AP US History

AP US History Syllabus

Course Introduction

History is the story of God himself, in our understanding of time and space, through the person of His Son on earth and in the work of His Spirit through the ages.  Think of the word history as really two words “His-(s) tory”. An understanding of the influence of Christianity in history is not a luxury but a necessity.  The very foundation and success of the United States is founded on Judeo-Christian values.  The influence of God in our history is inescapable no matter how much secular humanist scholars attempt to blot it out.  To help students become effective citizens of a diverse and democratic society through a developed understanding of where we, as a nation, come from, a sense of historical memory and perspective as well as the tools to become independent learners of history are necessary for the important critical thinking skills which are necessary for a free democratic society to survive. 

Course Description

Advanced Placement U.S. History is a college-level introductory course which examines the nations’ political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, social, and economic history from 1491 to the present. To insure that students will see historical happenings through the context of the time, and not the judgmental hindsight of modern revisionist history, we will study not only “chronos”, time that can be measured, but also the “kairos”, time that is laden with meaning.  It is vital for students to understand the historical context of events and actions throughout our history as they impact the world we live in today. Using chronological and thematic approaches to the material, the course exposes students to extensive primary and secondary sources and to the interpretations of various historians. The class is taught in accordance with the AP U.S. History curriculum framework and is designed to prepare students for the AP U.S. History Exam in May.

This is a yearlong course consisting of 10 units.  Upon successful completion students will receive 1 credit towards high school graduation.

Course Overview

Semester 1

  • New World Beginnings (1492-1754)
  • Founding the New Nation (1754-1800)
  • Building a New Nation (1800-1848)
  • Research Paper: Historiography on the Causes of the Civil War
  • Testing the New Nation (1844-1877)

Semester 2

  • Forging an Industrial Society (1865-1914)
  • Struggling for Justice at Home and Abroad (1890-1945)
  • America Enters the Twentieth Century (1890-1945)
  • Making Modern America (1945-1980)
  • Closing the Twentieth Century (1980-present)

Required Course Materials

Please access the list of course materials from the OC Online book ordering system and order your materials as soon as possible. Oftentimes, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.

Methods of Instruction

Students will experience a variety of learning modalities.  Beyond the traditional text reading, quizzing and testing, students will interact with other classmates in discussion forums as well as synchronous sessions (explained below). Guided instruction will include researching information throughout the course as the internet provides a plethora of research opportunities to expand the understanding of the historical and cultural dynamics our country’s diverse society.  Geographic literacy will be enhanced through working with maps. Historical thinking skills are central to the study and practice of history. These are organized into four types of skills: chronological reasoning, comparison and contextualization, crafting historical arguments from historical evidence, and historical interpretation and synthesis which will provide a basis for lesson purpose.

Methods of Evaluation

Students will demonstrate mastery through the following formative and summative assessments:

  • 40% Assignments
  • 10% Participation (Discussion Posts, Synchronous Sessions)
  • 10% Quizzes
  • 25% Final Exam
  • 15% Unit Tests

* Semester-long Course and ** Eight-week Course

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