Thematic US History

I want to organize and post some of the units and resources that I have planned and created for teaching US history thematically. Even though the formatting, language, and organization reflects the unique standards and context of the school where I taught the course, I hope it can be useful as a resource. Many activities, ideas, and standards can be easily adapted for different content, students, or grading systems.

I use a lot of primary sources in each unit. Many of these come from Stanford Reading like a Historian, Fordham Online Sourcebook, or other databases.

Curriculum Documents

Scope & Sequence

Standards: Proficiency Scales & Student Friendly Rubrics

These standards all came from the National Center for History in Schools. The numbers attached to each standard were for our own internal records keeping, but also align to the NCHS framework, linked here.

Each standard has a proficiency scale that follows the Marzano template and a student friendly rubric that was formatted based on a template by Danelle Elder in her book Standard-Based Scoring vs. Grading: A Classroom Guide. The “Assessment Notes” section of the proficiency scales became a catch-all for teacher ideas and notes; Otherwise, the Proficiency scales and rubrics are the same, just presented in different formats. These documents provided a firm foundation to the curriculum, but to an extent, they were living documents, thus expanding and being fine-tuned over time.

Measurement Topic 1: Chronological Thinking

Measurement Topic 2: Historical Comprehension

Measurement Topic 3: Historical Analysis and Interpretation

Measurement Topic 4: Historical Research Capabilities

Standards: Vertical Alignment Documents 6-12

Many of the standards stretch across grade levels. The following documents were an attempt to unpack the standard for each grade level. NCHS did not already provide guidelines for grade level bands, so this had to be done on our own. With the argumentation expectations we tried to align to common core expectations. Some examples are below.

Unit 1: The American Character & Ideology

Selected Resources:

Unit 2: Immigration

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Unit 4: Boom & Bust: Economics and Development

Selected Resources

Unit 6: War, Peace, and Global Leadership

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