• Advanced Placement United States History

     Course Syllabus


    Mr. Welgoss


    Course Description

                The Advanced Placement U.S. History course will provide each student with an intensive, college-level survey of United States history from colonial America to the present.  It is designed for students who wish to prepare for the Advanced Placement exam in United States history.  In this course, social, economic, political, and diplomatic developments will be emphasized.  The course is intended to be both an introduction to United States history and an initiation into the standards of historical study, including factual recall, document/artifact analysis, reasoned argumentation, clear communication (written and oral), and historiographical contextualization. Crucial to a student’s success in this course is the ability to handle significant amounts of nightly reading, analyze and synthesize primary documents, and to write a concise, organized, and well-developed historical essay. 


    Course Goals

    • To provide students with a forum in which to explore the history of the United States.
    • To acquaint students with how our great nation began and how the Constitution remains a living document today.
    • To teach students to examine historical issues and engage in discussion and debate.
    • To reveal the connections which exist between the United States History and students’ lives today.

    Course Objectives

    1.      Students will use reading, writing, and listening skills to explore the curriculum selections.

    2.      Students will apply their critical thinking skills to analyze, critique, and discuss or debate given topics.

    3.      Students will engage in interactive notebook activities that reinforce learned knowledge in a manner that is meaningful to their individual learning style(s).

    4.      Students will complete several projects related to the curriculum being explored.

    5.      Students will use evaluation techniques on personal (self), peer, and group work.


    Course Evaluation

    1. Each quarter, students will be given a reading quiz for each of the 42 chapters that will be covered and two unit tests.  In addition to these assessment tools, their projects, homework, and class work will be graded.  Throughout the course, students will engage in seminar discussions, presentations, and debates.  They will be required to prepare reports and complete projects.  All of these tasks will be graded.
    2. Most importantly, students will be graded on their active participation in class.  Their enthusiasm and engagement is key to their success.  It is through their responses and interaction that their growth is truly assessed.
    3. Lastly, students will take a final regents examination upon the completion of the course.  The final exam is worth 20% of their final grade.

     Course Organization


    The course is comprised of 8 units covering 43 textbook chapters. Unit calendars will be provided to begin each unit of study.  Daily reading assignments will be noted.  Quiz and test dates will be noted.  Seminar dates will be included.  Students are responsible for keeping up with reading assignments and being aware of, and ready for, quizzes, seminars, and tests.  Class will be a combination of lecture, discussion, group work, skills activities, and seminars.  Periodically, student essays, research reports, and projects will be required




    A chapter reading quiz will be required at the start of each chapter.  A quiz on the content of the reading will be given to assess how well each student comprehends the reading.  Students should take notes on the text reading in preparation for the quiz.


    Lecture and Discussion


    To enhance the text reading and to provide deeper insight into the chapter assigned, a teacher lecture/discussion will focus on the major themes in the chapter.  Students should take notes and provide a section for class notes in their notebook.




    A seminar will be conducted on a major issue for each textbook chapter in the course.  The seminar’s main focus is to develop a student’s critical thinking.  Interpretive readings will be assigned for each seminar.  Each student will conduct one seminar during the school year.  A grade will be given to the seminar leader and each student participant.  Students should take notes in preparation for seminar and after seminar for a summary of what was learned.  A section of seminar notes should be provided for in student notebooks.  NOTE: Seminar notes will be subject to review after each seminar.


    Big Ideas


    For each unit you will be required to complete a big ideas question for each chapter.  All responses must be typed and submitted to turnitin.com and they should be approximately 200-250 words each.  The big ideas assignment will be due on the day of the unit test.


    Unit Tests


    Tests will be a combination of multiple choice and a Document-Based Question (DBQ) or a Free Response Question and follow the completion of each unit.  Two unit tests with be given per quarter.


    I have read this course outline and understand the goals, objectives, and evaluation criteria my son/daughter will be expected to meet.


    Parent/Guardian Signature _________________________      Date ___________


    Student Signature ________________________________     Date ___________

Last Modified on April 12, 2010