General review of the democratic process and the major eras of U.S. history
Foundations of U.S. History unit contains 5 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Foundations of U.S. History Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Studying U.S. History
Students brainstorm how a space alien might describe American society as distinguished from people of other nations. Then they sequence any three eras in U.S. history. Next they name a turning point in U.S. history and apply questions about change and continuity to it. Finally they learn about American exceptionalism as defined by Alexis de Tocqueville and Seymour Martin Lipset, and they analyze how one of the values contributes to America’s success as a constitutional republic.
The Democratic Process
Students brainstorm text that appears on all U.S. currency and then learn about the mottos “E. Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust.” Next they examine the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens. Then they explain ways U.S. residents can participate in the democratic process. Finally they learn about the steps for naturalization and they take the USCIS civics practice test.
Declaration of Independence: A Close Reading
For Celebrate Freedom week, students watch a video about the importance of the Declaration of Independence as a text. Then they examine the structure of the document. Next they analyze the preamble, the grievances, and the actual declaration statement. Finally, they write a short reflection on what the Declaration of Independence means to them.
U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights: A Close Reading
For Celebrate Freedom experience, students brainstorm who is referred to by the phrase “we the people” in 1787 and today. Then they examine the structure of the U.S. Constitution. Next they analyze the principles on which the Constitution is based. Then they explain each amendment in the Bill of Rights. Finally they analyze freedom of speech and what it does and does not cover.