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Introductory Task: "American History to Me Means...

"

"The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consists in the fact that, from age to age,
nothing changes and yet everything is completely different."   - Aldous Huxley

Welcome to American History! This is a fantastic course that delves into American
history, tracing the roots of the American nation, its development and impact and
influence on the rest of the world. It is also a key aim that you develop a variety of
historical skills this semester.

With this being a senior history course, it is my hope that you have selected this class
because you have a special interest in history in general or American history specifically.
I challenge you to delve into the content, discussions and tasks keeping in mind the
central question: "what can I contribute to the class"?

TASK: "American History to Me Means..."

Your first task of the semester is to tell me about yourself and what you will offer to our
class this semester. Feel free to address any of the following questions in a 1 page,
single spaced response:

* Check out the student interest poll. How familiar are you with some of the 'units' that
relate to American? Which ones interest you the most?
* Do you have a special interest in a particular American state or region / person / time
period / event? Explain.
* Why is it important to study American history? What value does it hold?
* If you could 'meet' any historical figure from American history, who would it be and
why?
* Have you seen any recent movies that depict an event / person / civilization in
American history? For example "Roots", "Amistad", "Glory", "Far and Away", or
"Lincoln." What did you enjoy about them? Do you view these movies as 'historically
accurate' or pure entertainment?
*Discuss: “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller
understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face
the future.” ― Robert Penn Warren
* Have you ever travelled to areas that are rich in American history? Explain. If not,
where would you like to travel and why?
* What are your strengths as a student? What are your areas of growth that you need to
work on? How can I support you as your teacher?
* What will you contribute to the class, lessons and learning environment?
* What is the meaning of Aldous Huxley's quote: "The charm of history and its enigmatic
lesson consists in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is
completely different." Do you agree / disagree?

After checking out the interest poll the most interesting unit to me is
Unit 2, the reason being is because I would love to learn more about
the increase in democracy followed by the increase in freedoms and
rights. I do not have one special interest in American history, I just
want to learn more about it! I think it is important to study American
history just as it is important to learn about Canadian history because
being educated in something that shaped America, which is our next
door neighbour, can help people better connect with others. If I could
meet any historical figure I would want to meet George Washington
as he was the first president of the United States and he was the kick
off to making America the way it is and he also led forces to victory
throughout the American Revolution. The idea “History cannot give us a
program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our
common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” ― Robert Penn Warren
makes a lot of sense to me and is another reason why I believe
history is so important. Studying history and the world’s past can help
us now what to do in the future and what not to do by learning from
others' mistakes and how it turned out. The more people that are
aware of history and their counties/ other countries, the easier it is to
not repeat the same mistakes over again. When talking about better
facing the future this can only be done if we know and acknowledge
what was done in the past to make way for a better future. I have not
yet travelled to parts of America that have a rich history but I would
enjoy travelling to a place like New Orleans, Washington, and
Philadelphia as this would help create a better understanding of
American history and having more of a hands on feel. I believe my
strengths as a student is always being positive and trying my best in
all my courses and assignments, something I could work on as a
student is to speak up a bit more and not be as quiet when it comes
to school. As a teacher all I need as support is feedback on what I
need to work on and what I am doing well to better understand my
strengths vs. what needs to be worked on. I am hoping to contribute a
positive attitude in discussions along with asking questions when I
need help and working in groups if ever asked and completing my
part on time and well. Lastly I agree with Aldous Huxley's statement
that ‘nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.’ as
even though we can study history and try and change things to make
them different we can still make mistakes and things happen. I am
very excited to learn more about American history this semester!