All students in Grade 11 will either take U.S. History or AP United States History to fulfill their history requirement.
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the history of the United States by incorporating American literature and arts while applying analytical frameworks of anthropology, geography, gender studies, environmental studies, and political science. In addition to studying dates and important political figures, this course examines popular and dissenting cultural attitudes, historical patterns of continuity and change over time, and major turning points in American history. Students will approach topics of American history using both a thematic and chronological approach. Topics will include the Constitution & Civil Rights, Freedom & Mobility, American Identity, and Cultural Memory; additional topics may include Labor & Capital, Sports & Popular Culture, or other topics that help students contextualize and understand current events. In this course, students will move beyond simply identifying “what happened” throughout American history, and instead delve into the how, why, and ramifications of events. Accordingly, this course relies heavily upon primary sources (including, but not limited to, political documents, literature, political cartoons, paintings, maps, music, manifestos, protests, and material objects) in order to understand and interpret American history as it unfolded. Secondary readings from historians and textbooks will supplement student inquiry. Students in US History will read Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow and Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin.
AP United States History
Prerequisite: B+ or better in Grade 10 History and teacher recommendation or B or better in AP European History and teacher recommendation. Covering the history of the Americas from 1491 to the present, the AP US History course is designed to help students continue to develop historical thinking skills and an understanding of key concepts consistent with the curriculum of the College Board. The AP course is a survey course in which a textbook, with supplemental readings in the form of documents, essays, or books on special themes, provides substantive and thematic coverage. Students learn to assess these historical materials and develop skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. This course is generally offered to eleventh graders, who are expected to sit for the United States History AP examination in May and are encouraged to sit for the SAT Subject test in U.S. History in June as well.