AP® US History for New AP® Teachers

This summer institute will focus on the three parts of the new curriculum framework:  historical thinking skills, the concept outline, and the thematic learning objectives. We will also focus our attention on the four parts to the AP US History redesigned Test (Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Long Essay and Document Based Question) along with lesson development and best practices (classroom instruction, review sessions, student ownership). We will address the syllabus process and multiple ways throughout the year you can check for understanding. Through the exchange of ideas in discussion and in the study of materials prepared by the College Board for teachers of the redesigned course, participants will consider ways to incorporate all of these parts to create a successful AP US History program at their high school.

The goals of the four-day session are to assist participants with:

  • Understand the new AP U.S. History curriculum framework
  • Understand the new types of questions on the AP exam
  • Experience in preparing for the multiple choice section
  • Developing Short Answer Questions, Long Essays and Document Based Questions
  • Developing methods for teaching historical thinking skills
  • Techniques for completing the course audit
  • Pacing using the new curriculum framework

Participants should bring the following:

All participants will need to bring a lap top.  Most participant materials will be digital. 

  • Personal laptop/tablet (with USB port)
  • Jump drive (most of the material will be posted on a downloadable website)
  • 1 subject notebook or composition notebook
  • Pens, Pencils, Highlighter, and One Dry Erase Marker

Course Outline (Subject to Change):


  • Introduction to building a successful AP Program
    • Equity and Access Statement
  • The AP Redesign in a “nutshell”
    • History Thinking Skills
    • Concept Outline
    • 7 Themes


  • Review the 2017 AP Test Results
    • Multiple Choice Questions
    • Short Answer Questions
    • Long Essay Questions


  • Doing the DBQ (The Document Based Question)
  • Review strategies
  • Pacing
  • Museum Trip


  • Building/Revamping a Syllabus
  • Sharing Best Practices
  • Review Sessions
  • Question Development/Group Lesson Planning
  • Equity and Access Statement


Michael Hjort Michael Hjort just finished his 19th year of teaching Social Studies, 13th year teaching AP US History and is in his 8th year as an AP Reader and Table Leader in Louisville, KY reading and scoring the APUSH essays. Michael currently teaches 5 sections of AP US History and is the Social Studies Department Chair at Rouse High School in Leander, TX. He has been a College Board consultant since 2013, presenting one-day conferences, two-day conferences, and one-week AP Summer Institutes.