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United States History for Middle School Students – Full Year – 30 Weeks – Grades 6 – 8

Wednesday, September 13 2023 @ 11:00AM Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 12:30PM EDT


Jonathan Meola

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6 – 8

Day of Week:


Class Times:

11:00AM – 12:30PM (ET)


Full Year 2023-2024


Wednesday, September 13 2023 @ 11:00AM EDT
Wednesday, June 26 2024 @ 12:30PM EDT
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Virtual (Jigsaw/Canvas)
+1 203 741 8570
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This three-part course explores the rich and diverse history of the United States, from its earliest days to the present.  We will cover key themes such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, and more recent events such as 9/11 and the 2020 Presidential Election. The course will explore the American experience and experiment.

Part I delves into the earliest eras of American history, from the pre-Columbian period to the post-Revolutionary era. The course will examine the diverse cultures and societies that existed in North America before the arrival of Europeans, and how these were impacted by the arrival and colonization of the continent. Students will explore the political, economic, and social developments of the colonial period, and the causes and events of the American Revolution. Additionally, the course will investigate the formation of the new nation, including the drafting and ratification of the Constitution and the early years of the Republic. The course will make use of primary sources, such as letters, diaries, and government documents, to gain a deeper understanding of the people, events, and ideas that shaped this crucial period of American history.

Part II covers the time starting with the Panic of 1837 and ending with the rise (and fall of) the Bull Moose Party in the Presidential Election of 1912. We will examine the political, economic, and social changes that occurred during this period of American history, including the rise of the Democratic Party and the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, the Gilded Age and the rise of industrial capitalism, and the Progressive Era and the reform movements of the early 20th century. Learners will explore key issues such as westward expansion, immigration, labor, and women’s rights, and will study key figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Theodore Roosevelt. The course will use a variety of primary and secondary sources, including speeches, court cases, and newspaper articles, to gain a deeper understanding of this dynamic period in American history.

Part III covers the period starting with the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and ending with the midterm elections of 2022. This course will examine the political, economic, and social changes that occurred during this period of American history, including the World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, and recent events such as the 9/11 terrorist attack, the 2008 financial crisis, and the aftermath of the Presidential elections of 2016 and 2020. Learners will explore key issues such as the rise of the United States as a global superpower, the Cold War, Civil Rights, and the role of the US in international politics. The course will use a variety of primary and secondary sources, including speeches, court cases, and newspaper articles, to gain a deeper understanding of this dynamic period in American history, and the impact of these events in shaping the United States today. 

Highlighting important events and their historical consequences. The class will be less concerned with memorizing dates and cities and will instead focus on how we can relate to the history of our country as well as feel the courage, passion, and political genius of the founding of our great nation.

Students will gain an appreciation for the United States and the people who fought for it. They will, through discussion and debate, begin to forge and express their opinions, and gain an insight into  how events, ideas, and people shaped our country, over this period of early American history.

The textbook for the course, “Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story” by Wilfred M. McClay, provides a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the people, events, and ideas that have shaped this great nation. Using primary sources, historical maps, and other multimedia resources, the textbook offers a deeper understanding of the American story and the forces that have shaped it. Use of this textbook, along with other materials during the course, will help learners to develop critical thinking and analytical skills, and encourage them to engage with the issues and debates that continue to shape the United States today.

Please note: Your child can take this class in 10-week sections if you prefer. Please look on our website for the individual fall, winter, and spring sessions if you prefer to register via that option.

NOTE: This class must reach the minimum of five students by August 20th to run. If we do not reach this minimum, parents will be notified by email.

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 27 reviews)

Learning to love the past

Rated 5 out of 5

History. This was definitely not my strongest area as a homeschool mother. I knew to provide my kids with what they needed, I had to look at outside resources. Taking a leap of faith, I registered both my 7th and 8th grader for U.S. History with Jonathan Meola.

Learning history through simple short stories using. “A History of US,” has been fun to read-a-loud. With a subject I once disliked myself, I’ve been able to power through, and engage with my children learning to love the past. Mr. Meola is a phenomenally fair instructor, and has allowed our kids to use their creativity for the semester project. The kids have enjoyed this area most about the class. Seeing their creations from the past come to life is a gift in itself. Thank you, Jonathan! You have lit a fire for history within my children!


Thanks for making homeschooling so much easier for us parents

Rated 5 out of 5

We have absolutely loved Jonathan’s Ancient Civilizations class this year.

He is so organized, and his classes are expertly taught – my son usually makes me leave the room but I will often go back and listen to the recordings and watch some of the videos because they are so interesting.

We are thrilled that OTA is now a vendor with our charter school, and since Z will be in middle school next year, we plan on signing up for a lot more classes.

Keep up the excellent job and thanks for making homeschooling so much easier for us parents!



Rated 5 out of 5

What a fantastic course combining hands-on STEM & Social Studies.

I loved watching my children learn about key landmarks around the world with such eagerness and curiosity.

They dove into the history, architectural marvel, geography, and engineering in an engaging fun way.

Mr. Meola is a wonderful teacher and this class is highly recommended!

Michael Zrihen

Best Course EVER!

Rated 5 out of 5

During our family new year’s celebration, everyone completed a year-in-review questionnaire. One question asked, “What are you most proud of that you accomplished this past year?”

Without hesitation, our daughter blurted out “I learned to write a five-paragraph essay!”

Our daughter, who up until this past semester would only write science lab reports, should be proud of this accomplishment. She willingly dedicated days to completing required essays, and we owe this success to Lights! Camera! Action! class.

Mr. Jonathan’s enthusiasm, instruction, encouragement and feedback all generated a newfound level of confidence within our daughter. Plus, the course spurred everyone in our family (including grandparents) to watch incredible movies, which normally would not be in our Netflix queue. Mr. Jonathan’s impact reached beyond our daughter.

LR, Florida

Amazing course!

Rated 5 out of 5

I would like to say thank you. My daughter, Laura, was so inspired by OTA’s Lights! Camera! Action! class. She WANTS to improve at writing instead of shying away from the process that she finds so difficult. She is putting her heart and soul into trying. I am seeing improvement and I am seeing enthusiasm that just were not there before. You have no idea how joyful that makes me. This latest essay was really, really hard but a bit less overwhelming than the prior two. Slowly the elements that Laura is learning in class are sinking in. I appreciate all that you do for the class! Thank you!

JC, Vermont

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