Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) 2015-2016
Textbook: Kennedy, David M. et al. The American Pageant (13th Edition)
Additional Readings: Kennedy, David M. et al. The American Spirit (2006,) Internet Modern History Sourcebook (Fordham University) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook.html
Requirements: All students must obtain a 3 ring binder for notes and supplemental resources.
Course Description: Advanced Placement United States History is a rigorous and intensive course that is meant to be the equivalent of an introductory freshman college course in American History. The scope of the course begins with the emergence of Colonial America (1400s), and continues through the end of the Cold War in the 20th Century.
In this course, students will study the political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural events that shaped American history in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam in May.
Reading Schedule: The most taxing component of APUSH is the reading schedule. Students are expected to do a considerable amount of reading from both the textbook and from supplementary sources. There will be reading assignments on a weekly basis, done outside of class while class time will focus on applying primary and secondary readings to the content and themes of this course. This will be done in a variety of ways, including analysis of Primary and Secondary sources, class discussions, writing, and other activities.
The class will be covering approximately 1-2 chapters of material a week. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to study, are necessary to succeed in this class.
Course Format: The course will be a combination of lecture and seminar (class discussion) formats. Students will be take notes, discuss important readings relating to the themes of United States History, as well as analyzing primary and secondary sources (i.e. speeches, photographs, maps, charts, articles, etc.) Students will be expected to read outside of class, so that the bulk of class time will be availed for questions and discussion. Readings should be done prior to class.
Course Expectations: Your presence in the classroom is fundamental to your success in the class. To this end, do not be late or absent, and make arrangements to avoid conflicts involving this class with appointments and other meetings.
While homework assignments will vary throughout the course in terms of scope and rigor, all students are responsible for completing assignments on the assigned due date. If you are absent, you are responsible for obtaining class notes and completing any missed work. Students with excused absences may complete any missed work for full credit in accordance with school policy. Furthermore, any assignment that has an extended due date is due on the assigned day, regardless of the reason for absence.
Exams: Exams will mirror the AP exam, which is a combination of primary source based multiple-choice questions, short answer questions as well as document based and free response essays.
Exams are rigorous because they are intended to challenge students at the AP Exam level. Moreover, they are designed to give students frequent experience with the types of multiple-choice questions, free-response questions, and document-based questions that appear on the AP Exam. Frequent exams also ensure that students read the textbook and supplementary readings, consistently check for understanding, and take notes that are thorough and well organized.
Both the Multiple-choice and essays will be graded in the same manner as the AP exam, with the essays being graded using the AP’s rubric for the Long Essay (LE) and Document Based Question (DBQ.)
Quizzes: Quizzes are based on document-based multiple choice and SAQ questions.
Homework: Homework will consist of chapter assignments and readings.
Primary Document Reading Assignments: All students will be required to analyze and reflect on primary documents (speeches, photographs, cartoons, maps, charts, works of art) in preparation for the APUSH Exam.
Classroom activities: Activities will include peer editing on practice DBQ responses and classroom discussion. Students are expected to contribute to class discussions and participate effectively in class activities. Many class sessions are seminars. In order for seminars to work, student preparation and participation is critical.