• AP US History: Summer Assignment


    To prospective students and parents,


    Students wishing to enroll in Advanced Placement United States History for the 2020-2021 school year should be aware that there is a summer assignment to turn in, in hard copy, on the first day of school. The assignment that you complete over the summer has 5 parts and will be your first Assessment Grades for the school year.


    Please use my website, available on the High School main page to access the AP US History page under my courses. You will then click on “Summer Assignment” to access links to online resources.  Click HERE for my website.


    **Credit: Students may turn in the assignment late for ½ Credit, up to 2 school days after school begins, but those students who do not turn in this assignment will earn a zero on this assessment and are advised to drop down to US History or enroll in another Social Studies elective. Please remember, this is a college level class, and students should be aware of a fast pace, lots of reading, and greater demands than most high school courses than they have taken in the past.



    1. Read Chapter 1 of The American Pageant.


    Notes and Key Terms: Note taking is an essential and necessary skill in AP US History. While they are not necessarily collected for points, it is expected that ALL students take notes and know the key terms from the list attached and provided in class. You may create outlines, utilizing the Cornell method or any other strategy that suits your learning needs. Your notes and key terms should be present with you at all times during class.


    Increasingly students are turning to note taking software such as Evernote or Microsoft One Note as a way to make organizing reading notes (from multiple books) as well as lecture notes easier. While this is certainly effective and encouraged it is vital that you still do the work on your own. It is strongly discouraged that you solely utilize existing notes or reference material that you are given or that is online. While convenient and time saving, the vast majority of the learning takes place in actually doing the work for yourself – rather than relying on the work of others. Furthermore, handwriting notes, while old fashioned and much more time consuming, has typically yielded better results from students as it builds muscle memory and forces the student to more regularly ‘think’ and ‘evaluate’ which material is most vital to write down. Often typing and certainly ‘copy/paste’ note taking results in limited benefits to the user.


    Key Terms for Chapter 1: The American Pageant

    For each of the following terms, you should be able to identify, define, and/or explain. You should be able to give the significance and make any connections or identify any relationships between the terms.


    Christopher Columbus                         Treaty of Tordesillas

    John Cabot                                            Bartolomé de Las Casas

    Ponce de León                                      Mestizos

    Hernando de Soto                                 Mound Builders

    Francisco Coronado                               Cahokia

    Giovanni da Verranzo                            Puebloans

    Conquistadores                                     Joint stock companies

    Encomienda System                              Hiawatha


    2. Read the ONLINE documents from Christopher Columbus and Bartolomé de Las Casas.  Click HERE for the online documents. 


    3. Complete and Turn in Author Thesis Paper and ATP 2 (One for Columbus and One for Las Casas). (One of your first Assessment Grades for the school year) See below for directions.


                Author’s Thesis Paper and ATP 2: Students are provided with opposing viewpoints expressed in             either primary or secondary source documents and in writing must determine the following:


                     The ThesisWhat is the main argument OF EACH author? This should be 1-2 sentences long. Please label the source that you are writing about.


                The Evidence: For EACH author, does the author clearly support the thesis? Provide 3-4 pieces of evidence for EACH author that each author uses to support his/her thesis. You should use MLA In-text citations to support your response.


                 Critical Analysis: For EACH author, What do the sources add to your own understanding of the topic? Does the author add to, complicate, or clarify your previous knowledge? Explain with 2-3 responses.


          Final Analysis: (Your opinion is expressed here without the use of the 1st or 2nd person (I, we, you, etc) Which of the sources makes the most convincing case and why?


    **For each source, complete the Thesis, Evidence, & Critical Analysis sections, ONLY. Then, complete the Final Analysis section, which considers both documents, as a whole.


    4. Read the ONLINE Chapter 2: Why Billington Survived from Charles Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (ISBN# 1-4000-3205-9). Click HERE for the online Chapter 2. You should read  the sections within Chapter 2, titled:

    • Friendly Indian
    • Coming of Age in the Dawnland
    • Tourism and Treachery
    • The Place of the Skull
    • Machinations.


    5. Complete and prepare for an in-class participation response to the following questions. (You do not need to turn in this portion, yet, but your responses will inform one of your first Assessment Grades for the school year)

    Question 1: Why is it important to read multiple accounts of history, like that of the text (secondary source) and that of Columbus and de Las Casas (primary sources)?  

     Question 2: In the nineteenth century, historian George Bancroft described the pre-contact America as "an unproductive waste. . . . Its only inhabitants were a few scattered tribes of feeble barbarians, destitute of commerce and of political connection" [pp. 14—15]. After having read the chapter, Why Billington Survived from Mann’s 1491, prepare a response in which you say how Charles C. Mann would respond to Bancroft’s statement. You should have MLA  In-text citations to support your response.



    Contact Information:


    Ms. Goelz: lgoelz@shschools.com

    My Webpage: https://www.southhadleyschools.org/Domain/1181

    While I am available throughout the summer and do check my email, I do not check it everyday, and may be slower in my response time if you need to contact me.