Free US History Pacing Guide
Daily Pacing for American History 1 or 2 for Your Classroom
If you are new to teaching US History, you want to be sure that you are pacing your course out so that you have enough time to cover everything in your curriculum.
You can download my US History Pacing Guide here. Before committing to any pacing guide, check your state standards for what you should be covering in your classroom.
Each state covers US History in a similar way but there are slight variations. Most states break the curriculum up into US History Part 1 and US History Part 2. However, many will also offer a complete American History course that covers everything from Exploration through Modern America as well. When this is the case, it might be Parts 1 and 2 in 7th grade and 8th grade and then the complete overview in 11th grade.
The pacing guide I have here is designed to be used for any American History course curriculum. The lessons I have created for each day are super flexible and can be extended over multiple days, or shortened to cover more content in a single period if necessary.
The most important thing is that you are covering the main aspects of US History in the time you have allotted for your course.
As you can see in the pacing guide, my US History Complete Curriculum breaks the country's history up into 19 units. It begins with introducing the major indigenous nations of North America and their interactions with European explorers and then covers all the way through to Modern America.
You will likely find that your state curriculum includes similarly structured units. There are some teachers that cover the material thematically. However, I have found this to be tricky for many students. A chronological overview of American History works best for most students to see how the country progressed through time and certain events influenced others.
When pacing out my curriculum, I try to keep the units around the same length - usually about 2-3 weeks or so. This is usually enough time to cover the content in-depth, analyze primary sources, review, and conclude with an assessment.
I have found that is also about the right length of time for middle school and high school kids to remember the content before an assessment. If you make your units too long, then your tests and quizzes will need to be longer as well, which can lead to test fatigue for many kids.
As you can see in the pacing guide, review days are built into the curriculum. However, that doesn't mean that I will always spend a full day reviewing.
I build those in to allow some buffer for all the things that come up: snow days, lockdowns, classes taken over for guidance, pictures, etc. Building in extra days here and there is very helpful for this and also if your students just need extra time to master a concept.
However, if you have the time, it's always great to review with games like review Clue, Quizlet, Kahoot, Pictionary, etc. I include these kinds of review games in my curriculum so they are all made for you if you need them.
I also build a day in for the assessments in each unit. However, a test does not take up an entire class for most students and classes (however, it could if you have 45-minute classes and longer tests).
I will usually review quickly at the start of class, give the test, and then introduce the next unit after all the kids finish their test.
You can download my printable PDF US History Pacing Guide here. If you want the lesson plans and resources that go along with each day's lesson, you can access those by signing up for my US History curriculum here.
Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the materials and best of luck in your teaching of US History!