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Sara Olds

BA - Humanities

MA - American Fine & Decorative Arts

Sara Olds received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Brigham Young University, and her Masters of Arts in American Fine and Decorative Arts from The Sotheby's Institute in New York. Sara also completed training in Arts Integration at The Crystal Bridges Museum....


Along with her focused study in business, her academic and work careers have given her unique insight into the practical application of the arts within various academic disciplines. Her interest in education blossomed during her master's program, when she recognized the failings of the traditional school system to encourage and teach individuals to learn to learn, and love to learn. She also became keenly aware of  the  Humanities' unique ability to unite information from various fields and solidify understanding of new material. The Humanities also indirectly teach skills for life, including critical analysis, empathy, and tolerance to name a few.


In addition to her love of the arts, Sara loves to teach. She has taught everything from swim lessons, to voice & piano lessons, to operating her own summer camp. Inspired by her second grade teacher, Sara believes learning is, and should be fun! 

High School American History - A-G

Ages: 14+
Location: In-Person & Online

Homework: Approximately 60-120 minute a week and one-two historical novels per term

PreReqs: Ability to write a two-four page essay. Previous history classes recommended

Class Resources:
The Magna Carta
The Declaration of Independence
The United States Constitution
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Jungle
The Grapes of Wrath
To Kill a Mockingbird

High School U.S. History is designed to give students a comprehensive survey of American
history from the European discovery of the American continents to modern day events. Students
will learn to examine and analyze the various cultures, major philosophies, events and turning
points that shaped the United States of America.

Students will start the year learning what motivated European exploration and the settlement of
the American continents. We will gain a deeper understanding of how those motivations affected
relationships with the native indigenous peoples. We will also examine the relationships between
the various native tribe, and how those relationships influenced the development of the United
States of America, particularly the relationship between the Iroquois tribes and the Iroquois
Confederacy. We will also learn about the ideas flowing out of 18th century that fanned the flame
of revolution and independence.

Winter term we will explore the various conflicts that shaped the young country - from the
election of 1800 to the Civil War and the Reconstruction. Students will learn about the effects of
technological advancements that led to the industrial capitalism in the Gilded Age. We will also
examine the arts and culture developed in the United States of America over the course of its
history, to deepen our understanding of America.

By the completion of Spring Term, Students will have learned the ideas, issues, and events that
led America’s involvement in World War I, WWII and the Cold War. We also will discuss the
impact of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the Harlem Renaissance on the fabric
of American society.  

Students must be willing to devote substantial time to study and the completion of class
assignments outside of the classroom.  Emphasis is placed on class discussion, the use
of primary and secondary sources, critical reading, and analytical thinking and writing.
Success will be largely determined by student completion of reading and other
assignments outside of class and the development of analytical skills.  Students should
learn to assess historical materials their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their
reliability, and their importance and to weight the evidence and interpretations presented
in historical scholarship.


This class will be graded.  Grades are dependent upon participation, homework, quizzes and projects.   Rubrics will be passed out on Day 1 of this class.

Unit 1: The Americas from 1491-1607: Exploration & Native Cultures
Unit 2: The American Colonies 1607-1754
Unit 3: The American Revolution 1754-1800
Unit 4: The Early Republic & Democracy1800-1848
Unit 5: Western Expansion & Civil War1844-1877
Unit 6: Industry, Capitalism & the Gilded Age1865-1898
Unit 7: WWI, The Roaring Twenties & The Great Depression 1890-1945
Unit 8: WWII and The Cold War 1945-1980
Unit 9: International and Domestic Challenges 1980-Present


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