- - -- -- -- --- ------------
Final Assessment Assignment for Wisconsin Collaborative

John Pellowski, high school teacher

Revision of America: Pathways to the Present, Prentice Hall, 2003. 29 Chapters.

Black River Falls High School has Block Scheduling. A U.S. History course would run

18 weeks and 15 Units. I included resources received from the "Teaching American

History" grant.

 

Unit 1: Contact and Clash of Cultures.

  • Rationale: To acquire a comprehension of diverse cultures and shared humanity (HoM #4). To provide an economic context for exploration and to show that Native cultures were not passive, but had great influence on the Old World and the New World  societies that emerged.

  • Resources: Indian Givers, The Columbian Exchange, Zinn's chapter on Columbus.

  • Essay Question: 'To what extent was the contact between the Old World and New World a Discovery, a Conquest, or an Exchange?"

 

Unit 2: New Battlegrounds for Old World Powers.

  • Rationale: To understand the relationship between geography and history as a context for events (HoM #12). To include local history and especially local Native American history (Bras has an 18% Native population).

  • Resources: Indian Nations of Wisconsin, Loew; Wisconsin Indians, Lurie,.

  • Essay Question: 'To what extent was the French and Indian War the real 1stWorld War?"

 

Unit 3: Forming the New Nation.

  • Rationale: To understand the significance of the past to their own lives, both private and public, and to their society (HoM #1).To examine the uniqueness of the American government and society and to set the background for its continuing flaws in racism and economic injustice.

  • Resources: The Story of American Freedom, Foner. Radicalism of the American Revolution. Wood. Liberty's Daughters, Norton; Red. White, & Black, Nash. 

  • Essay Question: "To what extent was the American Revolution a radical change and not a conservative defense of the status quo?"

 

Unit 4: The Early National Period.

  • Rationale: To appreciate the often tentative nature of judgments about the past, and thereby avoid the temptation to seize upon particular 'lessons' of history as a cure for present ills (HoM #9).

  • Resources: Democracy in America, Voices on the River.

  • Essay Question: "Describe the new nation that was forming in the first half of the 19th century by political, economic, and social themes."

 

Unit 5: America at War with itself and rebuilding itself.

  • Rationale: To understand the significance of the past to their own lives, both private and public, and to their society (HoM #1)

  • Resources: Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields.

  • Essay Question: "How does America choose to remember the Civil War and how did it use these images to rebuild the nation?"
     

Unit 6: The Expansion of American Industry, 1850-1900.

  • Rationale: To recognize the importance of individuals who have made a difference in history, and the significance of personal character for both good and ill (HoM #10).

  • Resources: State of the Union.

  • Essay Question: 'Were they (Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan) Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?"

 

Unit 7: Immigration, Urbanization, & Expansion, 1860-1900.

  • Rationale: To prepare to live with uncertainties and exasperating, even perilous, unfinished business, realizing that not all problems have solutions (HoM # &). To place the growth of the United States into a modern society in a social, economic, and political framework.

  • Resources: Harvest of Empire, Voices on the River

  • Essay Question: "How has the American people utilized the physical resources available to build America economically?"

 

Unit 8: The Progressive Reform Era, 1890-1920.

  • Rationale: To appreciate the often tentative nature of judgments about the past, and thereby avoid the temptation to seize upon particular 'lessons' of history as a cure for present ills (HoM #9).

  • Resources: film: Modem Times. Progressivism.

  • Essay Question: "To what extent have the advent of the Modem Era improved the lives of Americans, and to what extent did it harm the quality of life?"

 

Unit 9: World War I & Postwar Social Change, 1914-1929.

  • Rationale: To understand how things happen and how things change, how human intentions matter, but also how their consequences are shaped by the means of carrying them out, in a tangle of purpose and process (HoM #5).

  • Resources: Born for Liberty, State of the Union

  • Essay Question: "To what extent did World War I and the 1920s set the tone for the 2dh Century?"

 

Unit 10: Depression, Leads to the New Deal, 1929-1939.

  • Rationale: To appreciate the force of the non-rational, the irrational, and the accidental, in history and human affairs (HoM #11).

  • Resources: Technology as Freedom, State of the Union

  • Essay Question: "To what extent did the economic system of Capitalism fail during the Depression, and to what extent did it succeed in solving its problems?"

 

Unit 11: World War II: Americans at War, 1941-1945.

  • Rationale: To distinguish between the important and the inconsequential, to develop the 'discriminating memory' needed for a discerning judgment in public and personal life (HoM #2).

  • Resources: A Consumers' Republic, The American Memory site, The Twentieth Century, History Wars.

  • Essay Question: "The generation that won World War 2 has often been called 'The Greatest Generation', evaluate their accomplishments."

 

Unit 12: The Cold War, 1945-1989.

  • Rationale: To perceive past events and issues as people experienced them at the time, to develop historical empathy as opposed to present mindedness (HoM #3). To examine the social, economic, and political impact on the United States of the cold war era.

  • Resources: The Way We Never Were, Perspectives on Modern America. Many are the Crimes, A Consumers' Republic,

  • Essay Question: ''To what extent did the United States win World War 2 and yet lose the peace that followed?"

 

Unit 13: Activism and Liberal Changes.

  • Rationale: To grasp the complexity of historical causation, respect particularity, and avoid excessively abstract generalizations (HoM # 8). To explain the struggle for civil and social rights in the 20thCentury and the development of an activist government.

  • Resources: American Skin, Casting Her Own Shadow, The Sixties, Women's America. Perspectives on Modern America

  • Essay Question: ''To what extent has America achieved the statement in paragraph two of the Declaration of Independence:" ...that all men are created equal..."?

 

Unit 14: Reaction and a return to Conservatism.

  • Rationale: To comprehend the interplay of change and continuity, and avoid assuming that either is somehow more natural, or more to be expected that the other (HoM #6).

  • Resources: A Consumers' Republic, The Twentieth Century.

  • Essay Question: ''To what extent was there a change in America in the late 2dh century, and to what extent was it a continuation of the status quo?"

 

Unit 15: Entering a New Era, 1989 to the Present.

  • Rationale: To read widely and critically in order to recognize the difference between fact and conjecture, between evidence and assertion, and thereby from useful questions (HoM #13). To examine the U.S. role as a world power and today, as the only super power.

  • Resources: Perspectives on Modern America

  • Essay Question: "To what extent is the United States the leader of an American Empire?"

 

 

Revised 08/25/2008  

 

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 (608) 785-8351

All material Copyright 2007 by the University of Wisconsin and the Board of Regents of 

the University of Wisconsin System