History Odyssey - American (Level 3) Student Guide
Too often high school American history is mind-numbingly dull; or it is heavily slanted politically, religiously, and/or culturally. American History Odyssey is unlike any other. It is an academically rigorous, in-depth course that aims to encourage students to interact with history holistically and critically. Students are introduced to both the commendable and the disappointing in Americas history, aiming to teach them how to think about the past, rather than what to think.Unlike typical American history courses, gives students the access and the tools to practice historical and analytical skills in the most interesting, engaging, and interactive way.
American History Odyssey examines important turning points in our history from Native Americans before European contact to the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement to the impact of technology and the arts on America, and so much more.Through the authors original sweeping narratives and online textbook readings, students learn the foundation of American history. Then they apply what they have learned with analysis of a multitude of primary sources, the reading of important literature, essay writing, presentations, geography mapping, tests, and projects.
American History Odyssey level three is a student guide that provides step by step lessons to teach American history from the late 15th century to the beginning of the 21st century. AHO Level 3 was written to be used independently by students with the parent/teacher assisting when necessary with lessons and assessing the students completed work. Due to the complexity and enormity of AHO Level 3, we highly recommend the American History Odyssey Teacher Guide.
The Teacher Guide provides extensive assistance with tackling the literature readings and critical thinking assignments found in AHO3. The Teacher Guide also provides scheduling and planning for each of the nine units, learning goals and objectives, unit exams and answer keys, essay and research paper writing assistance, grading rubrics, group suggestions, and map answer keys.
Literature and writing instructions and assignments found in the course include designing research questions, art and political cartoon/advertisement analysis, developing a thesis statement, composing a research paper, How to Write an Essay, persuasive writing, literary and poetry analysis, conducting interviews, presenting oral reports and presentations, and historical and geographical analysis in American literature.
Critical thinking with history studies found in this course include project-based history learning; identification of connections and cause/effect relationships; evaluation of the validity and type of history sources; analysis of historical documents; detailed evaluation of wars, conflicts, and regimes; in-depth study of various political doctrines; and identification of connections between geography and history through extensive map work.
This course includes:
- 17 American history blackline maps
- Unit exams
- American History Odyssey Teacher Guide
- Primary resources and literature excerpts
- 167 detailed lessons covering:
- Literature readings
- 17 Original history overviews
- Map work
- Writing assignments
High School Credits: If you choose to follow the AHO curriculum closely, you can award your student the following credits: One credit for high school History, half to two-thirds credit high school English (supplement with additional writing instruction and grammar work for a full credit of high school English), half credit for high school Geography
Students will be reading through selected sections from this online textbook: Digital History www.digitalhistory.uh.edu (Mintz, S., & McNeil, S., 2016. Digital History. Retrieved 2016).
The majority of literature read while completing this course are in the form of excerpts found in the student guide. The following books and videos must be obtained aside from this course. Students may use any original, unabridged online version, eBook, or print edition of the books. Some of the literature can be read free online through Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org):
Imagine a classically-based history course where your child reads great history books and period-related literature, keeps a running timeline of the period studied, writes outlines and summaries of important people and events, completes history-related map work, and does all of this without extensive planning on mom's part. Although it may sound too good to be true, luckily for you it's not! Author Kathleen Desmarais has done an awesome job of combining an excellent variety of resources and activities and presenting it all in a very straight-forward, professional way that takes the stress of lesson planning off of you and puts the accountability and expectations squarely on your history student.
History Odyssey is basically a series of study guides, with one guide covering one era of history (Ancients, Middle Ages, Early Modern, or Modern) in one year. There are three levels to the program, so if you completed the whole series, you would cycle through world history three times - once in elementary, once in middle school, and once in high school education. The first level is intended for grades 1-4, the second level for grades 5-8, and the third level for grades 9-12. There will be twelve guides when the series is complete; currently, there are still several guides in production. The guides are loose-leaf and 3-hole punched, designed to be placed in a binder. You'll probably want a thick one; students will be adding a lot of material!
Although the same eras in history are covered in each level, the expectations on the student become more sophisticated, following the classical education progression. In Level 1 (the grammar stage), students are encouraged to approach history as a great story as they read (or are read to) and complete map work, History Pockets activities, copywork, and coloring pages. This level will require more attention from the parent than the two upper levels. Depending on the reading ability of the child, some reading selections may need to be read aloud or read together. There will also be copies to make and supplies to gather for each lesson. Level 2 (the logic stage) introduces the timeline, outlining as a writing skill, research, and independent writing assignments. Students are expected to read all assignments on their own, and critical thinking and analysis are emphasized through the assignments. Parental involvement should be reduced at this level, as parents should be only checking the quality of each day's work and making sure that it has all been done. By Level 3 (the rhetoric stage), students will be reading much more demanding history selections (including classic literature) and will be writing plenty of expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive essays. Research, timeline work, and map work are continued from Level 2 but are more in-depth at this level. For each level, history, geography, and writing are strongly represented. Although the writing practice is extensive, you will probably want to be using a separate course in English and writing.
Now that you're familiar with the basics of the course, let's look at the lessons. Lessons are presented to the student in a checklist-type format. All assignments, including reading, timeline, writing, and others are listed for each lesson with a box to check when the task is complete. In Level 1, lessons are structured a bit differently, in that there is some parent preparation (highlighted in gray), a "main lesson" of assignments, and then several "additional activities" listed. Lessons typically include a mix of readings from resource books, map work, timeline work (in the upper two levels), and writing assignments/copywork to be added to the student's master binder. Exceptions may be lessons which ask the student to begin reading a required book. In this case, a recommended time frame is given in which the book should be read, and follow-up writing assignments may be listed. Occasionally websites may be listed to check out more information, but these are not absolutely necessary to the course if you are not able to visit them. Following the lessons, you'll find worksheets referred to in the lessons, outline maps used in map activities, and several appendices. Although the guide is not reproducible, the author does give permission to copy the maps and worksheets for your family's use only.
There are several important aspects of this course. First of all, with the exception of Level 1, there is little parent preparation. A "Letter to Parents" at the beginning of the guide explains the course, while the "How to Use This Guide" lists required resources and other necessary supplies, describes the organization of the student's binder, and briefly discusses several aspects of the program. For the upper two levels, parents will be primarily making sure the necessary books and resources are on hand and ensuring that each lesson's work has been done and is complete. This leads to my next point, which is that at the end of this course, the student will not have "completed a workbook," but will have compiled their own meaty notebook with all their work from the course. Instruction is given at the very beginning of the course on how to organize the student's notebook, and from that point on, the student will be putting all of their work into the binder. The binder will be not only a tremendous keepsake but a collection of all work done in the course. Finally, the timeline is a very important tool used in Levels 2 and 3 of History Odyssey. This can be made by you, or you may choose to purchase Pandia Press's very attractive Classical History Timeline, which is described below. Events and people studied are added to the timeline throughout the course, and when they're finished with the guide, the timeline can be folded up and included in the student's binder.
One bonus to the course is that they use well-known resources and literature that you may already own! Level 1 heavily uses Story of the World books, A Child's History of the World and History Pockets. My sample of Middle Ages Level 2 lists the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Story of Mankind, Usborne Internet-Linked Viking World, The Door in the Wall, Tales from Shakespeare, Beowulf: A New Telling, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Castle (by David Macaulay), The Canterbury Tales, and many more. Check out the lists of resources beneath each History Odyssey Guide below - I'm sure you'll see many familiar