I. Course Description

Comprehensive American Studies II, a graduation requirement for all students at Salem High School, is a full year survey course which encompasses American literature, history, and geography from approximately 1850 to the present. The units are presented in chronological order, beginning with a brief review of American Studies I content. Unlike most other courses offered here, this course is team taught by both a History and an English teacher. Thus, students who are successful and earn a passing grade will receive both their junior year English and History credit.

II. Learning Expectations

In this course students will address many of Salem High School’s learning expectations.  Students will be able to understand and apply social studies concepts of history, geography, and government.  Students will be able to read and comprehend a variety of sources, will be able to communicate using a variety of methods, and will be able to write for a variety of purposes.  Students will also be able to apply self-management skills, use different strategies for decision making and problem solving, and will be able to work effectively with others.

III. Teaching Methods

A wide range of techniques will be used to illustrate the content of the course. Among the teaching methods utilized will be lectures, cooperative assignments, class discussions, role-playing, and technology based resources such as film, PowerPoint presentations, and internet research.

IV. Grading/Assessment

Throughout this course there will be a variety of assessment techniques used, including traditional tests, quizzes, cooperative projects, oral presentations, and individual papers, including a major research paper and other shorter writing assignments.  Final average will be determined as follows: 

Quarter One




Quarter Two




Quarter Three




Quarter Four




V. Classroom Policies

Late papers are counted as half credit for a short paper or 10 points a day for a major writing assignment.  Students who are absent on the day of a class presentation, must turn in a paper telling us what their contribution to the project was before we will give them their share of the group grade.  It is the responsibility of the student to have materials sent in if they are going to be absent on the day of a presentation.  As per Salem High School policy, work or exams missed due to an absence must be completed within five school days.  This policy does not apply to work assigned prior to the absence or due on the day of the absence.  This work is due immediately upon the student’s return to school.

VI. Extra-Help Opportunities

Due to the large class size, students must take responsibility for makeup work and requesting extra-help.  Both instructors are available before and after school by appointment.  If a student is out for an extended period of time, refer to the unit syllabus for daily activities or assignments.