Class Syllabus




Class Website

Pedagogical and Content benchmarks



Overview and Course Description:

Sixth grade American History combines language arts, creative expression and history, while integrating technology, art and research methods. My expectations are very high for every student. Students will be consistently asked to critique, challenge and form individual opinions about our country’s history.


An emphasis will be places on the following skills:


• Research

• Communication {written and oral}

• Problem solving

• Critiquing and analysis of historical facts

• Critical thinking


Technology will be extensively used throughout the curriculum. Students will use computers and web 2.0 applications for learning both in school and at home. In addition they will have access to all the same materials traditionally used in the classroom.


A vast majority of class work will be project-based, hands-on, investigative inquiry. Through this type of historical analysis the development of student knowledge and skills is reinforced. Projects will be done in a variety of formats;class blogging, podcasting, wiki stories and creative expression through art, are to name just a few. A majority of projects will be done in collaboration with a partner or multiple partners in order to reinforce the importance of corporation and teamwork.


Studies Content

The curriculum thematically covers sociology, economics, and government of the United States as well as its history from the causes of the Civil War to World War II.


This curriculum is broken into thematic units; each with essential questions students will be seeking to answer. Combining, writing, reading, art, video clips, and primary sources, students will construct meaning based history that can be connected to their lives. Essential questions that will be used throughout the course include:


• What does freedom mean?

• Why democracy? Who has the power?

• How does change define identity?

• How does culture relate to the historical experience?

• What elements make-up a culture?

• What does it mean to be an American?

• What are the hidden causes of war?

• How were children affected by changes in history?


Writing Content

My teaching of American History focuses on persuasive writing, letter writing, journaling, and collaborative story telling. We will emphasize the following five traits to learn and assess writing skills.


• Ideas and Content

• Organization

• Voice

• Word Choice

• Sentence Fluency


Students will use the following steps if the writing process:


• Brainstorming {pre-writing}

• Writing a draft

• Reflection

• Revising

• Publishing


Personal and peer reflection will be emphasized to improve writing.


Reading Content

Reading instruction will utilize multiple strategies to understand the text and will specifically target areas of vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The reading strategies include:


• Monitoring comprehension

• Questioning

• Making connections

• Inferring and determining importance

• Synthesizing

• Visualizing


At times we will read the text. Other times students will be given primary sources and short fictional or non-fictional stories related to the era being studied to read. Each student will meet in literature discussion groups to support each other’s learning. Literature groups will change after each thematic unit.


Online discussion threads will be conducted through the use of a classroom blog and wiki page. Theses sources of collaboration and communication will be used regularly to discuss information both inside and outside of class. Students are expected to participate fully in these discussions. Responses to on-line discussion threads are graded assignments.



Most homework assignments will be readings to reinforce classroom instruction. Each student will keep a reading journal. It is required that each student record notes in their reading journal after every homework reading assignment. Students will discuss reading notes in their literature discussion groups and will be able to use their reading journal on ALL reading quizzes.


Late Work Policy

All assignments/projects are due in class the time of collection. If not completed it is considered late. Late assignments/projects will be deducted 30% . Late work will not be accepted after completion of the thematic unit.


Making Up Work After an Absence

Full credit will be given to late work with an excused absence. It is the student’s responsibility

to obtain information or materials after an absence. Students have one day after each excused absence to turn in any late work for full credit, after this time assignments will be considered late. Families are encouraged to inform the school of pre-arranged absences. Students are responsible for arranging make-up assignments.


Most Importantly!!!**

We are here to have fun, learn about history and challenge brains in new an exciting ways. My goal is success for every student; therefore I am always available to help clarify confusing content or assignments.