AP United States History - Neuqua Valley High School

A.P. United States History
American Foundations
“Striving for excellence”
As stated in the N.V.H.S. program planning guide and explained by your instructors, you must complete some brief
assignments for A.P. U.S. History. For your own sense of well-being, you should complete the assignments by the first
day of class. The purpose of the American Foundations is threefold: one, we want you to think about how history is
created and written; two, we want you to have fun and become aware of historical resources; three, we want you to ease
your school year workload by doing some work this summer.
Part One: Historical Visits
Choose one historical place to visit from one of the following three categories.
Local History:
Naper Settlement/reenactments
Aurora Historical Society
DuPage County Historical Society
Cantigny Museum
Chicago/Illinois History:
Chicago History Museum
Hull House
Springfield/New Salem
Grand Detour (John Deere’s home)
Galena (Grant’s home)
National History:
Washington D.C.
The Alamo
any other significant historical site
(check with teacher if not sure)
Provide proof that you visited this site (i.e. a picture of you there, an admission ticket/receipt, artifact, etc.)
Write a two-page report telling the significance of the site, event, exhibits, etc. Be sure to include:
• What is the main purpose of this historical site/place? How does the way that it is maintained/preserved influence your
• What was interesting and/or controversial about the issues/events involved?
• How were your preconceptions about the time period(s)/event(s)/people changed after your visit?
• What challenges do historians face, as they try to accurately assess the truth about this particular period?
• How can/do they overcome their biases?
Part Two: One Written Book Review or Lit Circles for one book
We prefer that you do the Lit Circle, but if you are gone on vacation or would prefer to read other books, you
may do the written book reports below. See the next page on Lit Circles in order to choose this alternative.
Note: If doing Lit Circles, you must sign up in advance outside of B221 (last room on right, 2nd B hallway.)
Limited space. Aug. 19th or Aug. 20th are the two scheduled dates for Lit Circles; this does not require written
reports, but rather typed questions and your participation in the Lit Circle. See dates/times later.
If written book reports, choose either one book from List A or List B.
A concise written review on the book is due no later than Sept. 22nd, but we’d encourage you to have it
completed by the first day of class. This paper is to serve as both a brief summary and an analytical evaluation of
the book you choose. This report must adhere to the specified guidelines 1-5 discussed on the third page. Written
reports are due no later than Sept. 22nd; the earlier, the better, however.
Seven Scintillating Lit Circle Questions
You must bring your TYPED questions (One Copy) and your book to the Lit Circle that you attend. Sign up early outside
B221. Limited space. Participate actively and display your reasoning, analytical skills and knowledge of the book. The
Lit Circle replaces the written book report. Prove to us that you read and thought about the books. If there is
questionable participation, we reserve the right to hold an individual lit circle with you immediately after the lit circles that
day. If we still aren't convinced that you read the book, then you failed to meet the assignment requirements and the
Honesty Policy will be enforced.
Part I
2 (Two) Recall questions – To prove someone has read this book, they should be able to answer these questions.
Ex. What happened to the main character at a particular juncture in the story?
Part II
2 (Two) Critical Thinking Questions – These questions require the audience to think and to have an opinion that they can
support with evidence or logical inferences. (One of the two questions must be historiography related - i.e. how research
for book was done or author's bias.)
Ex. What qualities made Martin Luther King, Jr. such a powerful speaker?
Part III
2 (Two) Connection Questions – These questions should connect to American History, other periods of time, present day,
or teenagers’ lives.
Ex. How can the lessons learned by the main character apply to our own lives?
Part IV
1 (one) Claim, that deals with the main idea of the book – Create an augmentative claim, that forces someone to either
agree or refute the statement provided with evidence.
Ex. In order for disenfranchised groups to achieve equality, they must use non-violent disobedience to achieve
meaningful change. Agree or disagree with the statement and support with evidence from the book.
Total of 7 Typed Questions
Note: You choose one book from the following four books for Lit Circles!!!
Lit Circle – Brennan – B221
Laura Hillenbrand
Devil in the White City
Erik Larsen
Lit Circle - Ryder - B221
Killing Kennedy: The End
of Camelot
The Invention of Wings
Tues. Aug. 19th 9:00 – 9:45a.m.
Tues. Aug. 19th 9:45 – 10:30 a.m.
Bill O’Reilly
Wed. Aug. 20th 9:00 -9:45
Sue Monk Kidd
Wed. Aug. 20th 9:45 – 10:30
The Heretic’s Daughter
Dearest Friend-A Life of Abigail Adams
Rise to Rebellion
Founding Brothers-The Revolutionary Generation
Citizen Washington
John Adams
Slaves in the Family (Nat’l Bk Award winner)
Heaven and Hell
The Devil in the White City
Killing Lincoln
The Invention of Wings
Kathleen Kent
Lynne Withey
Alex Haley
Jeff Shaara
Joseph Ellis
David McCullough
William Martin
David McCullough
David Nevin
Edward Ball
John Jakes
Erik Larson
Bill O’Reilly
Sue Monk Kidd
us dare to read,
think, speak and write.”
John Adams
Duty- A Father, His Son and the Man Who Won the War
Flags of Our Fathers
Ghost Soldiers
The Marines of Autumn
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller, Jr.
Message From Nam
Where Men Win Glory
The Help
In the Garden of Beasts
Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot
Bob Greene
James Bradley
Laura Hillenbrand
James Bradley
David McCollum
Hampton Sides
James Brady
Alex Haley
Lewis B. Puller, Jr.
Danielle Steele
Jon Krakauer
Kathryn Stockett
Erik Larson
Bill O’Reilly
The Sacred Guidelines for Written Book Reviews (Non Lit Circles)
For either nonfiction or historical fiction, you must answer all parts of the questions below in full and
thorough paragraphs. (Typed, double spaced, 12 font, - Please number each section of the report
and answer each part of the question). You must adhere to the following guidelines:
Introduce the author-What are his/her credentials? What is their background? What motivated them to write this book? Show you
researched these questions, by including 2 specific citations from book reviews that helped you to answer these questions. Note:
Books are seriously critiqued. Find two different book reviews for the books you chose to answer this question.
Analysis -What is the purpose of the book? Clearly explain its major thesis and how the author develops this thesis. What type of
evidence/examples does the author present to advance his/her thesis? Be specific with your references, but avoid extensive quotes
and narrative. Weave in major historical events/issues that are included in the book and explain their significance.
Detective work - Discuss the biases/inaccuracies inherent in your book. Select three specific examples of “historical license” and
tell us why you think the author takes the approach that they do.
Detail - Choose an important historical character who might be considered either heroic or immoral according to most standards.
Explain how and why the author presents this character in the context of the historical era. How does this historical character
influence others, world events and the outcome of the book?
Application - Understanding the past helps us to understand the present as well as ourselves. Apply one “lesson” from the book to a
contemporary issue and apply another “lesson” to your own life. Be specific, creative and analytical. Convince us that history has
Part Three: Creative Historical Writer - Optional Extra Credit
(Your first test is brutal, so try to do this.)
Complete one other historical visit, see Part One, and create a one-and-a-half to two-page doublespaced creative story connected to this visit. (Note: Do not follow the directions for your first
historical visit for the creative extra credit.) Include evidence that you were there, either a ticket stub
or photo with you in the photograph.
All Written Work - Typed
All work must be typed, double-spaced, 12 font, completed and handed in by preferably the first day of class,
but certainly no later than Sept. 22nd. Please do your own work-NVHS academic honesty policy applies to
these assignments. Note: If you get started right away you will enjoy this project a lot more than if you wait
until the last week and a half of summer. Don't procrastinate; this is an important lesson to learn before entering
this class.
Textbook Information
We highly suggest that you purchase your text so you can highlight and write in it. This is absolutely
critical to your success in the class and on the national test. If you don't purchase a text, Neuqua
Valley will provide you with one at the beginning of the year. You, however, won't be able to write in
it and thus will create more work for yourself. Approximately 90% of students purchase their books,
and those that don't almost always regret it. Make sure you order the textbook early enough, so that
you have it before the 1st day of class. The earlier you purchase it online, the cheaper it is. Don’t
wait until school has started when increased demand causes prices to rise.
Enduring Vision – 5th Edition (ISBN 0-618-33333-9) by Boyer, et al - Purchase only the hardcover
version/ Illinois edition preferable
Text Purchasing Options
1. You can purchase your text online at sites like amazon.com. New copies on line are generally more
expensive. However, we recommend that you strongly consider buying a used copy online. There
are some real bargains and the sellers describe how they have highlighted the text. This is a great way
to get practice for saving money and buying used books for college.
2. Some former alums will sell their books to you. You are on your own for this. Check to see who did
good highlighting and negotiate a fair price.
****Good luck. Feel free to contact us if you have a problem.
Review Book:
We highly encourage you to purchase a review book. Our suggestion is Amsco’s United States History 2015
edition. See www.amscopub.com and purchase it online. They are $18.95 and if you want the answer key add
$6 dollars.
Carpe diem!
Mrs. Ryder - [email protected]
Mr. Brennan- [email protected]