Historical Literacy Strategies in High School History Classes

Brad Baker, U.S. History, William Amos Hough High School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


My unit plan is to devise a unit that meets the requirements set forth by the AP College Board. According to the College Board the AP U.S. History course focuses on the development of historical thinking and reading skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes: American and National Identity, Politics and Power, Work/Exchange/Technology, Culture/Society, Migration/Settlement, Geography/Environment, and America in the World. In line with college and university United States history survey courses’ increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis on other areas, the AP U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491 to 1607 and from 1980 to the present. As a teacher, it allows me the flexibility across nine different periods of U.S. history to teach topics of my choice in depth. My goal is to show this change over time via historical documents created during the time period and their influences on cultural, social, political, and economic change.