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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4.4 out of 5
38 Reviews
60% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 132
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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
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    Pre-Columbian America
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  • 2
    Discovery and Exploration of America
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  • 3
    The Virginia Colony
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  • 4
    Pilgrims and Puritans
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  • 5
    Other European Colonies
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  • 6
    Witches, Quakers, and Catholics
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  • 7
    Life in Colonial America
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  • 8
    Swashbucklers, Smugglers, and Slavers
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  • 9
    The Great Awakening and Enlightenment
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  • 10
    Wars with France
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  • 11
    Seeds of Revolution and War
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  • 12
    Men of the Revolution
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  • 13
    Declaration of Independence
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  • 14
    Revolutionary War—On Land and Sea
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  • 15
    The National Government and the War's End
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  • 16
    Stretching the Western Boundaries
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  • 17
    The Constitution
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  • 18
    Washington and the New Government
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  • 19
    French and American Revolutions
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  • 20
    Dividing of Patriots—The Two Party System
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  • 21
    Era of Jefferson
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  • 22
    War Hawks, Indians, and the War of 1812
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  • 23
    Industrial Revolution
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  • 24
    Cities and the Transportation Revolution
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  • 25
    Era of Jackson
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  • 26
    Texas
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  • 27
    The Trails West
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  • 28
    Colonizing the West—The Mormons
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  • 29
    Mexican Territories and War
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  • 30
    West to California
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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 workbook

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 64-page printed course workbook
  • 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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Reviews

High School Level-Early American History: Native Americans through the Forty-Niners is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 38.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not worth the time or money This course is poor even for high school level. The instructor poses as a historical figure and talks or tells stories for 30 minutes each lecture. He never uses a map or illustration. He does not stress important terms or place. After 2 lessons I sent it back and asked for a refund.
Date published: 2018-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creative presentation I was curious as to the content of High School American History. I was delighted by the approach of the teacher to dramatize a single historical figure in each 1/2 hour lesson. Because of the broad stroke that this course covered, this approach helped to keep each segment in a context for the eras that were covered. Kudos for the instructor!
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not quite there. Too much lecture, not enough visual props. Prof in dress-up is fine but there is too much of the silly voices and not enough historical information (and really lacking in visual reinforcement). This seems to be sections of lecture to follow-up on previously completed reading assignments that the video student has not completed...
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Professor is a hoot! I bought this to supplement our homeschool work, and I'm so glad I did! We are all enjoying these lectures, and we are learning a lot. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nothing I hoped. The course was poorly made and poorly presented. I am disappointed.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course I'm really enjoying this course. This is a high school course, but I have learned things I didn't know and I'm well past high school. Professor Thompson's presentations are so enjoyable and really make history come alive.
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from While I have not yet completed the course, about 2/3 done, I find it very well done and very easy to understand. I like the way the instructor suits himself up in the various period costumes. It would have been helpful to have shown period maps of the period he was teaching, e.g. location of French/Indian War, or location of landing of Columbus. Nevertheless, the presentation was excellent.
Date published: 2017-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A treasure Linwood Thompson, time traveler, is brilliant. How often I've gotten so engrossed in his lecture-plays that I forgot I'm actually watching someone acting. Aside from the fact that his portrayals are compelling, he focuses more on the lives and experiences of people of the times and less on political events than conventional history courses. I get from him much more of a sense of who these people were, what motivated them, what it would have been like living in their times, and why history took the paths it did. I also get a better appreciation of the nature and extent of the cultural changes across generations and why those changes took place. We think times are changing now, but Linwood's little lecture-plays make clear that big change is nothing new. Pedagogically, Linwood's approach seems perfect. People think and remember in stories, particularly stories with emotional content. Linwood conveys facts in a coherent narrative that is easy to remember. And he not only obviously understands and loves history deeply, it's obvious he loves people. His warmth, even through the camera, is palpable. These videos are not only educational, they are uplifting and just plain fun.
Date published: 2017-05-07
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