AP® US History for New 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 you can approach teaching AP US History. Through the exchange of ideas in discussion and in the study of materials prepared by the College Board, participants will consider ways to incorporate all these parts to create a rigorous and successful AP US History program at their high school. 

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

  • Understand the 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/reasoning skills
  • Techniques for completing the course audit
  • Pacing using the new curriculum framework
  • Reading Strategies for AP US History students

Participants should bring the following:

  • Personal laptop/tablet (with USB port)
  • Jump drive (This helps if you want to download documents from the instructor and other participants) 
  • 1 subject notebook or composition notebook
  • Pens, Pencils, Highlighter

Course Outline (Subject to Change):


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


  • Best 1 to 4 Day Review Technique 
  • Review the 2019 AP Test Results 
  • Create Short Chapter Summaries for APUSH Students 
  • Multiple Choice Section Strategies 
  • Short Answer Strategies 


  • Long Essay Writing strategies 
  • Daily Review and Quizzing strategies 
  • Pacing 
  • How I run my class/Google Classroom (Coaching your students)/Lecture Style 
  • Museum Visit (Afternoon) 


  • Doing the DBQ (The Document Based Question) 
  • Building/Revamping a Syllabus 
  • Create a Decade Gallery Walk 
  • Time to work on Pacing Schedule 
  • Final Questions 
  • Equity and Access Statement 
  • Comprehensive APUSH Video/Evaluations 


Michael Hjort Michael Hjort just finished his 21st year of teaching Social Studies, 15th year teaching AP US History and is in his 11th year as an AP Reader and Early Table Leader in Louisville, KY and Tampa, FL reading and scoring the APUSH essays (primarily SAQs). Michael currently teaches 3-5 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 over 40+ one-day/two-day conferences and one-week AP Summer Institutes.