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International Baccalaureate

Grade 12 HL and SL: History of the Americas

Patrick Henry High School         2010-2011

Teacher: Chad Owen
: 321
Phone: 612-722-0145 (home) or 612-998-3190 (cell)

Course Description
This course is designed to provide students with a wide-ranging sense of global historical events of the past 100 years. Students will be expected to study, interpret, and analyze an extensive amount of historical research. Students will also be expected to conduct their own historical investigation during the course.


Course Objectives
Understanding of the complexities, importance, and relevance of history will be stressed in the course.

Skills in the areas of historical interpretation (both analysis and synthesis) as well as research and writing skills will be developed throughout the course.

Participation is essential for successful understanding of this class and its assignments. Therefore, regular and prompt attendance, participation in class activities and discussion, and completion of homework and group assignments are the keys to success in the course. Participation will count as 10% of the final grade.

Grading and Assignments
The Grading Scale is:

A  =  94-100%

A-  = 90-93.9%


B+  = 88-89.9%

B  =  84-87.9%

B-  = 80-83.9%

C+ =  78-79.9%

C  =  74-77.9

C-  = 69.8-73.9%

D+  = 68-69.9%

D   = 64-67.9%      

D-  = 60-63.9%

F    59.9% & below 



Students will be made aware what is involved and expected to achieve each of these scores through rubrics and checklists for all assignments. Students will also be informed of their progress on a weekly basis. Grading will include daily assignments, homework, projects, and tests/quizzes.

Late Work
Unless there is a prior agreement with the instructor, all class work is due by the end of the day on the scheduled due date.

§         Assignments submitted one day late will receive an automatic 50% deduction.

§         No assignments will be accepted more than one day late.


Students who will be absent for excused or foreseen reasons must notify the instructor before the absence and turn in the assigned work before their absence, or the late policy will apply.


Students who turn in late work due to an excused absence should attach a note that includes the reason for absence and a telephone number with their parent or guardian’s daytime phone number. Failure to do so will result in the above late policy applying.

Absence Policy
Make up work will not be accepted for an unexcused absence. It is the student’s responsibility for asking the teacher for make up work prior to their absence. If a student is ill, they must bring a signed note from their parent or guardian before they will receive make up work. Quizzes, tests, in-class essays may not be made up unless specific agreements have been made with the teacher prior to the absence. Assignments may not be made up during class time. Students who miss 8 days of school in a quarter automatically fail that quarter.

Tardy Policy
Students are considered tardy if they are not seated when the bell rings. The school tardy policy will be enforced.


Classroom Rules & Student Responsibilities
Classroom rules and student responsibilities are a necessary part of any classroom. They are designed to help you be a successful student. Some of the most important lessons students learn in the course of growing up are the lessons of good work habits, how to be organized and how to be responsible for a task. Children who learn good work habits, organizational skills and accept responsibility become successful students. Successful students become successful people.

How classroom rules are implemented and followed establish the classroom culture and each class. It is my responsibility to ensure the rules are clearly stated, consistently enforced and fair and logical consequences exist to hold students accountable. It is each student’s responsibility to carry out basic student responsibilities that minimize disruptions to the learning environment.

Academic Support
I will be available on Tuesdays after school to help students. Students need to inform me when they need extra help and I will make arrangements to provide it if Tuesdays are not convenient.
 The curriculum we will follow is set out by IB and will best prepare students for the examinations they will take at the end of the year. I have selected the best and most appropriate topics from the IB curriculum based on what the students studied last year and what will be most relevant to their lives both now and in the future.


Introduction to the Study of Twentieth Century History:

·         Introduction to the Concepts of Historiography

·         Explanation of and Preparation for the IB Internal Assessment: Historical Investigation Paper

o        Forming a Research Question

o        Research and Writing Skills

o        College-level Note Taking

o        Academic Integrity

o        Understanding the Demands of the IB Internal Assessment Format


Major Unit #1 (*Split Unit)

Causes, Practices and Effects of 20th Century Wars

§         Different Types of 20th Century Wars

§         Origins and Causes of War

§         Nature of 20th Century Wars

§         Effects and Results

* We will study WWI in-depth before we proceed to Major Unit #2 and then return to this unit to study WWII as well as some other smaller conflicts of the 20th Century.


Major Unit #2

Peacemaking, Peacekeeping – International Relations 1918-36

    • Aims and terms of the 1919-20 Paris Peace Treaties
    • Geopolitical and economic impact of the treaties
    • Enforcement of the provisions of the treaties
    • Collective security and the League of Nations
    • The “Locarno Spring”
    • The Great Depression and threats to international peace in the 1930’s


Major Unit #3

    The Cold War

·         Origins of the Cold War

·         Nature of the Cold War

·         Development and impact of the Cold War

·         End of the Cold War





I am looking forward to a great and productive year with everyone. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.


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