AP U.S. History

For new and experienced AP teachers!

The goal of the AP U.S. History course is to "encourage students to become apprentice historians who are able to use historical facts and evidence in the service of creating deeper conceptual understandings of critical developments in U.S. History." Key to meeting this goal: creating a learning environment that encourages students to develop the historical thinking skills used by historians while engaging with provocative questions about the past. This workshop will help teachers understand how to use the Curriculum Framework to frame lessons that promote historical investigation and conceptual learning, and within that context, how to help students develop the specific historical thinking skills required by the course.

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Apply concrete strategies for designing and implementing an effective AP U.S. History course, drawing from the Curriculum Framework
  • Develop activities and assessments that develop students’ historical thinking skills, and provide them with opportunities to investigate historical events and trends through primary and secondary sources
  • Implement strategies to effectively prepare students for the AP exam
  • Develop or revise a syllabus to align with course requirements

Workshop materials:

  • AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description 
  • AP Course Audit information
  • Sample syllabus for AP U.S. History and a Syllabus Development Guide
  • AP U.S. History Practice Exam


Workshop Goal:

Participants will develop strategies for integrating skills development into the AP U.S. History curriculum.

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define what "historical thinking" means for historians, and identify the benefits and challenges to helping students develop historical thinking skills in the AP U.S. History course.
  • Use the Curriculum Framework to frame the study of history as an investigative process that requires students to engage with provocative questions about the past as they learn about historical developments.
  • Understand what each of the historical thinking skills defined by the Curriculum Framework requires students to be able to do, and help students learn to use those skills to engage with historical questions.
  • Understand which exam items assess which historical thinking skills and be able to create related tasks for classroom practice


  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Laying the Foundation
  • Historical Thinking Skills and the AP U.S. History Course
  • The AP U.S. History Curriculum Framework: Setting the Stage for Historical Investigation
  • Using Evidence to Support an Argument
  • Workshop Summary and Closing

You will be notified promptly of any cancellations or schedule or program changes. We will confirm your enrollment in the program and provide information on travel, accommodations, final registration, and parking.


All cancellations must be received in writing by mail or fax. Refunds, minus a $25 processing fee for each course that is cancelled will be made for cancellations received fifteen days prior to the first day of the program. Refund requests made after that time will not be honored, and the participant or sponsoring organization will be responsible for the fee. Anyone who is registered but cannot attend may send a substitute. Note: If you do not cancel, and do not attend, you are still responsible for payment. Please note:  A $250 late registration fee will be assessed if noncredit status is changed to credit status after July 16, 2017.


The University may cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other related costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

ACT 48

Penn State Abington is an ACT 48 provider. ACT 48 credit is available for this course.

*This course can also be taken for three graduate credits.

Abington Towne Center
1475 Old York Road
Abington, PA 19001

Tuition covers all instruction, course notes, program materials, computer fees and lunch. Registrants are responsible for all other meals and lodging. The fee may be paid by check, money order, or purchase order (made payable to Penn State); a letter of authorization to bill your employer or organization, MasterCard, or VISA.