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High School Level-Early American History: Native Americans through the Forty-Niners

High School Level-Early American History: Native Americans through the Forty-Niners

Professor Linwood Thompson, M.A.
Bellflower High School, Los Angeles, California

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High School Level-Early American History: Native Americans through the Forty-Niners

Course No. 132
Professor Linwood Thompson, M.A.
Bellflower High School, Los Angeles, California
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Course No. 132

Course Overview

Make American history come alive for your student with this excellent 30- lecture course by nationally recognized educator Linwood Thompson. Covering the first half of America's fascinating history from the settlement of the continent by Native Americans through to the California Gold Rush of 1849, this course is taught with unusual creativity and innovation.

Every lesson in the course is "taught" by a particular character. Professor Thompson has an arsenal of costumes, as well as a firm grasp on the personae of great historical figures. He dresses, talks, and acts like them. He actually becomes them!

Lin Thompson appears only briefly at the start of this course. He then "becomes" Bjarni Herjolfsson, Viking explorer and incomparable expert on who really discovered America. From that moment, students will know they are in for a fascinating trip as Bjarni gives way to Christopher Columbus, revolutionary war foot soldiers, a French trapper, and a host of other characters who provide a first-person perspective on early American history.

A New Look for American History

Professor Thompson’s characters will inspire students to look at history from a new perspective. Professor Thompson’s guides, while entertaining, will also teach the student to better understand American history. Students will learn:

  • To differentiate between Southwest and Eastern Woodland Native Americans
  • What led Europeans such as Columbus to the New World
  • The roles European powers—Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands—played in their colonies and how those colonies interacted
  • The roles of religious groups in American history, such as the Quakers, Puritans, Catholics, and Mormons
  • The economic and civil injustices that planted the seeds of revolution in the colonists' minds
  • The struggles and farsightedness of Founding Fathers Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, and others in the creation of this new nation
  • The challenges in foreign policy that beleaguered the young nation: the French Revolution, the XYZ Affair, and subsequent Alien and Sedition Acts
  • How canals and railroads accelerated the expansion West.

He's such an entertaining presenter that students learn without effort. Every lecture is delivered in costume and in character. They just sit back, relax, and learn.

Here is Professor Thompson's description of the course:

"America's history begins with an overview of Pre-Columbian Native Americans and the impact of subsequent European discovery. Our study explores the exciting eras of colonization, independence, and the forging of a young nation. We end with the settling of the American frontier as an emerging nation stretches from sea to shining sea.

"Many of the characters I portray in these lectures are actual historical figures. Other composite characters can be distinguished by the use of my name, i.e., 'USA Thompson,' 'Hickory Thompson,' etc. Remember that the lecturers from each period will share certain attitudes and biases while sharing the story of their day. It is important that you gain a truly historical perspective by reading and studying these same incidents as recorded and analyzed in various articles and books.

"To assist you in this part of your studies, I have provided a large list of books at the end of the course outline. In each lesson, I have listed books that will help you dig a little deeper and understand a lot more about the topic that I portray on the tape. Some are called 'essential,' which means that you should try to get a copy and read the chapters noted to get the most out of the lecture.

"Others are 'strongly recommended' or 'suggested.' This means that they would be valuable to check out but are not necessary for a basic understanding of the topic, if you have looked at the essential book(s). They might focus on just one particular part of the lecture, or maybe they're a little bit more advanced than the 'essential' book.

"By referring to as many of the recommended books as possible, you will challenge yourself to develop your skills as a reader and researcher, which are good skills to have as you advance through your schooling toward college.

"American history is a rich story of the events that have shaped modern American society. Allow the stories to transport you back in time to the initial shaping of a nation with diverse cultural roots. I love American history! I hope you will love it too."

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30 lectures
 |  30 minutes each
Year Released: 1996
  • 1
    Pre-Columbian America
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 2
    Discovery and Exploration of America
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 3
    The Virginia Colony
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 4
    Pilgrims and Puritans
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 5
    Other European Colonies
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 6
    Witches, Quakers, and Catholics
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 7
    Life in Colonial America
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 8
    Swashbucklers, Smugglers, and Slavers
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 9
    The Great Awakening and Enlightenment
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 10
    Wars with France
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 11
    Seeds of Revolution and War
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 12
    Men of the Revolution
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 13
    Declaration of Independence
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 14
    Revolutionary War—On Land and Sea
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 15
    The National Government and the War's End
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 16
    Stretching the Western Boundaries
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 17
    The Constitution
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 18
    Washington and the New Government
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 19
    French and American Revolutions
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 20
    Dividing of Patriots—The Two Party System
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 21
    Era of Jefferson
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 22
    War Hawks, Indians, and the War of 1812
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 23
    Industrial Revolution
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 24
    Cities and the Transportation Revolution
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 25
    Era of Jackson
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 26
    Texas
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 27
    The Trails West
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 28
    Colonizing the West—The Mormons
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  • 29
    Mexican Territories and War
    NO DESCRIPTION x
  • 30
    West to California
    NO DESCRIPTION x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 30 lectures on 5 DVDs
  • 64-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 64-page printed course guidebook
  • Suggested readings
  • Bibliography

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Your professor

Linwood Thompson

About Your Professor

Linwood Thompson, M.A.
Bellflower High School, Los Angeles, California
Linwood Thompson teaches history at Bellflower High School in suburban Los Angeles, where his program has attracted international attention for its creativity and innovation. Professor Thompson received his M.A. at Brigham Young University. The California State Senate honored him for Outstanding Achievement in Education. In 1997-1998, he received the State Superintendent of Public Instruction California Teachers of the...
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