American Studies 1 2013-2014


Hello, my name is Charlie Huff. 
I teach 8th Grade American Studies at North Central Junior High School in North Liberty, Iowa.

We are using a new textbook and Chapter Worksheets from an Interactive Student Workbook this year. Students will receive
their own copy of each one. Both are also available for use online.

Announcements usually are reminders about upcoming Tests or deadlines for Major Projects.

I will put the assignment schedule here and when I have materials or information in "word" document form, I
will also include them here.

Most media presentations will be viewed in class, although some may be available through the GWAEA website.

When we are doing research, there are approved websites listed here with direct links to them.
As a teacher & a parent, I look forward to an exciting school year with this new group of eighth graders.


American Studies 1                             Grading Philosophy & Guidelines                 Mr. Huff / Mr. Meade   

    Textbook: The United States through Industrialization          

Materials students need to provide for class:

                        Bring to class:

                                    1.  Black pens (not red) and #2 pencils - daily

                                    2.  Spiral notebook - daily

                                    3.  Folder with 2 pockets for assignments - daily

                                    4.  Colored pencils (24 pack)- periodic

                                    5.  Small pencil sharpener for colored pencils - periodic

                                    6.  Jumbo Book cover - when books are distributed

                        Turn in:

                                    7.  Red pen


            Is calculated on a Percentage basis according to Total Points Earned (Including Extra Credit &

Bonus Points) Divided by the Total Points Possible.


                                                A+       97-100 % (It is possible to receive over 100%)

                                                A         93-96 %

                                                A-        90-92 %

                                                B+        87-89 %

                                                B          83-86 %

                                                B-        80-82 %

                                                C+        77-79 %

                                                C          73-76 %

                                                C-        70-72 %

                                                D+       67-69 %

                                                D         63-66 %

                                                D-        60-62 %

                                                FAIL    BELOW  60 %  (Not rounded up)  



            There will be short-term and long-term assignments of varying length and complexity. Most work is done

during class time with time allotted for most students to complete it at that time. Occasionally work will need to be

finished outside of class time, such as essays or projects. If work is not completed during class time, it becomes


    The following is a list of assignments and their Weights in terms of Total Points:

                        Unit Tests: percent Multiplied by 4

                        Report or Essay: Varies according to complexity & length

                        Chapter Worksheets: percent Multiplied by 2 - 3

                        Maps:  percent Multiplied by 2 or 3

                        Timelines: percent Multiplied by 1 or 2

                        Simulations percent Multiplied by 1

                        Miscellaneous Classroom and Internet Activities:  Varies


            Unless a student is absent work that is not turned in on the Due Date is considered Late

            Late work will receive the following Credit:

                                    1 Day: 90% of their Score

                                    2 Days: 80% of their Score

                                    3 or more Days: 70% of their Score

                                    Work will not be accepted 2 weeks after the Due Date


            A student who is absent generally receives 2 days for each day absent to make up an assignment begun while

they were absent. However, if you are at a school sponsored activity or an assignment is due the day you are absent,

you are expected to turn the work in when you return.


           Extra Credit means extra as opposed to Regular Assignments. There is no limit on the number of additional

points that a student can earn over a Trimester, however there is a limit of 25 additional points per Extra Credit

Assignment. The intention of Extra Credit is to allow students who wish to accumulate additional points in their

Total Point Category to receive a higher percent and Letter Grade. All assignments must be completed and turned in

order to receive Extra Credit points. Therefore, Extra Credit is not calculated in an Individual's Grade until the end

of the Trimester. This also means that Extra Credit Points do not appear on Mid-Term Reports.

            Extra Credit can be done in a number of ways. Most often it is in the form of a Crossword Puzzle or Word

Search classroom over the Unit we are studying.        


            Opportunities to earn Bonus Points are provided in the following ways: doing extra work on assignments;

proofreading homework and tests for typographical errors; giving more than the number of answers required for a

question; and answering extra questions that are provided, but not required on a Test. Because they are part of an

assignment or test, these points will be accumulated and calculated in grades regardless of whether all homework

or assignments have been turned in. 


     I do not have many guidelines beyond those already presented in the Student Handbook. However, to

Help ensure safety and maintain a positive learning environment, I have emphasized several items here.

1.         RESPECT OTHERS:

                        EXAMPLE:                No put downs and no physical or verbal altercations

                        EXAMPLE:                Listen attentively & actively 

2.         RESPECT PROPERTY:       

                                EXAMPLE:                Personal & school 


                        EXAMPLES: Partner or small group activities                     




 1.  Put books & materials not needed for the current assignment on the floor under your desk.

 2.  Listen to directions & write notes carefully for assignments.

 3.  Write assignments in your Assignment Notebook!

 4.  Have a pen, pencil & paper. Sharpen your pencil before class starts.

 5.  Always correct false questions.

 6.  Face forward and keep your hands & feet to yourself.

 7.  Wait until after class to throw things away.

 8.  Raise your hand to get permission to talk.

 9.  Cut the edge off spiral paper!

10.  Keep the floor clean!

11.  The Teacher dismisses the class, not the bell.


You can reach me by email at

U. S. States Information Activity:


Links for the online textbook History Alive for American Studies Class: 

You will signup to use both the textbook  online on Friday, September 13th. We will go to to sign up.  We will use my school email address (  and your class period to sign up. You will then create a username and a password. Pick something that you will be able to remember! I would suggest that you use the username and password that you got in the Library already for this. You will write them down for me in class on your "Get Acquainted Cards" in case you forget them. Also, write them in a safe place, such as a page in your Planner,  in case I am not available to help you.


Chapter Three:
The English Colonies in North America

Chapter 3 Overview: 

In a Problem Solving & Groupwork activities, students analyze the similarities and differences among the English colonies in North America.

Chapter 3  Objectives: 

In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will -

• identify the various reasons for the settlement of the British colonies. 

• compare religious practices and the different government systems—including the system set up in the Mayflower Compact—among

    the colonies. 

• collaborate with others to showcase the economic, political, and religious features of a colony.

• synthesize key information about a colony by writing a postcard from the perspective of an American colonist. 

• write a short narrative employing descriptive strategies. 

• present detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning to support arguments. 

Chapter 3 Vocabulary

mercantilism, cash crops, charter, democratic, Mayflower Compact, slave trade economy, isolated, authorize, proprietor, prosperous


Chapter 4:  Life in the Colonies

Essential Question: What was life really like in the colonies?

 Chapter 4 Overview: 

In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students analyze primary and secondary source material to explore eight aspects of life in the American colonies,         including rights of colonists, religion, education, and life for enslaved African Americans. 

Chapter 4  Objectives:
 In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will -

• analyze primary and secondary sources to learn about various aspects of colonial life, including rights of colonists, religion, education, and life for       enslaved  African Americans. 
• identify the moral and political ideas of the Great Awakening that led to revolutionary fervor in the American colonies. 
• summarize how Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights affected colonists’ views of their own rights. 
• write a newspaper article giving conclusions supported with paraphrased information from primary and secondary sources. 

Chapter 4 Vocabulary: 
rights, Magna Carta, Parliament, English Bill of Rights, Great Awakening, contract, restore, rebel, leisure


Chapter 5:  Toward Independence

Chapter 5 Overview:  In a Response Group activity, students participate in a series of colonial town
meetings to debate whether to rebel against British rule. In the process, they evaluate the events that deeply
divided the American colonists and eventually caused them to rebel against the British government.

Chapter 5 Objectives: In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will -

• identify the roots of the nation’s blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English
parliamentary traditions.
• assess the impact of such key events as the French and Indian War, the Boston Massacre, and the battles of
Lexington and Concord on colonists’ loyalty to the British government.
• analyze several actions of the British government between 1763 and 1775 that built resentment and divided the
colonists in their feelings about British rule.

Chapter 5 Vocabulary:
militia, tyranny, repeal, boycott, violation, retain, restricted, authority


Chapter 6The Declaration of Independence

Chapter 6 Overview:

Students learn about key events leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and, analyze key excerpts                                                          of the Declaration and the principles of government they express.

Chapter 6 ObjectivesIn the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will -

• identify the final causes, such as the Battle of Breed’s Hill and Common Sense, that brought about independence.
• analyze the principles of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
• recognize how delegates to the Second Continental Congress were able to preserve the slave trade by suppressing                                                           Thomas Jefferson’s attempt to condemn it in the Declaration of Independence.

Chapter 6 Vocabulary:
 independence, petition, Common Sense, Declaration of Independence, natural rights debate, impose, policy, fundamental


Chapter 7The American Revolution

Chapter 7 Overview:

Students analyze & evaluate the determining factors of the war for independence from Great Britain—examining the strengths and
weaknesses of each side, important battles, and other key factors in the conflict—to determine how the British
were defeated.

Chapter 7 Objectives  In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will

• identify the impact of the American Revolution on other parts of the world.
• examine the course of the war for independence and the subsequent defeat of the British.
• analyze similes to understand the course and outcome of the war for independence.

Chapter 7 Vocabulary:

American Revolution, Continental army, strategy, ally, democracy, rebellion, issue, crucial


Chapter 8:  Creating the Constitution

Chapter 8

Students examine the factors that led to the creation of a stronger central government under the U.S. Constitution by
re-creating a key debate from the Constitutional Convention.

Chapter 8 Objectives:  In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will

• analyze the effectiveness of the Articles of Confederation.
• explain how the Northwest Ordinance helped establish new territory for the United States.
• determine the causes of Shays’s Rebellion and its effects on the new nation.
• identify the main points of contention during the development of the Constitution, the arguments surrounding them,
and their resolutions.
• describe the role of such leaders as George Washington and Roger Sherman in the writing and ratification of the Constitution.
• describe the underlying political philosophy of the Constitution championed by such men as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.
• deliver a persuasive presentation that makes a clear and knowledgeable judgment and supports arguments with evidence, examples,
and reasoning.


Articles of Confederation, Northwest Territory, Northwest Ordinance, Constitutional Convention, Enlightenment, republic, constitution,
Great Compromise, Three-Fifths Compromise, Electoral College, ratify, The Federalist Papers, committed, liberal, framework, contradiction


Chapter 11:  Political Developments in the Early Republic

Chapter 11:  Overview

In an Experiential Exercise, students compare Federalist and Republican visions for the United States by taking
on the roles of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson to debate the main issues that divided the two groups.

Chapter 11 Objectives:

In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will:

• represent the key positions of Federalists and Republicans in a debate, taking on the roles of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.
• analyze Washington’s attitude toward the role of the federal government in the Whiskey Rebellion and in his Farewell Address.
• identify the positions of Federalists and Republicans in the election of 1800.

Chapter 11 Vocabulary

Whiskey Rebellion, Washington’s Farewell Address, loose construction, strict construction, sedition, nullify, states’ rights theory, reluctant,
finance, accumulate, eloquent, resolution


Chapter 12: Foreign Affairs in the Young Nation

In a Response Group activity, students assume the roles of foreign policy advisers to early presidents to evaluate the extent to which the country should have become involved in world affairs.


In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will:

• propose solutions to early U.S. foreign policy challenges, then compare with real decisions and evaluate them.
• identify major events of the War of 1812 and sequence on a timeline.
• explain the intent of the Monroe Doctrine.

Social Studies Vocabulary:
Key Content Terms neutrality, isolationism, embargo, blockade, Monroe Doctrine
Academic Vocabulary signify, pursue, cease, liberate


Chapter 14:  Andrew Jackson and the Growth of American Democracy

In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images of key events in the presidency of Andrew Jackson to evaluate how well he promoted democracy.

In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will
• describe the perspectives of various groups of people in response to Jackson and his key policies.
• assess the impact of Jackson’s policies on the outcome of events.
• evaluate how well Jackson promoted democracy, citing both his positive and negative contributions.

Social Studies Vocabulary
Key Content Terms Jacksonian Democracy, civil servant, spoils system, tariff, secede, Trail of Tears
Academic Vocabulary ignorant, dispute, voluntarily


Chapter 15 Manifest Destiny and the Growing Nation

Chapter 15:  Overview

In a Response Group activity, students re-create each territorial acquisition of the 1800s and then evaluate whether the nation’s actions
 were justifiable.

Chapter 11 Objectives:

In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will:

• describe the changing boundaries of the United States throughout the 1800s.
• analyze the causes, events, and effects of the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War.
• determine the effects of manifest destiny on westward expansion in the 1800s.
• evaluate the incentives for territorial expansion and the methods used to acquire these lands in the 1800s.

Chapter 15 Vocabulary

territory, diplomacy, Texas War for Independence, annex, manifest destiny, Mexican-American War, divine, justifiable, dictator

Chapter 16
:  Life in the West

Chapter 16:  Overview:

In a Problem Solving activity, students learn about eight groups of people who moved to the West in the 1800s. Students explore these
people’s motives for moving, the hardships they faced, and the legacies they left behind for future generations.

Chapter 16 Objectives

In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will:

• analyze the motives, hardships, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion.
• describe the role of pioneer women and the new status that western women achieved.

Chapter 16 Vocabulary

Lewis and Clark expedition, legacy, rancho, Oregon Trail, Mormons, forty-niners, motive, stimulate, status, prospect, persecuted


Chapter 17Mexicano Contributions to the Southwest

Chapter 17 Overview:
In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students examine important Mexicano contributions and determine how they have influenced life in the United States.

Chapter 17 Objectives  In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will

• identify the effects of the Mexican-American War on Mexicanos.
• analyze the influence of Mexicano contributions on the culture and economy of the Southwest in the 1800s and the United States today.
• demonstrate an understanding of Mexicano contributions in their communities.

Chapter 17 Vocabulary:

Mexicanos, irrigation, tradition, accompaniment, procession 


 Chapter 20:   African Americans in the Mid-1800s 

 Chapter 20 Overview:

In a Writing for Understanding activity, students analyze quotations and examine images to discover how African Americans faced slavery

and discrimination in the mid-1800s. They then create a summary describing some of the experiences of a slave in the period.

Chapter 20 Objectives  In the course of reading this chapter and participating in the classroom activity, students will

  compare the lives and opportunities of free blacks in the North with those of free blacks in the South.

  describe aspects of slave life and forms of resistance to slavery.

  describe and illustrate how slaves faced slavery and discrimination.

Chapter 20 Vocabulary:

Racism, discrimination, segregation, Underground Railroad, Nat Turners Rebellion, oppression, reformer, passive, sympathetic, evident