Course Syllabus

Instructor: Ms. Ann Tesar


Room and Office Hours: 610 / 8:15 – 3:45

Planning: 2nc Block

Canvas Course Link 

704-296-3088 (7124) [School Voicemail]


Honors American History Syllabus


Course Description

American History will pick up where Civics left off, building on your understanding of American economic, political, social, and cultural history and global involvement. The course begins with the Jackson era (although we will review the previous and continues through Present Day. You will be examining the historical and intellectual origins of the United States from the start of the 19th century to the aftershock of the American Civil War to tumultuous years of the early 20th Century, and up to and through the new millennium. You will learn about the political and economic factors that led to the development of industrial America, the outbreak of two World Wars and their consequences, which helped shape what we think of as the Modern world and helped determine America’s role on the international stage. You will study the growth and development of political parties, America’s expansion, the emergence of the middle class, America’s changing population and subsequent conflict, and America’s changing role in the global community.


Course Materials


  • Chromebook
  • Headphones (make sure they can connect to your Chromebook)
  • A Notebook (3-ring suggested) if you do paper notes OR a folder/container for your paper handouts if you do digital notes.

Optional but Suggested:

  • Your Own Individual Paper/Pen/Pencil
  • Highlighter and/or Personal Colored Pencils/Markers (if you prefer not to use the classroom set)

Donations of tissues are always welcome.

Daily Expectations:

  • Check Canvas as you come in/log-in for assignments, objectives, and PoD (Plan of the Day). You are responsible for all information/assignments posted, whether I remember to mention it or not. If you are absent, this is ALSO listed on Canvas.
  • Turn in your work to the appropriate Google Folder or Canvas Assignment. (CHECK YOUR SHARING SETTINGS.) If you’re absent it is your responsibility to find out what you missed. I may not remember everyone who was absent on a given day and what they owe. CALL OR EMAL – BEFORE IT’S DUE – IF THERE IS A PROBLEM! [Remember, late work is docked 25% per day and is not accepted after 3 days]
  • Be respectful in class and wait until you are recognized to speak – just like in Congress.
  • Pull your weight in group assignments – your classmates depend on you.
  • PARTICIPATE! Ask questions, make comments, discuss, critique, weigh in. Your brain retains more when it is active!


 Course Text

The vast majority of the reading assignments for this course will be supplementary texts, either primary or secondary sources. These will be given in either paper copy or, more likely, online format. Online textbook resources will be provided on the class Google site. If you would like to use it, there are copies of the Holt McDougal textbook The Americans available for you to sign out in the classroom.

There is also an online textbook: The American Yawp. It is linked on the Canvas page.


Course Standards

The course goals, as set out by the North Carolina Department of Education, are listed below:

Course Standards




Apply the inquiry models to analyze and evaluate social studies topics and issues in order to communicate conclusions and take informed actions.


Analyze the American economic system in terms of affluence, poverty, and mobility.


Understand how movement, settlement, and expansion influenced American development.


Analyze the relationship between various societies and government in terms of freedom, equality, and power.


Evaluate the relationship between the American people and the government in terms of freedom equality, and power.


Analyze the American political system in terms of conflict, compromise, and consequence.


Evaluate American identity in terms of perspective, change, and continuity.


Analyze the relationship of tradition and progress in terms of scientific, technological, intellectual, and cultural development.


Understand the reasons for American involvement in conflicts and the domestic and foreign impacts.


Evaluate the relationship between America and other nations in terms of national interests and global interdependence.


Analyze various turning points in American history in terms of perspective, causation, and change.


Honors Differentiation Statement

American History II is an honors level course. This course is also available in the Program of Studies at the College Preparatory level. Students earning credit for an Honors level course receive an elevated number of Quality Points for their Grade Point Average. Students choosing the Honors level course should be aware that this Honors level course will include:

  • Required extension opportunities that are directly related to the Standard Course of Study. This includes additional content beyond what is covered in the College Preparatory level.
  • More challenging coursework and assessments. Students will be expected to demonstrate higher levels of understanding for grades.
  • Projects and presentations will be more in depth.
  • Students will have to focus and study regularly to master the content.
  • The expectation that students can move through the coursework at an accelerated pace and students experiencing difficulty should quickly seek guidance from their teacher on how they can be more successful.

Below is a sample of how the Honors level objectives may differ from those in the College Preparatory level:


Honors Differentiation Statement

Honors Level Objective

College Prep Level Objective

AH2.H.4.3: Analyze the social and religious conflicts, movements and reforms that impacted the United States since Reconstruction in terms of participants on both sides, strategies, opposition, connection to larger global conflicts, and results and evaluate their lasting impact on the United States (e.g., Prohibition, Social Darwinism, Eugenics, civil rights, anti-war protests, etc.)

AH2.H.4.3: Analyze the social and religious conflicts, movements and reforms that impacted the United States since Reconstruction in terms of participants, strategies, opposition, and results (e.g., Prohibition, Social Darwinism, Eugenics, civil rights, anti-war protests, etc.)

Assignments in an honors-level course will also differ from those of a standard course. You will be expected to research, analyze, and engage with material more complex than in a standard course. Below is an example of a differentiated honors-level assignment:


Honors Differentiation Statement

Honors Level Assignment

College Prep Level Assignment

Conduct an individual research project on an activist from one of the major Equality movements we studied in class: what goals did they have? How did they develop their perspective on equality? How did they participate in the movement? What was their lasting impact? How did their perspective affect their actions and outcomes? Compare your research to that done by your classmates: how did your person influence others? How did they fit in with the larger picture of the movement? How do their actions compare with those of today’s activists?

Conduct a Web-Quest on each of the major Equality movements of the 1950s-1970s to explain the goals, principal participants, and successes of each movement [Women’s Rights Movement, American Indian Movement, etc.]


 Course Evaluation and Assessment

Grading Scale:   A = 100-90; B = 89-80; C = 79-70; D = 69-60; F = 59-0

This course will be graded using the total point system. You can keep track of your grades by adding up the number of points you earned on assignments and dividing that number by the total number of points possible. [i.e. 278 points earned/300 points possible = 92.6, or 93%]

Portfolios will be submitted in lieu of traditional unit tests. They will be due at the end of each grading period, for a total of three per semester. Portfolios will give students the opportunity to demonstrate learning by submitting artifacts (work/assignmens created during the grading period), reflecting upon and analyzing their work, and creating new pieces that demonstrate what they have learned during the grading period. Portfolios will carry a high point value, replacing tests.

Portfolios will be graded according to the rubric available on Canvas.

Students will be expected to work on their individual portfolio during the course of the grading period and help will be provided for portfolio assembly/feedback during Cougar Time and/or upon request.

Quizzes will be based on the reading and lecture material and will serve as progress checkpoints during a unit.

Homework/Classwork: Will range from 10-65 points depending on the size of the assignment. I try to stay away from weekend homework, except for the long-range assignments, but there are times… YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT IS TO READ THE SYLLABUS AND SUBMIT THE COURSE CONTRACT!

Discretionary points may be awarded for outstanding work on one or more major assignments, such as a simulation, or a run of excellent well-written assignments.

A note on Extra Credit, it is not a given and is available to those who have done all their work but would like to understand more and/or improve their grade. Extra credit work is assigned on an individual, as-needed basis. Extra Credit assignments are typically permitted once every 6-weeks grading period and are due on or before the last day of the grading period.


Late Work:

It is the STUDENT’S responsibility to see me and receive all missed work after being absent as well as to turn in any assignments or make up any quizzes/work that were due when they were absent. All missed tests/quizzes/notebook checks/etc. that a student CAN make up will receive a grade of one (1) until the assignment is made up. Missing assignments that CANNOT be made up will receive a grade of zero (0).

Late assignments will be deducted 25% of their point value for each day late.


Policy for Re-Doing Work:
If you have submitted work, and neither of us is satisfied with the results, it can be re-done for an improved grade. You will have two days in which to resubmit regular assignments, such as homework or classwork. Larger projects will have a longer time allowance. Please note, however, that the opportunity to re-do an assignment DOES NOT extend to work that is not turned in on time and is obviously done in a cursory, last-minute manner. If you’re having difficulty understanding or completing an assignment, let me know ahead of the due date and we’ll deal with it. That’s the responsible thing to do.

Extra Help: I will be scheduling students with check-in and extra help times during Remote Fridays but please don’t hesitate to contact me outside of that! I try to check at least 2-3 times in the afternoon and evening and I will also put practice games, activities, and review materials on the Google site.

Course Expectations

I expect serious approaches to all of your work in this class. Each day, all necessary materials should be brought to class – regardless of whether you are learning in-person or remotely.

Discipline and Tardies: I will abide by, and enforce, the guidelines as set forth by the Union County Board of Education and CATA. The most important thing to remember is to be respectful of the rights and sensitivities of others.

Please refer to the student handbook if you have questions.

Plagiarism and Cheating: Plagiarism is presenting borrowed information as a student’s original work. This may involve complete essays or research papers or paraphrases, direct quotations, summaries, or translations derived from translation services or software. Plagiarism is a form of cheating and is usually dealt with severely in higher education, including a failing grade on the assignment, a failing grade in the course, or even academic probation or expulsion.

  • 1st Offense - Any student who is guilty of cheating or plagiarism will receive a zero for the work and will not be allowed to make-up the assignment. the parent/guardian of the student will be notified by the teacher.
  • 2nd Offense - A student who receives a second violation will result in two days of ISS. Any subsequent offense will result in up to a three-day OSS (out-of-school suspension).

Make-Up Work: Any time a student is lawfully absent from class, he/she will be given an opportunity to make up any class work, homework, tests, or examinations missed. In cases where the work missed as a one-time activity that cannot feasibly be reproduced (field trips, production work activities, and/or internships), the student will be given an alternative assignment in lieu of the original assignment.

Upon returning from an excused absence, students will be given two days to make up the work missed for each day absent. When arrangements are not made by the student to make up work, or if the make-up work is not completed on time, the student will receive no credit.

Students who have an out-of-school suspension and students with unexcused absences and tardies are encouraged to make up all missed work but are only allowed to make up major tests or projects (i.e. research papers) for credit and take semester exams.

Teachers will record zeros on daily work for out-of-school suspensions only when the entire class was required to do work.


Contact Information

Ms. Ann Tesar -- Room 610

704-296-3088 (7124) [School Voicemail]