Here is the plan for the 7th grade US History 1 we created at 276, Iany comments, criticisms, suggestions, and — oh ye librarians — ideas for books that we might use within this structure would be most welcome:
As all of you know, US History 1 is this mad dash to get to the Civil War, so US History 2 can begin with Reconstruction. One of the teachers made the brilliant suggestion that instead of beginning with the Bering Strait (more on that in a moment) we begin close to the end with the climactic moment of writing the Constitution: We The People. We frame that moment and then pose two questions to the students — who are “we the people” and how do you arrive at that moment where the laws of a nation are going to be framed by that self-definition?
i) Maps, and our students see the beginning of this story four different ways:
A. West to East (first peoples were Asians across the sea; site in Chile
supports this also a carbon dated chicken in Chile)
B. North to South (Bering Striat – traditional)
C. South to North (Spanish up through Mexico and the use of corn as the center of
Civilization, Santa Fe,)
D. East to West (traditional European, Explores, Columbus***begins to form who
we the people are)
2) Interaction of People and Places
A. Philadelphia (Quakers Mercantile), Boston (Puritans the Crucible) 1600’s, Virginia – very class based (Williamsburg and Jamestown) establishment of new places. Winners in VA women (widows) Bacon’s Rebellion argument made it was the moment when poor whites sided with rich whites
Questions: why did you come, what did you do, how did it change you? Native American efforts to fight, adapt, or leave.
B. Africans people (bring rice) becoming something new. Slave trade.
3) Clash of Empires
The seven years war France v. England
Will France rule North America by linking Canada and the Gulf of Mexico and making the English colonies marginal — part of world battle of empires.
4) Ideas, Connections and Conflicts
Run up to the Revolution
Actors of the Revolution – men who organize revolution and vote Women who weave their own fabric and stop drinking tea.
A presence of slavery makes freedom valuable to colonists (they did not want to pay taxes because they would be slaves to England)
Toleration – why necessary? Religions toleration William Penn, Roger Williams. Political Ideas, Abolition and Suffrage
5) Conflict of Ideas –
Who are The People — slavery; women; class — each being fought out from Federalist, anti-Federalist debates through Constitution 3/5 clause and into new nation; definition new immigration by being “white’ not by religion; Haitian revolt; Louisiana Purchase; Mexican War (thus Hispanics); Irish immigration
Opening of religious lines and hardening of racial lines
Lincoln Douglas debates: Douglas argues people should be able to decide rules for themselves (one sense of We the People); Lincoln says some ideas are so wrong no common agreement should make them possible (different sense of We the People) .
** ELA theme outsiders
Who are we questions – debates of what makes us what rules do we set,