp@tamdistrict.org


    Welcome to U.S. History!

    I am excited to share with you my passion for history and I am hopeful that you will find the relevance of history in many of your endeavors.

    We live in interesting times and many of those who have lived before would say the same.  Much of what is happening today has roots in our American past.  We cannot fully grasp the importance and significance of 9/11, the Black Lives Matter Movement, the debate over global warming, the increasing income gap or the election of Donald Trump without looking at what has come before.  The people that have occupied our collective history have had profound impacts on our lives today and while some are known by name, many are not.  One objective of this course is for you to know more of your fellow Americans and see in their actions your own connection.

    Course Questions

    • How did the federal government grow between the late nineteenth and twenty- first centuries?
    •  What does it mean to be an American in modern times?
    •  How did the United States become a superpower?
    •  How did the United States’ population become more diverse over the twentieth century?

    Fall Course

    1. Reconstruction (1865-1880) How does America change socially, politically, and economically following the civil war?

    Final Assessment: How has Reconstruction (and its failure) affected race relations in America? (document analysis)

    1. New Frontiers (1870 - 1900) What are the social, political, and economic ramifications of industrialization, immigration and the settlement of the mid-west and western portions of the United States?

    Final Assessment: Were the costs of the frontier worth it? (historical argument)

    1. The Gilded Age & Progressivism (1870-1914) What are the social, political and economic changes that resulted from America’s second industrial period?

    Final Assessment: Profile of a Reformer (historical perspective)

    1. U.S. Role in the World & World War I (1898-1919) How and why does the United States enter the world stage?

    Final Assessment: Recommendation to an American President (research paper with a proposal)

    What will I learn besides history? 1) how to read both primary and secondary sources; 2) how to create then respond to questions that demand critical thinking; 3) how to research topics using a variety of resources; 4) how to take objective tests on a large amount of content on a particular theme; 5) how to evaluate historians’ interpretation of history; 6) how to manage my time, meet deadlines and seek help when needed.

    How will we use technology?

    -My email address is: lkemp@tamdistrict.org.  Use it!! Keep me up to date on what is going on with you.  Technology helps both of us.  You can get help from me, but you also must use technology to stay on top of your work and ask questions.  Don’t wait until the last minute, or worse…after you have missed the deadline.  

    -All assignments and papers will be submitted in Google Classroom. The class code for your 4th period is dlb72r7

    -Cite all your sources, anytime you use sources and information that are not your own. 

    -I have a website at redwood.org/kemp.  I recommend that you bookmark the website in your browser.  The website is also linked in Google Classroom.  The website has the following resources:

    • Daily calendar that is updated weekly 
    • Handouts that you may need to refer to repeatedly such as longer projects
    • Links to resources for studying history and other useful online sources

    How can I be successful?

    -Take the time to do work well.

    -Gauge your own progress…ask yourself daily: What do I understand now that I did not understand before?

    -Take responsibility.


    What can I expect from homework?

    -Daily assignments that are intended to be done outside of class time will often serve one of two purposes:

    1) to provide more information on a topic we are studying in class (ie: reading an article or a primary source)

    2) to practice a skill we are working on in class (ie: analysis of a cartoon)

    -If I collect the homework, you will get feedback.  In the gradebook online the assignment will be indicated as formative and you will see either a score of 1-4 or a check that it was submitted if the feedback is not summative.

    -Some assignments may not be collected.  For these, be sure to ask questions if you were confused or need feedback on your understanding.  These types of assignments are likely to build knowledge and skills for a future paper or project.

    -I will also be checking your understanding with Google forms and will periodically share out your answers (anonymously) with the class because I believe you all can learn from eachother.

    How am I being graded?

    -Any work you submit to me will be returned to you with feedback.  There will not be summative grades on assignments, papers or quizzes.  This is to keep you focused on the feedback so that you will use my comments to improve your skills and understanding of history.  

    -Your scores will be visible in Google Classroom.  This is for you to track your progress as work will be provided a 1-4 score or acknowledged as having been submitted.  Often there will be multiple scores in the gradebook for any one assignment.  Those scores correspond to the rows on the rubric.  There is often a correlation between the submission rate of assignments and your final grade; in other words, it is much more difficult to do well in the class if assignments are not completed regularly.

    -Because I ultimately am required to assign a letter grade to the progress in my class, you will see letter grades on progress reports. You should use progress report grades (is limited as they are) as a measure of how well you are meeting the standards of the course including attendance and engagement in the class.

     -The instructions and expectations for the course and any given assignment will indicate the criteria for meeting the standard and exceeding the standard.  Be sure you take time to see me if the expectations are not clear and/or the summative score seems inaccurate based on your progress and performance. 

    -Papers are eligible for revision up until the end of the current grading period.  Only students who submit original assignments on time are eligible to submit revisions. 

    -Ultimately, your final grade is determined by the preponderance of evidence you provide as to your acquisition of the stated goals for skills and content related to U.S. history.

    -Class attendance and preparedness will be reflected in your grade as the skills and material you are expected to master require you to come to class regularly and prepared.

    What happens if I miss a deadline?

    -Checkpoints* must be made up WITHIN one week of the missed assessment.  

    -If you have an excused absence, work is due the day you return; if your absence is unexcused or you are on campus but miss my class, your work is still due on time. 

    -If you have a warranted absence you must turn in the work before you leave or email it to meet the deadline. 

    *Checkpoints are opportunities for both you and I to see your progress.  I do NOT use checkpoints as “gotchas”.  I genuinely want to be sure that you  

    Do I need to take notes?

    -Because this course is driven by the content we will rely on a variety of resources beyond the textbook for information; much of the information you will be held accountable for may be from notes.  Your notes should be handwritten.

    These include (but are not limited to)

    1. a) lectures d) class discussions
    2. b) films e) presentations (both peer and expert)
    3. c) audio recordings f) handouts

    -You may set up your notebook or binder any way you like, but the following sections are suggested:

    1) Class and Reading Notes (should be dated including the title of the relevant unit)

    2) Handouts (these pertain to material from a particular unit)     

    3) Assignments/To-Do

    4) Returned Work

    5) Reference (these may be referred to throughout the year such as research strategies or this syllabus)




Last Modified on July 22, 2020