Jump to content


20th Century American History for 9th grader???

Recommended Posts

Okay, we have studied pre 20th century American history so much that my dd acts like it will kill her if I talk about anything remotely colonial or civil war related. I think it is time to cover modern American history. I have the Hakim History of Us books and I love them. I need something to go along with them. We just are finishing up a Amanda Bennett unit study on government and elections. I liked how that made my dd think and write out answers rather than a text and fill in the blank type curriculum. Anyone got something like that for modern American history. I would also like to incorporate good movies (not so much documentaries) into this. She learns way more from a good movie or a great article than she does from a dry documentary or textbook. Thanks in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're covering a little more ground than you're wanting, starting with the mid-1860s. But here's what my son is doing this year:


- HippoCampus U.S. History course (free online), about the second half

- Don't Know Much About History, selections to go along with the HippoCampus lessons

- 10 films from American History on the Screen, plus another 25 or so for which I wrote brief background essays and review questions (list below)

- the books on which five of the films are based (noted with * below)

- Projects, exam questions and general framework from Hewitt's Honors U.S. History syllabus, substituting our own materials


We've only just finished our second week, but I'm feeling pretty good about the package we pulled together. My son seems to be doing really well with the materials, and he's staying busy without getting overwhelmed.


Here's the film list:


1. My Darling Clementine

2. Tombstone

3. Dances with Wolves

4. Hester Street

5. Shoulder Arms

6. The Lost Battalion

7. Eight Men Out

8. Iron-Jawed Angels

9. The Great Gatsby *

10. Matewan

11. The Spirit of St. Louis

12. Amelia

13. King of the Hill

14. Paper Moon *

15. The Grapes of Wrath

16. Air Force

17. Flags of our Fathers

18. A League of Their Own

19. The Tuskegee Airmen

20. Patton

21. The Chosen *

22. Good Night, and Good Luck

23. Thirteen Days

24. Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

25. The Right Stuff

26. The Long Walk Home

27. Mississippi Burning

28. American Graffiti

29. Apocalypse Now *

30. Good Morning, Vietnam

31. Easy Rider

32. Apollo 13

33. All the President’s Men *

34. Milk

35. United 93

36. World Trade Center

37. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


As I said when I posted this list a few days ago, please know that I am in now way endorsing any of these films as family friendly. My husband and I researched and/or previewed all of them and decided that they were appropriate for our son with our presence and guidance. Many of them include levels of violence and/or sexuality that might be problematic for another family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know if this would be what you are looking for. When my oldest was in 9th grade, we did a study of 20th C. world history. We used the Teaching Company course Interpreting the 20th Century: The Struggle Over Democracy (we did about 75% of the lectures) and we read A Short History of the 20th Century by Geoffrey Blainey. We filled in with field trips (we have a Holocaust Museum near us), added in a few pieces of literature (All Quiet on the Western Front, One Day in the Life of Ivan Desonovitch) and watched a bunch of movies - sort of a family movie night (Gandhi, Das Boot, Bridge over the River Kwai, Good Night and Good Luck, October Sky, etc.)


We did this with 3 other families and it was a memorable course. I learned a lot from it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Time Life published a series called Our American Century; there's one volume for each decade, plus Events That Shaped the Century, People That Shaped the Century, and Prelude to the Century (which covers 1870-1900). Check your library, or Amazon has used copies for as little as $.01 each — I assembled a full set of them for less than $1 each.


For documentaries, PBS's American Masters and American Experience series are both good; many are available online.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're covering a little more ground than you're wanting, starting with the mid-1860s. But here's what my son is doing this year:


- HippoCampus U.S. History course (free online), about the second half


The HippoCampus/NROC courses won't be available any more after this year.


We're doing something very similar to what Jenny is. We used America Past and Present, the NROC materials, and added several books and movies. We did the same with the first half of US History last year. We really enjoyed it, but I wasn't going to mention it because they are pulling the courses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some resources my teen used when studying that time period in 9th grade.  Note: This was a world history class not an American history class.


Mao Tse-Tung and His China (Albert Marrin)
The Depression and New Deal (Robert McElvaine)
Surviving Hitler (Andrea Warren)
North to Freedom (Anne Holm)
Maus I, II
Vietnam War (Marilyn Young et al.)
Fax from Sarajevo
A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich
All Quiet on the Western Front
Diary of Anne Frank
Animal Farm (Orwell)
The Mouse that Roared
W;t (Edson)
Material World


Battleship Potemkin (1904)
The Sinking of the Lusitania (Winsor McCay)
Influenza 1918
The Best Arbuckle Keaton Collection
Inherit the Wind
All Quiet on the Western Front
Rabbit Proof Fence (1930s)
1940's house
Atomic Cafe
Ed Sullivan
All the President's Men
Forrest Gump
Good Morning, Vietnam
The Mouse that Roared


"In Flander's Field" by John McCrae (WWI)


"I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)


Miss Saigon


Be aware that we are quite liberal, so some of these may not be appropriate for your family.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...