Advanced Placement United States History

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Advanced Placement United States History

Course Description:

AP® U.S. History is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course and can earn students college credit. It is a two-semester survey of American history from the age of exploration and discovery to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography.

Course Objectives

Students will:

• master a broad body of historical knowledge

• demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology

• use historical data to support an argument or position

• differentiate between historiographical schools of thought • examine how political institutions, social and cultural developments, diplomacy, and economic trends are interweaved throughout history

• interpret and apply data from original documents, including cartoons, graphs, letters, etc.

• effectively use analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, compare and contrast

• work effectively with others to produce products and solve problems

• prepare for and successfully pass the AP U.S. History Exam

Historical Themes:

In addition to the course objectives listed above, the course will emphasize a series of key themes throughout the year. The themes will include discussions of American diversity, the development of a unique American identity, the evolution of American culture, demographic changes over the course of America’s history, economic trends and transformations, environmental issues, the development of political institutions and the components of citizenship, social reform movements, the role of religion in the making of the United States and its impact in a multicultural society, the history of slavery and its legacies in this hemisphere, war and diplomacy, and finally, the place of the United States in an increasingly global arena. The course will trace these themes throughout the year, emphasizing the ways in which they are interconnected and examining the ways in which each helps to shape the changes over time that are so important to understanding United States history.

Course Texts :

Primary Texts:

John J. Newman and John M. Schmalbach. United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination (New York: Amsco School Publications, 2004).

David M. Kennedy, Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic (Boston: McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin, 2005).

Supplementary Texts:

Yad Vashem. Echoes and Reflections: A Multimedia Curriculum on the Holocaust (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2005).

Frederick M. Binder and David M. Reimers. The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History. 4th edition, Volume I: 1492-1877 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000).

Frederick M. Binder and David M. Reimers. The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History. 4th edition, Volume II: 1865-Present (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000).

Diane Ravitch. The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation. (New York: Harper Perennial/Harper Collins, 1991).

Larry Madaras and James M. SoRelle. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in American History. 10th edition, Volume I: The Colonial Period to Reconstruction. (Connecticut: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2003).

Larry Madaras and James M. SoRelle. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in American History. 10th edition, Volume II: Reconstruction to the Present. (Connecticut: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2003).

Julie A. Schumacher, et al. A House Divided: America’s Civil War. (Iowa: Perfection Learning Company, 2000).

Upton Sinclair. The Jungle. (New York: Bantam Books, 1981).

Joseph J. Ellis....
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