Purpose (from the CollegeBoard course description):
“The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. … An AP U.S. history course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.”
AP U.S. history is literally a college-level history class. It is not a typical high school “honors” class. It is for students who are willing and capable of thinking, working, behaving, and learning at a level beyond high school expectations, even beyond “honors.” It will be very challenging and intense. However, it is surely not impossible and will be very rewarding for those who are capable and dedicated to the task.
A.P. US History, 11th grade
All of US history (B.C. to the present)
Shallow coverage of every topic
Homework every class
Few projects and group activities
Focus on advanced skills of college prep, studying, essay writing, passing AP test
Usu. more mature students; laid-back atmosphere
Possible college credit (if you pass the AP test)
Rules, policies and consequences
All rules and policies of the Boswell High School Code of Conduct and the Student Handbook will be enforced in class. In addition, these specific classroom rules will be emphasized:
Come prepared for class every day.
Wait for permission to speak.
Respect all persons, ideas and opinions. I will not tolerate inappropriate slurs regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, drugs, alcohol, etc.
No eating in class. Water is fine in a bottle with a lid.
You are responsible for your own success.
Students who choose not to follow the above rules are subject to the appropriate consequences as outlined in the Code of Conduct and Handbook. Extreme disruptions and emergencies will be immediately referred to the office.
Grading will be according to the typical A – F scale, where 90 – 100% is an “A,” 80 – 89% is a “B,” etc. However, each student’s final average in the class is weighted by category. There are two categories: the Tests category is 70% of the student’s final average; the Classwork/Homework (CW/HW) category is the remaining 30%. As required, the final exam for this class will then be included as 20% of the final grade after the first two categories have been averaged. Students will be given grade updates and progress reports periodically AND can view their grades on Skyward for more frequent updates. All tests will be announced in advance.
Because of the intense scope and challenging expectations of this class, students must perform much preparatory work outside of class. Students can expect to spend at least one hour prior to every class on reading homework assignments. Each assignment will be clearly given in advance, including page numbers, topic, and what objectives to read towards. In addition, students must actively read, using active reading strategies to document their work on paper. These will be turned in every class for a grade before being returned to students to aid in their study. A later possibility will be taking a chapter quiz in place of the active reading homework. More information and details will be given in class. Also, expect assignments on weekends and holidays as well. Please see the attached schedule.
Tests will be modeled after the national Advanced Placement Examination from the College Board program. They will generally consist of a multiple-choice section, a matching section and an essay section of near equal weight. Some essays on the tests are Document-Based Questions (DBQ), in which students must interpret given primary source documents as well as previously-learned factual information to draw their conclusions. This format will prepare students for the national exam at the end of the semester.
National Advanced Placement Examination
AP classes afford students the opportunity to receive college credit for their hard work, provided they successfully pass a national exam offered at the end of the semester. The US History exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions, one DBQ essay, and two free-response essay questions. AP students will be prepared for and are strongly encouraged to take this exam. There is a fee, however, that must be paid in advance of the exam. It is usually around $90. More information will be available as the year progresses.
Examples of AP-style test questions: Multiple choice:
Which of the following statements about the “American System” is correct?
It was set up by the Treaty of Ghent at the end of the War of 1812
It was strongly promoted by Andrew Jackson
It permitted immigrants to be naturalized after living in the U.S. for five years
It was designed to meet the nation’s need for economic progress and self-sufficiency
It called for an end to the European presence in South America
Free-response essay: Analyze the degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective form of government with respect to any TWO of the following:
Discuss the changing ideals of American womanhood between the American Revolution and the outbreak of the Civil War. What factors fostered the emergence of “republican motherhood” and the “cult of domesticity”? Assess the extent to which these ideals influenced the lives of women during this period. In your answer be sure to consider issues of race and class. Use the documents below and your knowledge of the time period in constructing your response.
[documents provided after question]
To help students better conceptualize history, however, these topics will also be organized according to themes identified as important by the CollegeBoard. This course will emphasize:
American Diversity – who is an American?
American Identity – what does it mean to be an American?
Culture – how is America expressed?
Politics and Citizenship – how do Americans participate in their government?
Reform – what are American problems and how have they (not) been fixed?
War and Diplomacy – how do wars and foreign countries affect America?
*Wed. May 14, 2013 – National Advanced Placement U.S. History examination* AN INQUIRY RESEARCH PROJECT WILL ENSUE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE AP EXAM!! Semester 1.
I. The Beginnings: 1500-1789, 1. Discovery and Settlement of the New World, 1492-1650
A. Europe in the sixteenth century
B. Spanish, English and French exploration
“Gold, God and Glory”
C. First English settlements: Jamestown and Plymouth
D. Spanish and French settlements and long-term influence
E. American Indians
2. America and the British Empire, 1650-1754
A. Chesapeake society
a. Compare & Contrast New England’s society to Chesapeake society (DBQ)
B. The “Restoration Colonies”
C. Mercantilism: the Dominion of New England
D. Origins of slavery
3. Colonial Society in the Mid-Eighteenth Century
4. Social Structure
1. Family: Role of Women and Children
2. Farm and town life; the economy
1. The Great Awakening
2. The American mind
C. New Immigrants
4. Road to Revolution, 1754-1775
A. Anglo-French rivalries and The Seven Year’s War
B. Imperial reorganization of 1763.Importance of “Salutary Neglect”
1. Stamp Act
2. Declaratory Act
3. Townshend Acts
4. Boston Tea Party
C. Philosophy of the American Revolution
5. The American Revolution, 1775-1783
A. Continental Congress and Declaration of Independence