American History

This course examines the history of the United States of America from 1877 to the present. The United States has withstood challenges to its national security and expanded the rights and roles of its citizens. The episodes of its past have shaped the nature of the country today and prepared it to attend to the challenges of tomorrow. Understanding how these events came to pass and their meaning for today’s citizens is the purpose of this course. 

Ohio's learning standards for American History 

The American History standards describe what students should understand and be able to do. Standards do not dictate curriculum or teaching methods. 

American History (pages 29-31)

Model Curriculum

The American History Model Curriculum provides clarity to the standards, the foundation for aligned assessments, and guidelines to assist educators in implementing the standards. It also provides instructional strategies and resources.

American History Model Curriculum

Practice Test

Students may log in as a guest to access any of the practice tests. Half-length practice tests are available for each of the high school end of course exams in social studies. Practice test items allow students to become familiar with the online test environment by showcasing the different item types, features, and functionality available to students during online testing.

Blueprintreleased items

These documents provide the answer keys and scoring guides for the Spring 2015 and Spring 2016 Social Studies Item Release Tests available on the Student Practice Site. They include the item type, the content standard and content statement assessed, an answer key (for some item types) and the number of points associated with each item. They also include the guidelines for scoring (i.e., scoring rubrics), sample responses and notes on scoring and rationales that describe why response options are correct or incorrect.

American History Item Release Scoring Guide

The American history test blueprint identifies the range and distribution of items and points, grouped in reporting categories. The blueprint provides specific guidelines for the development of all items used the American history test. Districts and educators can use this document as a resource not only for item writers test designers, but also for Ohio educators and other stakeholders who are interested in a deeper understanding of the test. 

Performance Level Descriptors

The Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) are the link between Ohio’s Learning Standards and performance standards. They were developed by Ohio educators and other content experts to recommend the most appropriate implementation of content and skills for Ohio’s State Tests for English language arts and Mathematics as part of the Standard Setting process. The American Institutes for Research and the Ohio Department of Education assembled panels of Ohio stakeholders to review actual test questions to define what students should know or be able to do at each performance level. The feedback from the Ohio stakeholders during the standard setting process was compiled and analyzed to determine the cut scores to rank student performance. The Ohio stakeholder recommendations for cut scores were shared with the State Board of Education and approved at the January 2016 board meeting.

American History Performance Level Descriptors

Additional Supports

The Quality Review Rubric is an instructional tool designed to evaluate lessons that include instructional activities and assessments aligned to Ohio’s New Learning Standards for K-12 Social Studies; and, units that include integrated and focused lessons aligned to the social studies standards that extend over a longer period of time. The rubric contains four dimensions that can be used in the review process. Three videos provide guidance on using the dimensions of the Quality Review Rubric. Social Studies Unit Organizer provides a format for teachers to design instruction that is applicable to the teaching and learning environments. A Blank Social Studies Unit Organizer is provided.

Content Resources

The following resources are broken down by the topics in the American history standards. Educators may find useful for background information or for use in the classroom. 

Historical Thinking and Skills

Historic Documents

Industrialization and Progressivism

Foreign Affairs from Imperialism to Post-World War 1 (1898-1930)

Prosperity, Depression and the New Deal (1919-1941)

From Isolation to World War (1930-1945)

The Cold War (1945-1991)

Social Transformation in the United States (1945-1994)

United States and the Post Cold War World (1991 to Present)


Last Modified: 10/16/2019 2:26:10 PM