Ap u. S. History Canton High School Contact Info: mr. Heitman room 607 email

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AP U.S. History

Canton High School

Contact Info:
MR. HEITMAN ROOM 607 EMAIL: jheitman@canton.k12.mo.us
Course Website: http://jheitman.pbworks.com/w/page/40948231/FrontPage
Course Description: The Advanced Placement United States History course is structured to provide high school students a freshman, college level survey class in American History. It is offered through the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. Successful completion of the course and the final examination generally result in college credit granted in later courses of study at American colleges and universities.

Required Texts and Materials

Students are expected to bring to class daily: a writing utensil, paper or notebook, a folder or 3 ring binder to keep assignments in, and the course textbook along with any additional reading/writing assignments.

Primary Text: Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Besides the main text the following additional readings will be used

  • Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., Cohen, Lizabeth. The American Pageant, Volume I: To 1877. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

  • Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., Cohen, Lizabeth. The American Pageant, Volume II: Since 1865. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

  • Bennett, William. The Spirit of America Words of Advice From the Founders in Stories, Letters, Poems, and Speeches. New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • Bolden, Tonya. Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877. New York: Knopf Publishing.

  • Borland, Bruce. America Through the Eyes of Its People Primary Sources in American History. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.

  • Davidson, James & Lytle, Mark. After the Fact the Art of Historical Detection. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Dubois, Ellen Carol, Dumenil, Lynn. Through Women’s Eyes: An American History, With Documents. Boston: Bedford /St. Martin.

  • Garraty, John A., Carnes, Mark C. The American Nation: A History of the United States. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.

  • O’Connor, Karen, Sabato, Larry J. American Government: Continuity and Change. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.

  • Saffell, David C., Basehart, Harry. State and Local Government: Politics and Public Policies.

New York: McGraw Hill.

  • Youngs, J. William. American Realities Historical Episodes from the First Settlements to the Civil War. New York: Harper Collins.

  • Zinn, Howard. A Peoples History of the United States. New York: Harper & Row.

  • Subscription to: American History Magazine, USA Today

  • Supplementary readings and primary sources provided by the instructor.

Course Outlook:

Advanced Placement United States History is designed to enable students to develop analytical skills and acquire a thorough knowledge of U.S. History. The approach to this course includes, but is not limited to, the following elements: development of substantial knowledge of social, cultural, political, economic, and military events relevant to the history of the United States; development of assessment and interpretive skills; development of mapping skills; and the development of communicative skills by writing coherent, analytical essays.

The overall guiding theme of the course is on American Identity. We will be exploring views of the American national character and ideas about American exceptionalism. We will also recognize regional differences within the context of what it means to be an American.
Student Evaluation/Grading Procedure: Students are given a variety of assignments, including numerous formative and summative assessments. The primary focus of all evaluations is to successfully prepare students for the AP U.S. History Exam. Homework and Projects (Practice Work) will account for approximately 40%; Quizzes and Tests (Assessments) 60%.

Grading Scale: See Student Handbook for Weighted Courses.

Homework and Test Policy: Make-up and late work, including exams will be treated as outlined in the Canton High School Student Handbook. General rule of thumb: plan in advance, communicate the plan with the instructor, and follow through with the plan.

Course Goals/Objectives:


Students will:

• Demonstrate a mastery of a broad body of historical knowledge—Q1

• Use historical evidence to defend and support basic arguments and positions—Q1

• Differentiate between various schools of historical thought and interpretation—Q2

• Interpret and draw conclusions from various pieces of historical data including:

original documents, cartoons, graphs, etc.—Q2

• Demonstrate an effective use of analytical skills of evaluation, cause-and-effect—Q3

relationships, and compare and contrast

• Work effectively in groups to produce products, make presentations, and solve—Q4


• Prepare for and receive a grade of 3 or higher on the AP U.S. History Exam—Q4

Classroom Discipline Plan: An Ideal Learning Environment

Students are expected to be punctual and attend class regularly. Student participation and effort are vital to their success in this Advanced Placement course. All assignments are expected to be turned in on time. Delinquent work and substandard classroom behavior will be treated according to the policies outlined in the Canton High School Student Handbook. I am a proponent of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support. However, classroom disruptions are a waste of valuable instruction time. Therefore classroom management will proceed as follows:

  1. Individual or Group Warning

  2. Final Warning

  3. Environmental approach: Change of assigned seat and education plan

  4. Detention and Notification of Parent/Guardian; or Office Referral

  5. The instructor reserves the right to alter conditions at any time in order to provide a quality learning environment for all students

**Students are required to keep a notebook and a three ring binder for all returned assignments, essays, and tests.


  1. Unit One: History and American Identity, The Rise of Colonial America

  2. Unit Two: The Development of the Colonies, Road to Revolution

  3. Unit Three: The Revolution, The Republic

  4. Unit Four: The Age of Jefferson, American Nationalism-=End of Q1

  5. Unit Five: Age of Jackson, America’s Economic Revolution

  6. Unit Six: The Old South, Era of Reform

  7. Unit Seven: On the Eve of War- Part One, Part Two

  8. Unit Eight: The Civil War

  9. Unit Nine: The Reconstruction Era

  10. Unit Ten: The American West

  11. Unit Eleven: Review and Final- Mid Year: December 2012-=End of Q2

  12. Unit Twelve: The Industrial Age, Urbanization, The American Political Machine, The Empire

  13. Unit Thirteen: The Rise of Progressivism, The Early 20th Century

  14. Unit Fourteen: World War I, The Roaring Twenties

  15. Unit Fifteen: The Great Depression, The New Deal-=End of Q3

  16. Unit Sixteen: The Global Crisis

  17. Unit Seventeen: World War II

  18. Unit Eighteen: The Cold War

  19. Unit Nineteen: American in Transition

  20. Unit Twenty: The Vietnam Era

  21. Unit Twenty One: The 1970s

  22. Unit Twenty Two: The 1980s

  23. Unit Twenty Three: The 21st Century and Beyond-=End of Q4

*Note: Depending on Academic Calendar and Rate of Learning for single chapter units will take 1-1.5 weeks and multi chapter units 2-3 weeks.

Unit Objectives and Course Schedule (Tentative):

First days of school-

  1. Instructor-Student Introduction, assigns seating, and goes over syllabus.

  2. Assign students various readings and practice assignments.

  3. Formally evaluate student performance, both written and verbal, in order to establish course expectations for the academic year. No letter grade will be assigned for practice essays.

Unit One: History and the American Identity

In order to understand the nature of history and the development of an American

Identity, students will be able to:

A. Analyze the importance of studying history, paying special attention to:

1. The nature of history

2. Writing history and writing about history

3. Interpretations of history

B. Evaluate the development of the “American Identity” pertaining to

1. The impact of geography on the American character

2. Evaluate the creation of an “American Identity”

Reading Assignments (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 1: The Collision of Cultures (entire) and The American Pageant- Chapter 1: “New World Beginnings,” and Dubois: “America in the World, to 1650.”

Themes: Native Cultures, Early Exploration & Colonization American Identity, Diversity, Determining the nature of history, historical investigation, archaeology, writing history, geography of the United States, and defining the American character.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. Pre-Columbian Societies

      2. American Indian empires in Mesoamerica, the Southwest, and the Mississippi Valley

      3. American Indian cultures of North America at the time of European contact

Major Assessments (MA): Standard Response Essay (How environments shape civilizations); and online multiple-choice quiz.

Unit One Continued - The Rise of Colonial America

In order to understand the genesis of American history, students will be able to:

A. Analyze the issues and conflicts of transatlantic contact between various civilizations.

B. Describe the establishment of American colonies by the European nations during the sixteenth century.

C. Discuss the unique nature of the settlement, culture, and religious thought between the colonies.

Reading Assignments (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 2: “Transplantations & Borderlands,” and Chapter 3: “Society and Culture in Provincial America,” The American Pageant- Chapters 3 and 4.

Themes: The evolution of Native American culture, the genesis of the American Identity, demographic shifts and patterns of colonial development (Spain, France, England), evolution of regional patterns in colonial settlement in North America.

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