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American History Classes


WHAT:  Class for students ages 10+.  


COST:  $300 for each six-week component,

           five components in the school year.

           Students must have their own season pass to the park.

           These classes may be included as an enrichment class

           as part of the Journey Program.

Experience American history in a living museum!

America was once just an idea, but it was not until that idea was forged with courage, sweat, blood and innovation, that it became a nation. Understanding where we come from is essential for our future.


Walter and Cordelia Knotts, the founders of America’s first theme park, personified these principles. Despite failed crops on their farm, and a latter great depression, they defied defeat, creating success through these

core principles. Tough times led to innovations, such as their creation of the boysenberry, and Walter to create themed attractions to keep the masses of hungry people waiting for roasted chicken and homemade

pies happy. Soon, the attractions themselves began to draw more people, leading to the creation of an entire theme park.


Walter felt his American Heritage acutely, and chose the Old West as his first theme, importing actual buildings from real ghost towns to create a living history of actual historical artifacts, a method he repeated to represent additional eras of American History.


We now are the recipients of his gift; utilizing Knott’s park as our “textbook” from which to study American History, we will study American history in its complexity, exploring buildings, telling stories, and thrilling our senses on some of the most thrilling rides in the west!

Schedule of Topics 2016-2017 (subject to adjustment):


Aug 22 -     Walter Knott: Resourceful American???

Aug 29 -     Join the Posse! Interactive Wild West Experience

Sep 5 -       NO CLASS (Labor Day)

Sep 12 -     What makes America Great?

Sep 19 -     Native Americans – History, Culture and Religion

Sep 26 -     Exploration and Colonization: 1492 – 1762

Oct 3 -       French and Indian War

Oct 10 -     NO CLASS (Columbus Day)

Oct 17 -     Revolutionary War I

Oct 24 -     Revolutionary War II

Oct 31 -     Growing Pains and the Constitution

Nov 7 -      The Haunted History of Halloween

Nov 14 -    Election Day Lesson (preview, or do post-election week after)


Nov 28 -    The Nation Expands: The Louisiana Purchase, Exploration, and new frontiers

Dec 5 -       The Antebellum Era, 1800-1850

Dec 12 -     Celebrating Holidays through the Ages

Jan 2 -        NO CLASS (WINTER BREAK)

Jan 9 -        How Wide the Divide: The Mason-Dixon Line and the compromise of 1850, (1850 - 1864)

Jan 16 -      NO CLASS (Martin Luther King Day)

Jan 23 -      Civil War I

Jan 30 -      Civil War II

Feb 6 -        Reconstruction

Feb 13 -      Head West, Young Man. Westward Expansion


Feb 27 -      Dime Novels & the Real American Cowboy: Buffalo Bill, Pony Express and the Transcontinental Railroad, 1847 - 1912

Mar 6 -       The Second Industrial Revolution, 1890 - 1912

Mar 13 -     The World at War: World War I

Mar 20 -     The Jazz Age & Roaring 20’s

Mar 27 -     The Great Depression & Roosevelt’s New Deal

Apr 3 -        The World at War, Again! World War II Part I


Apr 17 -      The World at War, Again! World War II Part II

Apr 24 -      The Rise of Two New World Powers: America’s Capitalism and Suburbia vs the Soviet’s Communism: 1945-1967

May 1 -       Civil Rights and the Counter-Culture: 1955 -1969

May 8 -       America in Decline?

May 15 -     America Rises Again: Reagan, the Culture Wars, and the Defeat of Communism:1980’s and Early 90’s

May 22 -     The Global Age & the Rise of the Internet: 1995 - Present

May 30 -     The Heritage of America: What is the impact of America on the rest of the world?

Jun 5 -         The American Future

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