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Chicago History

Syllabus for Chicago History, 2015-2016



Teacher: Mr. Ruby                                                                            School: (773) 534-1998

Email:                                                       Cell: (847) 845-0931

Room: 205


This course is committed to various topics in Chicago history.  Throughout the year, students will examine primary and secondary sources focused on Chicago’s social, geographic, and cultural history.  In addition to the analysis of major events in Chicago history, this class will also focus on the impact art and architecture have played in the city from the late 19th century to the present day.


Student Objectives

Students will be able to

*identify major political and cultural events in Chicago’s history through various assigned readings, research projects, and presentations

*reflect on Chicago’s built environment and infrastructure in terms of art, civic engagement, and identity by analyzing major sites, landmarks, and neighborhoods throughout the city


Course Methodology

*Students will engage, analyze, and empower themselves through an exploration of their city. 

*This will be done with primary and secondary source readings, document analysis, and site based learning projects.

*Students will focus on developing a sense of identity regarding “place.” This relates to the city of Chicago, but also to themselves as residents of Chicago.


Historical Thinking Skills

Students will be required to develop and ultimately demonstrate the following Historical Thinking Skills:

*Chronological Reasoning

*Comparisons and Contextualization

*Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence

*Historical Interpretation and Synthesis



Classroom Expectations:

Attendance and punctuality are mandatory.  Respect yourself and others at all times.  You will be expected to assess your achievement through unit tests and essays.  Follow classroom and school rules (see below for classroom rules.)

*Students must be independent learners! 



*Students will bring their notebook to class everyday

*Students will need a folder to bring relevant materials to class everyday

*Students need to have a pen or pencil for note-taking and a pen for tests.



All homework must be completed by announced due dates.  Homework will be assigned on a daily basis.  Most days, students will have reading to complete and notes to take on assigned reading. 

This is a hard class with challenging readings, tests, and writing assignments. Completing all homework assignments will help you keep your grade up!

Late Homework: Students will be expected to turn in all homework on the assigned dates. 

*Students who do not turn in homework on the date due may receive a detention.



Your overall grade will be based on the following criteria:

Homework: 15%

Mastery: Assessments, Projects, Exams & Quizzes: 50%

Standardized Testing Growth: 15%

Participation: 10%

Final Exam: 10%



Academic Integrity

*It is extremely important to be honest and thorough in the completion of your homework, your writing, as well as citing and documenting any ideas or writing from other authors.



*Copying homework or plagiarizing someone else’s work in any writing assignment will automatically result in a meeting with your parents and the principle as well as a suspension per the CLHS discipline code.



Chicago History Units

1.) Why is a city here? The Origins of Chicago as a City on the Frontier

2.) The Growth of Pilsen and Little Village as Mexican Immigration Hubs

3.) The Chicago School: Chicago Architecture and the Rise of the Skyscraper

4.) Chicago in Literature: Living the City

5.) Student Research Topics and Presentations (x2)

6.) Latino Art and Activism

7.) The Grid: Chicago Geography, Directions, and Rules for Exploring the City

8.) Segregated Chicago: The Ugly History of Chicago and the Civil Rights Movement

9.) The Great Migration: The Delta Diaspora and the Chicago Blues

10.) Chicago as Caricature: The Perception and Definition of a Chicago character through Film and Entertainment

11.) Monuments, Memorials, and Statues: Who are these people? What have they meant to the city?

12.) Our Chicago History: Where we live, how we live in the city