What Is American History in School?

American history is a crucial subject taught in schools across the United States. This subject covers the events, people, and ideas that have shaped the nation from its pre-colonial era to the modern day.

The study of American history is essential for understanding the country’s culture, politics, and society. In this article, we will explore what American history in school entails and its significance.

What Is American History?

American history refers to the study of the past events that have occurred on the North American continent. It encompasses a broad range of topics, including colonialism, revolution, slavery, civil rights movements, wars, economics, and politics. The study of American history enables students to understand how political institutions were formed and how social systems evolved over time.

The Importance of Studying American History

Studying American history is important for several reasons. First, it helps students understand their national identity and how their country came into existence.

Second, it provides insight into current political debates by examining past debates on similar issues. Third, it allows students to develop critical thinking skills by analyzing primary sources and evaluating historical arguments.

The Structure of American History Curriculum

The structure of the American history curriculum varies depending on the grade level and state requirements. However, most curriculums follow a chronological order that begins with pre-colonial America and ends with contemporary America. Students learn about important events such as the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I & II as well as significant figures such as George Washington Abraham Lincoln Martin Luther King Jr.

Elementary School Curriculum

In elementary school curriculum students learn about basic concepts such as community helpers and civic duties. They also learn about early explorers like Christopher Columbus who discovered America in 1492.

Middle School Curriculum

The middle school curriculum builds on the elementary school curriculum by delving deeper into American history. Students learn about the colonization of America, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War.

High School Curriculum

In high school curriculum students explore more complex themes such as foreign policy, civil rights movements, and economic systems. They also study primary source documents like The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.

Teaching Methods

The teaching methods used in American history classrooms vary depending on the teacher’s preferences. However, most teachers use a combination of lectures, class discussions, and group projects to convey information to students. Teachers may also incorporate field trips to historical sites or bring in guest speakers to provide a more hands-on learning experience.


In conclusion, American history is an essential subject taught in schools across the United States. It provides students with an understanding of their national identity and develops critical thinking skills through analyzing past events.

The curriculum structure varies depending on grade level and state requirements but generally follows a chronological order from pre-colonial America to contemporary America. By studying American history, students gain valuable knowledge that prepares them for their role as informed citizens in society.