Thursday, November 7, 2013

US History Unit 4: 1800-1860

This period in US history too often gets rushed through, even though it offers an interesting look compared to our current times. We spent four weeks on this, which is a big chunk of our total school year, but still not enough time to fully explore the political and social tides of the era.

Here are the lessons for that unit (listed by type, but completed by date):

  • Crash Course: #10 Thomas Jefferson, #11 The War of 1812, #12 The Market Revolution (Manifest destiny), #13 Slavery, #14 The Age of Jackson, #15 19th Century Reforms, #16 Women in the 19th Century, #17 War & Expansion
  • Critical Reading: Women in the 19th Century (comparing different viewpoints written through this era)
  • President’s Day: Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Q. Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan
  • Textbook reading and notes: Mexican American War, Inventions and Innovations, Monroe Doctrine, Jackson, Reforming Society, Antislavery movement
  • Map Skills: more states, LA Purchase map, mark Lewis and Clark’s route on topography map,
  • Other videos: Netflix’s Lewis and Clark, America The Story of US – Westward

The assessment questions for this unit were:
  1. How did Jefferson’s actions in office differ from his personal views?
  2. What permanent changes did the market revolution bring to the American’s economy? How did those changes affect many people’s daily lives? How did this encourage western migration and the idea of Manifest Destiny?
  3. How did the slave based agriculture dominate the south?
  4. List and explain three events or concepts that are associated with the Age of Jackson.
  5. Describe how and why women started fighting for their rights.
  6. What where the short term outcomes of the Mexican-American War?
Most of these questions could be answered directly from this unit’s notes and worksheets - if my son had actually completed everything. It turns out that, on much closer inspection, many things were missing. We have gone to an honor system instead of my checking everything in detail each night. We wanted my son to take on the responsibility while knowing that he wouldn’t be held accountable for several days after an assignment was due. The result was an utter failure on his part to complete anything.

He had to spend most of a weekend completing the work and re-editing (four times) his assessment answers. He learned a lesson – at least in the short term. In the week since then, he’s been striving to complete his work and even get ahead whenever possible. With the gorgeous fall days, he doesn’t want to miss a single minute playing with his friends. Many lessons were learned this unit, but only half of them had anything to do with history.

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