US History Syllabus

Lakewood High School 2017-2018

Teacher: Thomas Pyne


Voicemail: 7065

Rooms: A213; A217

Office: D202

Office Hours: 7:10-7:40; 3:10-3:30; By Appointment

Off Blocks: 1, 2, and 7


Course Description:

                Welcome to United States History with Mr. Pyne! This year we will be covering events beginning in the 1800s and work our way to what is going on today. Our focus for this year will be on developing social studies skills applicable to interpreting history with a critical eye. When one speaks of history, there are many implications and assumptions being made as the story unfolds. As such, the skills developed in this class will help you dissect historical events for bias and perspective and prepare you to be a critical consumer of information. By the end of the year, you should be able to apply social studies skills to analyze evidence to construct a well-supported argument about what happened and why events in the United States unfolded in a specific way. Basically, you will be able to look at a historical incident and then explain the who, what, when, where, and why of it using evidence to support your claim.

Units of Study: (May be Subject to Change)

First Semester:

  • One: Industrialism and Reform at the Turn of the Century (1840-1920)
  • Two: Expanding America’s Global Influence (1796-1921)
  • Three: Roaring 20’s and Great Depression (1914-1944)

Second Semester:

  • Four: World War II and the Cold War (1917-1960)
  • Five: Civil Rights and Cultural Movements (1945-1990)
  • Six: Tumultuous Times (1954-1980)
  • Seven: Modern America (1980-Present)


Expected Behavior:

                History is not neat and tidy. There are many perspectives on what has happened and these perceptions connect to people’s religious beliefs, culture, political identities, and much more. As we cover sensitive materials in class, it is expected that everyone remains respectful by using appropriate language and behavior. We will honor and celebrate our differences and use them to grow and inform our own personal understandings. It is not acceptable to bully others for any reason. There will be many opportunities to work in groups in this class and everyone is expected to be their best self and work at acquiring the skills needed to be successful in both school and everyday life. Should you have questions about district and school rules, consult the code of conduct book found on the school website.


                There will be three categories being placed in the grade book this year: class participation (20 percent), minor assessments (30 percent), and major assessments (50 percent). Class participation is basically the demonstration that you are present in the learning when you are in class. Meaning, students are on task and doing what is being asked of them. Minor assessments are the small grades include things like: classwork, exit tickets, and short quizzes. Major assessments differ as they are the big projects, tests, and assignments that typically occur at the end of the unit.

Grades work as follows: 90-100= A, 80-89= B, 70-79= C, 60-69= D, and anything below 59% is an F.


                For this class, you will need one college lined single subject spiral notebook and a pen daily.

Late Work and Attendance:

                I accept late work on a case by case basis. If the student is slacking off in class and does not complete the assignment on time, the work collected is considered final and the grade will stand according to completion. For other factors, the student will need to approach me to work out a desirable solution. Typically, late work will have an automatic ten percent deduction. You are expected to make up the assignments from the in-class activities that you miss. Class starts when the bell rings. If the student is not in their seat, they will be counted tardy. If a class is missed, it is the responsibility of the student to meet with me outside of class to collect the assignment and receive instruction. I cannot take time out of class to catch students up on work they missed due to absences. 

About me:

                Outside of the workplace, I enjoy being active and learning new things. When my health permits, you can find me running with my dog Hector, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, fly fishing, or doing something else. I spent a year living in Uruguay and this experience forever changed how I view the world. While there, I learned the first steps in thinking critically and how to hold a true conversation. Oddly enough, these conversations required learning Spanish and sounding like a child while talking about big ideas. Thus, I know what it is like to have something to say and not have the ability to say it.  Here is to a great year and to learning how to speak our truths! 

Your signature below signifies you have read the syllabus and understand the expectations for this course. Parents/Guardians, if you would like, you can provide the best method of contact below should I need to reach you to talk about your student.


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