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  1. #1

    Default American History for 9th Grade

    I am planning on using Hakim's Story of Us for 9th grade American history, but I've been reading threads that have people using it for upper elementary grades. Is it too simple? I was planning on supplementing it with original documents and documentaries. We are also covering American literature next year, with groupings of "Who We Are," "The American Dream," "American Identity." (There is one more, but I don't have my notes in front of me.)

    Do you think this would be stringent enough? He is college bound.

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  3. #2

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    I think if you supplement, you would be fine. Do you plan on using all the texts within the year? (My college age daughter won't let me sell my set since she still sits down and reads them from time to time.)

    Are you using Stanford's Reading Like a Historian for your original documents? We used those coupled with Zinn's A History of US for high school. Ziinn, while informative, can get a bit depressing though.
    Carol

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  4. #3

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    I think it is reasonable for high school. Also, it sounds wonderful to cover American literature during that time. I would pair up readings the correspond to the topics of the books.

    You might want to add documentaries and biographies to make it more interesting and add some depth to each era.

    Joy Hakim has a high school teacher's guides for each of the books. That might help.

    I agree to add Zinn's book, The People's History of the United States, as well as projects from the Zinn Ed Project.
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  5. #4

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    We used the books for high school(and plan to again). We supplemented with Zinn, a couple of books on U.S. Presidents, book on great speeches, interest specific choices found at the library, documentaries, and for my worksheet loving kid- U.S. History Detective books from Critical Thinking Co.
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  6. #5

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    It's reasonable. I think it's solidly a middle school text. It's a bit much for most elementary schoolers, but the talkative style helps for some and most people do it slowly for that age. For high school, the content is rich enough, IMO. And, if it helps, I am a former high school history teacher.

    It's not AP level material. But as long as that's not what you were hoping for, then I think it's fine, especially with the right supplementation. Are you planning on using the OUP teacher guides?

    Zinn is fine to add in. Or some James Loewen chapters. The main thing I'd want to add for a high schooler would be more primary sources than the short excepts she includes. IIRC, I think the OUP guides include primary sources, though you could also just get a primary source book for US history and draw from it.

    You could also look beyond Zinn and choose one or two pop American history books to read about a subject of his choosing. Perhaps a biography or some oral history like Studs Turkel. Or you could choose a few literature books to be part of the course - historical fiction or fiction from history that could enrich the course.

    I don't think of documentaries as usually adding a lot to a course in terms of rich content. They're great to use, of course, but I wouldn't see adding them as being a way to make the content "more" high school appropriate.
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  7. #6

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    Thanks for the input everyone. Especially for the links to Reading Like a Historian and the heads-up on the high school lesson plans. I think the Reading Like a Historian would be a great addition. I do plan on doing the entire series in one year. If we really can't do it, we will skip over most of WWI through WWII, and cover the civil rights era as we travel through the south next summer. He has already read a lot on the two wars, and we can do another history course on just the first 50 years of the 1900s.

    I've been slowly collecting copies of original documents and narratives--whatever I don't have will be supplemented by the library or internet.

    You helped calm my fears. I almost have the next year all figured out and didn't want to take a step back if not needed!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyme View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone. Especially for the links to Reading Like a Historian ....
    The lesson plans there are good. Just be mindful of the fact that you may need to tweak some questions as they are intended for a classroom use. I didn't have much trouble doing so when my kids used it.

    I think your plan is far more interesting than what the public school kiddos get. Good luck!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (21), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (20), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  9. #8

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    If you need to go deeper into a topic, or find even more primary source materials, Annenberg Learner has tons of resources too, as does the Smithsonian. As does the Library of Congress. And here is the OUP link that Farrar mentioned, I really liked the Jill Lepore collection, she of the recent book on Wonder Woman which has some pretty amazing ties to the birth control movement (!).

    Have a fun year, there are so many detours and interesting items to study besides dates, battlefield names, etc.

    And are you guys podcast fans? I really like The History Chicks and Backstory.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  10. #9

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    Thanks! And we ARE big fans of podcasts--they listen at least to one every night while in bed.

  11. #10

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    Forgot to add to my list, The Great Courses. This is a new add for us this year since the streaming option started.

    I agree that documentaries are not enough for making it high school level, we use them more for helping with the flow of meshing together the same subjects for multiple ages. (I forgot to clarify that!) My high schoolers use History of US as a jumping off point, they do research online and at the library with multiple resources. For history learning they inquire, research, and write about it.
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American History for 9th Grade