AP U.S. History is a great class for students who enjoy using argumentative reasoning skills to discuss and debate controversial issues. The course content surveys United States history from colonization to present. While content knowledge mastery is essential, the course extends student reasoning beyond general content knowledge, requiring students to construct positions supported by their interpretations of historical evidence. Consequently, the course emphasizes history as a construction by focusing on key issues in U.S. history, examining alternative contemporary perspectives about the issues and analyzing divergent historical interpretations of the issues.
There are three instructional goals for this course: teach students U.S. history and government content, hone students’ analytical reasoning skills and develop students’ persuasive writing abilities so they can perform effectively on the national Advanced Placement U.S. History exam.
- Master a base of GESP (Geographical, Economical, Social and Political) historical knowledge and chronology, including development of an Annotated Timeline
- Develop non-fiction text reading and analysis strategies, including a Critical-Reading-Outlining (CRO) process
- Develop analytical reasoning matrixes, including Historical Identifications (ID)
- Develop document analysis strategies, including Author-Voice-Message-Significance (AVMS) process to interpret and apply data
- Develop analytical thinking skills including, cause and effect, change and continuity over time, compare and contrast, evaluation
- Hone interpretative, analytical and persuasive writing skills
- Develop evidence usage skills to strengthen argumentation reasoning