Honors US History Syllabus

Honors United States History

Teacher:  Mr. Michael Macatangay

Email Address:  mmacatangay@musd.org

Honors United States History is a year-long course that offers a chronological and thematic approach to the study  of the history of the United States, with an emphasis on identifying major trends and developments. Students will become familiar with significant events, people, and documents in our history, while developing the specific academic skills that make up historiography. Students will gain experience in reading college-level  texts, examining and analyzing primary sources, comparing and analyzing historical interpretations and perspectives, and synthesizing their learning in well-developed essays and individual and group presentations.  

Course Textbooks and Supplementary Materials 

Primary Textbook 

US History: The American Vision - Modern Times Glencoe McGraw Hill 

Reading the American Past, Volume 1: To 1877 

Supplementary Textbooks 

Alan Brinkley. American History: A Survey; 12th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007) 

David M. Kennedy & Lizabeth Cohen. The American Spirit, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, 11th ed. (Boston: Houghton  Mifflin Co., 2006) 

James Loewen. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. (New  York: Simon & Schuster, 2007) 

Alan Taylor. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. (London: Penguin Books, 2002) 

In addition to the above texts, students will read assorted primary source documents, view powerpoint  presentations & video clips, listen to audio clips, and explore text and online resources

Course Outline 

Historical Thinking Skills Themes  

1. Historical Causation • Identity (ID) 

2. Continuity & Change Over Time • Work, Exchange & Technology (WXT) 

3. Periodization • Peopling (PEO) 

4. Comparison • Politics & Power (POL) 

5. Contextualization • America in the World (WOR)  

6. Historical Argumentation • Environment & Geography (ENV) 

7. Use of Historical Evidence • Ideas, Beliefs, & Culture (CUL) 

8. Interpretation 

9. Synthesis 

Required Materials

You must bring to EVERY class the following items:

1)  Your school-issued Chromebook, fully charged

2)     General Note + Reading Notes + All other assignments

3)  A pen and a pencil

4)  Any assignments that are due or are currently a work in progress

5)  Recommended—Paper, markers, crayons, or color pencils



Final grades will consist of the following components:

1)  Work Packets: 10%

2)    Reading/Content Quizzes 20%

2)  Stimulus Based Short Answer: 20%

3)  Written Exams: 20%

4)  Essays and Projects: 20%

5)  Final Exam: 10%


Classroom Policies

Chromebook Use

We will use our Chromebooks in class nearly everyday. You need to bring your Chromebook to class everyday fully charged. You will not be allowed to charge your device or leave your device in my classroom for any reason. We will be using Google Classroom mostly for in-class assignments and activities. Please be respectful of our Google Classroom and of your Chromebook; make sure to use these for educational purposes only.


Make-up Work 

Work must be completed in this course.  If a packet is incomplete, students will not be permitted to take the exam until it is complete.  If a student misses a test or quiz, they will make up the test the following class day.  


Test and Quiz Retakes

Students will be allowed to retake unit tests if they are not satisfied with their original scores. In order to retake a test, a student must sign up for the retake.  If the student fails to show up or feels unready to take the retake, they forfeit their opportunity for that test.  Students can expect the retake question to be 50% to 100% different from the original test.  



Classroom Expectations

What you can expect from me as your teacher:

1)  I will come prepared and ready to teach every day.

2)  I will create a challenging learning experience for all students.

3)  I will not know all the answers (hey, I’m not perfect!), but I will try to find the answer as soon as possible.

4)  I will treat you with respect as individuals.


What I expect of you as students:

1)  To treat me and, especially, your fellow students with respect.

a.  This includes listening to others while they talk, contributing to class in a positive manner, and refraining from doing or saying anything that will make someone else feel uncomfortable or offended.

2)  To come on time and be prepared for class.

3)  To be ready to actively participate in class and be willing to learn.


Parents, you can help your student be successful by asking about classroom activities, reviewing material in the texts, checking their grades online, and, if needed, monitoring your student’s homework planner.  I look forward to a productive and enjoyable year with your student and hope to see you at Back-to-School Night.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at mmacatangay@musd.org