U. S. History Extra Credit Options

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U. S. History Extra Credit Options

Extra credit should not be your priority; doing consistent and quality work on the assignments during the quarter should be your priority. All projects should be well planned and well finished. When planning a project, please keep the following in mind:

  1. You are limited to 100 points per semester. Please only hand in 100 points worth of extra credit!

  2. Points earned in any quarter in excess of the 100 permitted may not be carried over to the next semester.

  3. You may not turn in two of the same type of extra credit projects in a row.


Project Instruction Links



Concept Cube

  1. You may do two of these each semester.

  2. You may work individually or with one partner. Please let me know what you plan to do and who is in the group before you begin.

  3. If this is done in a group and all members participate, all members of the group will receive the same number of points.


Power Point

  1. You may do one of these each quarter.

  2. You may choose a historical event or a person and put together a Power Point presentation. You should try to avoid the big, obvious choices--George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, World War 2, etc. Try to find significant people and events that are not generally known—Ida B. Wells, Wilma Mankiller, Benjamin Banneker, for instance.

  3. You may work individually or with one partner. Please let me know what you plan to do and who is in the group before you begin.

  4. Your presentation should consist of at least 15 slides and should include accurate and interesting graphics and information. You may include music or film clips if you choose.

  5. .


Movie Critique Form

  1. You may do movie reviews each quarter.

  2. Film must be from the approved list or gain teacher approval.

  3. Follow the directions given on the Movie Critique form.

Concept Cube Assignment


  • The purpose of this project is to help you review a period of time and to see the relationships between causes and consequences.

  • You may work with a partner or you can do this on your own.

  • In either case, the work should be done well, be colorful and interesting, and should use a carefully chosen set of images, graphs, songs, selections from speeches, pictures, etc., to present your time period and topic.


  1. The first thing you need to do is to pick a topic. One side of the cube will be a "title" side and this will contain the topic. Your topic should be a major event in U. S. History.

  2. The next thing you need to do is to think back to five important "causes" of your topic event. Try to avoid the obvious and make certain that those significant events actually were "causes" of the event you are highlighting. For instance, if you chose an event like the Boston Tea Party, what five things led up to that event? Another way of looking at this is to pick a topic event and then pose yourself the question: This event would never occurred unless what five things had happened first?

  3. Having picked your title event, rank the five significant "causes" in order from least to most important.

  4. Get an regular sized piece of poster paper. You do not have to use white. You can either trace the pattern available in class, or you can measure out your own as indicated below.

  1. It is a good idea to sketch out how you plan to proceed before you go hunting your materials.

  2. Start with your title side and think of an artful way of depicting it. Then move down your list to the most significant cause, the next most significant cause, etc., until you have planned out how you are going to represent each of these "faces" of the cube.

  3. Whatever you do, you cannot just write words on the sides of the cube; you must use graphs, pictures, song lyrics, political cartoons, etc. And remember color, creativity, neatness all count.

  4. IMPORTANT: You must provide a write-up to accompany your cube that discusses in detail the importance/impact of your topic to the era or event. Describe each aspect and it’s relation to the overall event.


  • After the cube is completed, you must "present" your cube to the class, introducing your topic and walking the class through the events you chose and justifying your work as you go.

  • Keep this in mind: your work will be displayed and used by students other than those who know you or what you were thinking when you did the project.

* Here's an example of what I mean by a cause and effect list. Say, for instance that students had the Civil War as their topic. They would need to dress up one face of their cube with this topic, the five faces might involve a list of events like the following where I have used side 6 as the title and listed the events in ascending order toward that event

6. The Civil War
5. John Brown's raid or Dred Scott
4. Compromise of 1850 (fugitive slave law)
3. Gag Rule or Nullification
2. Missouri Compromise
1. 3/5 Compromise (U. S. Constitution)


(Regular US History can view these movies for extra credit as well)

You may watch movies for extra credit if you would like.....The movie you choose must be relevant to the time period we are studying.  After viewing the movie, there is a Movie Critique questionnaire you need to fill out if you want the extra credit points.  You can earn 15 points for each movie depending on how well you complete the Movie Critique.......You may watch 3 extra credit movies per nine week period and your Movie Critique must be turned in 2 weeks before the end of the nine weeks.....

1st Semester

  • The New World

  • Christopher Columbus; The Discovery

  • 1492 – Conquest of Paradise

  • Sqaunto

  • The Plymouth Adventure

  • Revolution

  • April Morning

  • The Crucible (1996 version)

  • The Last of the Mohicans

  • The Madness of King George

  • Patriot

  • 1776 (the musical)

  • Jeremiah Johnson

  • A Man Called Horse

  • The Alamo

  • Gone to Texas

  • Amistad

  • Glory

  • Gettysburg

  • Class of 61

  • Son of the Morning Star

2nd Semester

  • Dances with Wolves

  • Matewan

  • The Lion and the Wind

  • Red Badge of Courage

  • Germinal

  • Citizen Kane

  • Molly Maguires 

  • Little Big Man

  • Roots (1977 version)

  • Far and Away

  • West Side Story

  • The Wizard of Oz

  • Newsies

  • All Quiet on the Western Front

  • The Untouchables

  • All the King's Men (1949 version)

  • The Grapes of Wrath

  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  • Cinderella Man

  • Sea Biscuit

  • The Cradle Will Rock

  • Casablanca

  • Memphis Belle

  • Bataan

  • The Great Dictator

  • Bridge over the River Kwai

  • Band of Brothers (10 part series)

  • Saving Private Ryan

  • Flags of Our Fathers

  • Enemy at the Gate

  • Pearl Harbor

  • Nuremberg

  • Schindler’s List

  • Life is Beautiful

  • Fat Man and Little Boy

  • Atomic Café

  • Inherit the Wind

  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

  • October Sky

  • Malcolm X

  • Mississippi Burning

  • Ghosts of Mississippi

  • Apocalypse Now

  • Good Morning, Vietnam

  • Platoon

  • We were Soldiers

  • A Time to Kill

  • October Project

  • Apollo 13

  • Thirteen Days

  • All the President's Men

  • Forrest Gump

  • JFK


INSTRUCTIONS: Answer the following questions and follow the directions given.... 

1.  Name movie title, director and two leading actors in the movie.

2. Evaluate the historical accuracy of the film: 

  • What is the film's bias? 

  • What does it reflect about history that is (to your knowledge) accurate? 

  • Where may have the filmmakers stretched the story?

3. 1st Paragraph: Summarize in the plot of the movie

4. 2nd Paragraph: Review the movie

  • what did you like about it, 

  • what didn't you like, acting, directing, etc.  

  • Your opinion of the film and 3 reasons for that opinion.

5. 3rd Paragraph: How does the movie tie into the history we've learned in class? What can you learn about the era in question from watching this movie?

Movie Choices

(You can do movies not on this list, if you would like)

Exploration and Colonial Period

1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

The Crucible (1996)

The Scarlet Letter (1996)

Last of the Mohicans (1992)

The Revolution

1776 (1972)

Revolution (1985)

Drums Along the Mohawk (1937)

The Crossing (2000)

The Patriot (2000)

Up to Civil War

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

The Alamo (1960) or (2004)

Gangs of New York (2002)

Amistad (1997)

The Civil War

Gone With the Wind (1939)

The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

Glory (1989)

Gettysburg (1993)

Gods and Generals (1941)

Native Americans

Dances with Wolves (1990)

Smoke Signals (1998)

Thunderheart (1992)


Stagecoach (1939)

Fort Apache (1948)

High Noon (1952)

Shane (1953)

The Searchers (1956)

Unforgiven (1992)

To the Turn of the Century

Molly Maguires (1970)

Newsies (1992)

Oklahoma (1955)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1945)

The Age of Innocence (1993)

Hester Street (1975)

Avalon (1990)

Early Twentieth Century to The Twenties

The Great White Hope (1970)

Cotton Club (1984)

Godfather Part II (1974)

The Great Gatsby (1974)

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Eight Men Out (1988)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Spirit of St Louis (1957)

Matewan (1987)

Citizen Kane (1941)

Depression Era

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Paper Moon (1973)

Seabiscuit (2003) Cinderella Man (2005)

World War II

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

Pearl Harbor (2000)

The Longest Day (1962)

Patton (1970)

Sands of Iwo Jima (1950)

The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Fat man and Little Boy (1989)


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

The Man in the Gray Flannel Shirt (1956)

Peyton Place (1957)

Pork Chop Hill (1959)

On the Beach (1959)

West Side Story (1961)

American Grafitti (1973)

Quiz Show (1994)

MacArthur (1977)

The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

The Right Stuff (1983)

Mash (1970)

Blackboard Jungle (1955)

On the Waterfront (1954)

The Vietnam War

Go Tell the Spartans (1978)

Coming Home (1978)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Hamburger Hill (1987)

The Deer Hunter (1979)

Good Morning Vietnam (1987)

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Platoon (1986)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Killing Fields (1984)

We Were Soldiers (2002)

The Hanoi Hilton (1993)

The Sixties and Seventies

The Manchurian Candidate (1961)

Advise and Consent (1962)

Fail Safe (1964)

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Seven Days in May (1964)

Forrest Gump ((1994)

Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Thirteen Days (2001)

JFK (1995)

Easy Rider (1969)

The Graduate (1967)

Woodstock (1970)

Apollo 13 (1995)

Hoffa (1992)

Summer of Sam (1999)

All the President’s Men (1976)

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