Ms. Plesco

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
-Malcolm X

Hello My Name Is...

Kari Plesco


Welcome to History at Clara B. Ford!

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Master’s in Special Education and before that, I received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Eastern Michigan University.  I teach Social Studies, serve as the SIP facilitator, and teach the Student Leaders. Prior to joining the team at Clara B. Ford Academy, in 2012, I spent ten years teaching at various schools around the Detroit metropolitan area and at all grade levels; Clara B. Ford is, by far, the most fun and rewarding experience of my career.

I have lived my life in southeast Michigan, but love to travel.  I enjoy spending time with family, as well as reading, writing, and building things.

If you wish to contact me, select the "contact me" tab on the left side of the page (under my name).  Please leave the following: your name, your email address, the student’s class you are contacting me about, and your question/comment.  If you do not have an email, leave your phone number in the question/comment section.

While email is the best form of communication, if you wish to contact me directly during the school day, my open hours of availability are from 8:45am until 9:45am and 1:30pm until 1:45pm.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to increase students’ knowledge of historical events, sharpen their skills at rational discourse about global and social issues, and stimulate critical thinking skills.  Students will gain a deeper understanding of history through research, presentation, and reading of historical documents and nonfiction, as well as fictional narratives. The course will consist of a basic examination of the chronological record with an emphasis placed on political, social, and economic developments.  The study of geography is integrated in the course to provide a spatial understanding of the historical concepts taught, and look at the different peoples and cultures that have appeared in history and how they interact with and influence each other.

Students will improve critical thinking and problem solving skills as evidenced through writing, projects, tests, and classroom work that requires positive engagement with peers and monitoring their academic progress and classroom behaviors required to make academic progress.

For specific topics taught this year, click on the class subpage on the left.


Information to assist with tutoring will be posted as we move through the units and topics of study.  Useful information for tutoring is also found on the class subpages.  Links to pages that have activities to practice skills and hone knowledge can be found by clicking on ‘Useful Links’.  I will post which links are most helpful per unit and topic we are working on. Sometimes a site may ask you to join, but these are always free- you would simply need an email address; it is not a requirement to utilize them, but they are interactive formats that often games and fun ways to learn.


If a student does not finish work during class, or if she was absent and needs to make-up assignments, work may be taken back to the building for completion.  Homework that is assigned does not require any special materials except perhaps a dictionary.

Daily Procedures

  1. Upon entering class, students pick up their folders, a pencil, and any supplemental material (i.e. articles to read, graphic organizers, etc.).
  2. Bell work will be displayed on the board.  Students respond to the task on a Bellwork grid or by writing Journal reflections on loose leaf paper, followed by discussion.  Tasks are generally open-ended, opinion based or brainstorming with a partner.  Typically, there is no wrong answer, but students are asked to justify their opinions in complete sentences.
  3. After discussion, students are presented with new information for the day, via guided note-taking or investigation, and then they use the information for the activity.
  4. At the end of class, the whole class regroups to go over the activity and any questions students might have.

Classroom Rules/Expectations

  1. Come to class on time.  Students who arrive late without a valid excused pass/call from another teacher (or staff) will not be permitted to complete Bellwork exercises for the day.
  2. Come ready to learn.  Remember, it is your future for which you are preparing.
  3. Be responsible. Your education is your responsibility.  I am here to guide you along.  Come to class on time and prepared and turn in your assignments on time.
  4. Be respectful.  Be respectful of yourself, the teacher, your classmates, and other visitors/guests of the school.

School Rules to be followed in the Classroom (School-wide non-negotiables):

  1. Cell phones should be silenced and out of sight. 
  2. Hallway Passes needed during class periods.
  3. Only Approved food or drink consumed during school hours.
  4. Teacher’s desk, chair, cell phone, laptop, and classroom phone are off limits to students.