7th American History Thematic Curriculum

What follows is the 7th U.S. Thematic History curriculum from Flint Hill School, courtesy of Katie Knicely, 7th History teacher and Flint Hill School.  This new curriculum was written and implemented by Mrs. Knicely in the 2014-2015 School year.


  • Summative Assessment Options:

    • **Option 1:

      • “Traditional” Test (Short Answer, Scaffolding Multiple Choice, ID, Picture Analysis)

        • Skills assessed

          • ID’s (Scaffolding MC, Short Answer)

            • Republic

            • Democracy

            • Bill of Rights

            • Citizenship

            • Branches of Government

          • Summarizing/Main Idea (Short Answer)

            • Quote Analysis/Reading Passage/Picture Analysis

          • Digital Notebook

            • Used during test preparation

    • Option 2:

      • Mars Attacks Project (students recreate the gov’t using the Constitution)

        • Skills assessed:

          • ID’s

            • Branches of Government

            • Republic

            • Democracy

            • Citizenship

          • Summarizing/Main Idea

            • Demonstrated via project write-up & presentation

          • Digital Notebook

            • Used as a resource for project


  • Unit 2:  Leadership in our Nation - October

    • Skills: Finding and analyzing sources, Citing sources

    • Terms:  Conservative, Liberal, Radical, Leadership, Cabinet, Partisan,

    • Essential Questions:

      • How has the role President in the United States evolved throughout our history?

        • Washington (revered yet simple/exactly what was needed), Lincoln (simple yet politically brilliant and involved people), FDR (simple yet overcame SO much and involved people), Reagan (simple and “sold” his leadership well, global)

      • Explain how various political philosophies (i.e. laissez faire, conservative, liberal, radical, etc.) have impacted United States history.  

        • NOTE: Isolationism/Imperialism will be introduced later in the year as political philosophies

      • What is the role of citizen leaders in our nation?

        • Start protest thread here?

      • How does our leadership factor into our national identity?

    • Other Resources:  

    • Unit may include:   Tandem work with librarian regarding research/citation tools, Examination of the current election process, 100 Days judgement, Current examples of leadership in the nation

    • Formative Assessments:  Open Notebook Quizzes, Current Events Posts*, Presidential Case Studies

    • Summative Assessment Options:

      • Option 1:

        • Traditional Comparison of Sources (Students will be given a number of different sources related to the Presidency and will need to determine the reliable vs. unreliable and then creating proper citations for the reliable)

          • Skills assessed:

            • Finding/analyzing sources - Students will examine various sources for validity/reliability

            • Citing sources - Students will create citations for the sources deemed valid/reliable

      • **Option 2:

        • In Their Words:  The American Presidency (Students will be assigned a President and must research to create the story of the man in their own words)

          • Skills assessed:

            • Finding/analyzing sources - Small research component to find quotes/context

            • Citing sources - Use tools (i.e. BibMe/NoodleTools/etc) to properly cite sources for quotes

        • NOTE:   The actual assessment for this unit ended up being a Leadership Project where they took the leadership traits we discussed and applied them to a person/leader and created a Leadership museum to them using Prezi & Aurasma.



EXAM - IDs, citing basics, source analysis, essay


  • Unit 4:  Struggle for Equality: African Americans & Minorities - January/beginning of February

    • Skills: Analytical writing (essays)

    • Terms:  Slavery, Racism, Discrimination, Plessy vs. Ferguson, Brown vs. Board, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Segregation, Reservations,

    • Tie to Freedom/Leadership:  4th Amendment, 13-15 Amendments, Self Help (civic leadership), Open Disobedience (civic leadership), Presidential views on equality (Jackson, Lincoln, Johnson, FDR, Kennedy)




  • Unit 7:  War & Peace at Home and Abroad - April

    • Skills:  Continued development of above with a focus on research (ATWELL)

    • Terms:  Isolationism, Imperialism, Diplomatic War vs. Battlefield War, Propaganda, WWI, WWII, Cold War, Vietnam

    • Tie to Foundation/Leadership:  Role of the leader on the homefront, Conflict philosophies (imperialism, isolationism, etc), Anti-war protests (civic leadership), Diplomacy

    • Essential Questions:

      • How has the justification for war changed throughout United States History?  

      • How has the United States become a global superpower through its involvement in various conflicts?

      • In what ways has war impacted our society and economy?

      • How does the United States’ involvement in wars factor into our national identity?



  • Unit 8:  Research Paper - May

    • Skills:  Finding/Analyzing Sources, Citing Sources, Thesis Development, Argumentation, Analytical Writing


*Please note that current event posts will be bi-weekly and students will be finding current news articles which are related to the current unit being studied.  


**Preferred Assessment

  • Unit 1: Traditional Test - This is what they are used to, can prepare, less stress, good way to assess basics like ID’s.

  • Unit 2: Project - By using this project, we can have the kids create context for their sources/citations and get used to using them in action as opposed to just being able to repeat the requirements of a good source or correct citation.  

  • Unit 3: Writing using Prompts - Immediately before mid-term exams, this will give me the opportunity to workshop with each student so they can have detailed feedback before their exam which will be mostly (if not all) writing/analysis.

  • Unit 4: Project - Students can take ownership over their quote choices, incorporate technology skills, while still honing their analytical skills.  

  • Unit 5: Undecided on preferred method

  • Unit 6: Project - This is a good time to refresh/reiterate/etc citations and sources before the final research paper is introduced.  

  • Unit 7: Traditional - Just to check in on the skills not directly assessed on the research paper

  • Unit 8:  Research Paper -


Good Tools to Remember:





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