This year I am teaching APUSH differently than the past couple of years. While attending a Summer Institute for AP World (which I’ll be teaching for the first time), I gained a lot of insight into the World curriculum and how to apply some of that to APUSH.
As I mentioned in my last post, I figured out how much time to spend on each time period based on the amount of instructional days I have. I used to do about a chapter per week from the textbook, but I found I was spending too much time on period 4 (6 chapters which equals 10% of the curriculum) and not enough time on period 5, for example (3 chapters and 13% of the curriculum).
This is how it works for me, yours will vary depending on instructional days you have.
Period 1 = 5% = 6 days
Period 2 = 10% = 12 days including an assessment
Period 3 = 12% = 15 days including an assessment
Period 4 = 10% = 12 days including an assessment
Period 5 = 13% = 16 days including an assessment
Period 6 = 13% = 16 days including an assessment
Period 7 = 17% = 21 days including an assessment
Period 8 = 15% = 19 days including an assessment
Period 9 = 5% = 6 days
I’ve decided to break down the entire curriculum in chronological order. Each video (so far, and it is my goal) is less than 10 minutes and has fewer videos than instructional days. I’ve designed it this way so that I can spend more in class time on Historical Thinking Skills and mastering the content.
Students will still watch these videos for homework, but I’m also requiring they do part II (the “Enhanced Video Guides”) for their homework. I plan on spending the first ten minutes of each class reviewing big ideas and going over their “Enhanced Video Guides” before going on to different activities.
What will these activities be? I plan on having students purchase a copy of John Irish’s Historical Thinking Skills workbook. (NOT an affiliate link) We will go over different aspects of this in class together in the beginning, and later students will work on these in groups or individually. I also plan on having students write thesis statements, contextualization statements, and work with a lot of document interpretation. I have gone through a lot of history books and taken excerpts from them and will have the students analyze what the author is writing. I’ve found in years’ past that students have struggled more with secondary sources than primary sources.
While students work on these activities, I will be pulling students to the side to review material with them. I plan on giving quick assessments every few days (Here’s an example of Period 1: Quick Assessment For Videos #1-4) and will work with the students that struggle the most.
Students will also use Jeremy Klaff’s No Bull Review Book(NOT an affiliate link) throughout the year and work on the practice multiple-choice questions at the end of each unit.
Like last year, I will be blogging about my daily lessons beginning on Thursday. Wednesday is the first day of school and the real work begins Thursday. If you have any comments, questions, and/or suggestions, I would love to hear from you.
Best of luck this year!