Type: honors available

Available to: grade 11 students, grade 12 students in special cases, for honors see placement requirements link on the History Department page

In this survey course, students investigate significant events, individuals, and processes in United States history from the 16th century to the present. While organized chronologically, this course also focuses on several themes that reverberate throughout the American experience: American and national identity; labor–– both free and enslaved; migration and settlement; politics and power; and geography and the environment. Throughout the year, course concepts resonate with literary analysis and cultural themes discussed in English 3 and English 3 Honors. Students learn to focus their analysis of vital social, cultural, political, and economic moments in history by examining how they shape our perspective on current social, economic, and political issues. Students develop and use the skills and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources (including challenging primary-source legal texts and archaic usage); developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change. In addition, students examine competing historical interpretations, emphasizing the idea that history’s meaning constantly evolves. Students in US History further personalize the course with several research-based individual and group projects that aim to create historical grounding for our contemporary world. Students qualifying for the AP US History course will be asked to bring rigorous attention to content comprehension, historical analysis, discussion, and specific written skills. It is a demanding course that seeks to prepare motivated students for the AP exam at the end of the school year.