This course will attempt to provide the student with a classroom experience at the college level. It is also the aim of this course to prepare the student to master the AP Exam. The course will emphasize document interpretation, compiling a factual understanding of US History, and the writing of essays. This course will explore many topics. They will include but are not limited to: Exploration, Colonial Life in America, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the Progressive Era, WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, The Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, The Great Society, Vietnam, and Globalization. The course will also fulfill the requirement for US history for high school graduation.
This course will also explore many themes that are mandated by the College Board for a thorough understanding of US History. These themes are as follows: American diversity, American identity, American culture, demographic trends, economic trends, environmental issues, political institutions, and components of citizenship, role s of religion, social reforms, history of slavery, war and diplomacy, and the role of the US in a global arena. This course will attempt to show the interconnection of these themes as we move throughout the course.
To achieve these objectives a variety of activities will be utilized. Chapter quizzes will be administered as well Unit Tests. Some units will also require the students to write a document based essay as well as a free response essay chosen by the instructor. Each student will also be required to keep a notebook throughout the year. This notebook will be used by the students to discuss how each of the major themes are integrated into each chapter we study. Finally, each chapter will be supplemented by using the AP Exam prep guide listed in the resource section of this syllabus.
All Students enrolled in this course will be required to take the AP Exam. The cost will be approximately $85. Each unit will also encourage students to approach history from an historian’s prospective (ex. How has history changed or remained the same or what is the historical significance of an event?). This will be accomplished through discussion and free response questions.
40% Unit Tests
20% DBQ essays
20% Chapter Assignments
1. Survey text: You are responsible for reading and studying the survey text by Brinkley. There will be a study guide and calendar located on the web page at the beginning of each unit to assist in understanding the text material and following the schedule for reading and daily activities as well as quiz and test dates. While some of the text will be discussed in detail, much of it will be covered through independent learning. Approximately 65% of the multiple-choice questions on the unit tests will come directly from the text assignment.
Unit reading quizzes consisting of 10-15 questions based on the text and the study guide will be given to encourage students to stay abreast of reading assignments. These quizzes will be daily grades and could be either multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank.
2. Supplemental readings: You will be given primary and secondary reading materials (essays, articles, documents, etc.) within each unit that will deal with an organizing concept that will be emphasized on the unit writing assignments. The materials are to be read and eventually used to help construct and defend a thesis within a timed written essay. These supplemental reading assignments will take the form of individual reading and response to questions, group assignments and seminar-type or group discussions. Also you will be required to write brief essays taking a position on the “Where Historians Disagree” series defending your position.
3. Notes: Good note-taking skills are essential in an A.P. class. You are required to take notes on lectures and discussions and I recommend a spiral notebook for that purpose.
4. Research: Research is a significant part of this college level course. Use of a college library and primary sources in original research will be expected.
Textbook and Other Resources
Alan Brinkley. American History: A Survey. 12th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2007
Primary Source Investigator CD Rom. Boston, Mass: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc., 2007.
www.etsu.edu/cas/history/americadocs.htm Henretta, James A., Brody, David, Dumenil, Lynn. Documents to Accompany America’s History Sixth Edition. Boston, Mass: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2008
Reading of required text and documents are required to be completed before they discussed in class. The instructor may test periodically to assess reading comprehension. Students will not only be responsible for reading, but for analyzing and interpreting the reading assignments as well, to facilitate in depth classroom discussions of the material.