Modern American Pop Culture


Modern American Pop Culture is a one trimester course that looks at the relationship between U.S. history and the cultural influences that shape it and are shaped by it.  This course will count as the Social Studies selective, which is a graduation requirement.


I have two charges given to me: make students college or workplace ready!  All expectations will derive from that.

Academic expectations – students will do the following:

  • Complete all homework/reading assignments outside of class and on time
  • Engage yourself with 100% effort in the class each day

Workplace expectations – students will do the following:

  • Come to class prepared to learn
  • Show up to class each day (the only exceptions being contagious illness, injury, family emergency, or school sponsored event)
  • Show up to class on time each day
  • This is your job – you are to give 100% effort and work well with your co-workers
  • Students will not be able to make up work for unexcused absences.

Grades – students will be assessed on the following scale:

90%-100% = A     80%-89% = B       70%-79% = C       0%-69% = F

The grade breakdown is as follows:

Work Ethic = 30%           Exams = 30%        Homework/class activities = 30%

Final Exam = 10%                                       (Homework isn’t accepted late)

Get help when you don’t understand an assignment or directions.  You can communicate with me at school at 541-504-3600 X 6211 or, or at home at 541-480-3889 (until 9 PM)

In order to retake a test, students will have to have completed all reading, all assignments, and completed a study guide.

If this course isn’t challenging you sufficiently, please meet with me!

Structure of the class

We will have four units in the class.

Unit 1 – Music

We will look at music with the birth of rock and roll in the 1950s up to present day music.

Unit 2 – Television

We will look at the evolution of the television family.  Shows will include Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, The Andy Griffith Show, The Brady Bunch, All in the Family, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, The Simpsons, Roseanne, The George Lopez Show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Middle, and Modern Family.

We will look at the use of satire with Saturday Night Live with each president from Gerald Ford to Donald Trump.

Unit 3 – Film

We will look at a handful of films that were groundbreaking for their time.  Those films include Rebel Without a Cause, Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Love the Bomb, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Star Wars, and Philadelphia.  In addition, there will be a yet-to-be-determined film that will be part of the unit exam.

Unit 4 – the Internet and Social Media

In this unit we will look at the advent of the internet and early social media.

The students will be selecting and presenting on some aspect of social media as their final exam presentation.

In all units there will also be analysis readings, other film clips, and plenty of discussion.  All films chosen are PG-13 or less.  All television shows are network shows.  If you have any concerns about films or shows presented, please contact me.

  • The easiest (and fastest) form of communication for me is email. Please make sure you have an accurate email in the school’s Synergy system so that you can get accurate updates.
  • The two main reasons students don’t pass this class: work not completed on time and excessive absences (which would be no more than six for the trimester); please help your student avoid these pitfalls.