Main navigation

2021-22 Course Catalog

11th Grade US History-AP LA Syllabus

11th Grade US History – Teamed with Language Arts

In partnership with our language arts colleagues, US History explores the story of how we became who we are. We examine the character of the American and examine how the concept of justice informs our ideals and actions as a nation. We try to understand our past to encourage students to create a better future.

Guiding questions: How has justice informed American ideals? (vs. realities?)

  • How do we use our understanding of the past to create a just society?

QUARTER 1 – Pre-Columbian and 1754-1776

  • Examination of “American Dream vs. American Reality”
  • Before the Europeans came – Native Americans in the America
  • Territorial Expansion
  • The Jacksonian Era – How did his presidency reflect the change in the American Character?
  • Civil War and Reconstruction ( cause and effect)

QUARTER 2 – 1865 – 1898

  • Westward Expansion
    • Native Americans
    • Closing frontier
  • Immigration, industry and unions,
  • Progressives and Populists
  • Spanish American War – Imperialism

QUARTER 3 – 1900 – 1950s

  • Harlem Renaissance
    • H.R. Art Project – integrated project with LA
  • 1930s Great Depression
  • WWII
    • Women’s roles in the war effort
    • The post-war world


  • Korean War
  • Civil Rights movement
  • Cold War
  • Cultural revolution
  • Political party transitions of the 70’s and 80’s
  • Local Justice Project

AP US History is an imbedded part of the curriculum. Any student may pursue the AP US History curriculum.

11th Grade US Literature and AP English Language and Composition

Overview: This course engages students in two parallel tracks of study. In terms of skills, students hone their ability to analyze and create formal arguments (written, oral and visual/graphic). In addition, they are introduced to rhetoric. In terms of content, the course is centered on a study of U.S. literature from the 19th and 20th centuries.

We look at a variety of documents: fiction and non-fiction; poetry, stories, novels, and graphic texts. We strive for a representative body of literature in terms of its chronological coverage and the perspectives and voices which it in total represents. The two strands come together as students use these texts to develop the essential skills of the course.

Guiding questions:

  • What does it mean to be an American? How does our perception of the American character manifest in our lived American realities?
  • As an American ideal, how has our definition of justice evolved? How do different populations within the U.S. experience justice differently?

QUARTER 1 – Introductory Moves


  • Rhetoric (ethos, pathos, logos; rhetorical devices etc.)
  • Argument (formal structure, analysis and formation, debate)


  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (MLK)
  • Harper Lee text set
  • Current event/news articles

QUARTER 2 – Deepening Understandings


  • Logical fallacies
  • Warrant
  • Grammar/sentence structure (diagramming)


  • The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
  • 19th century short stories
  • 19th Century U.S. Author Project

QUARTER 3 – Embracing New Perspectives

  • Fin de siècle poetry, essays, letters and stories/American Romanticism
  • Harlem Renaissance
    • H.R. Art Project – integrated project with SS
  • Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)/Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston)

QUARTER 4 – And, Bringing it to Today

  • March (John Lewis)
  • Contemporary Native literature/August Wilson play cycle
  • AP test prep
  • Vietnam experience – The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien)
  • 20th Century U.S. Author Project