SOCIAL STUDIES

 

OVERVIEW OF COURSE OFFERINGS

Students are required to take four years of social studies classes. At the end of their sophomore year, students must pass a Global History and Geography Regents exam. At the end of their junior year students must pass another Regents exam in United States History and Government. In their senior year, students are enrolled in the last two courses required by New York State: Participation in Government and Economics.

The department offers qualified students the opportunity to enroll in Humanities (Honors) level or Advanced Placement classes in their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Advanced Placement course offerings include: AP World History; AP United States History; and AP Government.

The Social Studies department also offers students the opportunity to participate in one of two career-oriented programs. Ed-Opt Law Academy students are automatically enrolled in a three-year Law Academy Program. All students are eligible to apply to participate in a three-year Travel and Hospitality Program. Admission to this program is competitive and teacher recommendations and an interview are required. In addition to these two career-oriented programs, a number of individual social studies electives are offered to qualified students.



 

GLOBAL HISTORY

Global 1 – H1
This annualized course begins a four semester examination of world history. This course reviews human history from the Paleolithic period through the end of the Middle Ages in Europe and the rise of Islam. Students also look at the development of early civilizations in the New World. Skill development focuses on teaching students to interpret graphs, charts, maps, timelines, and other primary source documents. Emphasis is placed on the development of essay writing skills.

Global 2 – H2
This annualized course focuses on the changes that occurred over a 500 year period from the 14th century to the end of the 19th century. It begins with the Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe and moves forward to include the growth of European nationalism and imperialism. By the end of freshmen year students are expected to be able to write competent Regents-style thematic essays. All H2 students also prepare a research project for possible inclusion in the annual Freshman History Fair.

Global 3 – H3
This annualized course focuses on twentieth century changes in world history. It examines the causes and effects of the Russian and Chinese communist revolutions and World War I and World War II. It also looks at the impact of the Cold War. Skill development continues to focus on document interpretation and essay-writing. Emphasis is placed on teaching students how to write Regents-style DBQ essays. All H3 students also complete a research project for possible inclusion in the annual Sophomore History Fair.

Global 4 – H4
This annualized course provides students with at thematic review of world history to aid them in preparing for the Global History and Geography Regents in June. Contemporary world problems are reviewed as part of this comprehensive thematic review. Skill development continues to focus on interpreting primary source documents and on having students create a personal portfolio of representative Regents-style thematic and DBQ essays.

Humanities Global History – H3PH & H4PH
Students who excel in their freshman year (85+ average) may be recommended into a Humanities / Honors social studies global studies class in their sophomore year. Students are given more challenging work and are expected to complete additional research and writing projects.

Advanced Placement World History – H3PX & H4PX
Students who do exceptionally well in their freshman year (90+ average) may be recommended into an Advanced Placement (AP) World History college-level course in their sophomore year. Students tackle advanced-level questions in world history using primary source documents and a college-level text for reference. In May students are invited to take a College Board exam in World History. Students who do well on this exam earn 8 college-level credits.

Topics in Global History – HEG
This one-semester course aids students who did not pass the Global History and Geography Regents. It provides students with a broad thematic overview of various topics in Global History. Skill development focuses on the interpretation of graphs, charts, maps, timelines, and other primary source documents. Students create a personal portfolio of representative Regents-style thematic and DBQ essays.

UNITED STATES HISTORY

US 1 – H5
This annualized course begins a two semester examination of American history. It begins with a review of the events leading up to the American Revolution and ends with a review of the effects of the post-Civil War industrialization of the United States. Skill development continues to emphasize the interpretation of primary source documents and the writing of Regents-style thematic essays. Students are expected to complete a research project to further hone their research and writing skills.

US 2 – H6
This annualized course completes a two semester examination of American history. It begins with important changes dating to the late nineteenth century: the advent of the Progressive movement and the growth of American power on the world stage. It ends with the modern presidents. Skill development continues to focus on interpreting primary source documents and on having students create a personal portfolio of representative Regents-style thematic and DBQ essays in preparation for the United States History and Government Regents in June.

American Social History Project – H5I & H6I / H5J & H6J
Juniors enrolled in this annualized interdisciplinary program take two linked classes in US History and American literature. Their social studies and English teachers collaborate in teaching skills and assigning interdisciplinary projects. Law Academy students are enrolled in “J” classes which focus on legal issues in US history. Literature icons for “J” classes include: The Crucible and Inherit the Wind. All students are also expected to create a personal portfolio of representative Regents-style thematic and DBQ essays in preparation for the United States History and Government Regents in June.

Humanities US History – H5PH & H6PH
Students who excel in their sophomore year (85+ average) may be recommended into an annualized Humanities / Honors social studies US class in their junior year. Students are given more challenging work and are expected to complete additional research and writing projects.

Advanced Placement US History for Juniors – H5PX & H6PX
Students who do exceptionally well in their sophomore year (90+ average) may be recommended into an Advanced Placement (AP) United States History college-level course in their junior year. Students tackle advanced-level questions in US history using primary source documents and a college-level text for reference. In May students are invited to take a College Board exam in US History. Students who do well on this exam earn 8 college-level credits.

Topics in US History – HHU
This one-semester course aids students who did not pass the US History and Government Regents. It provides students with a broad thematic overview of various topics in US History. Skill development focuses on the interpretation of graphs, charts, maps, timelines, and other primary source documents. Students create a personal portfolio of representative Regents-style thematic and DBQ essays.

PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT & ECONOMICS

Participation in Government – H7 / H7R / H7J
This project-based course begins with a brief review of the basic principles of federalism and our system of checks and balances. It then moves on to explore the workings of the three branches of government in greater depth. Students conduct a voter registration drive and participate in election simulations and debates. Students are also expected to research a problem facing their local community and pursue an initiative to address that problem. Each year a significant figure in the community is invited to speak at a senior class assembly. H7R – Regents-prep Government – This is a modified course that gives students who did not pass the US History and Government Regents exam additional support to enable them to pass the exam in their senior year. H7J – Constitutional Law – This is a modified course which puts greater emphasis on controversial legal issues and the workings of the judicial branch. For students in the Law Academy.

Economics – H8
This project-based course reviews a number of topics in micro- and macro-economics. All students complete a “Life Project Portfolio” that requires each student to research projected earnings and expenses related to particular career choices. Students participate in the Stock Market Game to learn more about the workings of equity markets. Students also participate in a Financial Literacy Certification program sponsored by the W!SE foundation that culminates in a required exam. Students conclude the course by preparing resumes and participating in mock job interviews. H8J – Public Policy – This is a modified course which puts greater emphasis on public policy issues. Students research how effectively the government allocates economic resources to address the needs of society. For students in the Law Academy.

Humanities Government and Economics for Seniors– H7PH & H8PH
Students who excel in their junior year (85+ average) may be recommended into an annualized Humanities / Honors program for their senior year. Students are given more challenging work and additional projects. For example, in their economics class students create an advertising campaign for a product they develop.

Advanced Placement Government for Seniors– H7PX & H8PX
Students who do exceptionally well in their junior year (90+ average) may be recommended into an Advanced Placement (AP) US Government college-level course in their senior year. Students research and analyze political issues and policies using web-based resources and a college-level text for reference. In May students are invited to take a College Board exam in US Government. Students who do well on this exam earn 4 college-level credits.

SOCIAL STUDIES ELECTIVES

Global Issues – HHG
This project-based course examines important issues facing the world today. Students research and debate possible solutions to questions involving topics such as: human rights abuses; immigration issues; world poverty; global warming; and terrorism. Students design projects to address the problems they think are most in need of immediate action. Prerequisite: Students must have passed the Global History and Geography Regents exam. This is NOT a Regents prep course.

History through Sports – HRS
This project-based course examines how sports, history, and politics are intertwined. Students examine the link between nationalism and sports and the ways in which nations have attempted to use the Olympic games for propaganda purposes. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which key sports figures have influenced the history of their nations. The course celebrates athletes who changed history by leading the fight for greater equality. Prerequisite: Students must have passed the Global History and Geography Regents exam. This is NOT a Regents prep course.

Psychology – HSP
This project-based course provides students with an introduction to basic concepts in psychology. Students are given an overview of: developmental and learning psychology; abnormal psychology; physiological psychology; and social and sports psychology. Students complete social surveys, personal dream journals, and a variety of other relevant projects in the class. Prerequisite: Students must have passed the Global History and Geography Regents exam. This is NOT a Regents prep course.

History of New York – HRN
This project-based course gives students an opportunity to explore the development of New York from its earliest beginnings as New Amsterdam to its current status as a major world metropolis. The course uses Ric Burns’ PBS series on New York, as well as the film Hester Street, and a wide variety of other books and on-line resources. Projects include researching the historical evolution of a NYC neighborhood, and “adopting” a specific New York City landmark to research. Prerequisite: Students must have passed the Global History and Geography Regents exam. This is NOT a Regents prep course.

US History through Film – HRU
This course allows students to explore American history through the lens of famous films. Students begin by reviewing the history of an era or event and then view a related film with an eye to critiquing the film’s accuracy. Films vary but films typically seen in this course include: Glory (African Americans in the Civil War); Heartland (the pioneer experience); Shane or The Searchers (the American West); The Grapes of Wrath (the Great Depression); Matewan (striking coal miners); Letters Home from Vietnam (the Vietnam War); Malcolm X or The Long Walk Home (the civil rights movement); and Maria Full of Grace (illegal immigration). Prerequisite: Students must have passed the Global History and Geography Regents exam. This is NOT a Regents prep course.

LAW ACADEMY PROGRAM – 3 YEAR SEQUENCE FOR ALL ED-OPT LAW ACADEMY STUDENTS

World History through Film – HRW
This annualized course allows students to critically explore famous events in world history from the perspective of major films about these events. Films viewed wholly or in part include: Tale of Two Cities (French Revolution); Modern Times (Industrial Revolution); All Quiet on the Western Front (WWI); Animal Farm (Marxist Revolution); Gandhi (Indian Independence); To Live (Chinese Communist Revolution); Schindler’s List (Holocaust); Cry, the Beloved Country (Apartheid); The Killing Fields (Cambodian genocide) and Sometimes in April (Rwandan genocide).

Introduction to Law – HL1
This annualized course provides students with an introduction to law-related issues. The course begins by looking at why we need a system of laws and how laws are created. The course then moves on to examine the court system, crime in America, and the criminal justice process. It culminates with a mock trial and a moot court. Emphasis is placed on teaching students appropriate legal reading and writing skills. On-line resources are used for researching projects.

Civil Law – HL2
This annualized project-based course provides practical information for students in our litigious society. Civil law is the branch of law that deals with violations of legal contracts, people who violate the rights of others, and other kinds of illegal but non-violent behaviors. The curriculum includes a review of torts, consumer law, family law, and housing law. Students fully participate in the program by engaging in role plays and mock trials.

Criminal Justice – HL3
This annualized project-based course focuses on our criminal justice system. The curriculum includes criminal law, law enforcement, adjudication, and corrections. Current controversial topics include domestic terrorism, abortion, hate- and drug-related crimes. Emphasis is put on current cases. On-line resources are used to keep students informed of emerging issues in the criminal justice system. The course culminates with a full-scale mock trial in which students have the opportunity to play the role of: judge; prosecuting attorney; defense attorney; defendant; court clerk; bailiff; court recorder; or a juror.

Constitutional Law – H7L
This annualized project-based course examines the legal foundations of American government. Emphasis is put on the basic principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Students gain an understanding of landmark United States Supreme Court cases and their impact on contemporary society. The course culminates in a simulation mock trial about a contemporary constitutional issue. NB This course substitutes for H7 for all Law Academy students.

Public Policy – H8L
This annualized project-based course focuses on the way in which legal and economic considerations affect public policy decisions in the United States. While covering the same essentials as regular Economics classes, these classes do additional research projects on public policy topics such as government spending on education and on the military. The course includes a simulated Congressional hearing on a public policy topic chosen by the class. NB This course substitutes for H8 for all Law Academy students.