American Studies (Ms.Barnes)

TeacherLeanne Barnes

Extra Help: Tuesdays 3-4 in room 206 or by appointment

Essential Questions: Who are Americans? What does it mean to be an American citizen? Are all American citizens equal? Who has power in our society? Is the American Dream achievable today?

Course Summary: In this course, we will study American History through five themes. 

1) Civics and Citizenship Unit - to learn about how our government works and what it means to be an active, responsible citizen. 

2) Immigration Unit - we will look at immigration and the history of immigration, from the colonists through present-day immigrants. We will evaluate a proposed immigration law and write letters to Congressional Representatives using historical evidence to argue for or against the law. 

3) Gender Unit - to look at women’s rights and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); we will seek to understand the arguments for and against the ERA, as well as the status of women and how it has changed over time. 

4) Race and Racism Unit -to examine race and racism. We will examine discrimination from the beginning of slavery in the colonies through the Black Lives Matter Movement and seek to determine if our criminal justice system is “The New Jim Crow.” 

5) Social Class and Social Mobility Unit - we will look at social class and social mobility throughout American History, analyzing different views of social class over time as well as the idea of the American Dream. Our final project will ask students to use all that they have learned this semester as evidence when they debate whether or not the American Dream is actually achievable today.

Course Documents