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2018-2019 Facing History and Ourselves Syllabus

Mrs. Bowles
Email: powens@bostonpublicschools.org
Class Website: mrsbowlesclasses.weebly.com

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:


This class is not just a list of facts and stories about the Holocaust. In this class you will analyze how patterns of human
behavior influenced the choices individuals made in the past—to participate, stand by, or stand up—in the face of
injustice and, eventually, mass murder. You will also examine how the history you study continues to influence our
world today and consider how you might choose to participate in bringing about a more humane, just, and
compassionate world. The semester’s units are structured around themes and essential questions outlined by FHAO:

1. Identity & Membership


 How does identity shape how people view themselves and others in society in the present as well as the past?
 How did the modern concept of “race” come into existence?
 How did=myths about race and ethnicity impact society in the 19th and early 20th centuries?
2. History
 What were the historical circumstances that contributed to antisemitism throughout the centuries?
 How was exclusion used to define citizenship in the 19th century? What was the impact for minority groups?
 How did the political, social and economic factors of World War I impact “racial” issues in Europe?
 How does war make it easier to commit human rights violations and mass murder against innocent people?
 What puts democracy at risk? What were the historical conditions that led to the appeal of the Nazi party?
 What realistic choices did people have to speak out against the Nazi party in the 1930’s?
 How did propaganda and education shape the attitudes of the German people, especially the youth?
 Why did the international community fail to respond to German aggression and Jewish persecution in the 1930’s?
 How was the Holocaust humanly possible? How could the perpetrators of genocide rationalize their crimes?
 What were the circumstances and motivation for the people who chose to rescue Jews during the Holocaust?
3. Judgment, Memory & Legacy
 What are the conditions in society that lead to genocide?
 Can we expect ordinary people in the past as well as in the present be more than bystanders during genocide?
 Why is remembering the past important for a society which has experienced genocide?
 What are the consequences for denying, covering up or ignoring past wrongs?
4. Choosing to Participate
 How can ordinary people help to prevent human rights violations and genocide?
 How does the history of the Holocaust impact our thinking and actions in these situations?

HOW YOU WILL BE GRADED:


Each term, your grade will be determined by:
 Performance Assessments (i.e. Debates, Socratic Seminars, Projects or Presentations) 25%
 Mini Document Based Questions 20%
 Classwork and Class Decorum 20%
 Homework 20%
 Journal, Binder Organization and Completeness 15%
--Performance Assessments are a way of assessing what you have learned. These assignments unique to and are
based on what you have learned throughout the unit. You might participate in a Socratic seminar or debate or
create an online presentation about the topic we have studied. You could be asked to connect what you have
learned to modern day issues while writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper or lobbying elected officials.
There are usually two or three performance assessments in each term.

--Mini-Document Based Questions are generally assigned once within a unit. They are essentially short in-class
essays where you refer to historical documents in your answer. You will be able to use all of your notes,
homework and classwork to complete a DBQ planning sheet that you can use when writing.

--Homework will always be reading and answering questions. There are usually 2-3 sections of homework
assigned per week. All homework should be completed by due date given, but late homework turned in within
the same unit will be accepted. It will be collected and assigned a grade based on completeness, accuracy and
effort (on a scale of 0 to 10) and then returned to you. If you let someone copy your homework or copy
someone else’s you will receive a zero. No exceptions.

-- Classwork can be many different things and you will have classwork every day. You may be asked to read
and annotate an article, analyze historical documents or quotes, or discuss ideas. You might work in groups,
pairs or individually. Generally, classwork is due at the end of each class and will be graded based on
completeness, accuracy and effort (on a scale of 0 to 10). Part of your grade for classwork is based on your class
decorum, which simply means how you act in class. Examples of proper class decorum include:
 Coming to class regularly and arriving on time
 Staying awake, alert and on task during class
 Paying attention to the discussion and taking notes
 Contributing to class discussions without dominating them
 Keeping side conversations to a minimum and not distracting peers
 Being aware of your language and attitude toward your peers and teacher
 Be reasonable and respectful with cell phone use. Keep them on silent. Keep them off to the side. No social
media or constant texting. If you are using your cellphone for notes or for a class assignment, please make sure
you are focusing on your work. Just act grown and polite and there will be no problem. If your phone is a
distraction to you or to others, I will hold it for you for the class period.
 We will periodically use a circle format to discuss issues that have an impact your learning and your life. While
you will not be graded on participation in these circle discussions, it is important that you are engaged and
respectful during these discussions.

--Binders are required and must be brought to class every day. You should have a between a 1 to a 1 ½ binder
and a pack of filler paper to start. All notes, handouts and returned work should be stored in your binder in an
organized way by unit. You should have a helpful tools section, a notes section and a returned work section and
each should be organized by date. In addition, you should have a composition notebook to use as a journal for
this course.
Please tear this off and return with both pages completed for your first classwork grade!

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THIS SIDE IS FOR YOU TO COMPLETE:
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I have read and understood the requirements and expectations for Facing History and Ourselves.

Your name:_______________________________________ Signature: _________________________________________

What should I know about you to help you do well in this class? What did you like most about History classes you have
taken before? What did you like least? What do you think that your biggest strengths are as a student? What are your
biggest weaknesses?
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THIS SIDE IS FOR YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO COMPLETE:
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I am excited to be your child’s Facing History teacher and to partner with you to help your child grow and succeed as
a learner. As a busy parent myself, I know it can be a challenge to stay engaged with your child’s education—especially as they
become older and more independent. I would like to help connect you to what your child is learning as much a possible though
and plan to provide brief, periodic updates throughout the school year using the Remind App. We can also message each other
through this app if there are any questions or concerns. Below is some information about the Remind App (you can also learn
more at remind.com):

If you are
interested
in using the
Remind helps you stay connected
Remind
You are your child’s first teacher. Student success depends on the support of networks that include App,
parents, teachers, and other key stakeholders in their school communities. To strengthen these please
partnerships, teachers are using Remind to bring learning home. Remind is a free, safe messaging check the
app that keeps families up to date with what’s happening in the classroom. Teachers can send box below
messages to an entire class, smaller groups, or individuals. These quick, simple messages can help and
you and your student stay informed about: provide
• Homework assignments your cell
• Field trip updates phone
• Personalized support or feedback number.
• And more! will
add you t
Remind is safe
my class
Personal contact information stays private. Phone numbers aren’t exchanged between teachers, list! You
students, and parents. can also
follow the
Remind is accessible directions
on the back o
Teachers can use Remind to reach students and parents on any device, including texting-only phones this page
to —no smartphones necessary. • Students and parents can receive Remind messages by text (in the sign up
United States and Canada), email, and push notifications on the app. yourself i
you prefe
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at powens@bostonpublicschools.orgor at 617-635-9989.

_______ YES. I would like to connect through the Remind App.

_______ NO. I prefer not to connect through the Remind App.

Parent or Guardian name: _______________________________________________________________________________

Your cell phone number: _______________________________________________________________________________

Your email: __________________________________________________________________________________________