APUSH Syllabus

A.P. U.S. History

Fall 2016/Spring 2017

Course Syllabus

Mrs. Wilkerson


Course Description: A.P. U.S. History is a college-level history course that requires students to develop mastery over the assigned content while developing the critical thinking skills of a historian through the analysis and interpretation of primary and secondary documents. The course is divided into periods of time and focuses on the following themes: American on a World Stage, National Identity and Citizenship, Political change and Continuity, Pluralism and Group Identity, Free Markets and Economic Transformation. The A.P. U.S. History exam is taken in May. A score of 3 or higher (out of a possible 5 points) may qualify students for up to 6 hours of college credit.

Instructional Goals:

  • Students will be able to (SWBAT) read and understand a college level text by applying reading strategies such as SQ3R.
  • SWBAT read, understand, analyze, and interpret a variety of primary source documents, including literature, maps, graphs, cartoons, letters, diaries, speeches, and newspaper accounts.
  • SWBAT recall important information from their reading and use this information to analyze the historical period.
  • SWBAT develop their own historical questions and analyze historical questions posed by others.
  • SWBAT use the knowledge gained through their reading to formulate a thesis which addresses the historical question.
  • Write a persuasive historical question with relevant, significant and substantial historical evidence in a limited period of time.


The American Pageant, 16th Edition by David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen.

Additional Readings – Sections of the following books are assigned as supplemental reading to the primary textbook throughout the course.

Couvares, Francis G, et al. Interpretations of American History. 2 Vols. New York: The Free Press, 2000.

Ellis, Joseph. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Random House, 2000.

Ellis, Joseph. American Creation. New York: Random House, 2007.

Ellis. Joseph. American Sphinx. New York: Random House, 1996.

Foote, Shelby. The Civil War: A Narrative. 3 Vols. New York: Vintage Books, 1986.

Davidson, James West and Mark Hamilton Lytle. After the Fact The Art of Historical Detection. 5ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

Gordon, John. An Empire of Wealth. New York: New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004.

Johnson, Paul. A History of the American People. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998.

Lorence, James. Enduring Voices. 2 Vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000.

Martin, James Kirby, et al. American and its Peoples. 5 ed. 2 vols. New York: Pearson Longman, 2004.

Skinners, Ellen. Women and the National Experience.  New York: Pearson Longman, 2003.

Turner, Frederick. Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner. New Haven, CT: Yale University  Press, 1998.          

Instructional Strategies: A wide variety of instructional methods will be used to address the curriculum. Students will be individually responsible for reading the text and supplemental articles. Reading the textbook (homework assignments) and building a base of knowledge is critical to follow up classroom activities and success on the A.P. exam in May. Instructional strategies used in the classroom will include lecture, whole group discussions and debates, small group presentations and analysis of primary documents, and individual reading and writing activities.

Methods of Assessments/Grades: The overall nine week quarter grade will be a combination of unit test grades (50%), quiz grades (25%), daily grades (25%). The semester grade will be a combination of the two quarter grades (90%) and a semester exam (10%).

  • Test assessments will include both multiple choice questions and document based/free response essay questions. The DBQ/FR questions will come from prior AP exams. The tests will prepare students for the A.P. exam in May. Major projects/research papers will count as test grades.
  • Quizzes will be given several times a week to reinforce reading the textbook or other supplemental sources and retaining the knowledge. The quizzes will consist of either multiple choice or short answer questions.
  • Daily grades will consist of classroom and homework assignments, outlining the chapter readings, completing daily warm-up activities, and participation in group and classroom activities.
  • No late work is accepted.

Required Materials:

  • One three-ring binder with notebook paper and section dividers.
  • Pencils, pens, and highlighters.
  • Other materials as required at a later date.
  • USB drive

Classroom Rules:

  1. Arrive promptly with required materials.
  2. Demonstrate respect for the rights, the person, and the property of others.
  3. Remain seated and listen attentively while others are talking.
  4. Use appropriate language.

Classroom Procedures:

-Students are expected to enter the classroom promptly.

-If students arrive late for class, they must have an authorized pass. If students do not have a pass, they will serve a lunch detention after the first warning.

-Homework assignments will be turned into the collection basket at the beginning of class.

-Students who do not feel well should notify the teacher as opposed to sleeping at their desks.

-Students are expected to clean up all materials and throw away all trash before leaving the classroom.

-Assignments due at the end of class should be placed in the collection basket when the students leave the classroom.

-Eating and drinking are prohibited in the classroom.

-Students are expected to remain seated and working until the teacher dismisses the class at the end of the period.

-Students are expected to use the drinking fountain and restroom between class periods as opposed to during class.

Course Schedule:

Date                                                       Unit of Study                                                                       Reading Assignment

2 weeks                                                  Exploration of New World                                                Chapters 1,2,3,4,5     

                                                                The Colonial Experience                               

                                                                Test #1


  1. Create chart comparing/contrasting New England, Middle, and Southern colonies.
  2. Write paragraph describing colonial experience for specific segments of the population.
  3. Group work – analyze selected documents regarding one of the following: Role of women in New England and Chesapeake, The Great Awakening, or Witchcraft in Salem.
  4. Practice analyzing documents and answering DBQ-based question regarding differences between the New England and Chesapeake regions.

2.5 weeks                                              The Revolutionary Era                                                       Chapter 6,7,8

                                                                The Revolutionary War

                                                                Articles of Confederation

                                                                Critical Period

                                                                Test #2


  1. Document analysis – Comparing loyalist and rebellious documents.
  2. Timeline of events leading to Revolution.
  3. Document analysis – Declaration of Independence
  4. Discussion – Effect of Revolution on specific segments of the population.

2 weeks                                                  The New Republic                                                              Chapter 9,10

                                                                The U.S. Constitution

                                                                Test #3


  1. Document Analysis – The Constitution.
  2. Create chart comparing/contrasting Federalist and Republican positions on issues.
  3. Group work – analyze selected documents regarding one of the following: Hamilton’s financial program and Jefferson’s opposition or The Alien and Sedition Acts and the VA and KY Resolutions.

2 weeks                                                  Jeffersonian Democracy                                                    Chapter 11,12

                                                                War of 1812

                                                                Era of Good Feelings

                                           �                    Nationalism/Sectionalism

                                                                Test #4


  1. Create chart comparing Jefferson’s vision of the future with reality.
  2. Discussion –causes of the War of 1812.
  3. Debate – Who made the more significant contribution to the development of the United States, Jefferson or Madison?
  4. Take home DBQ – U.S. Foreign Policy from Washington to Monroe

2 weeks                                                  Jacksonian Democracy                                                      Chapter 13,14,15


                                                                Economic/Social change

                                                                Test #5


  1. Document analysis – The Bank War and Nullification.
  2. Group work – Research and presentation regarding one of the following: The changing American Population, Jackson and Indian Removal, The Women of Lowell, or Andrew Jackson and the new politics of democracy.

2 weeks                                                  Old South and Slavery                                                       Chapter 16,17,18

                                                                Antebellum Culture/Reform/Manifest Destiny

                                                          Test #6


  1. Group work – Research and presentation regarding one of the following reform movements: Education, Women’s rights, Temperance, Utopian experiments, or Penal institutions.
  2. Document analysis – analyze selected documents regarding one of the following: Economy of the Old South, Free Black population of Antebellum South, Slave life in the Antebellum South.
  3. Discussion – Treatment of slaves vs. northern industrial workers.
  4. Discussion – Dilemma facing the South in 1950.

2.5 weeks                                              Crisis of the 1850’s                                                             Chapter 19,20,21

                                                                Civil War                                                                             

                                                                Test #7


  1. Hallway Timeline – Chronology of events leading up to Civil War/Civil War.
  2. Student Presentations – Civil War battles/famous people.
  3. DBQ – Was election of Lincoln a mandate for the abolition of slavery?                 

2 weeks                                                  Reconstruction                                                                     Chapter 22

                                                                Conquest of the Far West

                                                                Test #8


  1. Create chart comparing/contrasting Reconstruction plans.
  2. DBQ – How do you explain the failure of Reconstruction to bring social and economic freedom to freed Blacks 
  1. Discussion – Turner’s frontier thesis
  2. Create chart detailing chronology of events in conquest of the Far West
  3. Documentary film and document set analysis of Sand Creek massacre

1 week                                              Age of the City                                                                     Chapter 23,24,25


  1. Group work – research and presentation regarding one of the following: urbanization, urban problems, mass consumption, leisure time.


2 weeks                                                  Gilded Age/Agrarian Revolt                                             Chapter 26

                                                                Industrial Supremacy

                                                                Test #1


  1. Create chart comparing/contrasting presidential administrations during Gilded Age 1877-1900.
  2. DBQ – Failure of union movement 1877-1900 or Farmers Alliance/Populists vs. mainstream political leadership.
  3. Document analysis – Robber Baron’s or Heroes of Industry?
  4. Create chart comparing/contrasting capitalism vs. anti-capitalism writers/promoters.

2.5 weeks                                              Age of Imperialism                                                             Chapter 27,28


                                                                National Reform

                                                                Test #2


  1. Document analysis – American expansionism.
  2. Discussion – Underlying causes for Spanish-American War vs. Mexican War.
  3. Timeline of American expansionism, 1865-1917.
  4. DBQ – Progressivism and big business or TR and Woodrow Wilson response to progressivism or progressivism and women.
  5. Timeline of progressive legislation.

2 weeks                                                  World War I                                                                         Chapter 29,30,

                                                                Roaring 20’s

                                                                Test #3


  1. Hallway timeline – chronology of events leading up to and during WW I.
  2. Document analysis/discussion – Justification for U.S. involvement in WW I.
  3. Document analysis of Wilson’s Fourteen Points.
  4. DBQ – Literary and artistic movements of 1920’s or Harding administration and progressivism.

2 weeks                                                  The Great Depression                                                         Chapter 31,32

                                                                The New Deal

                                                                Test #4


  1. Discussion – How effective was the New Deal in ending the Depression?
  2. Discussion – To what extent were New Deal programs a continuation of Progressivism?
  3. Create chart for FDR New Deal programs.

2 weeks                                                  Global Crisis                                                                         Chapter 33,34

                                                                World War II

                                                                Test #5


  1. Hallway timeline – Major events 1920-1945.
  2. Student research and presentation of famous/significant individuals.
  3. Discussion – European and Pacific strategies.
  4. DBQ – Social and economic impact of World War II on minorities.
  5. Document Analysis – Long-Term causes of American Involvement in WW II.

2 weeks                                                  The Cold War                                                                       Chapter 35,36,37                              The Affluent Society

                                                                Test #6


  1. Continuation of hallway timeline through Cold War.
  2. Discussion – Comparison of Salem witch trials, Red Scare of 1920’s, and McCarthyism.
  3. Create timeline & discussion of African American struggle for equality through 1950’s.
  4. Document analysis/discussion of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka court case.

2 weeks                                                  The Ordeal of Liberalism                                                   Chapter 38,39,40,41

                                                                Crisis of Authority

                                                                1970’s and 80’s

                                                                Test #7


  1. Group work – research and presentation regarding New Left groups.
  2. Create timeline and discussion of women’s movement to present.
  3. Group work – Analyze selected documents regarding one of the following: U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Vietnam and the Young, The Watergate Crisis, Black Nationalism and Black Power.
  4. Create chart comparing Progressivism, New Deal, and Great Society.
  5. DBQ – Impact of Warren court on American society.

                                                                Makeup days/Review for A.P. Exam

TBA                                                       U.S. History A.P. Exam @ 8:00A.M.