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Pre-testforU.S.

History:TraitsofAmericans

Duringthefirstweekandahalfofclass,wewillengageinasetofactivitiesthatwillgivemeimportant
informationaboutyour:
1. KnowledgeofAmericanhistory(whatstickswithyoufromyour8thgradeclass,aswellasothermeans
ofgatheringpriorknowledge)
2. Readingandnote-takingskills
3. Writingskills(allthewayfromplanningtooutliningtodrafting)
4. Speakingskills

Wewillfirstconsiderourownnotionsandexperiences,asweanswerthesequestions:
WhatarethetraitsofAmericansthatwesee,andthroughwhatmeansaretheysuggested?
WhatdoyouconsidertobeadefiningtraitofAmericansat-large,andwhatleadsyoutothisbelief?

WewillthenuseasetofseminaldocumentsfromEarlyU.S.History,asweconsiderthefollowingquestions:
WhatweretheidealsoforhopesforAmericans,aslaidoutbymajorfiguresinearlyAmericanhistory?
WhattraitsorcharacteristicsofAmericanscanbeunearthedthroughacloseexaminationofthese
documents?

Asthecourseprogresses,wewillreturntothesequestions,asweconsideranothersetofquestions:
Whichvaluesandtraits/characteristicsofAmericanshaveenduredthroughoutourhistory?
WhathaschangedintermsofAmericantraitsandvaluessincetheinceptionofthisnation,andhow,as
wellaswhatmayhavebeenthecause(s)forthesechanges?

Asweexploreandlearnabout20thcenturyU.S.History,youwillcontinuetotestyourhypothesisagainsta
varietyofsignificanteventsthroughprimaryandsecondarysources.Ouryearwillendwithanexaminationofa
traitthatwehaveeitherseen:a)evolve,b)expire,orc)remainconstant.

History:YouareNOTexpectedtorecallahordeoffactsanddatesfromyourpreviousexperiences.Instead,I
amhopingtouncoverwhatreallystickswithyoufromyourpriorlearningandexperiences,andwhatyouare
hopingtolearnmoreaboutthroughoutthiscourse--whatdoyouwanttoexplore,inregardsto20thcentury
America?Thisportionofourpre-testwillcomeintheformofasurvey,andpossiblyinwriting.

Reading:Therewillbetwopartsforthisskill-set.Thefirstwillbebasedonourseminaldocumentsthatwillbe
providedtoyoutoexplore,close-read,andtakenoteson.ThesecondpartwillbefromanSATpracticetest;
youwillanswerquestionsbasedonashortpassageorpairofpassages(around10multiplechoicequestions
total).

Writing:Therewillbetwopartsforthisskill-set.Thefirstpartwillbemoreapersonalprompt,whereyouwill
explainwhichtraitsyoubelieveareinherentinAmericansandwhereyourbeliefsaboutthesetraitsstemsfrom.
Thesecondpartwillinvolveourdocuments.Afterreadingthedocumentsclosely,wewilltakesometimeto
synthesizetheinformationandfindsomecommonthreadsbetweenthem--whatvaluesandtraitsappeartobe
justunderneaththesurfacehere?Wewilldosomeinitialplanning,anoutlineasyouknowhow,andwewill
eachconstructaformalessay,usingacombinationofsourcestopullevidencefromassupportforourthinking.

Speaking:ASocraticseminaronthesedocumentsandourdiscoverieswillbeheldtogaugewhereyour
comfortandskillsareatwithdiscourseandpublicspeakinginclass.Thiswillbeafrequentmethodofdiscovery
anddiscussioninthisclass.