I.B. History of the Americas
Course Syllabus & Requirements


I. Course Description & Objectives: The purpose of this course is to develop a greater understanding of U.S. history from its beginning to the present and selected topics in Latin American history. Upon completion of this course the student will understand principle themes in early and modern U.S. and Latin American history, major historical events, trends, and cause and effect relationships to the extent that he or she can understand and analyze current events and draw conclusions about their impact on the future. In order to attain this goal the student will be expected to read, analyze, interpret, and write effectively about history. The course is intended to prepare students for the STAAR EOC and AP US History exam at the end of the junior year and Paper 3 of the IB History HL test taken at the end of the senior year.

II. Course Outline:
First Semester
Unit 1: Exploration & Colonization (Chapters 1-4)
Unit 2*: Founding a New Nation (Chapters 5-6)
Unit 3*: Building a New Nation (Chapters 7-8)
Unit 4: National Transformation (Chapters 9-11)
Unit 5*: Manifest Destiny & Its Legacy (Chapters 12-13)
Unit 6*: Causes & Effects of the Civil War (Chapters 14-15)
Unit 7: Forging an Industrial Society (Chapters 16-18)

Second Semester
Unit 7: Forging an Industrial Society (Chapters 16-18)
Unit 8*: Entering the World Stage (Chapters 19-21)
Unit 9*: Challenges of the Modern State I (Chapters 21-22)
Unit 10*: Challenges of the Modern State II (Chapters 23-24)
Unit 11*: The Age of Liberalism (Chapters 25-28)
Unit 12: A Search for Order (Chapters 28-29)
Unit 13: The End of a Century (Chapters 30-31)

*denotes units that specifically address the IB curriculum

III. Course Requirements: Please be aware that IB courses are taught and graded at the college level; therefore the demands and expectations for this course significantly exceed those in typical high school classes. All honors classes require hard work and commitment to intellectual growth.

  1. Reading: In order to be successful it is essential that students maximize their time to complete all assigned reading. There is no substitute for reading. Students will be expected to read assigned chapters from the text in addition to supplemental readings. The required reading, along with lectures and class discussion, will figure prominently in the formal evaluation on quizzes and tests.
  2. Exams: Unit tests will consist of multiple-choice and/or essay questions and/or short answer questions. These tests will be timed and are difficult. In order to do well, students should read the chapters and study their notes. Students are expected to review their notes on a daily basis. Good note-taking skills are essential. Simply copying the PowerPoint presentations does not constitute good note-taking.
  3. Essays: Writing skills are an important part of any college level course. Basic skills will be emphasized throughout this course. Students will be expected to write clearly, concisely, and persuasively. The essays will be aligned with the IB Paper 3 expectations.
  4. Notebook: Since it is difficult to remember everything it is very important that students take and organize notes, write down assignments and due dates, and keep graded assignments. This will help in studying for tests and well-organized notebooks tend to increase class grades. Students will need a spiral notebook (at least 3 subject in size) for notes and activities. Students will also need a small pair of scissors and a glue stick (or tape or a small stapler) in order to quickly attach items in the spiral. Spirals will be checked periodically throughout the year. In addition, students may need a pocket folder for calendars, handouts, and graded assignments.

IV. Grading Procedures and Attendance:
  1. Grading Procedures: All work is due at the beginning of class and must be written in ink. All unit tests, essays, and other special projects will constitute 40% of the grading cycle average. Other assignments (including but not limited to maps, reading quizzes, document analysis questions, etc.) will constitute 45% of the grading cycle average. The required class spiral will constitute the remaining 15% of the grading cycle average. No grades are dropped. Students should plan their time wisely in order to stay current with the reading and assignments. Failure to turn in an assignment will drastically affect the overall average. Classwork and homework assignments may be turned in 3 class periods late with a 25-point penalty per class period. Research papers, special projects, and other long-term assignments can be turned in 2 class periods late with a 25-point deduction per class period. Please note that when you submit work late or refuse to complete an assignment you are choosing not to engage yourself fully in the process of learning the material. When this occurs, you may limit your ability to do well on the summative EOC, AP, and IB exams.
  2. Make-Up Work: It is imperative that students be in class. Students that are absent tend to fall behind quickly and experience a “domino effect” in the reduction of their grades. If a student is absent it is their responsibility to make up missed work. Missed assignments must be turned in by the next class period. If the student is absent on the date a homework assignment is due then the assignment will be due on the date he or she returns to class. Quizzes and tests must be made up within one week from the date of the absence. Make-up tests and quizzes may not be the exact test or quiz given in class.

V. Classroom Expectations:
  1. Be prepared and on time. Being prepared includes having a pen, paper, one’s spiral, a GISD wi-fi compatible electronic device, and any completed assignment due that day.
  2. Be ready to learn. Please come to class with an open mind. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Every student has a right to learn. Any behavior that infringes upon that right will not be tolerated.
  3. Be courteous and respectful of others’ opinions and property.
  4. All cell phones should be on silent or turned off for the duration of the class period. All cell phones and other electronic equipment, including district issued iPads, should remain stowed in a student’s purse, backpack, or pocket for the duration of the class period unless students have been given explicit permission to use devices in class. No unauthorized photos or video recordings should be taken within the classroom unless students have been given explicit permission to use the device for that purpose.
  5. No food, drink, or candy is allowed in the classroom. Water, in a closed container, is an exception.
  6. All other school rules (including dress code) established by the administration will be applied in the classroom.

VI. Miscellaneous
  1. Tutorials are after school from 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and before school from 6:55 am - 7:25 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  2. Students may email questions to makime@garlandisd.net.
  3. Students are expected to regularly check Skyward and their school-issued email address for important information and reminders.