Take That, Belligerent Senior

Within hours of getting my morale busted, I set to writing a American history curriculum that could go a few good rounds with even that of those pesky TCI guys.

After grinding them on memorization of states, the timeline and the presidents, we get to the nitty-gritty that is the economy of the United States. I figure that because money makes the world go ’round, it deserves top billing. Wars are instigated, propped up and decided largely by the economy, as are politicians and most notable social reforms, so an understanding of the economy is crucial.

Semester one, therefore, ended up a little like this.

three weeks — memorization grinding
five weeks — economy
major test 1
two weeks — political movements
two weeks — media history
five weeks — wars
major test 2 (cumulative)

Semester two is a bit more fun, and not only because the winter assignment is to write a paper on an assassinated president. Sure, half the class will have Kennedy or Lincoln, but the other half — and, as I assign it, the half of the class who could do with a challenge — will have Garfield and McKinley.

This semester is more fun because I say it’s more fun. Or, maybe it’s because I have better materials for it so far.

The second semester ended up something like this:

one week — present assassin papers
one week — intro. to the Supreme Court
six weeks — slavery and civil rights
major test 3
two weeks — religion
four weeks — social reform
two weeks — immigrants, Indians and other minorities
major test 4 (cumulative)
three weeks — some sort of major presentation

Note that the second tests in a semester are cumulative. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Moral of the story? Whatever the motive, there is never anything wrong with preparing curricula in advance.




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