(507) 477-3235 9 Sixth Ave SE, Hayfield, MN 55940

Vince Reynolds

American History Teacher

American History 9

2023 Syllabus

Course Description

This course is the first half of the American History series offered by Hayfield High School.  The course will cover pre-Columbian America through Westward expansion and the rise of industry.  We will discover the impact Europeans had on the Native American population of the continent and how the Native Americans influenced the European cultures.  We will also see the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the resulting War of Independence gave birth to the world’s first truly representative government. The struggle between the roles of the federal and state governments in the newly established federal system will result in the Civil War once and for all completing the great American Revolution.  We will conclude the year with the transformation of the nation from a remote agrarian society to a manufacturing and economic contender on the world stage.

Course Outcomes

Students will have a working understanding of the major events and patterns of development in American history.  Understanding the relevance of the past will give them greater perspective on the events of today. This course will also incorporate State of Minnesota Graduations Standards for Social Studies.

What Students Should Know and Understand

This course is designed to give the students an understanding of the events which have made the United States the country is it today; but more importantly, the events that have made us, the American people, the people we are today.

Instructional Strategies

Students will spend their time in class doing a variety of activities.  There will be times that the students will be participating in small group projects, large group discussions, and individual learning activities.  I feel that it is important the students have as many opportunities as possible to interact with the material being covered.

Assessment Strategies

There will be many different types of assessments given in the course.  Daily work and homework will be given from time to time to check student progress through the material.  Tests will be given at the end of chapter and units to assess the students’ comprehension of the material. 


Students will be faced with a variety of work to complete in this course such as discussion/lecture, small group activities, projects, and research projects.

Laptop Integration

The students will be able to download each chapter from the textbook from the Hayfield Moodle page.   There will be other resources and links to valuable content on the site as well.  There will be paper copies of all worksheets as well as the textbook available in the classroom.  All assignments will need to be turned in on paper. 

Real World Application

The concepts presented in this course will enable the students to better understand the world around them.  They will be able to see how past events were overcome and dealt with, which will allow them to make educated decisions about similar circumstances the students may experience in the course of their own lives. 

Classroom Policies

Students are expected to attend class every day on time with the appropriate materials.  Food and beverages will not be allowed except under special circumstances.  Respect will be given to and demanded from all individuals within the classroom including classmates, staff, substitutes, guests. 

Cellphone Policies

Cell phones will be stored in the cell phone pocket holder during the class period unless specified by the teacher for instructional purposes only.  Earbuds and smart watches are also not allowed.  Violation of this policy will result in the confiscation on the device. See Student/Parent Handbook for complete policies. 


Attendance for the class is required. Make-up work must be made-up within two (2) days of the absence.  It is the student’s responsibility to gather and complete assignments missing.  Test dates will be determined by the progression of the class.  If an absence is determined to be unexcused, any assignment, test, our quiz will be given zero credit without the ability to retake.  See Student/Parent Handbook for complete attendance policies. 


Hayfield High School has implemented the Grading for Learning policy.  The course grades will be weighted 25% on formative assessments (daily work and worksheets) and 75% on summative assessments (projects, quizzes and tests).  Grading scale is in accordance with percentages established by the district.

Grading Percentages:   

A:  94% and aboveC:  74-76%
A-:  90-93%C-:  70-73%
B+:  87-89%D+:  67-69%
B:  84-86%D:  64-66%
B-:  80-83%D-:  60-63%
C+:  77-79%F (No Credit):  0-59%

Quarter Grading:  Will be based on a combination of tests, homework, projects, and participation.

  • 75% – Summative Assessments (ex. chapter/unit tests, quizzes, projects, presentations, etc.)
  • 25% – Formative Assessments (ex. study guides, worksheets, daily checks on learning, etc.)

Semester Grading:  Will be based on a combination of the two quarters and the semester final.

  • 45% – Quarter 1 Grade
  • 45% – Quarter 2 Grade
  • 10% Semester Final Exam

Course Outline

Unit 1 – Beginnings to 1625

The First Americans, Prehistory to 1492

  • Early Peoples
  • Cities and Empires
  • North American Peoples

Exploring the Americas

  • A Changing World
  • Spain in America
  • Exploring North America

Unit 2 – Colonial Settlement 1587–1770

Colonial America

  • Early English Settlements
  • New England Colonies
  • Middle Colonies
  • Southern Colonies

The Colonies Grow

  • Life in the Colonies
  • Government, Religion, and Culture
  • France and Britain Clash
  • The French and Indian War

Unit 3 – Creating a Nation 1763–1791

Road to Independence

  • Taxation without Representation
  • Building Colonial Unity
  • A Call to Arms
  • Moving Toward Independence

The American Revolution

  • The Early Years
  • The War Continues
  • The War Moves West and South
  • The War Is Won

A More Perfect Union

  • The Articles of Confederation
  • Convention and Compromise
  • A New Plan of Government

Unit 4 – The New Republic 1789–1825

A New Nation

  • The First President
  • Early Challenges
  • The First Political Parties

The Jefferson Era

  • The Republicans Take Power
  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • A Time of Conflict
  • The War of 1812  

Growth and Expansion

  • Economic Growth
  • Westward Bound
  • Unity and Sectionalism

Unit 5 – The Growing Nation – 1820–1860

The Jackson Era

  • Jacksonian Democracy
  • Conflicts Over Land
  • Jackson and the Bank

Manifest Destiny

  • The Oregon Country
  • Independence for Texas
  • War with Mexico
  • New Settlers in California and Utah

North and South

  • The North’s Economy
  • The North’s People
  • Southern Cotton Kingdom
  • The South’s People

The Age of Reform

  • Social Reform
  • The Abolitionists
  • The Women’s Movement

Unit 6 – Civil War and Reconstruction – 1846–1896

Road to Civil War

  • Slavery and the West
  • A Nation Dividing
  • Challenges to Slavery
  • Secession and War

The Civil War

  • The Two Sides
  • Early Years of the War
  • A Call for Freedom
  • Life During the Civil War
  • The Way to Victory

Reconstruction and Its Aftermath

  • Reconstruction Plans
  • Radicals in Control
  • The South During Reconstruction
  • Change in the South

Unit 6 – Modern America Emerges – 1877–1900

Reshaping the Nation

  • The Western Frontier
  • Invention and Industry

Internet Resources

The Internet is an important source of information; however, there is a certain degree of caution, which must be used when searching the Internet for information.  There are no policies concerning what information can be put out for public decimation.  It is possible to find information that is not factual and in many cases information that serves only to advance an organization’s agenda.  The Internet sites I direct the students to are sites that I feel are appropriate for the students and are relevant to the given project.

The school has an Internet usage policy in place that all students and a parent or guardian must sign and return to the high school.  This agreement states that the student will not use the school resources to conduct illegal activities or any activities that violate school district policies.

This syllabus is subject to change without advanced warning.  All changes will be noted in class and posted on-line.