For each chapter I have students complete an overview which provides general understanding of the content that will be covered in that particular chapter. The overview requires them to create flashcards for key vocabulary terms that are listed on the overview. They are also responsible for answering the guided reading questions. This overview aligns with the McDougal Littell THE AMERICANS textbook. I usually assign each section prior to the lesson focused on that particular content. I find these overview extremely useful for generating classroom discussion. Student come to class with the necessary background information to process, discuss, and analyze content.
* This particular overview focuses attention on the the effects of immigration on the culture of America in the 19th and 20th centuries.