If you have any questions related to the summer assignment shoot me an email. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, you can go ahead and sign up as a subscriber on our class website
we will also be using an online quiz/testing website but I will have to set that up for the coming school year once we have rosters in place. But if you want to at least look it over it is
www.quia.com Information about the Coming Year
For the first time in many years the AP US History course has changed format and you will be the first class to experience this new version of the class and exam. The new test will focus on demonstration new skills as well as basic information about American History. You will be required to demonstrate your abilities in the history skills below:
a. Historical Causation: This is basically how and why events transpire in the historical process. In this process you follow a chain of events to understand important results.
b. Patterns of Continuity and Change over Time: As the name implies historians are not always looking for sudden and sweeping changes but also how and why history has not changed. What issues have not changed over time.
c. Periodization: This is related to how historians “chunk” periods into workable themes. For example, we work with terms such as the Era of Good Feelings. You would need to know the causation of why this came about, what aspects of the period saw changes and what things stayed the same. But of course, you also need to know when something occurred (in this case 1816-1824).
Comparison and Contextualization
a. Comparison: Historians like everyone else build their understanding of events based largely upon their relationship to other events. For example, in the 19th century there was a movement called Populism that eventually died out. But a new movement called Progressivism replaced it. Both movements could be compared because theyr shared many common themes.
b. Contextualization: While American History is certainly shorter than other histories, one still has to understand context related to other events. This is an especially important skill when it comes to understanding visual and written primary sources. Usually we look at the context in either “long term” or “short term events.” For example putting goods on a boat and sailing them from Memphis to St. Louis sounds easy enough. We understand this in context of our time of powered travel. But flash back to 1810 and this isn’t so easy sailing against the current of the mighty Mississippi River having nothing but paddles!
Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence
a. Historical Argumentation: This is an important aspect of the historical process. You and I might view an event from often radically different positions. Our interpretation of what just happened might be shaped by numerous previous experiences. We will examine how and why historians believe that events happened and these arguments are, in many ways, just as important to learn as the history itself.
b. Use of Relevant Historical Evidence: This is related to the use of sources to build historical arguments and also to understand the source’s reliability. Primary sources are usually the strongest and most reliable evidence (but there are exceptions). We will spend much time examining written primary and secondary sources and judging their significance, tone, bias, and intended purposes. This becomes an important skill in writing the DBQ essay.
Historical Interpretation and Synthesis
a. Interpretation: Closely linked to the above idea is the notion of understanding the point of view of a source. You will have to write a DBQ essay this year based upon primary and secondary source documents where you will have to analyze the sources for certain points of view.
b. Synthesis: This is really the process of writing essays based upon all of the above skills. In some ways this is a form of comparison usually various skills and background. In some cases, your arguments must come from various realms of history. The Depression we know was an economic event but it had social, political, and cultural effects.
Another major change for the coming year is that now the information for the class (and the AP exam itself) will revolve around 5 key themes of history. These themes have associated objectives that will form the basis of most of our essays this year. The themes are also based upon identified time frames. These themes are found below:
Your assignment for this summer is three-fold. The first objective is to examine the period of early American History long before there was even the concept of a United States at all. This will involve you doing a little research based upon the questions given below. These questions examine three cultures that came together to create a common American culture (African, European, and Native-American). The intent is to provide a foundation for latter discussion and to allow us to move ahead so that when the 1st semester commences we can start a deeper examination of colonial America.
The second objective is to get a head start on the colonial period of U.S. History. This is the time frame that is often featured on the AP US exam but was once frequently overlooked. In the new AP US redesigned course, it will now be more important for the exam materials. Our primary objective is to establish some background on Spanish, French, and Dutch (and a couple of Portuguese dudes) colonial efforts. We will start the year 1st week of the school year with the more important and successful English colonization of North America. The matrix
The third objective is to read one of the books listed below and to write a critical book review (instructions below). It is important that you not put this assignment off until the last minute Together the guided reading/research and the book review constitute TWO TEST GRADES FOR THE 1ST Quarter. In addition, there may be an exit test of some type to gauge your understanding of the Pre-Columbian to early colonization period. GUIDED READING AND RESEARCH I. AFRICA IN THE 15TH AND 16TH CENTURIES 1. The vast majority of African-Americans today can trace their ancestry back to sub-
The books that we will read this summer are Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis (ISBN 0375405445) or1776 by David McCullough (978-0743226721). Both books examine the lives of some of the early founders of the republic.
1. Typed paper 4 pages minimum, double-spaced, 12 font 2. Discuss Ellis’ or McCullough’s examination of the central figures in the book.
3. Which characters did you like the most and which the least? Explain your reasoning.
4. This review is due within one week of start of the 1st semester
On the matrix below, ID and Study the key people and terms. This needs to have some good detail. You will have a quiz on this during the first couple of weeks of school. So be prepared!!!!