• Advanced Placement US History

    Laura Guidry


     “As a means of knowledge, history becomes a means of judgment. It offers an understanding of both the variety and unity of a nation whose motto is E Pluribus Unum—out of many, one. It reminds us of the diverse abundance of our people, coming from all races and all parts of the world, of our fields and mountain ranges, deserts and great rivers, our green farmlands and the thousand voices of our cities. No revolution in communication or transportation can destroy the fact that this continent is, as Walt Whitman said, “a nation of nations.” Yet it also reminds us that, in spite of the diversity of ethnic origin, of geographic locale, of occupation, of social status, of religious creed, of political commitment, Americans are united by an ancient and encompassing faith in progress, justice, and freedom.”            -President John F. Kennedy

     Kennedy, John F. “On History.” American Heritage, Feb. 1964. https://www.americanheritage.com/content/jfk-on-history


    This course is intended for juniors who wish to complete studies in high school equivalent to a college-level U.S. History survey course.  This course covers 1491-present and is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and knowledge necessary to understand major developments in U.S. history.  Students will study primary and secondary source evidence, analyze a wide array of historical facts and perspectives, and express historical arguments in writing. 

    To be successful, students should expect to spend several hours each week preparing for this class.  There will be regular homework, primarily consisting of independent reading assignments from various sources.  Students will complete writing assignments regularly both in and out of class.  Falling behind in reading or writing poorly will result in poor performance in this course.

     Summer Assignment

    These assignments will count as part of your first nine weeks grade.  They are intended to help us get a jumpstart on the content we will cover and provide a foundation for our study of colonial America.  They will also provide a framework for the ways in which we will analyze the people, places, events that have contributed to our nation’s history.  Summer work should be emailed to Mrs. Guidry at lguidry@madison-schools.com BEFORE the first day of class. Students should expect class discussions and a quiz on the information during the first week of school. 

     Your assignment headings should each include:

    * Your First and Last Name
    * “APUSH Summer Assignment” & Assignment Name (“Chapter Reading Guide” or “Zinn Reading”)

    1. Textbook Chapter Outline: After reading Chapter 1: The Collision of Cultures of American History, complete the Chapter 1 Reading Guide.


    1. Howard Zinn Reading: Read Chapter 1:  Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress of Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States. In a Word document, answer the questions below.
      1. According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States?
      2. What is Zinn’s thesis (main idea) for this chapter?
      3. According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books?
      4. What is Zinn’s basic criticism of historian Samuel Eliot Morison’s book, Christopher Columbus, Mariner?
      5. Identify one early and one subsequent motive that drove Columbus to oppress indigenous peoples.
      6. In a short paragraph, compare and contrast the way that your textbook and Howard Zinn describe Christopher Columbus. In what ways are they similar? Are there significant differences? What is the danger of reading only one source for historical information?


    If you have any questions regarding the course or summer assignments, please contact me at lguidry@madison-schools.com.