AP US History

Advanced Placement United States History
Mrs. Wakelin/Mr. Willis
Summer Assignment for the 2022-2023 School Year

CONGRATULATIONS. You have decided to take on the greatest challenge of your academic career. AP United States History is a college level course covering "everything that has ever happened ever in the United States." *

* (Since 1491)


If you think this class is going to be a breeze... don't take it.
If you do not complete assignments... don't take it.
If you are not dedicated to accruing a wealth of knowledge about the United States through all time periods ... don't take it.
If you do not think you are up to the challenge... don't take it.

However, if you are willing to work hard and take a fully comprehensive look at United States History; you've come to the right place.

However, if you are still here, then perhaps you should read about the APUSH summer assignment below . . .

Be ready… your class begins in September, 2022 and all summer work is due on the first day of class. If you encounter a special circumstance, please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] as early as possible. Our first assessments of the year will be based on the summer assignment and are given within the first 2 weeks of class. To avoid unneeded stress, finish the work! Trust us… it will help you with this course.

The Summer Assignment:



(Credit: Steve Heimler)

In this assignment, all you need to do is answer the following question in 1-2 paragraphs:

Are there man-bats on the moon?

To answer this question, consult the following image and excerpts to support your answer. Your answer should include:

  • A thesis: your decisive answer on this question (yes, or no?).
  • Paragraph 1: Two to three sentences that support your argument with evidence from the image and excerpts.
  • Paragraph 2: Two to three sentences explaining WHY the evidence led you to say yes or no. For example, if you said no, what about the evidence seemed suspect? If you said yes, what about the evidence seemed convincing? We want to hear about the details!

Responses should be typed and printed or hand-written on lined paper. (40 points)

Historical Background:

  • Yes, this is a real question. “In 1835, an incredible story broke in the Sun Newspaper, New York City, which reported that the famed astronomer Sir John Herschel had made Great Astronomical Discoveries. While cataloging and mapping nebulae in the night sky at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, Herschel trained his reportedly hyper powerful telescope on the Moon.”1
  • Herschel went on to discover that the moon was in fact populated with an abundance of creatures, including intelligent man-bats who were capable of building great cathedrals and engaging in deity worship.

Source #1: An artist’s rendering of the various forms of intelligent life found on the moon, including man-bats. The New York Sun. August 28th, 1835

Source #2: The New York Sun, August 1835

We were thrilled…to perceive four successive flocks of large winged creatures, wholly unlike any kind of birds, descend with a slow even motion from the cliffs on the western side, and alight upon the plain. . . .

Certainly they were like human beings, for their wings had now disappeared, and their attitude in walking was both erect and dignified….They averaged four feet in height, were covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair, and had wings composed of a thin membrane, without hair, lying snugly upon their backs,…The face, which was of a yellowish flesh color, was a slight improvement upon that of the large orang outang, being more open and intelligent in its expression, and having a much greater expansion of forehead. The mouth, however, was very prominent, though somewhat relieved by a thick beard upon the lower jaw, and by lips far more human than those of any species of similar genus.

Source #3: A description of the telescope which was capable of magnifying the inhabitants of the moon. The New York Sun, August 1835

It is well known that the great reflecting telescope of the late elder Herschel, with an object-glass four feet in diameter, and a tube forty feet in length, possesses a magnifying power of more than six thousand times…. Sir John Herschel had submitted his plans and calculations in adaptation to an object-glass of twenty-four feet in diameter: just six times the size of his venerable father's. For casting this ponderous mass, he selected the large glass-house of Messrs.

The weight of this ponderous lens was 14,826 lbs. or nearly seven tons after being polished; and its estimated magnifying power 42,000 times. It was therefore presumed to be capable of representing objects in our lunar satellite of little more than eighteen inches in diameter, providing its focal image of them could be rendered distinct by the transfusion of article light.


The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to one of the two specific types of essays you will be writing this year in a manner that allows your teacher to learn more about you. The long essay is due on the first day of class, NO EXCEPTIONS. (60 points)

  • Prompt- Write an essay in response to ONE of the following prompts:

    1. Analyze how you are similar and different from other typical American high school students. (COMPARISON)
    2. Evaluate the extent to which you have changed since entering high school. (CONTINUITY AND CHANGE OVER TIME)
    3. Analyze the factors that have most shaped your development. (CAUSATION)

  • Guidelines- Before you begin writing, carefully review the handout, Structure of the APUSH Long Essay. Your essay should adhere to the guidelines established in this handout.

    1. Your essay should be typed and printed or hand-written on lined paper. There is no minimum or maximum length, but typical essays will be 2-3 pages long. The minimum number of paragraphs for this particular essay is 4: Intro, 2 body paragraphs, conclusion.
    2. Use a formal, academic style of writing. Do not use slang, abbreviations, or an overly dramatic or fluffy narrative.
    3. Your essay should be free of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.

* Please contact us by our school email, [email protected] or [email protected] , if you have any questions during the summer. We will only be checking email once a week during the summer, so please do not wait until the week before school starts to contact us. Try to plan ahead.  Your book will take some time to work through. Thanks, and looking forward to seeing you at the end of August!


  1. https://blog.library.si.edu/blog/2013/08/28/great_moon_hoax_1835/#.YJqZQS33afA