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Manuel Mata

Elena Maker
U.S History
June 7, 2016
End of Course Reflection
This year in U.S history we learned about many topics having to do with either history or
even current events. These topics sometimes had a mix of both. Studying about events in past
that relate to current events so it is easier to understand what is happening around us today. For
our first unit we studied identity. For this topic we learned about identity and what it is. It is the
characteristics that define you as a person. We also talked about different things that contribute to
our identity such as, using our voice to express ourselves and to speak out about topics that don't
have to affect you. We also learned that most people identify you through your voice. We also
learned about legacy which is an inheritance that could be physical or an idea. We learned about
assumptions which are ideas or thoughts you think are true before even knowing if it is. Labels
are what we learned next that are the result of assumptions which are words or ideas that are used
to define a group of people. To put all of this together we talked about the Tolman Incident that
was a current event while we were learning about this topic. The Tolman Incident was an
incident that happened at Tolman High School where an officer grabbed a student from his neck
and body slammed him to the ground. From this identity unit the main idea was to learn about
what makes you, you. Then after learning that use it to fight any assumptions or labels being
made on you. For the second unit, we learned about the Constitution. In this unit we studied the
Declaration of Independence and how this led to the constitution being written after the U.S
gained their independence from Great Britain. We also learned about the bill of rights and how

these were written to moderate the amount of control the government had over the people. As
well as the three branches of government and how the Executive, Legislative and Judicial
branches m each play an equal part in the decision making of how is either passed or not. We
learned about how each have a part in the constitution and the U.S government. We also learned
about how a bill becomes more a law and the making of an amendment. The main idea for this
unit is to understand how our government runs today and how it got to where it is today. For our
third unit we studied gender equality. For this unit we talked about looking at gender and
sexuality as a spectrum and not as an either or. We also talked about the women's suffrage
movement. We learned about Alice Paul and how she was the leader of the movement. Also,
about the seneca falls convention that led to the declaration of sentiments. This part of the unit
could also be included in the activism unit we did towards the end of the year. The main idea for
this unit is to understand the inequality between genders and how it has been going for years.
Our fourth unit was about immigration. In this unit we learned about the Mexican American war
and how America took away many states from Mexico. Also, we learned about Cesar Chavez
and his Farm Workers Movement to improve the quality of work for farm workers. We also
talked about the NAACP which advocates for the equality of all people. We also learned about
manifest destiny and how America thought they were destined to take over the west. We also
learned about forced migration. The main idea of this unit was to understand how latin americans
acted during the civil rights movement and how America got to be how it is today.
One thing I would want to remember forever is the Mexican-American war. I say this
because I am Mexican and it makes me wonder every time I have studied this how different
America would be if they didn't have the states they took from Mexico after the war. I want to
remember that America forced Mexicans who they made citizens after they took the states leave

the country back to Mexico during the Great Depression. Which I found to be wrong and unjust
towards those people because they worked and became citizens of the U.S with no choice and
then they get kicked out.
Three skills I have developed this year are, using our voices, writing and defending our point. I
developed using our voices through learning about it in the first unit and then writing about the
Tolman Incident and about gender equality. When writing these we got to express our opinion
about the topic. The upstander project also improved this skill because it is a project that fights a
problem in my community. This skill is important because this is how you can express your
opinion about a topic and this how you can express what you want to change or how you solve a
problem. I developed writing through all the papers, reports, PEET paragraphs and journals we
wrote throughout the year. This skill is important because we as students will always have to
write. In class outside of class and to get into college you may have to write so it is important to
be skillful when writing even if I am not. I developed defending your point through the debates
or socratic seminars we had. This developed the skill because when speaking in a group and you
have a point or idea, someone will disagree so you need to defend your point through
explanation or evidence. This skill is important because someone will always disagree with what
you think or say so you have defend it.
To answer the essential question my voice is a tool I can use to advocate for something
thing I believe in and to use as a way for people to identify me as someone who wants to solve
problems they see and talk about and express it. The upstander project I am doing is a way I can
express my voice because I want to solve the problem of cities not having enough green spaces.
While doing this project I am advocating for what I want to see which I use my voice to express
my concern about the problem and provide a solution to it with a plan.

As a graduating senior from Blackstone I applied and for the colleges that I am interested
in and have the programs I want to study on. I hope to have been accepted to a college I have
wanted to go to and I have completed 100 hours of community service, my service learning
project and my senior project as well as any senior papers. As a citizen I will have a job and will
be able to vote in any political event occurring. My tenth grade U.S history class has helped me
by teaching me the skills to write more and use my voice to express any idea I may have while
being able to defend that idea. This class has helped me learn how to be an upstander and how to
advocate for something I believe in.