Friday, May 11, 2012

Final Project: Facebook History of the Civil War

Final Project Description
Tell the story of the American Civil War in a facebook format. On the day of your history final, you will have an opportunity to share your project with classmates and compete for awards (most historically accurate, funniest, best pop culture references, etc.). Your project must be professional in appearance (produced electronically).

Your project should demonstrate a deep familiarity with and understanding of the events, ideas, and people involved in the American Civil War.  This includes events leading up to the Civil War, the war itself, and the aftermath of the war.
Your project must include the following:
  1. Slavery’s roots (i.e., Jamestown, Constitutional Convention, Whitney’s cotton gin)
  2. Roots of state vs. national sovereignty (i.e., Great Compromise in the Constitutional Convention, Kentucky Resolutions, McCulloch v. Maryland, Andrew Jackson’s Nullification Crisis)
  3. Character(s) from Huckleberry Finn or Mark Twain
  4. Missouri Compromise
  5. Compromise of 1850
  6. Personal liberty laws
  7. Kansas-Nebraska Act
  8. Brooks canes Sumner
  9. New Political Parties emerge
  10. Dred Scott
  11. John Brown
  12. Election of 1860
  13. Secession and the creation of the Confederacy
  14. Fort Sumter
  15. Anaconda plan
  16. Bull Run
  17. McClellan
  18. Shiloh
  19. Farragut
  20. Ironclads
  21. New weapons (i.e., Minié ball, rifles, long-range artillery, rear-loading firearms)
  22. Antietam
  23. The Trent Affair
  24. Emancipation Proclamation
  25. Copperheads
  26. 54th Massachusetts
  27. Clara Barton
  28. Wartime governmental actions (i.e., suspension of habeas corpus, conscription, income tax)
  29. Gettysburg (Killer Angels)
  30. Vicksburg
  31. Sherman’s March
  32. Appomattox
  33. Economic and human costs of the Civil War
  34. Thirteenth Amendment
  35. John Wilkes Booth

In addition to these events, you may include other events/people you think are significant.

Grading Criteria
Sequential:         Posts relating to the events should be in correct sequence and dates should reflect the chronology.
Accurate:             Information presented should be historically accurate and reflect an understanding of the significance of events and the people involved.
Complete:           All 35 events should be addressed.
Connected:        Posts should have comments showing how various individuals respond to each other and to historical developments.
Clever:                  Comments and posts should be fun. Historical figures and even people from pop culture should respond to each other in witty ways.
Appropriate:      Humor should be appropriate.
Professional:      The final product should be produced electronically.  Print a copy to bring to class the day of the final exam.  The following web application will allow you to recreate the facebook format:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Huck Finn Essay Ideas

  • ·         Interpret Twain’s warning at the beginning of the novel.
  • ·         How does Huck overcome Southern bad faith?
  • ·         Are Huck and Jim friends? Explore their relationship. Are Tom and Huck friends?
  • ·         What is the novel saying about slavery? In what ways is Huck a slave? Why is that significant?
  • ·         Explore leadership and power and bad faith.
  • ·         Autobiographical reading of the novel
  • ·         Honor—How is the book a satire on Southern culture?
  • ·         Death—why is the book seemingly obsessed with it?
  • ·         Tom Sawyer vs. Huck Finn: romantic vs. realist; Huck and Jim; King & Duke; Pap?; Sherburn; Emmeline Grangerford; Don Quixote
  • ·         Is the book a story of innocence lost? (Garden of Eden?) Innocence never had?
  • ·         Explore family in the novel. Jim’s family, Pap, families along the river, Widow?, etc.
  • ·         How does the reader engage in bad faith with Twain? (Jim and Huck friends?)
  • ·         Is the book meant to be funny? Is it funny? If so, why is it funny? Is the book a comedy or a tragedy? Does it fit Twain’s idea of a comic or humorous story? (From his essay “How to Tell a Story”
  • ·         Do a psychoanalytic reading of Twain through the novel.
  • ·         Or psychoanalyze a character.
  • ·         Explore the role of bad faith in the novel.
  • ·         Explore the idea of escaping civilization in the novel.
  • ·         What the reader infers from the novel, and what that says about the book’s popularity.
  • ·         Explore Huck and Jim’s relationship.
  • ·         Compare and contrast the various pranks/scams/deceptions in the novel.
  • ·         Explore the role of superstition and religion (Christianity in the antebellum South) in the novel.
  • ·         Why the reference to Shakespeare?
  • ·         Explore race relations in the novel.
  • ·         King and the Duke—Why does Huck become a slave to them? Is Huck a slave in other ways?
  • ·         Is Huck a hero? Who is heroic? Jim? Does this novel fit the heroic cycle?
  • ·         How does Huck change through the novel?
  • ·         The white suit and hypocrisy in the novel? Whited sepulchers—how is this novel itself a whited sepulcher?
  • ·         Analyze the Sherburn incident.  What is Twain saying about “average-ness”? What is Twain saying about majorities? Cowardice?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chapters 7 & 8 Study Guide

Chapters 7 & 8 Study Guide

How did the Industrial Revolution contribute to the growing sectionalism in the United States?
What were the consequences of the invention of the cotton gin?
Describe Henry Clay’s American System.  What was it? How was it supposed to  help the nation overcome sectionalism?
John Quincy Adams
Adams-Onís Treaty
What was the Monroe Doctrine? What motivated it? What role did the British play in its creation?
What motivated the Missouri Compromise?  Who promoted it?
Andrew Jackson
                Election of 1828
                Democratic Party
                Spoils system
                Indian policy:
                                Washington’s intended policy of treaties
                                Jackson’s policy of removal (Indian Removal Act of 1830)
                Trail of Tears
                The Bank War
                Jacksonian Democracy
What were the trends in the slave population of the South?
Who were the key leaders of the abolition movement? How did they disseminate their ideas?
In what ways did slaves resist slavery?
What was the Second Great Awakening? Describe the unique religious practices and beliefs of the following:
  • ·         Seventh-Day Adventists
  • ·         Christian Scientists
  • ·         Methodists
  • ·         Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • ·         Shakers

How did immigration reshape America’s workforce during the first half of the 19th century?
How did employers and the law respond to workers’ strikes?
Describe working and living conditions for girls at the Lowell Mills.
Who were the key leaders of the feminist movement and what role did they play?  What was the relationship between the feminist movement and other reforms (abolition and temperance)?
What was the Seneca Falls Convention? What was the Declaration of Sentiments?
What was McCulloch v. Maryland about? In Part I of the decision, the Supreme Court explains why the people are sovereign and not the states.  What is the reasoning for this? In Part II, the Supreme Court interprets the meaning of the “necessary and proper” clause because it is trying to determine whether the Bank of the United States is constitutional.  Explain the Court’s argument about the meaning of the “necessary and proper” clause.
Explain the mudsill theory. Why does Hammond argue the North is in a more precarious situation than the South?
What specific evidence does Frederick Douglass give to overturn misconceptions about slavery? Give several examples.
Understand the arguments in favor of slavery put forward by Thomas Dew.
Be able to interpret passages from Walden.
What is the proper role of books, according to Emerson? What is the relationship between thought and action, according to Emerson? What is nature?
Explain the concept of the Oversoul.

Identify the following:
Martin Van Buren
Whig Party
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Henry Clay
John C. Calhoun
Sojourner Truth
Lucretia Mott
Sarah and Angelina Grimké
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Nat Turner
Gag rule
William Lloyd Garrison
Frederick Douglass
Henry David Thoreau
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Charles Grandison Finney
Brook Farm

Monday, January 23, 2012

Political Parties Paper (Explanatory Writing)

The first American political parties emerged during Washington’s first term as president.  Since then, the United States has seen political parties come and go, but always with two dominant political parties.  The current two party system has dominated American government since the 1850s.  Your job is to write a clear and accurate explanation of the key differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Maeser Seniors will be graduating at the end of the semester.  Many will be registering to vote for the first time and deciding whether to join a political party.  Many of the Seniors either do not know much about the political parties or have been misinformed by biased sources.  Your paper will help provide an unbiased explanation of the key differences between the parties.  The Seniors may not understand much yet about the U.S. party system, but they want to be educated and conversant in the topic.
Use examples, analogies, similes, and/or metaphors that will help make the differences between the two political parties clear to Seniors.

Appropriate Voice
  • Formal and objective
  • Use political jargon appropriately.  You will need to define and use terms such as the following:
    •  Political spectrum, center-left, center-right, liberalism, conservativism, libertarian, progressive, social liberalism/conservativism, etc.

Other Specifications
  • MLA formatting required
  • Length: 500-600 words (include word count in MLA heading after the date)
  • Include a graphic (table or figure) to help Seniors understand the political parties.  Cite the table using appropriate MLA conventions.
  • Use headings to help your reader follow the organization of your paper.

Due Date: Wednesday, February 1

Thursday, December 8, 2011

History Final Study Guide

11th Grade Final Exam Study Guide

Chapter 1: Three Worlds Meet

Leif Erikson
Queen Isabella/King Ferdinand
Prince Henry “The Navigator”
Amerigo Vespucci
Ponce de Leon
De Soto

Iberian Peninsula
Bering Straight
Bahamas (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti)

1492 (3 events in Spain)
22,000 years ago (in the Americas)
10,000-5,000 years ago (in the Americas)
3,000 years ago (in the Americas)

Triangular trade route
Columbian Exchange
Treaty of Tordesillas
Motives/Roots of Exploration
Protestant Reformation
Technological advances
Rise of the merchant class/urban life

Chapter 2: The American Colonies Emerge

Puritan separatists
Anne Hutchinson
John Smith
John Winthrop
Roger Williams
William Penn
William Bradford

Chesapeake Bay
Massachusetts Bay Colony
New Netherland
13 Colonies (Names and locations)
3 colonial regions (Which colonies are in each?)

Jamestown settled 1607
Plymouth Plantation 1620

Bacon’s Rebellion
Pequot War
King Philip’s War (Metacom)

“Model of Christian Charity” (Explain the “City Upon a Hill” concept.)
 “Starving Time” at Jamestown
First African laborers
Indentured servants
Headright System
Virginia Company

Chapter 3:The Colonies Come of Age

King Charles II
King James II
Sir Edmund Andros
William and Mary
Jonathan Edwards
Benjamin Franklin
George Washington

New France
Ohio Valley
Appalachian Mountains
Ohio River
Mississippi River

French and Indian War (1756-1763)
Glorious Revolution
The Great Awakening
French and Indian War
George Washington at Fort Necessity, Fort Duquesne

Mercantilism (How does it define wealth? How should a government promote a nation’s wealth? What role do colonies play in accumulating wealth?)
Navigation Acts
Dominion of New England
Salutary neglect
Cash crop
Triangular Trade
Middle Passage
Slave resistance and coping strategies
Compare and contrast Southern and Northern colonial culture
Proclamation of 1763
Sugar Act

Chapters 4: The War for Independence

George Washington
John Adams
Abigail Adams
Samuel Adams
John Hancock
King George III
Paul Revere, William Dawes, Samuel Prescott
Thomas Paine
Friedrich von Steuben
Marquis de Lafayette
Charles Cornwallis
John Locke

American Revolution (1775-1781)
Declaration of Independence (1776)
Boston “Massacre”
Boston Tea Party
Concord & Lexington
Battle of Bunker Hill
Loyalists/patriots (motivations for selecting sides)
Valley Forge

Stamp Act
Declaratory Act
Townshend Acts
Committees of Correspondence
Intolerable Acts
Second Continental Congress (accomplishments)
Common Sense
Olive Branch Petition
Declaration of Independence
Social contract
Treaty of Paris

Chapter 5: Shaping a New Nation

George Washington
James Madison
Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton
Benjamin Franklin
Roger Sherman

Separation of powers (3 branches and bicameral congress)
Checks and balances
Liberty (freedom + security)
Human predicament cycle
Articles of Confederation (Why were they insufficient?)
Slave Trade Compromise
Great Compromise
Three-Fifths Compromise
Bill of Rights

Essay Questions

  1. In what ways was mercantilism responsible for the American Revolution?
  2. What were the unique accomplishments and failures of the American Revolution and Founding? Consider ways in which the American Revolution was evolutionary. Compare and contrast with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
  3. How is “The Declaration of Independence” a liberal document and “The Constitution” a conservative document?  How does their partnership establish liberty?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Culture of Liberty Writing Assignment & Final Exam

Please prepare an essay to enter in the Being An American Essay Contest (  Not only is this an opportunity to win a little money ($1000), but it is also an opportunity to prepare to be an educated citizen as you enter college.

  1. For class, format your essay using MLA guidelines.
  2. Your essay should be 750-1000 words in length.  Please indicate the word count in the heading of your paper.
  3. Please use the student resource page ( to access the Founding Principles List, the scoring rubric, and daily news headlines link.  To see samples of winning papers from previous contests, please use the following link (
  4. In addition to using primary source documents considered in class, you will need to research some of your own.  Please include an MLA formatted Works Cited Page following your essay.
  5. Your essay will be graded using two rubrics: the contest rubric which focuses on your ideas and the six traits rubric which focuses on your writing. Please have multiple people review your writing and use their feedback to improve before turning in the assignment. This assignment is worth 200 points.
  6. On the day of the final exam, you will be presenting your writing to your peers.  Please prepare to read aloud1-2 of your strongest paragraphs from the essay.
  7. Because these essays are being submitted for a contest, they must be flawless in terms of editing.Your essay must be submitted to the contest before the day of your language arts final exam.