Course Description -

    This course is designed to foster a deeper interest and respect for the most basic aspect of the American story for Etown students - the history of Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, and the local Elizabethtown community. During the course of the semester, students will study how Pennsylvania and their local communities played an instrumental role and were influenced by the many chapters of American history - many of which they investigated and learned about during the studies of US History. Specifial emphasis will be placed on the cultural, political, geographic, and current events that also help to define Pennsylvania from the rest of the United States as well as what unique historical contributions help to make Lancaster County and Elizabethtown a unique and interesting place within our home state. Special emphasis will also be given to original student-led projects and individual research that focuses on a unique aspect of Pennsylvania or local history.
    PreReq Banner
    While there are no official prerequisites for the Pennsylvania History elective, IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you consider the following before you decide to take this course:
    • It is recommended that students taking this course have a personal interest in history or social studies, particularly American history of all kinds. Both Honors and On-Level students are welcome. 
    • It is recommended that students have an interest in historical research, since this will be a focus of the course.
    • It is recommended that students have good organization and time-management skills with a strong academic work ethic.
    • A minimum or above average score on the Reading / Writing Keystone standardized exams prior to taking this course is also recommended


    Your previous semester history teachers will have made a recommendation to your counselor as to whether or not this elective may be a good fit for you as a student. Please consider this recommendation carefully during the course selection process.



    syllabus (*UPDATED*)


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    Why Study Local History? What Makes it Engaging for Students?

    (Click below to see how one teacher uses local historical icons as a way to better teach living history)

    Course Units We Will Be Looking at this Semester:
    • Mini-Unit: Pennsylvania Geography = Major geographic regions, landforms, topics, & issues of Pennsylvania


    • Mini-Unit: Pennsylvania Government = How does state / local government work in Pennsylvania?


    • Unit V: Social Struggles and Pennsylvania in the Modern Era = Confronting social & political changes in Pennsylvania, both in the Twentieth Century and the changing times of today
      • (1920’s – present)


    • Unit IV: Industrial Growth & Economic Change in Pennsylvania = Growth of Pennsylvania industry / labor & new social and political strife
      • (1865 – 1920’s)


    • Unit III: Economic Growth and Regional Conflict in Pennsylvania = Pennsylvania's role in Nineteeth Century Antebellum America & the lead up to the American Civil War
      • (1830’s – 1865)


    • Unit II:  Revolution and the Founding of the Commonwealth = The Pennsylvania colonial experience, PA's role in the American Revolution & the founding of our nation
      • (1760’s – 1830’s)


    • Unit I: Encounters and Early Settlement in Pennsylvania = Pennsylvania's Native American history, early European settlement, & the founding of the colony by William Penn
      • (1500’s – 1760’s)



    - Course Final Project -
    Development of a National History Day Project
    on a State / Local History Topic of Student's Choice
    *Click the banner & video link below to find out more about the NHD competition*
    *Be sure to check out the Etown NHD webpage on Mr H's site to see more*

    Course Links