Advanced Placement United States History is a fast-paced and rigorous course designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to critically examine various issues in American History and relate them to events today. Because of one’s opportunity to earn college credit, dependent on one’s performance on the AP exam (May 11, 2012 @ 8am) and your college’s admission standards, this course is considered a college-level course. Hence, the workload and required student responsibility reflect college-level expectations. In addition to the academic content, this class will work on developing the skills necessary to perform well on the AP exam and which will benefit you in your future academic pursuits. These skills include writing analytically, interpreting historical documents, evaluating history from multiple perspectives, public speaking and critical thinking.
The creation of our nation occurred only a few hundred years ago. The origins of the American Story will include many groups that inhabited the American continents for hundreds of years, as well as rival European nations fighting for supremacy that ultimately culminated in the rebellion of the thirteen colonies against the British Empire in 1776. While the study of our history includes dates and facts about Presidents and wars; our story is the story of legends, curses and folk tales that have originated here in the Americas during the past three centuries and have stood the test of time. Names like Washington, Franklin, Lincoln, and Roosevelt are synonymous with American History, but it is also the “common man’s” journey that makes our history captivating, tragic and beautiful.
Master a broad body of historical knowledge
Demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology
Use historical data to support an argument/position
Have a sense of geographic literacy, political dynamics, economic patterns, religious influences, social and cultural trends, intellectual developments, and the influence of the arts Interpret and apply data from original documents (primary sources) Interpret and apply data from historical scholarship (secondary sources) Effectively use analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, and compare and contrast Work effectively with others to produce products and solve problems Write effectively to show a clear understanding of material and assignments Prepare for and successfully pass the AP exam
Divine, Robert A. et al. America Past and Present (AP* Edition) 9th Edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2011.
These will be provided to the students through handouts and/or the class website.
Barbour, Michael K et. al. AP* Exam Workbook to Accompany America Past and Present (AP* Edition) 7th Edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005.
Fernlund, Kevin. Document’s For America’s History Volume 1: Since 1865 7th Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
Yazawa, Melvin. Document’s For America’s History Volume 1: To 1877 7th Edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
A number of readers will be utilized to provide different interpretations of US History. These supplementary materials will enable students to fully grasp the concepts and information which will be on the AP exam. The list is also subject to revision.
Errico, Charles J. And Oates, Stephen B. Portrait of America Volumes 1-2 10th Edition. Boston, MA: Wadsworth CENGAGELearning, 2012.
Madaras, Larry And SoRelle, James. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in United States History, Volumes 1 and II: The Colonial Period to Reconstruction, 14th Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States, 1st Edition. NY: Harper Perennial, 1999.
I suggest you maintain a large binder divided by unit (keep at home) in which you collect all materials. It is mandatory that you keep an organized small binder with dividers and bring to class that just includes materials from the current unit divided into the following sections:
Unit Study Guides
You are required to submit your Reading Journal in a folder dedicated solely to this task. BLUE or BLACK ink pens, pencils, paper, highlighters, post-its, flash drives, etc are also recommended.
Although the amount of content we must cover dictates the frequent use of lecture, these periods will be supplemented with discussion and questioning. Additional strategies will be used including: document analysis, analytical reading, writing in various formats, debate, presentations, simulations, and collaborative and individual research.
Additionally in order to prepare for the AP* Exam, students will use:
past AP multiple choice questions
free response to outline and map essay answers
past AP DBQs and FRQs to learn how to interpret and analyze historical documents
You will always have something to read, either assigned that day or text that you are responsible for over the course of the unit. All readings must be done BEFORE the due date. Most writing and research will occur outside of class. However, time will be allocated in class for brainstorming and conference.
Unit Study Guides
You will be given a Unit Overview Study Guides.
Unit Overview will include a timeline activity to complete which will be due the day before the unit exam
Unit Overview will also contain
Terms must be written in the notebook you bring to class every day
Terms must be written in blue/black ink
Define and state the significance of the terms
No credit given for incomplete answers
Due day before units exam
You must keep a reading journal, which serves both as a means to give you credit for your reading and as a resource for review and preparation for the exam. You are required to make an entry into the reading journal for each chapter of required textbook reading and each assigned primary document (PD). You will use a specific format for textbook chapters. Annotating or APPARTS is recommended for the PDs. A model of a textbook chapter and lists of reading journal entries are located on the website. The reading journal is due the day of each unit exam.
In addition to the chapter readings, periodically you will be assigned supplemental reading that may be downloaded or read from the internet. You must read the article and complete the Article Review Worksheet which is found on the class website. These reviews will be due the day before a unit test.
Quizzes and Unit Exams
Brief quizzes are given on the reading assignments on a weekly basis. Why? To keep you honest! There is too much to cover by the teacher alone. You must do your part and there is no substitute for reading. These quizzes will consist of m/c questions and relate to the assigned reading. Please note these quizzes assess your reading, not just your ability to listen in class (i.e. material not covered in class may be on quiz Unit exams will be given at the end of the unit and will replicate an AP exam (80 m/c, FRQ and DBQ). Some unit exams may be take home exams. Some of the material tested will not be covered in class.
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