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Curricular Requirements



The course includes a college-level U.S. history textbook



The course includes diverse primary sources consisting of written document, maps, images, quantitative data (charts, graphs, tables) and works of art

3,5,7,8,10,12 14,15, 16,17,18,20, 21


The course includes secondary sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past


14,16, 18, 20


Each of the course historical periods receives explicit attention





The course provides opportunities for students to apply detailed and specific knowledge (such as names, chronology, facts, and events) to broader historical understandings



The course provides students with opportunities for instruction in the learning objectives in each of the seven themes throughout the course, as described in the APUSH curriculum framework

3,4,6,7,8, 12,14,20,21


The course provides opportunities for students to develop coherent written arguments that have a thesis supported by relevant historical evidence – Historical Argumentation

2,3,6,7,8,14,16, 20


The course provides opportunities for student to identify and evaluate diverse historical interpretations – Interpretation



The course provides opportunities for students to analyze evidence about the past from diverse sources, such as written documents, maps, images, quantitative data (charts, graphs, tables) and works of art – Appropriate use of historical evidence

3, 13, 17


The course provides opportunities for students to examine relationships between causes and consequences of events or processes – Historical causation

3,7,13,14, 16


The course provides opportunities for students for students to analyze patterns of continuity and change over time and connect them to larger historical processes or themes – Patterns of change and continuity over time



The course provides opportunities for students to investigate and construct different models of historical periodization - Periodization



The course provides opportunities for students to compare historical developments across or within societies in various chronological and geographical contexts – Comparison



The course provides opportunities for students to connect historical developments to specific circumstances of time and place, and to broader regional, national, or global processes - Contextualization



The course provides opportunities for students to combine disparate, sometimes contradictory evidence from primary sources and secondary works in order to create a persuasive understanding of the past



The course provides opportunities for students to apply insights about the past to other historical contexts of circumstances, including the present



Kennedy, David and Elizabeth Cohen. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. 14th Edition (2011). [CR1a]


  • Grades will be calculated by points

    • Tests = 40%

    • Quizzes = 20%

    • Homework = 20%

    • Class Participation = 20%

  • Students progress will be evaluated through homework, writing assignments, quizzes and tests

    • Weekly chapter reading quizzes based on American Pageant readings

    • Unit tests – Teacher-developed Unit tests, based on the new APUSH format

  • There will be formal writing assignments based on the written portions required by the APUSH exam

    • Short answers

    • Long essay [CR5]

    • DBQs [CR5][CR13a]

  • Homework will be posted on School Wires and in-class

Notebook Requirement

  • Students must have a multi-section notebook. The notebook will be divided into the following sections:

    • Notes

    • Vocabulary

    • Key-Concepts and Thematic Learning Objectives

Period 1[CR2] (1491-1607)

On a North American continent controlled by American Indians, contact among the peoples of Americas, and West Africa created a new world.

Textbook: American Pageant Chapter (pages): 1-2 [CR1a]

  • Interaction between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans

  • The Colombian Exchange

  • Spanish colonization

  • Foundations of slavery

  • Effect of colonization on Natives


  • Maize

  • Atlantic seaboard

  • Columbian Exchange

  • Demographic

  • Encomienda system

  • God, gold, glory

  • Feudalism

  • Capitalism

Key Concepts

1.1: Before the arrival of Europeans, native populations in North America developed a wide variety of social, political, and economic structures based in part on interactions with the environment and each other.
1.2: European overseas expansion resulted in the Columbian Exchange, a series of interactions and adaptations among societies across the Atlantic.
1.3: Contacts among American Indians, Africans, and Europeans challenged the worldviews of each group.

Thematic Learning Objectives: (PEO-1) (PEO-4) (PEO-5) (ENV-1) (ENV-2) (ENV-4) (WXT-1) (WXT-4) (WOR-1) (POL-1) (CUL-1) (ID-4)

Secondary Sources

  • Crosby, Alfred. “The Columbian Exchange” [CR1c]

  • Merrell, James “The Indians’ New World: The Catawba Experience” [CR1c]

  • Mancall, Peter C. “Imperial Rivalries” [CR1c]

  • Zinn, Howard, “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress” [CR1c]

Primary Sources

  • Columbus, Christopher. “Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain” [CR1b]

  • “The Requirement” (1514) [CR1b]

  • Bartolomé de Las Casas debates the subjugation of the Indians, 1550 [CR1b]

Student Activities

  • Students will read Howard Zinn’s “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress” and write a 5 page paper on the following question: What is Howard Zinn's main argument in his opening chapter to A People's History of the United States? How does the author use supporting evidence from early American history to prove his point? [CR5]

  • Students will work in groups to complete the following Cooperative Learning Activity: “3 Societies Converge/Visual Display”. Students will break into groups in order to create a visual and textual display of the difference between African, European, and Native American life before the 3 societies converged in the 1500s. 

Group 1: Maya, Spain, Ghana

Group 2: Aztec, England, Mali

Group 3: Inca, France, Songhai
Group 4: Pueblo, Portugal, Benin
Group 5: Iroquois, Roman Empire, Kongo
Topics to include, but are not limited to:
Family life/Gender Environment 
Social hierarchy, Slavery/Warfare/Weapons
Arts Goods/Crops, Religion
Political structure

[CR12] [CR10] [CR4] [CR11]

  • Students will read Merrell, James “The Indians’ New World: The Catawba Experience”. They will be asked to answer the following questions: identify how Catawba culture passed through three distinct stages after contact with the Europeans. What were the forces that produced those changes? What strategies did the Catawbas use to hold on to their culture? (CR9) [CR5]

  • Students will read the following primary sources: “Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain”, “The Requirement” (1514), Bartolomé de Las Casas debates the subjugation of the Indians, 1550. Students will analyze the documents using FLAPCAP (format, limitations, audience, purpose, context, authorship, point of view). [CR7]

  • Students will create a chart with the following two columns at the top: 1) Columbus’ achievements were historic and heroic, and 2) The legacy of Columbus is primarily of genocide, cruelty, and slavery. Students will provide evidence for both columns. [CR8]

Period 2 [CR2] (1607-1754)

Europeans and American Indians maneuvered and fought for dominance, control, and security in N.A., and distinctive colonial and native societies emerged

Textbook: American Pageant Chapters: 2-5 [CR1a]


  • Jamestown

  • Conflicts with Natives

  • Comparing the colonies

  • Mass. Bay Colony

  • The Middle colonies

  • The Southern colonies

  • Indentured servitude and slavery

  • Bacon’s Rebellion

  • Salem Witch Trials

  • Colonial social structure

  • The Great Awakening

  • Colonial folkways


  • Colonization

  • Rigid racial hierarchy

  • Indentured servants

  • New England

  • Puritans

  • Mixed economy

  • Commerce/commercial

  • Chesapeake colonies

  • Chattel

  • Southern colonies

  • West Indies

  • Staple crops

  • Pueblo Revolt

  • Atlantic World

  • Anglicanism

  • Enlightenment

  • Mercantilism

  • Self-government

Key Concepts
2.1: Differences in imperial goals, cultures, and the North American environments that different empires confronted led Europeans to develop diverse patterns of colonization.
2.2: European colonization efforts in North America stimulated intercultural contact and intensified conflict between the various groups of colonizers and native peoples.
2.3: The increasing political, economic, and cultural exchanges within the “Atlantic World” had a profound impact on the development of colonial societies in North America.

Thematic Learning Objectives: (WXT-1) (WXT-2) (WXT-4) (PEO-1) (PEO-4) (PEO-5) (WOR-1) (WOR-2) (ENV-1) (ENV-2) (ENV-4) (ID-1) (ID-4) (ID-5) (POL-1) (CUL-1) (CUL-4)
Secondary Sources

  • Breen, T.H. “Looking Out for Number One: Conflicting Cultural Values in Early Seventeenth-Century Virginia” [CR1c]

  • Degler, Carl. “Were the Puritans Puritanical” [CR1c]

  • Farrow, Anne; Lange, Joel; Franke, Jenifer. “How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery” [CR1c]

  • Zinn, Howard. “Persons of Mean and Vile Condition” [CR1c]

  • Malick, Terrance. The New World

  • Burns, Ric. New York: A Documentary Film (Episode 1)

  • After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection - Chapter 2: “The Visible and Invisible Worlds of Salem”

Primary Sources

  • Drayton, Michael. “Ode to the Virginian Voyage” [CR1b]

  • Winthrop, John. “A Model of Christian Charity” [CR1b]

  • Frethorne, Richard. “Letter of an Indentured Servant” [CR1b]

  • Equiano, Olaudah. “The Life of Olaudah Equiano” [CR1b]

  • The First Slaves chapter from "Voices of a People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn [CR1b]

Student Activities

  • Students will read the following two primary sources: "Ode to the Virginian Voyage" (1619) and "A Letter from an Indentured Servant in Virginia" (1623). Students will compare and contrast the perspectives of the authors of the documents and analyze their differing views of migration to America.

  • Students will read the following handouts: "A Model of Christian Charity" by John Winthrop and 2)"Looking out for number one: Conflicting Cultural Values in Early 17th Century Virginia" by T.H. Breen. The two handouts serve to illustrate to students the divergent nature between MA and VA colonies. After reading them, students will answer the following essay question: Compare and contrast Virginian society to Massachusetts society in the early colonial period. What was the purpose, goals, and values of MA Bay colony and how did they compare to Virginia.

  • Students will work in groups to complete the following Cooperative Learning Activity: Students will create an advertising brochure to attract new settlers to their group's assigned colony (New Amsterdam, PA, Georgia, Massachusetts Bay, Jamestown). In doing so, each group will: 1) Identify target audience 2) Add attractive features of the area 3) What is your message? 4) Geography: maps/towns
    5) Leaders

  • Students will create a bar graph showing the differences in the values of exports and imports for different colonies/regions in early colonial America.

  • Students will write a Colonial Diary entry by taking different perspectives (VA tobacco grower, shipbuilding companies in Maine, wheat farmer in Delaware, rice plantation owner in South Carolina, fisherman in New England, rum producer in the West Indies) and analyzing the effect of the Navigation Acts for each individual.

  • Students will complete the following project on Colonial Scientific Achievements. They will be assigned a colonial leader/scientist in which to research. Students will provide a brief biography of the scientist, discussion of their achievement, and what their findings might have contributed to the situation occurring in the colonies at the time of their findings. The historical context of the project will include the Enlightenment, rationality, republicanism, and the American Revolution (or build-up to the Revolution). 

  • Students will break into 2 groups: Royalist supporters of Edmund Andros and MA colonials. Each side will prepare a written defense in the form of a courtroom closing argument regarding the trial of royal governor of The Dominion of New England. The groups will present their argument to the class.

  • Students will brainstorm and list the positive and negative effects of colonization for both the mother country and the daughter colonies.

  • Students will write a short response to the following prompt: Is it possible for a society to live a life of leisure and wealth without relying on the hard work of other, poorer people?

  • Students will watch scenes from the film Amistad. Additionally they will read the slave autobiography, “The Life of Olaudah Equiano”. Students will then create a storyboard of the Middle Passage based on the two sources.

  • Students will create a detailed map of the Triangular Trade, highlighting the relevant geographic areas and the items being transported across space. [CR4)

  • The First Slaves chapter from "Voices of a People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn contains a series of primary source documents. The class will split into 3 groups. The first group will read 3 documents on Slave Revolts. The second group will read 4 petitions against slavery by slaves themselves appealing to the courts. The last group will read a letter from a former slave to Thomas Jefferson, highlighting Jefferson's "all men are created equal" hypocrisy. Students will answer questions pertaining to their group's selections. Each group will then present their readings and findings to the class.

  • Students will identify and explain differences between the colonial regions. Then students will compare those findings with the differences in the various regions (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast) of the United States today. Students should include examples of cultural, demographic, and political differences.

  • Students will read After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection - Chapter 2: “The Visible and Invisible Worlds of Salem”. This reading analyzes the psychological and social contexts of the Salem Witch Trials. Students will answer the following essay question--According to the article, analyze the causes of the Salem Witch Trials.

Period 3 [CR2] (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.

Textbook: American Pageant Chapters: 6-10 [CR1a]

  • Anglo-French rivalry

  • The French and Indian War

  • Pontiac’s Rebellion

  • Causes of the Revolution

  • The Declaration of Independence

  • The War for Independence

  • Patriots and Loyalists

  • The Articles of Confederation

  • Shay’s Rebellion

  • Constitutional Convention

  • The Constitution

  • Ratifying the Constitution

  • Bill of Rights

  • Washington and Adams admins

  • Hamilton’s economic policies

  • The rise of political parties

  • Washington’s Farewell Address

  • Alien and Sedition Acts


  • Republic

  • Migration/immigration

  • Seven Years War

  • Elites

  • Grassroots movement

  • Subjects

  • American Revolution

  • Loyalist/Patriot

  • Declaration of Independence

  • Neutrality

  • French Revolution

  • Haiti Latin America

  • George Washington

  • Farewell Address

  • Democracy

  • Thomas Paine

  • Common Sense

  • Articles of Confederation

  • Central power

  • Property qualification

  • Constitution

  • Federalism

  • Separation of powers

  • Bill of Rights

  • Ratification process

  • Political Parties

  • Framers

  • Backcountry culture

  • Missions

  • Appalachian Mountains

  • Northwest Ordinance

  • Public education

  • Mississippi River

  • National identity

  • Regional identity

  • Republican motherhood

Key Concepts
3.1: Britain’s victory over France in the imperial struggle for North America led to new conflicts among the British government, the North American colonists, and American Indians, culminating in the creation of a new nation, the United States.
3.2In the late 18th century, new experiments with democratic ideas and republican forms of government, as well as other new religious, economic, and cultural ideas, challenged traditional imperial systems across the Atlantic World.
3.3Migration within North America, cooperative interaction, and competition for resources raised questions about boundaries and policies, intensified conflicts among peoples and nations, and led to contests over the creation of a multiethnic, multiracial national identity.
Thematic Learning Objectives: (ID-1) (ID-4) (ID-5) (ID-6) (POL-1) (POL-2) (POL-5) (ENV-2) (ENV-3) (ENV-4) (CUL-1) (CUL-2) (CUL-4) (WXT-1) (WXT-2) (WXT-4) (WXT-6) (WOR-1) (WOR-2) (WOR-5) (PEO-4) (PEO-5)

Secondary Sources

  • Ellis, Joseph. “American Sphinx: The Contradiction of Thomas Jefferson” [CR1c]

  • Lender, Mark Edward. “The Cockpit Reconsidered: Revolutionary New Jersey as a Military Theater” [CR1c]

  • Berkin, Carol. “It Was I Who Did It” [CR1c]

  • Zinn, Howard. “A Kind of Revolution” [CR1c]

  • Last of the Mohicans (film)

  • John Adams (mini-series): Episodes 1-2

Primary Sources

  • Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre, 1770 [CR1b]

  • Paine, Thomas. “Common Sense” [CR1b]

  • Jefferson, Thomas. “Declaration of Independence” [CR1b]

  • U.S. Constitution [CR1b]

  • Articles of Confederation [CR1b]

  • Stamp Act Congress. “Resolutions” [CR1b]

  • George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. “On Shay’s Rebellion” [CR1b]

  • Madison, James. “The Federalist Papers—Number 10” [CR1b]

  • Brutus. “Second Essay Opposing the Constitution” [CR1b]

  • Hamilton, Alexander. “Report on Manufactures” [CR1b]

  • Jefferson, Thomas. “Manufactures” [CR1b]

Student Activities

  • Students will work in groups to analyze the following DBQ question: In what ways did the French and Indian War (1754-1763) alter the political, economic and ideological relations between Britain and its American colonies? For each document, students will identify and explain the intended audience, purpose, historical context, and point of view, and connect one piece of outside information. Additionally, students will identify the correct Historical Thinking Skill, be able to craft a Thesis, and provide Contextualization and Synthesis points.

  • Students will complete the following Cooperative Learning Activity. Each group will be assigned a different event leading up to the Revolutionary War
    1) Stamp Act
    2) Townshend Acts
    3) Boston Massacre
    4) Boston Tea Party
    5) Intolerable Acts
    6) Lexington and Concord
    7) Battle of Bunker Hill
    8) Declaration of Independence

    Two students will be assigned as news anchors. Each group will research their incident in order to present a news report on their event. We will then perform the news report as a class.

  • Students will read the “Declaration of Independence”. They will be tasked with breaking the document into the four major sections, identifying what the major argument is for each section, and the evidence Jefferson uses to support his argument.

  • Students will watch Episode 2 of the John Adams HBO mini-series. Based on the episode depicting the First and Second Continental Congress, write an essay that explains and details the differences in opinion between Pennsylvania representative John Dickinson and Massachusetts representative John Adams during the Continental Congress regarding the future of the American colonies.

  • Students will create a graphic organizer detailing the differences in opinion between Loyalists and Patriots.

  • Students will investigate various state constitutions created after independence. Students will investigate their state and study its original constitution by analyzing the following categories: 1) Status of Slavery 2) Practice of Religion 3) Separation of Powers (Executive, Legislative, Judicial) 4) Protection of Individual Rights 5) Representation, right to vote 6) Armed forces/militia 7) Other notable features

    Using the above categories, students will place their research on a mock constitution.

  • Students will analyze primary sources from John Locke and Adam Smith to discover the influence of both authors in mainstream political and economic values [CR3] [CR4]

  • Students will list the 10 events that led directly to the Revolution. Students will defend their choices, and then pick the one event that made the Revolution inevitable. [CR3]

  • Using a Venn diagram, students will compare the U.S. Constitution and the Articles of Confederation. Students will write an essay on the prompt: Evaluate the extent to which the Articles of Confederation were effective in solving the problems of the new nation. What promises of republicanism did the Articles offer? [CR5]

  • Students look at primary and secondary sources on the Articles of Confederation and U.S. Constitution, then debate the degree to which the Constitution reflected an emerging sense of American national identity [CR4]

  • Using Linda Kerber’s The Fears of the Federalists and Drew McCoy’s The Fears of the Jeffersonian Republicans as sources, students will compare and contrast the ideologies of Hamilton and Jefferson in terms of the role of government, individual rights, and the economic destiny of the U.S. [CR6]

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