Description of the Course:

What is an American? This course is a multi-disciplinary inquiry into the diversity of American society and culture.  This course will span the colonial period through the modern day, tracing the connection of historical events, people, and movements to the literature of the time.  Students will explore five strands of the American experience including: identity, faith, education, blame, and power within relationships. Students will actively analyze a wide variety of primary and secondary sources to draw their own conclusions about how the American experience has evolved.  An emphasis will be placed on how students’ identities are a part of the fabric of what it means to be American in the 21st century.

Students will also develop skills that are assessed on standardized testing such as the SBAC and SAT.  Successful completion of the course will grant them both their Modern US History and English III credit requirements for graduation. In addition, students earning an overall average of C or higher in both the Modern US History and English III courses will earn three credits through UConn’s Early College Experience Program that are transferable to over 80% of colleges and universities in the United States.

Prerequisites: Students must have taken both Honors English II and Honors World History and earned at least an average of 75 percent in each course to qualify for the American Studies course. Exceptions require teacher recommendation.

Curriculum Overview:


The American Colonies Emerge and Come of Age (1500’s-1820’s)

Destruction and Reconstruction of the Union (1828-1870)

The American Identity Under Fire (1870-1910)

America in the World Arena (1890-1910)

The Boom and Bust of the Twenties and Thirties

America’s Dominance and Power, WWII

Conformity and Consumerism (1950’s-1960’s)

Civil Rights Movements

The Vietnam War Years

The 1970’s and 1980’s: Back to the Future

The United States in Today’s World


Parts of Speech

Commas, Semi-Colons, Colons and End Marks

Parts of a Sentence



Usage Errors: Verb Agreement, Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement, Number Agreement, Tense Agreement, Parallel Structure, Frequently-confused words, Fragments

Passive vs. Active Voice


Students will study select vocabulary from the literature and be exposed to additional SAT vocabulary words throughout the course (see appendix).

Plainfield Public Schools 651 Norwich Rd Plainfield CT 06374

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