May 22

Follow up w/ Dr. Arbulu’s talk on Civil Rights

Many thanks to Dr. Agustin Arbulu for taking time out of his schedule to come talk w/ us.



Elliot – Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 –

Harvard’s implicit bias test –

– You can take the test at the link above to find out about your attitudes toward society.

Dr. Arbulu mentioned that honest dialogue is the key to a better future:

  1. Honest dialogue about women in the workplace –

2. How dialogue works –

3. Honest dialogue in the corporate workplace –

4. Creating safe spaces for communication –

Here is the link to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ report on the Flint Water Crisis –

Michigan Emergency Manager Law 

  1. Article on how we got started w/ the Emergency Manager law –
  2. Did the Emergency Manager law cause the Flint crisis –
  3. Anger of Appointing Emergency Managers in Michigan – NYTimes –

Sensitive Locations Policy – FAQs from federal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement –

Rights of undocumented workers –

– Know Your Rights – Natrional Immigrants Justice Center

Ban the Box – eliminating the question on employment applications asking if someone has been convicted of a felony –

– Ban the Box organization –

Women’s wage gap – AAUW – Simple Truth about the Wage Gap –

Structural racism – Dismantling Institutional Racism –

– Is America Repeating the Mistakes of 1968? The Atlantic –

– Evidence of societal and economic inequality –

– Issues of Health Inequalities from the New England Journal of Medicine –

LGBTQ+ rights – policy vs. law – interpretation of phrase “prevent discrimination against sex” to include sexual orientation is a policy, not law.

– Issues surrounding LGBTQ rights –

– LGBT rights in America – Wikipedia –

– Washington Post’s article on anti- LGBT legislation –

Differences between Service Animals vs. Emotional Support Animals (Comfort animals). –

– Americans with Disabilities Act criteria for Service Animals –

– Please Don’t Pet Me – service, therapy, and emotional support dogs –


April 25

APUSH Test Review stuff

APUSH Themes compiled by Wednesday’s review group –

Khan Academy is hosting a live YouTube tutorial for the test on May 1.  You may need to sign up and get an account to check it out.  Plus, there are some good videos, practice questions, and other things to help with review:

A ton of review videos by Hip Hughes, including a 2, 3, and 4 hour review videos (at the bottom).

AP Prep materials here w/ links to videos:

Practice questions from –

Timelines, APUSH tips, breakdown for the first 6 periods (1491 – 1898).

Gilder Lehrman website w/ short videos on each period, essays, and terms.

Contextualization review work from Tuesday, April 25. –

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April 19

Google Docs – Imperialism and WW1

AP / College Board website to find sample essays / SAQs from Sunday’s practice test –


2nd Hour –

3rd Hour –

5th Hour –

Due Monday night, April 24, by 10pm.

Extra Credit film reviews due Monday, May 1 (Part 1), Tuesday, May 2 (Part 2), and Wednesday, May 3 (Part 3).

Good article from CNN on why World War 1 still shapes us today.

Image result for world war 1 propaganda   Image result for world war 1 propaganda

March 1

Final Exam Stuff – Trimester 2

Here’s a link to the primary sources in a Google Doc –

Things / People / Events you need to know.

Know primary characteristics of the colonies / regions -17th / 18th Century                          John Winthrop

Atlantic slave trade                                         Encomienda system                                                   Silent Majority

Great Society                                                     Containment in Asia                                                  Marshall Plan

Conservative movement in 1980s             End of the Cold War – Gorbachev                        Persian Gulf War

National Debt in the 1980s                           Deregulation                                                                  Ku Klux Klan

Women’s suffrage in 1870                           Election of 1876 / Compromise of 1877                   Brown v. Board of Ed., Kansas

13th , 14th, and 15th Amendments               Gettysburg and Antietam                                  Lincoln’s 10% plan

Carpetbaggers                                                  Kansas-Nebraska Act                                         Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Waving the Bloody Shirt                                Radical Republican plan for Reconstruction          Dred Scott

Johnson’s impeachment                              James K. Polk and his land grabs                                Mexican War

War Hawks like Henry Clay and Calhoun                Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Republican motherhood                               Lowell mills                                                      Marbury v. Madison

3/5 Compromise                                              Shays Rebellion                   Eli Whitney – interchangeable parts

Temperance Movement         Seneca Falls Convention                            Red Scare / McCarthy / Rosenbergs

NSC -68              Olive Branch Petition           First Continental Congress       Salutary Neglect

Battle of Saratoga – turning point        Emancipation Proclamation      Common Sense

Gibbons v. Ogden              William Lloyd Garrison / ACS

Review Sessions – Thursday (3/2 ) X-Block 7:40 – 8:15, Monday (3/6) after school, 2:55 – 3:20

February 8

Cotton cleaning – APUSH Style

Interactive Lesson Plan on Antebellum Cotton

Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting and indoor

What was done previously: Students have read notes from Ch. 16 of the textbook on the rise of the Cotton Kingdom.  They have also read primary sources from James Hammond, “Cotton is King,” David Walker, “Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World,” an excerpt from William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, John C. Calhoun, “Slavery as a Positive Good,” and are currently reading the short book, Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In the last unit, the students have also read excerpts of Daniel Walker Howe’s book, What Hath God Wrought, in an essay entitled, “The Changes Wrought by Cotton, Transportation, and Communication” and answered questions about the essay (essay located in Major Problems in American History, Volume 1: To 1877, 3rd edition).

Overall plan: Students will have an immersion experience into the antebellum slave plaImage may contain: one or more people and indoorntation life by cleaning a boll of cotton.  They will have to pick the seeds out and save them for later, and clean the cotton so that it is free of stems and leaves.  Cotton can be purchased at several locations on the internet, especially at,, and also on Amazon.   While cleaning the cotton, a YouTube compilation of Negro spirituals will play (, and a Power Point w/ pictures of black Americans picking cotton will be on a loop on the screen projector.   Afterwards, students will read segments of an interview with an ex-slave from the WPA interviews in 1937-41 found on the American Memory section of the Library of Congress’s website, and then they will listen to a short interview from another slave.

  1. Read Mollie Williams’ interview from Mississippi Federal Writers. pgs. 157- 164.

– Questions afterward:

  1. What did you learn from Mollie’s experience as a slave? Explain.
  2. Does this excerpt present a different view / challenge your perception of what slavery was like? Why?
  1. Show video on cleaning cotton.
  1. Pass out one cotton boll to each student. Have them clean the cotton and seeds and stem and leaves as best as they can. Separate into three piles.
  1. While they clean, play the music, Negro spirituals. may contain: one or more people and people sitting
  1. Also while the students are cleaning their cotton boll, show Power Point.
  1. Afterwards, have students pile seeds onto a table. Put cleaned cotton into a bag or box. Throw out the stems and leaves.
  1. Listen to slave interview located here, to Fountain Hughes, aged 101. You can start around 6 minutes in or listen to the whole thing. Famous line about being a slave but nothing but a dog is around 19:00. Finish at 20:05.
  1. Student reflection. Start writing in class:
    1. What did you learn from this experience with the interviews and the cotton?
    2. What is the benefit of learning history (or anything for that matter) in a format like this? Why?



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Student reactions: 

  1. What did you learn from this experience with the interviews and the cotton?

I learned that it was very time consuming to pick just one boll of cotton, and that if I had to clean 50 maybe 100 of those a day that I might really struggle.” Henry V. 

“Listening to the interviews and doing the physical task of cleaning cotton personalized what slavery was like. Instead of reading about far off slaves who died a long time ago, and thinking “wow that really sucks for them” it sort of increases both sympathy and empathy for the situations that so many people had to deal with.” Camille W.

” We usually only talk about the politics and conflicts surrounding slavery, not the people whose lives were controlled by it. It was very interesting to “zoom in” on a few specific people and learn how their lives were shaped by slavery.” Ben I.

“Being able to actually touch and feel and experience the cotton picking, it gave me a greater respect for the work slaves had to do.” Davit T.


2. What is the benefit of learning history (or anything for that matter) in a format like this? Why?

“We were always taught that the Slaves were primarily used to pick cotton, we’ve always known that. We’ve always known that it was a difficult task and that it was back breaking. So while we may have understood, we never could relate. So being able to hold the cotton in our hands and do the task of taking a part the cotton, taking out all the seeds and leaves, it was so cool. We got to see first hand what the slaves had to do everyday from sunrise to sunset.” – Tania M.


January 27

SAT Subject Area test in U.S. History

Hey folks,

It’s time to start thinking about the SAT Subject Area test in U.S. History.  This is an awesome opportunity for you to take a Subject Area Test that many elite colleges are beginning to require (see list here, includes U of D, Michigan, Princeton, Northwestern, Texas, UCLA, Harvard, Yale).  Passing these kinds of tests are ways to stand out in your college application process (yes, it’s around the corner). Here are some additional reasons why you should consider taking the test.  The upsides to taking this test:

  1. It’s cheap – $26.
  2. It’s only multiple choice – no essay writing!
  3. You’re done in 1.5 hours.
  4. It’s available at many local high schools in May and June (see nearby locales).
  5. Most importantly – you’ll probably never know more American history at the end of this school year than at any other time in your life (unless you become a history nerd like me!).  So take the test.
  6. If you bomb it, no worries.  The colleges don’t have to know about it.  You give the College Board permission to send your scores (or not).

Info, testing registration, dates, etc. –

Test dates and deadlines –

Nearby testing Sites – May 6, 2017 – Bloomfield Hills HS, Cranbrook HS, Grosse Pointe North HS, Hamtramck HS, Oakland U, Ann Arbor Pioneer HS, U of D HS, Waterford Kettering HS.

June 3, 2017 – Bloomfield Hills HS, Cass Tech, Cranbrook HS, Grosse Pointe North HS, Hamtramck HS, Mercy HS, Detroit Northwestern HS, Ann Arbor Pioneer HS, U of D HS, West Bloomfield HS, Waterford Kettering HS.

Protip: Register early because once a school fills up w/ the number of test-takers, it’s closed.  You’ll have to go elsewhere.  

May 27

Hurricane Katrina – When the Levees Broke

We started watching around 8:15 on Thursday after the quiz. It ends on Friday w/ the arrival of General Honore in New Orleans at 1:46:00. There will also be a discussion w/ the article, “Does George W. Bush Care about Black People?” by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and a look at some statistics and quotes on poverty and its relationship to the hurricane.

Also, here is No End in Sight. We watched the whole thing on Tuesday / Wednesday.

Inside Job, the documentary on the financial meltdown in 2008. We’ll watch the whole thing Tuesday / Wednesday, June 7/8.

May 9

SAT American History Subject Area test

Here’s the info on signing up for SAT Subject Area test on American history.

We had briefly talked about the SAT Subject Area test in U.S. History.  Now would be a great time to take the test after you’ve finished a year of APUSH.  The test is given on two dates, Saturday, May 7 (the day after the APUSH exam), or Saturday, June 4.  The test is 90 multiple choice questions with NO WRITING!  The cost is only $26.

Info to register / payment / etc.:  You can register online or by mail.  

What are the advantages?  1. This is a way to stand out on your college application.

2. Some colleges require that you take a subject area exam or recommend that you take at least one.  Michigan is on this list.  Check the list of colleges here.

3. Some colleges may give you credit for intro level U.S. history depending upon how well you do.

Where is it offered?

June 4, 2016 – Bloomfield H.S., West Bloomfield H.S., Cranbrook / Kingswood, Grosse Pointe North HS, Cass Tech HS, Mercy HS, Oakland University, Waterford Kettering HS.

Good luck!  Tell me how you did when you get your score.

Also, there’s a great review here on the Gilder Lehrman website.