Office of Secondary Social Studies
Courses

Elementary Social Studies

Parent Summaries (Grades 6-8)

Grade 6- World Cultures: The grade 6 World Cultures program examines cultures and nations in terms of their geography, history, social structure, economics, and politics. The content contains:

  • Introduction to World Cultures: why and how we study culture
  • Latin America: how geography and history have influenced its political/ social/ economic development, challenges facing these people
  • South Asia: how its cultures have been shaped by geography and tradition; how its people confronted economic and political changes
  • East Asia: how geography and history have influenced the social, political, and economic development of China; the role traditional values, beliefs, and institutions play in today's East Asia community.
Grade 7- World Cultures: The grade 7 World Cultures program examines cultures and nations in terms of their geography, history, social structure, economics, and politics. The content contains:
  • Introduction/ review: why and how we study culture
  • Africa: how geography and history influenced its development and diversity
  • Middle East: why it is defined as a cultural crossroads; its challenges
  • Europe: why it can be called a cultural mosaic; how recent events promoted or discouraged cooperation among nations
  • Central Eurasia: how geography and political traditions have affected its people, the factors that contributed to its political instability.
Social Studies 8 presents a chronological, narrative survey of the history of the United States from prehistoric America to 1877. The program is designed to encourage identification with the American people, their aspirations, their ideals, and their experiences at various points in time in our country’s history.

Content

  • Prehistoric America Unit
  • Europeans Colonize North America
  • Road to Independence—The American Revolution
  • Creating the American Republic
  • Nationalism and Expansion in America
  • A Nation Divided—Sectionalism and Slavery
  • The Civil War—America at War with Itself
  • Transforming the Nation—Reconstruction

REQUIRED HIGH SCHOOL COURSES

Students are required to earn 3-1/2 credits in social studies. American Government, World History, United States History, and Government and Public Issues are required. Multiple levels of the required courses through grade 11 are offered in the schools. In these classes, the instructional level and materials are modified according to the needs of the students. 

Parent Summary (Grade 9)
Parent Summary (Grade 10)
Parent Summary (Grade 11)
Parent Summary (Grade 12)

Gifted and Talented American Government Grade 9 (1 credit): This course is a study of the American political, economic, and social issues in national, state, and local government. In addition to factual content, the processes, institutions, and values of the American political, economic, and social systems are examined. This course satisfies the grade level requirement for drug education. Note: Participation by selection only.American Government Grade 9 (1 credit): This course helps students to develop skills and acquire insights essential to an understanding of American political, economic, and social life at the national, state, and local levels. Attention will be on political, economic, and social issue and preparation for responsible citizenship. This course satisfies the grade level requirement for drug education.

World History Grade 10 (1 credit): Significant episodes from western and non-western history are investigated including the emergence of ancient and classical centers of regional civilization; the development of the hemispheric civilization of Islam; the growth of historical ties of interdependence; the expansion of Europe and its domination of the world in the modern era; the development of Africa and Asia in the modern era; and the development of global networks of political, economic, and social interdependence in the contemporary world. Note: Completion of American Government is recommended.

Gifted and Talented World History Grade 10 (1 credit): This course is an in-depth study of ancient and medieval history; modern and contemporary European history; China as a non-western culture undergoing profound change; and contemporary political, economic, and social examples of global systems. Note: Participation by selection only.

United States History Grade 11 (1 credit): United States History enables students to participate in an in-depth examination of the events, participants, patterns, and relationships of our nation from the end of the Civil War to the present era. Recurring historical themes are presented within a chronological framework. The course provides opportunities for students to master the content while also developing the historical thinking skills required for a deep and sophisticated understanding of the past. Note: Completion of a World History course is recommended.

Gifted and Talented/ Advanced Placement U.S. History Grade 11(1 credit): This is a chronologically organized course addressing political, economic, social, diplomatic, intellectual, and cultural history. Content emphasis is from the American Revolution to the present. This course will be directed toward assisting students to pass the Advanced Placement Examination in American History. Note: Participation by selection only.

Economics and Public Issues (1/2 credit): Economics and Public Issues will prepare students for the economic interactions they will encounter as producers, consumers, and citizens. A primary focus of the course will be the development of an issues analysis model and its application to public policy issues. The course will also provide students with skills they need to conduct personal finances as earners, savers, borrowers, and taxpayers . Completion of this course satisfies the grade level requirement for Drug Education and the graduation requirement for Economics.

Economics: Advanced Placement (1 credit): This course is designed to prepare students to take an advanced placement examination for college credit. Options include micro and macro economics. Course content will be based upon demands of the examination and processes required for success on the examination. Completion of this course satisfies the grade level requirement for Drug Education. Completion of the course satisfies the graduation requirement for Economics.

Government and Public Issues (1/2 credit): This course prepares students for civic participation by developing understandings of political philosophies, of politics and the political system, of law and legal systems, and of international issues. The course seeks to sharpen students’ ability to thoughtfully analyze public issues. Note: Completion of American Government, World History, and United States History is recommended.

Government: Advanced Placement (1 credit): This course is designed to prepare students to take an advanced placement examination for college credit. Options include U.S. Government and Politics and Comparative Government and Politics. Course content will be based upon demands of the examination and processes required for success on the examination. Note: Completion of American Government Grade 9, World History, and United States History is recommended.

Psychology (1/2 credit): This is a study of human behavior, examined within the context of the behavioral sciences of psychology and sociology. Fundamental to this course is a focus upon identity development, schools of psychology, normal and abnormal behaviors, and treatment. Note: Grade 12 standing is recommended.

Psychology: Advanced Placement (1 credit): This course is designed to prepare students to take an advanced placement examination for college credit. Course content will be based upon demands of the examination and processes required for success on the examination. Note: Grade 12 standing is recommended.

Archaeology (1/2 credit): This course offers students experiences which will enable them to gain archaeological perspectives on the past and present. Activities involve work with local history, historical preservation, and genealogy. Opportunity is provided to work at an archaeological site. Note: Grade 11 or 12 standing is recommended.

Human Geography (1/2 credit ): How do people interact with their physical environment, shaping that environment to meet their needs? The concern of geographers for observing, categorizing, and explaining relationships is the focus of this course.

Philosophy (1/2 credit): This course examines philosophical questions about the nature of being, the mind, ethical behavior, and life. A range of important philosophical systems and several ethical dilemmas that have consistently perplexed thoughtful people will be examined. This course should appeal to students who have a strong interest in questions rather than answers, the unknown rather than the known, ideas rather than facts, and the “why” rather than the “what.” Note: Grade 11 or 12 standing is recommended.

Facing History: The Holocaust (1/2 credit): This course will help students develop an appreciation for justice, a concern for interpersonal understanding, and a sensitivity for those who have been wronged. Students will identify historical patterns of racism in order to connect the past with the present. Students will increase understandings of human behavior in order to recognize different forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Modern History: Europe and the World in the Twentieth Century (1/2 credit): This course addresses major political, economic, social, and intellectual events and forces which have shaped Europe in the twentieth century and which have had repercussions beyond Europe. The institution and development of a Communist system in Russia, the rise of Nazism in Germany and the Holocaust which resulted from it, the two World Wars and their settlements, and the realignments of world power since 1945 are emphasized. Note: Grade 11 or 12 standing is recommended.

European History: Advanced Placement (1 credit): This course is designed to prepare students to take an advanced placement examination for college credit. Course content will be based upon demands of the examination and processes required for success on the examination.

Films and History (1/2 credit): For many Americans, movie dramatizations are their primary source of knowledge about many events in the past. But how accurate are they? In this course, students will develop criteria for judging the accuracy of historical films. They will then view and analyze several movie classics that portray various periods of history. Research of life during historical eras and review of movie criticism will be included. Students will assess the results of research to give each film a rating for its historical accuracy. This will enable them to determine if these movies about a historical period can be viewed for educational value, as well as raise questions that they should consider whenever they again watch a film portraying the past. Attention will also be given to the historical development of this cinematic genre.

African American History (1/2 credit): This case study of the minority experience in American society is designed to develop an understanding of the causes, character, and consequences of the African-American experience. This one-semester course provides a variety of academic and cultural activities, beginning with a historical and cultural understanding of the African continent. The course examines the economics and cultural impact of the slave trade, the development of the African-American culture, and the continuing struggle for freedom in twentieth century American history and society. Appropriate political, social, and economic issues will be presented for analysis. An examination of the academic and artistic achievements of African Americans will be reinforced with field experiences involving local artists and institutions. Note: Grade 11 or 12 standing is recommended.

Juvenile Justice (1/2 credit): This course will help students to develop successful patterns of behavior by making them more aware of what triggers conflict and confrontation, by improving their understanding of legal terminology, by providing them with a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding of rules, and by increasing their skills of communication. While examining issues and problems which affect our society, students will develop a sense of citizenship and responsibility.

Art and Artifacts: Clues to Distant Cultures (1/2 credit): Students assume roles of art historians, archeologists, and anthropologists as they analyze the material culture of Ancient Egypt, Classical India, Classical China, the Islamic Empire, and Feudal Japan. Included within course work will be museum experiences at The Walters Art Gallery.

Abnormal Psychology (1/2 credit): Students define and analyze abnormal behavior from a variety of perspectives. The major types and ranges of abnormal behavior are examined in detail, with special emphasis on causation and symptoms. The course culminates with analysis of treatment approaches and their respective techniques. Note: Completion of Psychology is recommended.

History Through Sports (1/2 credit): Using sports as a catalyst, students analyze United States history during the twentieth century. Special emphasis is placed on social history, in particular, the status of minorities and women, and the insights sports can provide regarding the conditions and attitudes of historical eras. The course culminates with analysis of contemporary issues related to sports, such as substance abuse, the status awarded to athletes, and public financing of sports facilities. Note: Completion of United States History is recommended.

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