APUSH Summer Reading - North Providence School Department

2015-2016 AP U.S. History Course Description and
Summer Reading Expectations
Welcome to AP U.S. History (APUSH)! This course is the
equivalent of a college history course designed to prepare
students for the rigor of college-level study of history. The history
of the United States of America will be surveyed from the age of
exploration and discovery to present day, organized into nine
historical periods.
In this course you will be developing and utilizing historical
thinking skills, including:
Chronological reasoning
Comparing and contextualizing
Crafting historical arguments using historical evidence
Interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative
The AP U.S. History course is also designed so that students will develop skills and strategies
for successfully completing the College Board AP U.S. History exam in May 2016. To this end,
students are expected to come into the course already possessing well-developed reading
and writing skills, as well as an AP course recommendation from their current history teacher
as to their academic readiness and maturity to enroll in the course. As this course is the
equivalent of a college survey course, AP U.S. History students must also possess
willingness—and ability—to devote time outside of class to homework reading, writing,
research, and study.
The breadth of topics in the AP U.S. History course necessitates independent study. Students
are expected to be responsible for the course content through consistent and diligent
homework completion and study. Many of the themes and topics in the course will be
discussed and examined in depth during class time. However, as we are on a very tight
course schedule during the year, it is impossible to address every topic area during class.
With time constraints in mind, and considering students have been previously exposed to
many APUSH topics in American Studies or American History/Civics I, class time will not be
regularly used to review homework chapter readings and factual information. Homework
assignments are students’ responsibility and will be necessary preparation for all class
discussions and activities. As collaborative work is an important element of the course, if
students fail to complete their assignments, it will be obvious to their classmates and
AP U.S. History provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the American historical
experience. Starting from the assumption that history is an evolutionary process, we will
examine how and why changes occur. To this end, you will be encouraged to think
thematically and conceptually about the past and to detect historical patterns and “change
over time” (trends that generally occur over long periods of time). The course is also designed
to encourage historical learning from multiple perspectives, allowing for a deeper
understanding of American political, social, cultural, and economic history.
AP US History Course Themes
The course structure organizes U.S. History into seven overarching themes that capture “big
ideas” in American history and encourage students to utilize a range of historical thinking
skills. These themes can be traced, allowing us to analyze and better conceptualize our
history. The following themes included in the College Board’s fall 2015 AP United States
History Course and Exam Description (and found at http://media.collegeboard.com/
digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-us-history-course-and-exam-description.pdf) will be incorporated
into class lessons, assignments, and assessments throughout the course:
Work, Exchange, and Technology
Politics and Power
Environment and Geography
America in the World
Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture
AP US History Course Units of Study for 2015-2016
The course outline is structured around the investigation of course themes and key concepts
in nine chronological periods. This outline is also included in the College Board’s 2014 AP
United States History Course and Exam Description:
! Period 1: 1491-1607—On a North American continent controlled by American Indians,
contact among the peoples of Europe, the Americas, and West Africa created a new
! Period 2: 1607-1754—Europeans and American Indians maneuvered and fought for
dominance, control, and security in North America, and distinctive colonial and native
societies emerged.
! Period 3: 1754-1800—British imperial attempts to reassert control over its colonies and
the colonial reaction to these attempts produced a new American republic, along with
struggles over the new nation’s social, political, and economic identity.
! Period 4: 1800-1848—The new republic struggled to define and extend democratic ideals
in the face of rapid economic, territorial, and demographic changes.
! Period 5: 1844-1877—As the nation expanded and its population grew, regional tensions,
especially over slavery, led to a civil war—the course and aftermath of which
transformed American society.
! Period 6: 1865-1898—The transformation of the United States from an agricultural to an
increasingly industrialized and urbanized society brought about significant economic,
political, diplomatic, social, environmental, and cultural changes.
! Period 7: 1890-1945—An increasingly pluralistic United States faced profound domestic
and global challenges, debated the proper degree of government activism, and sought
to define its international role.
! Period 8: 1945-1980—After World War II, the United States grappled with prosperity and
unfamiliar international responsibilities, while struggling to live up to its ideals.
! Period 9: 1980-present—As the United States transitioned to a new century filled with
challenges and possibilities, it experienced renewed ideological and cultural debates,
sought to redefine its foreign policy, and adapted to economic globalization and
revolutionary changes in science and technology.
Summer Assignment #1: Textbook & Notes: Due First Day of School (9/2/15)
APUSH Textbook provided:
By the People: A History of the United States AP Edition,
James Fraser ©2015
In order to provide a strong foundation in APUSH and allow for
review time prior to the exam in May, students are expected to
complete the reading and notes for chapters 1-4 prior to the first
day of school. Formative assessments on this material will begin
the first full week of school; summative assessments will begin
the third week of school.
Read the text and complete the reading guide for the first four
chapters of the textbook found at the end of this document. I recommend you follow the
Cornell Notes format for each section; define vocabulary and take notes on the questions for
each section. You are expected to complete the reading guide in your own handwriting (no
type written notes will be accepted).
Cornell Notes
The Cornell Notes strategy is an effective method to organize your notes as you read the text
and/or listen to class lectures. Refer to http://coe.jmu.edu/learningtoolbox/cornellnotes.html
for format and examples of how your notes should be
organized. Be patient and persistent: although this
strategy may seem awkward and time-consuming at
first, Cornell Notes are one of the most effective formats
for note taking, especially for those of you who read the
text but struggle with comprehension or recall. If the link
is broken, Google Cornell Notes or The Learning
Toolbox, a site produced by James Madison University.
Over the summer months, you will be required to
read Chapters 1-4 of your AP US History
textbook. These four chapters combined equal
approximately 120 pages of college level reading.
After you complete each chapter reading, you will be required to create 3-4 pages of
original Cornell notes on each chapter. Practicing this will serve you well, as we will be
building and using your notes throughout the year in your AP US History Toolkit. Listed
below are the specific requirements for each of the required chapter notes.
Four Chapters = 3-4 pages of notes per chapter. Please check the grading rubric for
notes in this handout! Make sure you don’t overdue it. Writing 7-8 pages of notes will
not be a useful study tool.
All of your notes must be handwritten, as neatly as possible. (Typed notes will not be
Paper size must be 8.5” x 11”. It is recommended that you use the AP History Cornell
Notes Format. Paper smaller or larger than 8.5” x 11” will not be accepted.
All chapter notes should be stapled separately. No spiral notebooks or binders will be
collected. Notes will be returned to you to add back into your binder (preferred method
for this class).
All of your notes must be original or rephrased from the text. Obviously copying
key words, sub-chapter headings, etc... is okay. However simply copying large areas of
text, definitions from the glossary, timelines etc...will not be accepted. If you do so, your
notes will be considered plagiarized, and you will receive a zero on this portion of your
summer assignment.
Your notes should be your summary of the main concepts and terms from each chapter.
Make sure to skip no more than 1 line when organizing your notes. Excessive spacing
will result in the loss of points for this portion of the Summer Assignment.
Weekly Chapter Notes
Grading Rubric
AP US History
Listed below are the requirements for receiving full credit on your weekly chapter notes. Each set of notes is worth
a total of 50 points.
1. Notes must be handwritten!
a. No exceptions. This must be as legible as possible. Notes that are scribbled or sloppy will lose
2. Notes must be on 8.5”x11” paper.
a. Paper smaller than this size will be docked points, unless the set of notes are 4 pages or more.
3. Notes must be 3 full pages to receive full credit.
a. Excessively large margins, or any move to “stretch” notes will result in loss of points.
4. Notes must be written in your own words.
a. Copying directly from the book will be considered plagiarism, and you will receive a ZERO for the
assignment and you will be subject to the rules/guidelines under the SVHS Behavior Expectations.
b. Copying notes from someone else enrolled in AP US History will result in a ZERO for both parties.
5. The structure of your notes must contain the following items.
Chapter # /
Class: US / History
Written at across the top few lines in your own words. Main idea of the chapter.
Written under
heading /
Write the main idea of the sub heading. Usually found at end of sub heading.
Skip a line
Bullet all factual information that supports main idea
Skip a line
Write the main idea of sub-section heading.
Bullet / List all factual data that support main idea. / Include Key Vocabulary
Repeat process for each Section Heading.
Skip a line
Write down any questions that you still have regarding the content of the chapter.
These will be addressed during class.
Skip a line
Write a short reflection for the chapter at the end of your notes. Should be brief.
At least 5-7 sentences. Try to connect the notes you took to the chapter thesis.
You do not need to write notes on everything you see. Instead, ask yourself the following questions as you take your
Do the notes you are taking fit the thesis or main ideas of the chapter?
Is the fact, person, or event you are reading about noteworthy?
How can I summarize this in a way that makes sense to me?
Summer Assignment #2: Historical Review: Due Wednesday, September 9, 2015
The purpose of this assignment is to get you thinking about American history, and the role
history can play in our lives. It also is an opportunity for me to assess your writing ability as
you enter the course and prepare for the year. A further objective of the AP US summer
assignment is to help you develop your time management skills, which will be important
during the year
Read the essay “History and Knowing Who We Are” by historian David McCullough. This
article can be found digitally at: http://www.americanheritage.com/content/history-andknowing-who-we-are
After reading McCullough’s essay, you must choose three major points/ideas from the essay,
and then support each point/idea by selecting and analyzing, in your own words, a specific
historical example from American history that you believe illustrates the point/idea the
historian makes in his article.
To help you in doing this, you are encouraged to think thematically, a skill that will be
practiced throughout the course. Please refer to the seven course themes listed below but
expanded upon in the AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework p. 20- 27 http://
! Identity
! Peopling
! Work, Exchange, and Technology
! Politics and Power
! Environment and Geography
! America in the World
! Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture
“These themes focus student understanding of major historical issues and
developments, helping students to recognize broad trends and processes that have
emerged over centuries in what has become the United States” (p. 20 APUSH
Curriculum Framework).
Your written response should be 3-4 typewritten pages in 12 point font Times New
Roman MLA format with Works Cited.
Thesis is absent
or does not
address topic.
Thesis is limited,
confused or poorly
developed; may restate
Thesis present that
addresses prompt.
Well-developed clear
that ‘answers’ the prompt.
& Use of
or no historical
presented does
not support the
Contains few pieces of
historical evidence or
evidence that irrelevant or
inaccurate. Evidence may
or may not support the
Supports the stated
thesis (or makes a
relevant argument)
using specific
historical evidence
Supports the stated
thesis (or makes a
relevant argument) using
specific historical
evidence, clearly and
consistently stating
how the evidence
supports the thesis or
argument, and
establishing clear
linkages between the
evidence and the thesis
or argument.
Thinking Skill
Does not
describe any
causes AND/OR
effects of a
Describes some causes
AND/OR effects of a
historical development
Describes causes
AND/OR effects of a
historical development
Describes causes AND/
OR effects of a
historical development
and analyzes specific
examples that
illustrate causes
AND/OR effects of a
Argument does not
connect the topic
of the question to
other historical
geographical areas,
contexts, or
Argument does not
consistently connect the
topic of the question
to other historical periods,
geographical areas,
contexts, or circumstances.
Several inconsistences.
Argument connects the
topic of the question
to other historical
periods, geographical
areas, contexts, or
circumstances. Some
appropriately connects
the topic of the
question to other
historical periods,
geographical areas,
contexts, or
May be poorly organized
and/or written.
organization and
2.5 pages, typed, 12 pt.
font, DBL spaced
3 pages, typed, 12 pt.
font, DBL spaced
Written so poorly
that it inhibits
Less than 2 pages,
font size incorrect,
single spaced
These are the grade equivalents for the scores below. To
“pass” the AP test, you must write a FR essay that scores a
4 or higher.
Clearly organized and
4 pages, typed, 12
pt. font, DBL spaced
100 pts.
90 pts.
85 pts.
78 pts.
65 pts.
50 pts.
0 pts.
By choosing to take AP, you are expected to complete this assignment. Your chapter
notes will be due the first day of class, Wednesday, September 2, 2015 and your
Historical Review will be due on Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Your summer
assignment will be worth 20% of your 1st quarter grade, and may not be turned in late. The
grading rubric for your summer assignment is attached. If any part of your project is found
to be plagiarized or copied you will receive a zero for the summer assignment.
Please take time to enjoy your summer. But don’t wait until the last minute to start your
summer assignment. AP US History is going to be fun and challenging, and I want you to start
the fall semester successfully. To that end, I would suggest spending a week on each portion
of the assignment. Breaking the project up in to small pieces will help you complete the
assignment on time, and will keep your stress level at a minimum.
Your assignment must be completed by each assigned due date and will count toward
your first quarter grade. If you have any questions at any time over the summer
relating to the assignment or the course, please e-mail me at
[email protected]
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