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Summer Reading Assignment

Page history last edited by Cher McDonald 1 year, 10 months ago

AP US History Summer Assignments Checklist

Teacher: Ms. Cher McDonald                                       

Email: Cher.McDonald@canyonsdistrict.org


Dear Student,

I am really looking forward to working with you next school year!  AP US History is a demanding course, but is a very interactive and hands on way to learn our nation’s history. US History is my passion and I love teaching this class and previous AP students have loved the class as well. On the end of the year survey one student summarized it well: You love what you teach and your excitement makes it a learning environment where we feed off of your excitement and come to love the subject as well…Not only have you mastered the material but you know how to help us master the material as well and get us to a place where we can feel prepared for the test!”   I expect you to work hard and prepare for class and the exam; this entails that you do some preparation before you arrive in the fall.  This checklist details the summer assignments for the course.   This helps you get a head start on your studies and prepare for the AP United States History exam on May 10th, 2019.



Ms. Cher McDonald


Directions: As you complete each of the 3 steps, check them off to help you keep track and manage your work.  

        1.  Sign up for the class text list. Text @apmcd to 81010 or email apmcd@mail.remind.com leaving the message and subject blank. This is the main way that I will communicate assignments and announcements all year long.



        2. Read Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass by Fredrick Douglass. You can purchase, check out from the library, or read online (It is free from Google books and Kindle; see the class homepage for links). It is brief, around 100 pages. Take notes as you read, you will be required to take a test on the book during the first week of school. Write a two-page, double-spaced review of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Discuss in your review how, or if, this book changed your perception of slavery in America during the years before the Civil War.This will be due on Canvas the first Friday of school, August 24, 2018.


Ibiblio PDF file: http://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Douglass/Narrative/Douglass_Narrative.pdf

Kindle Free Edition: http://www.amazon.com/Narrative-Life-Frederick-Douglass-ebook/dp/B0083ZQSEG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1401200491&sr=1-1&keywords=frederick+douglass 

Internet Archive Online Text: http://archive.org/stream/douglasfred00dougrich/douglasfred00dougrich_djvu.txt 

Audio book to listen to: http://www.freeaudio.org/fdouglass/narrative.html

Itunes for your IOS device: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/narrative-life-frederick-douglass/id498470915?mt=11 


Guidelines for Book Analysis due on Canvas the first Friday of school, August 24, 2018.

A)      TYPED, two-page, double-spaced, 1-INCH MARGINS, TIMES NEW ROMAN, 12 PT FONT.

B)     The paper is a review of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

C)     Discuss in your review how, or if, this book changed your perception of slavery in America during the years before the Civil War.


        3Watch one of the films or documentaries on this list and type a two-page, double-spaced review. These documentaries/movies have a variety of ratings and suitability; choose one that you are comfortable watching. I feel that viewing any of these films will give you a head-start on your studies in APUSH and provide you with another lens through which we view our history as a nation. If you have another US History film from this time frame that you would like considered, please contact me via email. This will be due on CANVAS the first day of school, Wednesday, August 22, 2018.


Films or Documentaries that can be watched for credit:

·         God in America: How Religious Liberty Shaped America – 2010 (PBS NR) First 2 episodes http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/view/ 
·         National Geographic: Nightmare in Jamestown – 2005 (Documentary NR)
·         The Last of the Mohicans -1992 (R)
·         The West -1996 (Documentary Ken Burns NR) First 2 episodes 


Guidelines for Film/Documentary Analysis due on CANVAS Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

A)      TYPED, two-page, double-spaced, 1-INCH MARGINS, TIMES NEW ROMAN, 12 PT FONT.

B)      The paper should respond to all three of the following areas.

C)      Introduction and Brief Summary of Film (plot and characters) or (topic of the documentary)

D)      How does it relate to US History – Biggest section (Historical period, major events, and/or major historical figures in film) You may find that it is easier to write Parts B and C together rather than in two separate paragraphs.)

E)      Your Analysis of Film How well does this movie represent the time period?  Is it an accurate reflection?  Why or Why not?  What are your personal thoughts on the movie or documentary as an art form as well as a medium through which history may be evaluated?  



  1. Enjoy your summer.  This work will not consume more than 6-9 hours, so go climb a tree, take a swim or learn to do macramé, whatever catches your interest!
  2. Read.  Try to read several books over the course of your summer, not just the assigned ones.  You will do a ton of reading in this class this year and if you are not in the habit of turning pages it will be much more difficult to adjust. 
  3. Learn your geography.  Geography is going to play an important part of this course.  Do you know all 50 states? Learn them.  Can you find the major mountain ranges of the U.S. on a map?  We will be taking multiple geography quizzes and tests during the year.
  4. Memorize the Presidents and their political parties.  You will need to do this any way before the end of September so you might as well get a jumpstart on it.  Try to do them in blocks of three:  Washington, Adams, Jefferson (pause) Madison, Monroe, Adams …
  5. Explore your family history and stories.  Stuck for a conversation starter at dinner?  Ask your parent or guardian what it was like when they were growing up.  Or ask a grandparent or friend about the Vietnam Era, hippies, or World War II.  You’ll be surprised how much history your parents/grandparents/guardians have lived. 
  6. AP US History does observe the Ron Swanson pyramid of greatness, so be prepared. [I am only kind of kidding]



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