Ap united States History/ap language Arts

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AP United States History/AP Language Arts

Mrs. Bristo/Mrs. Arons

bristoc@lake.k12.fl.us & keenerk@lake.k12.fl.us

Hello! We are looking forward to meeting you in our classes next year; we believe that AP US History is a grand experience. Our journey through US History will be much easier if we begin it over the summer, so think of this as a shift in the school calendar, not an extension. We need to finish our curriculum by early May, not mid-June, so getting a head start will definitely make your life calmer in the fall.

Commonly Asked Questions:

  1. Why do we have a summer assignment?

Junior year is a challenging time, as you are adjusting to a heightened set of academic expectations in all of your classes, and for the first time possibly taking several AP-level courses. Our year is busy, particularly at the beginning, and we have 3.5 weeks less than the regular academic calendar because the AP test is in early May (May 15th to be precise). We think that your life at the beginning of the school year will be much calmer if you start the work over the summer.

  1. When is the summer assignment due?

Technically this is not a summer assignment at all, because the assignments and quizzes are due the second and third weeks of school– it’s more along the lines of advance notice.

  1. What if I have questions over the summer?

Both of us will be available through the summer by email at bristoc@lake.k12.fl.us and keenerk@lake.k12.fl.us

  1. What if I do not do the summer assignment?

Your life will be busier the first three weeks of school next year. There is no penalty for not doing these over the summer.

  1. What if I’m not sure if I really want to take AP next year?

We’d be happy to meet with you and talk about the expectations of the class. While it is a challenging course, it certainly is one that you can master. Talk to your friends who have already taken the course, talk to your parents, then talk to us. You’ll do fine.


Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, by Joseph J. Ellis

Publisher: Vintage Books (Random House, Inc.)

ISBN: 978-0-375-70524-3
About the book: The Pulitzer Prize-winning book Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis is considered to be good history and good literature. It is good history because it is based upon his extensive research using primary sources, and because it attempts to substantiate a complex analysis of the accomplishments of the most important leaders of The Revolutionary Generation. It is good literature because Ellis knows how to tell an interesting story and bring to life the personality and character of each of his major figures. I hope you will find it both a “good read” and an excellent model for the type of thinking and writing that we wish to help you refine in AP American History and AP Language and Composition.

  1. READING: Read the book and the primary resource packet.

  2. READING QUESTIONS: Complete the attached reading questions (p. 3) as well as the questions on page 5 & 6. You may use both the book and outside sources to help you complete these questions. This assignment is due September 4, 2012.

  3. QUIZ: A reading quiz over the book will be given on September 4, 2012. The quiz questions will be based on the reading questions.

  4. PRIMARY RESOURCE PACKET: These are documents that will be read throughout the first 18 weeks of the course. We are giving them to you over the summer so that you may have a heads up and work on reading them ahead of time if you choose. Some of the questions that could be asked about each selection are found below the passage. You will also be expected to complete the questions on pages 5 and 6 for each of the documents. You may want to start on that task now as the first three documents will be due very early in the fall.


    1. In his Farewell Address, George Washington said:

It [the spirit of political parties or factions] serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

Washington argued that because this was true, the United States should be wary of political parties and factions.

    1. Create a mock interview between a journalist and one of the main historical figures discussed in the book (Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, A. Adams, Madison, Hamilton, or Burr) about the formation of political parties. You must write the interview questions AND the responses you imagine the historical figure would give. The interview should be 2-3 pages long (typed, double-spaced). Your grade will be based on your use of accurate, specific content from the book including your ability to accurately reflect the ideas of the founder. A rubric follows.

  1. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Students must memorize the names of all the U.S. Presidents in order and be prepared for a quiz on the order on August 31, 2012.

  2. BONUS: Take a picture of yourself reading the book this summer (such as by the pool, at the beach, in a tree) and email the picture to me at bristoc@lake.k12.fl.us. I will be putting together a slide show with the pictures for the first week of school.


  1. How many states existed in 1796?

  2. Who were the two people who stood out as likely presidential candidates after Washington?

  3. What did Adams and the Federalists want?

  4. What was “one of the worst things you could do as a political leader”?

  5. Why did John Adams think it was his “turn” to serve as president?

  6. Who won the 1796 presidential election?

  7. Who was elected Vice-President? Why?

  8. What did the 12th Amendment do?

  9. What problems did Washington leave behind for the new President to solve?

  10. To whom was Adams’ cabinet loyal?

  11. How did John Adams view Alexander Hamilton?

  12. Why were the French angry about Jay’s Treaty?

  13. Why did the XYZ Affair lead to Anti-French sentiment in America (what happened that was so offensive)?

  14. What did the Alien and Sedition Acts do?

  15. What did the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions aim to do?

  16. What kinds of slurs did each side use against the other in the election of 1800?

  17. How was Aaron Burr different from other political leaders of his time?

  18. How did Alexander Hamilton affect the election of 1800?

  19. What 2 deaths did John Adams experience at this time?

  20. Where was Jefferson was the first President to be inaugurated?

  21. What did Jefferson mean when he said, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists” in his inaugural address?

  22. What was Jefferson’s vision of the future?

  23. What did the Federalists accuse Jefferson of in numerous newspapers [more than one thing]?

  24. What event prevented the Hemmings affair from hurting Jefferson’s reputation at the time?

  25. Why did Jefferson want to buy Louisiana?

  26. For how much did Napoleon sell the Louisiana Territory?

  27. By how much did the Louisiana Purchase increase the size of the U.S.?

  28. What was an “affair of honor”?

  29. Why didn’t Alexander Hamilton like Aaron Burr?

  30. What did Hamilton plan to do with his shot during the duel with Burr?

  31. How did the duel affect Burr’s political career?

  32. What were the effects of the Embargo Act?

  33. How did John Adams think he would be viewed by history?

  34. What did John Adams say in his last public statement?

  35. On what date did Adams and Jefferson die? What was the significance of this day?

Historical Interview Rubric





Not Yet

Questions effectively focus on a specific

aspect of the topic (political parties)






The introductory and closing questions

set-up and end the interview appropriately






Contains a minimum of 10 open-ended

questions and answers






Answers demonstrate knowledge of

history and information from the

Founding Brothers book






Answers are specific, accurate, detailed

with use of facts to support point, and

focused on the topic (political parties)






Conventions (grammar, spelling,

punctuation, capitalization)






Writing Style: sentence fluency,

organization, word choices, and voice add to the understanding of the topic






Title of assigned Essay/Document: _______________________________________________

Author of Piece: ______________________________________________________________

FIRST, PLEASE READ about Questioning the Text:

Posing key questions about a text and then answering them to the best of your ability is a helpful means of understanding and explaining more clearly an essay’s substance and structure. Certain basic questions are significant for nearly any text you confront, and answering them can be a powerful means of enhancing your comprehension. As you read your text, such questions help you spot the salient issues that lie within most essays, regardless of their form or length. It is a good habit to have these questions in mind as you read, and be able to respond to them once you’ve thought through your reading.

Directions: For every reading complete the following questions. These questions are designed to help you dig deeper into the text. We will use these responses for future class discussion.

  1. What is the thesis or main point of the text? How does the author support his/her thesis?

  2. What methods does the author use to support these points, for instance, illustration, example, citing authorities, citing studies and/or statistics, description, personal experience, or history? Please give specific examples of the method(s) used from the text.

  3. Does the author use any special terms or expressions that need to be clarified to understand this essay? This can include jargon specific to a certain field, or an abstract term that holds many different meanings in many different contexts to many different groups. Please identify and explain these terms.

  4. What is the level of discourse of this essay? I.E.: what is the audience’s level of educational attainment the author presumes?

  5. What is the purpose of this essay? Is the author presenting a value position, and, if so, is he/she either directly or indirectly presenting his/her moral framework on an issue, or is he/she summarizing or describing an issue? Or, is the purpose of this essay to entertain?

  6. Finally, what is your opinion of this essay? Did you find it enjoyable, boring, biased, short-sighted, colorfully descriptive, lacking adequate detail, etc.? Please explain your answer. Cite specific examples from the text to support your review.

  7. Discuss the specific language, structure, organization, and length choices of the author.

  8. Discuss how the above contribute to the tone and purpose of the essay?


Directions: Please complete this with every piece you read!

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