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Laurie Williams


11th Grade U.S. History 2020-2021

Mrs. L. Williams

Conference Period: 10:30 to 11:20  – 4th Period

Google Classroom Code: see me


The purpose of this U.S. History course is to guide students in discovering their past while at the same time making connections from that past to their present and future lives. It is my belief that we are what we were, that the past is alive in us, and that discovering and understanding the past helps us become better citizens.


What will we study in this class?


            This course continues to build students' foundation of knowledge and prepare them for the 11th grade Social Studies Exit Level EOC Exam.

The topics covered in this course will include: 

1) Celebrate Freedom Week

            This unit is a stand-alone unit designed to help districts meet state and federal mandates regarding the Celebration of Celebrate Freedom Week. Lessons in the unit address specific requirements in the mandates; the performance indicator for the unit addresses specific student expectations from the course that provide a Government focus through which to view Celebrate Freedom and Constitution Day.

            Prior to this unit, since Kindergarten, students have been celebrating Celebrate Freedom Week through the lens of their course, which provides perspective on the week through each course’s content focus. In this unit, students use their background knowledge of these historical documents studied in Grade 8 and apply them to modern history and current events.

2) Growing Pains – the Gilded Age 1877-1898

            This unit bundles student expectations that address life in America in the late 1800s and during the turn of the century. During this time period, often referred to as the Gilded Age, America experienced the closing of the frontier, rapid urban growth, and economic expansion. The intensified political, social and cultural differences that resulted from these changes are the focus of this unit.

            During 8th grade social studies, students have learned about the concept of Manifest Destiny and the initial settlement of the West, including the passage of the Homestead Act. Students also studied about the first wave of industrialization in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century, as well as the reconstruction of the union.  It may be beneficial to review these events as these events gave rise to the events studied in this unit.

            During this unit, students study about the final settlement of the frontier; the emergence of a wealthy business class; the effects of industrialization, urbanization and immigration; and the efforts of the populous to gain economic and political opportunities.

3) Reforming America – the Progressive Era 1898-1920

            This unit bundles student expectations that address the development of the reform movements of the Progressive Era.

            During this unit, students learn about how reform leaders, referred to as “progressives,” tried to bring about social and political change at the local, state, and national level. Students should not only study the reforms that were made during the Progressive Era, but also examine the changing relationship between business and government and the increase in political participation that both characterized this time period.

4) Emergence as a World Power – Spanish-American and First World War 1898-1920

           This unit bundles student expectations that address the rise of the United States into the position of a world power at the beginning of the twentieth century.

            During this unit students examine early twentieth century foreign policy in the United States, including the decision to partake in the Spanish-American War, increasing global economic participation on the part of the United States, movements toward expansionism, and involvement in the First World War.

            While the causes of the First World War are reviewed in this unit, the primary focus of study involves examining U.S. entry ino the First World War as well as U.S. actions in the war (1917-1918). Students also study the varying points of view regarding the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Though the results of the treaty (change in political boundaries in Europe and payment of repartitions) should be reviewed, the focus is on Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the debate regarding the League of Nations.  It is important to note that if students have taken World History prior to U.S. History they have previously learned about the First World War.

5) Boom Time – 1920s America 1920-1929

            This unit bundles student expectations that focus on the political, economic, social, and cultural changes taking place during the 1920s, a period sometimes referred to as the Roaring Twenties.

            During this unit, students study about the post-First World War “return to normalcy” with a resurgence of big business, political scandal, and an economic boom characterized by overproduction and mass consumerism. Additionally students examine how the rapid social and cultural changes of the 1920s resulted in increasing nativism and clashes between those embracing the changes and those wanting to preserve traditional society.

6) Economic Bust – the Great Depression 1929-1939

            This unit bundles student expectations that address the Great Depression and the New Deal response to the economic depression.

            During this unit students study the causes of the depression, the economic and social impact of the depression, the economic impact of the Dust Bowl on the agricultural sector, Roosevelt’s New Deal efforts, and the changing role of government brought about by the New Deal. 

7) Total War – the Second World War 1939-1945

            In this unit students study about the rise of dictatorships in Europe and how that contributed to the cause of a second world war.  Students examine the reasons for the United States’ entry into the war, and the responses on the home front, including Executive Order 9066 as well as the economic and social changes brought about by U.S. involvement in the war.  Additionally students study the military involvement of the United States in the fighting of the Second World War by examining significant battles, the fighting on two fronts, the military and political leadership during the war, and the decision to drop atomic bombs.

8) Differing Ideologies – The Cold War 1945-1970s

            In this unit, students examine the Cold War policies developed to address Soviet aggression, the involvement of the United States in Korea, the economic prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s, the domestic issues surrounding the Cold War, the fighting of the Vietnam War and the public response to the war in Vietnam

9) Liberty and Justice for All – Civil Rights Movement 1945-1970s    

            In this unit, students trace the development of the civil rights movement from Reconstruction to modern times, including the desegregation of the military and Brown v. Board of Education which were not addressed in the previous unit. During this unit, students learn about the significant individuals, landmark court cases, legislation, and political organizations that worked to advance the civil rights of  African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, women and other minorities, including legislation passed in the 1960’s as part of the Great Society.

10) A Growing World Presence – New National Directions 1970-1990    

            In this unit students learn about the increasing complexity of the political and economic relationships with China, the Soviet Union, and nations in the Middle East, especially with the presidencies of Nixon, Carter and Reagan. Students also study the economic changes, the growing environmentalism, and the political resurgence of conservatism that characterized the 1970s-1990s. 

11) A New Century Turns – History During Our Own Lives 1990-Present       

            In this unit students learn about how the United States continues to foster a spirit of innovation in a globalizing world, how  the international role of the United States has become more complex and how the United States continues to advance the ideal of freedom and liberty for all.

12) Ever-Changing America – Yesterday’s Challenges and Today’s Opportunities           

            This unit bundles student expectations that provide a summary of United States history, post-Reconstruction to the present.

            During this unit students revisit major social, political, and economic trends for each era and evaluate the changes in the role of the U.S. government throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Additionally students revisit important events and significant individuals in U.S. history.


The overriding goals include:

  • Enabling the students to place the people, ideas, and events that have shaped our nation in perspective;

  • Preparing the students for informed and responsible citizenship;

  • Developing the students' skills in debate, discussion, and writing; and

  • Providing the students with a framework for continuing education in history and social sciences.


    What am I expected to bring to class each day?


  • Textbook (covered), United States History Since 1877 which includes a website ( for assistance. Passwords will be issued in class.

  • Class Notebook (This is a three-ring binder with loose-leaf paper and divided into four sections.)

                Students are responsible for having this syllabus in their notebooks, complete with parent and student signatures.

  • Pens (blue or black ink only), Map Pencils.

  • Longhorn Sheet (teacher provided) or Daily Planner (student provided).

  • Complete assignments and/or make up work.

  • A positive attitude.




    How will I be graded in this class?


    Grades will be calculated using the following weighting system:


  • Tests/Projects (at least 3 per six weeks) = 60%

  • Classwork/Homework/Quizzes (at least 10 per six weeks) = 40%


    Absent Work: If a student is absent they have one day for each day absent to turn in their work.


    Late Work: If a student turns in work one day late, they will receive a maximum grade of 70. Two or more days late, no credit will be given.


    Re-test/ Redo Policy: Students will have a minimum of five school days after notification to redo any assignment that they fail with a 69 or below. Teachers may assign additional requirements prior to redoing any assignment. The retest grade will not exceed a 70 in the gradebook.


    Projects: Projects will be due on or before the due date. If a project is turned in one day after the due date, the maximum grade possible will be a 70. A project more than one day late will not be accepted.


    Please Note:  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to complete make-up assignments in a reasonable amount of time.  It is also your responsibility to obtain make-up work from the Longhorn agenda folder during non-class time.



    What are the expectations for behavior in this class?


    Of course, students are required to follow all school policies, as listed in the Student Handbook.  While in this classroom, you are also expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Respect yourself (be on time, prepared, accept responsibility, set high goals).

  • Respect others (be courteous, be helpful, accept differences).

  • Respect and care for the room, the class materials, and the property of others.

  • Do any class assignments to the best of your ability.


    If the student does not meet expected classroom behavior, he/she will face swift and consistent consequences.  These consequences may vary, based upon school policy, severity of behavior, and/or student's intent.  Typical consequences include:

  • Verbal Corrections

  • Conference with student

  • Conference with parent/guardian (by phone, email or in-person)

  • Office referral




11th Grade AP U.S. History 2020-2021

Mrs. L. Williams

Conference Period: 10:30 to 11:20  – 4th Period

Google Classroom Code: see me

AP Classroom Code: see me

This course is designed to increase the student’s understanding of United States History from its beginning to the present, its development and institutions. The goals of the class are to develop (1.) an understanding of some of the principle themes in early and modern U.S. History, (2.) an ability to analyze historical evidence, and (3.) an ability to analyze and to express historical understanding in writing and other forms of communication.

AP U.S. History is a rigorous, fast paced and challenging course designed to be the equivalent of a college freshman U.S. History survey course. Students should possess strong reading and writing skills and be willing to devote substantial time to study and the completion of class reading assignments. Emphasis is placed on class discussion, the use of primary and secondary sources, critical reading, and analytical writing. This course prepares students to take the College Board Advanced Placement United States History examination and possibly earning college credit.

Mastery of content and grades are important, but of equal value is:

* study and analytical skills

* critical reading of primary and secondary sources

* making historical analogies

* constructing and evaluating historical interpretations

* using historical knowledge as a guide to present understanding and action

* empathizing with the past

Any AP class requires hard work and a commitment to intellectual growth. All students are strongly encouraged to dedicate themselves to the goals of AP U.S. History and to take the AP Exam at the end of the school year. I hope that students will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and the belief that even a rigorous class can be enjoyable.

Grades will not be given, they will be earned. Your entire body of work includes all work completed and how well you are prepared daily (completed readings and class participation). This class will be challenging, but I am confident that you can meet the demands, and in the process learn how to read better, think critically, and write.


Every assignment will be given a point value.  Grades will be calculated based upon points earned divided by the total points available and multiplied by weight.  The sections are weighted as follows:

  • Tests/Quizzes                        =  60%
  • Class work and homework      =  40%

Please Note:  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to complete make-up assignments in a reasonable amount of time (average of 1 day for each day missed-see Student Handbook).  It is also your responsibility

to obtain make-up work from the Longhorn agenda folder during non-class time.                                                  

TEXTBOOK: The America Past and Present by Divine, Breen, Fredrickson and Williams (6th edition).

OTHER SPECIAL LEARNING RESOURCES: Supplementary readings chosen by the instructor, including selections from A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and Women, Families and Communities by Nancy Hewitt & Kirsten Delegard. You will be reading many primary source documents online. We will be using historical atlases, maps, and the daily newspaper.

Scope & Sequence

First Semester








Colonial America


2, 3, 4, 5


2 weeks




Revolutionary America


6, 7, 8


2 weeks




Creating a Nation


9, 10, 11


3 weeks




Rise of Nationalism & Democracy


12, 13


2 weeks




Antebellum America


14, 15, 16


2 weeks




Manifest Destiny, Sectionalism & Disunion


17, 18, 19


3 weeks




Civil War  & Reconstruction


20. 21, 22


2 weeks


Second Semester








Gilded Age


23, 24, 25


3 weeks




The West & Expansionism


26, 27, 28


2 weeks




American Progressivism


29, 30


3 weeks




WWI & the Depression


31, 32, 33


2 weeks




Presidency of FDR


34, 35, 36


3 weeks




The Cold War


37, 38


2 weeks




The 60’s, 70’s & 80’s


20. 21, 22


2 weeks


Laurie Williams

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 1:55 – 2:45