Honors American History

Honors American History (previously American History 1 and 2)
Syllabus 2021-2022

Instructor Information
Teacher: Ms. Kathy Jo Morris

Email: KMorris@jcpsmail.org

Course Description: The American History course will begin with the end of the French and Indian War (1763) and end through the latest Presidential Election (i.e. 2020, 2024, etc.) This course will explore the overarching themes, trends, and concepts of our nation’s history, including the development and evolution of the American system of government, the patterns and impact of migration and immigration, cultural development through the arts and technological innovations, relationships with foreign nations, and the role of both the individual and diverse groups in building the American story. Students in this course will be asked to investigate major turning points in American History to develop an understanding of multiple causation, to determine patterns of change and continuity, and to be able to compare multiple perspectives of the past. Rooted in Inquiry-based skills, students will trace American development while learning to craft compelling questions, synthesize and evaluate evidence, develop claims, communicate ideas, and take informed action. Students will continue to build upon previous studies of American History, the fundamental concepts in civics and government, economics, behavioral science (culture), and geography taught in grades kindergarten through eight as they examine American history. As well-rounded, productive citizens, students will leave the American History course with both the knowledge and the skills to engage with the modern world by recognizing contemporary patterns and connections. 


Course Outline: This course is new this year. In the past, it was American History 1 and American History 2. This course will cover a lot of information in a shorter period of time. With that being said, we will be on a week to week pace. Topics and information on what we are covering will be posted on Canvas.


Class Requirements:

  1. Students are to maintain a daily notebook
  2. Students are required to bring all materials to class daily
  3. Supplies needed:
    1. 3 ring binder (2-3 inch)
    2. Notebook paper
    3. Pencils/Pens
    4. Earbuds/Headphones
    5. Device

Grade Breakdown & Policy:


A = 100 – 90

B = 89 – 80

C = 79 – 70

D = 69 – 60

F = 59 – 50

Exams – 40%
Quizzes – 30%
Assignments/Classwork – 20%
Participation – 10%

*Projects may fall under quiz or test categories, depending on the assignment!
*Presentations may fall under class work or quizzes, depending on the work!
**Parents have access to PowerSchool  (Mrs. Woodring)
***Extra Credit will only be given upon formal request!

Rules and Expectations:


  • Let’s be KIND and RESPECTFUL to each other, ourselves and the classroom space
  • Cell Phones: Use responsibly and respectfully
  • Attendance: Be present, be on time, be prepared, and ready to participate!
  • Submitting Work: All assignments MUST be turned in on time!
    • Late work will not be graded; pay attention to the due dates in CANVAS Calendar
    • Tests and projects will be announced well in advance
    • All work must be submitted on CANVAS, unless told otherwise

Chapter/Weekly Quizzes: There will also be a multitude of quizzes throughout each course. Students will know about each quiz/material to be featured on the quiz ahead of time, but will not be given a review sheet. There will not be any pop-quizzes; you will know about every assessment.

Note taking: Students will be taking thorough notes during some classes. Students will be provided with an outline to follow. Note taking is a skill students will have lots of practice at in this course. It is required that all notes be organized in the following order:

  1. Unit divider with unit title on it
    2. Unit standards/objectives chart with corresponding vocabulary
    3. Class notes organized
    4. Assignments/Handouts

Vocabulary: Vocabulary is crucial for your success in this class. You have a week to two weeks to complete vocab assignments, there should not be any excuses as to why this is not completed. When defining vocabulary, you may not copy someone else’s work! All definitions can be found in your class notes and you may use the Internet. If you need help finding a word or are unsure of a definition, I will be glad to help.


1.Email is the best way to reach me. I check it often. I also prefer to contact parents through email because everyone has busy schedules, and it is not always efficient to call. Email will be the primary way I contact parents, but I will contact parents by the phone number the school has on record if needed and for those without email. It is extremely important parents have their accurate phone number and contact info on file with the school so that teachers can make contact.
2.Grades are updated in PowerSchool frequently.  Parents and students should monitor academic progress in courses using the parent/student portal in Powerschool. This is the most efficient and accurate way to see how students are doing in all classes. There is a link to do this on the school website, and a guidance counselor can assist with setting up a parent and/or student account, if needed.