- AP American Government (required work)
- AP American History (required work)
- AP European History (required work)
- AP Human Geography (required work)
Objective: To become acquainted with the Constitution, US policy and current events prior to the start of the school year by following current events.
You must read the Constitution and pay particular attention to the first three articles and the first ten amendments. You can use the National Constitution Center’s website or download the Interactive Constitution App.
You must find 6 news stories from some point over the summer. You must find the source in a reliable news outlet. There is a list of sources below but you can find other sources.
First, you need to watch a couple of videos on how to spot Fake News and take a quick quiz. Use this form.
For each news story you need to do the following:
Provide a concise summary of the event/issue.
Explain how it is connected to the Congress, the Presidency/Executive Branch or the Judicial Branch.
Explain how it could have an impact on government policy.
You must have 2 stories on Congress (Article I of the Constitution), 2 on the Presidency/Executive Branch (Article II), and 2 on the Judicial Branch (Article III).
For each of the current events, you pick you will need one visual that connects to the event in the form of
Make sure you link to the source you used for each news story.
Hint: there are a lot of stories about the Supreme Court in June as they issue many of their decisions in June.
It is due on Friday, September 11th at the start of class. Please use this template to write the assignment and then you will turn it into Google Classroom.
Have fun and let me know if you need help or have questions.
To all potential AP American History Students:
The increased pace of the American History course necessitates that we cover some material over the summer. We will ask you to read sections of Alan Taylor’s American Colonies. This book is available both new and used on Amazon.com.
You will only need to read Chapter 1 & 2 “Natives” and “Colonizers”, Chapter 4 “The Spanish Frontier” and Chapters 6 -12 (Part II). This amounts to about 200 pages of reading. Of course, if you chose to read the whole book, you will only increase the breadth and depth of your understanding of early American history, especially with regards to Native Americans and Spanish America. You will be held accountable for the material assigned above during the first week of classes, and you will have to write an essay (either in class or as a take home assignment) to demonstrate that you understand the material and are able to communicate that understanding through the written word. Anyone who clearly has not done the reading or is unable to make insightful and considered comments about the readings will be asked to discontinue the course. Please note that you are not expected to earn a 95 on this assignment, but you are absolutely being held accountable for doing independent work.
Why are we inflicting this upon you? Part of the reason, as explained above is to allow us to complete the course material in time for the AP Exam. But there is more at stake here. AP American History requires a great deal of independent work. It is not a course for those who simply want an AP course designation on their syllabus; it is for serious students of this nation’s history. We hope you will embrace this exercise as an opportunity to expand your knowledge of American history and prepare for the coming year’s course, and that you will not see this as some sort of hoop to jump through.
In the interest of “active reading” please consider the following Thematic Learning Objectives. As you read, consider these themes in your reading:
- Work, Exchange and Technology
- Politics and Power
- America in the world
- Environment and Geography
- Ideas, Beliefs and Culture
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Taft e-mail.
Section Head, AP US
To: Students studying Advanced Placement Modern European History during the 2020-2021 School Year.
From: John Kenerson, History Teacher
Regarding: Summer Reading
I hope each of you is enjoying the start of your summer break. I am sending you this note as I settle down into my summer routine up in New Hampshire.
As part of your preparation for Advanced Placement Modern European history, you will be required to read ONE (1) of the books listed below. Each selection introduces you to one of the topics we will study this coming year. Whether a historical fiction or a historical non-fiction, each is a fascinating look at the individuals and events that may be both remote and relevant to your world.
Historical Fiction Options:
- Mary Gray, Our Sweet Guillotine (French Revolution)
- Scott Westerfeld , Leviathan (eve of World War I)
- M.T. Anderson, Symphony for the City of the Dead (20th century Russian/Soviet history with the Siege of Leningrad as focus)
- Georgia Hunter, We Were the Lucky Ones (World War II and a family’s surviving the Holocaust)
- Margarita Morris, Oranges for Christmas: A Berlin Wall Escape (Cold War Europe)
Historical Non-fiction Options:
- Susan Ronald, Heretic Queen: Queen Elizabeth I and the Wars of Religion (16th Century Europe)
- Robert K. Massie, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Imperial Russia)
- Alex Storozynski, The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution (18th century Age of Revolution and Eastern Europe)
- Edward J. Larson, To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration (19th century European Nationalism and Imperialism)
- Guy Sajer, The Forgotten Soldier (German Soldier’s memoir from the Russian Front)
We will start the first semester discussing these selections, and I will introduce the skill of “contextualization.” With “contextualization” in mind, briefly answer the three questions below once you have completed your selected reading:
- What was happening in Europe and around the World at the time of the events discussed in your selection occurred that may have influenced these events.
- What was happening at the specific place, region, nation where these events occurred?
- How does your selection’s topic relate to the larger processes occurring across Europe and/or the World?
Please bring your three responses printed to our first class.
If you have any questions about this summer assignment, please do not hesitate to contact me at: email@example.com.
I also want to give you information on the textbooks we will be using for 2020-2021 so that, if you like, you may purchase them on your own.
- John McKay, et al. A History of Western Society: Since 1300 for Advanced Placement.
13th edition Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin’s ISBN – 978-1-319-22163-8
- John McKay, et al. Sources of Western Society: Since 1300. 13rd edition.
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin’s ISBN – 978-1-319-26587-8
I trust you will enjoy your summer vacation - Mr. Kenerson
Recommendations for summer reading from history faculty members. There are many more books and if you have an interest in a particular topic, feel free to reach out to your history teacher.
- Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow
- Fault Lines in the Constitution (C. and S. Levinson)
- The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner
- Heretic Queen: Queen Elizabeth I and the Wars of Religion by Susan Ronald
- Nickel and Dimed:On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
- The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds (with Ibram X Kendi)
Mr. Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, based this on Professor Ibram Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning (see below). While not as balanced or thorough as Kendi's work, Reynolds is faithful to its two main themes: that modern racism was invented by those it benefited economically, and that from its earliest colonial days the history of the United States has seen racial segregationists, assimilationists and antiracists debate the rights and status of those of African descent...while the systematic and violent oppression of Black Americans continued unabated.
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
- Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America by Martin B. Duberman
- Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and The Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
- Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration By Isabel Wilkerson
- The 57 Bus: The True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater
- Shout: The True Story of a Survivor Who Refused to Be Silenced by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji Li Jiang
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Sum it Up by Pat Summit
- My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
She is the first Hispanic woman to serve on the US Supreme Court.
Resources (Social Media/Websites/Movies/Podcasts/More)
Recommendations from history faculty for reading and engaging in history without a book.
- 13th: Netflix documentary that looks at the criminalization of African Americans the the US prison boom
- 4 Little Girls: Documentary by Spike Lee that looks at the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963
- Let It Fall: This documentary chronicles simmering tension and broken trust between L.A.'s Black community and police in the decade before the Rodney King riots
- The Harvest (La Cosecha), Robin Romano: examines the plight of migrant child farmworkers
- Documented, Jose Antonio Vargas: Pulitzer-prize winning journalist explores his own journey as an undocumented immigrant
- The Last Czar: Netflix documentary that takes a look at the fall of Czar Nicholas II and the rise of the Bolsheviks
- Bitter Rivals: Iran & Saudi Arabia: FRONTLINE traces how a 40-year rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has fueled sectarian extremism across the Middle East for political gain
- Stuff You Should Know: some topics include Tiananmen Square, Labor Unions, The Black Panther Party, The Enlightenment, and the Iowa Caucus
- Stuff You Missed in History Class: US History based podcast that covers a variety of topics
- The Daily by the New York Times: New 20 minute current events podcast 5 days a week
- Intersectionality Matters: Podcast from the African American Policy Forum (AAPF), which is an innovative think tank that connects academics, activists and policy-makers to promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality
- Code Switch: NPR Podcast “hosted by journalists of color, the podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. It explores how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between”.
- White Lies: In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.”
- Throughline (explicitly connects historical and contemporary events)
- Backstory (exclusively U.S. History)
- Revisionist History (offbeat and unusual history reconsidered)
- 538 Politics: Data-driven political reporting
- What Trump Can Teach us About Con Law: A show about Constitutional law based on the actions of President Trump