American Civilization 2009-2010 Ms. Fraley, Mr. O'Donnell First of all, welcome. We are glad you chose this course and hope you are as excited about it as we are. Course Description: While the backbone of the class will be a study of American history and literature, we want to go beyond those two areas into a study of American culture. To reach that point, we also plan to examine other aspects of society that helped shape this country. Expectations: The course will be rigorous. It is an advanced class and it will be taught that way. The workload will be heavy, but we think you will find the payoff to be worth the investment of time and brainpower. It is important for you to accept the challenge and participate. The class will not work without you – that means being prepared, eager and enthusiastic about what we do. Grading: This class counts for both a history and English credit, but the grade will be an average of your English grade and your history grade. THE EXCEPTION: If you do not successfully complete the objectives of the course (tests and writing), YOU WILL RECEIVE AND "E" FOR THE QUARTER IN BOTH CLASSES. Your quarter grades will be based on a percentage: points you earned divided by total points possible. A major exception: If you do not successfully complete an objective of either course (tests and writing), you will receive an “E” for the quarter. Assignments are weighted - an essay, for instance, is worth considerably more than a quiz. The final exam is cumulative and counts as 20 percent of your grade. Key components of your grade: homework; essays; projects; quizzes and tests; and attendance. Attendance Policy: We assume that because you chose the class, you want to be here. Tardiness will not be tolerated. You are tardy if you are not inside the classroom when the bell rings. You will receive no credit for work or activities for which you have an unexcused or unverified absence. Assignment Deadlines: Honor them. We are under NO OBLIGATION to accept late work and no additional work will be given during or at the end of the quarter to make up for routine missed assignments. If you are absent, you must have the work that was due checked by the teacher who assigned it the first class you are back. It is YOUR responsibility to check with the teacher. Missed assignments from a day you have an EXCUSED absence are to be made up by the following class. Tests, however, must be scheduled. No class time will be used to make up a test. Writing: You will explore a variety of writing styles this year. The first is expository or analytical writing, the kind you do when you analyze literature. These essays will be based on research you do or on your reading of a work of literature. Some of them will be timed to simulate the SAT and AP formats. Another type is the personal essay, in which you will learn to use imagery, dialogue, and anecdotes to write about yourself. A third type will be a research paper. Last but not least, you will write poetry. Course Outline: We have divided our study into the following units, covering American civilization from 1607 to the present: *Exploration & Colonization *Revolution *Constitution & Early Republic *Westward Expansion and the Age of Jackson *Civil War & Reconstruction *Industrialization and Urbanization *Imperialism, World War I, Progressivism *1920s through World War II *Cold War, Civil Rights and Modern America In addition to short stories, nonfiction pieces, excerpts from notable works, primary sources, and poetry, there will be several major pieces of literature: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Extra Help: Both teachers are available most lunches and by appointment. Please let us know in advance that you are coming and honor the commitment. You may also use the website http://www.historyisgroovy.com to help you keep up with your work. Materials you need for class *a ½-inch or 1-inch 3-ring binder *a supply of loose leaf paper with you each day in class *a writing utensil to be brought to class every day *a highlighter or two In Civ, and indeed all classes at Wakefield, we place a premium on honesty, fairness, and respect for others. We fully expect that all of your work will be yours and yours alone.
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