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Social Studies Classes

Social Studies Classes



United States History & Geography

  • 9th Grade
  • Required
  • Two semesters

United States History and Geography is a Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) graduation requirement.  This course focuses on the history of the United States from the late 1800's to our modern era.  It is a continuation of the U.S. History course taken in 8th grade.  Emphasis is placed on effective reading, writing,and thinking skills that are key to accurate historical analysis and to thinking and problem solving skills important in the workplace.  The content of this course will include the development of the industrial United States, the emergence of modern America and World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, post-war United States, and contemporary America.


More about United States History & Geography

AP United States History

  • 10th – 12th Grades (9th grade by instructor approval only)
  • Elective OR Core
  • Two semesters; 3.0 + GPA
  • Students may take this course instead of U.S. History A and B and still receive MMC credit.*

Advanced Placement United States History is a college level survey course of American History from the first native settlements to the beginning of the 21st century.  The course gives students a full picture of the development of American political, social, economic, and cultural history.  The course offers students dynamic, rigorous, and engaging opportunities to challenge themselves academically in preparation for college, citizenship, and future careers.  The academic expectations of AP U.S. History put special emphasis on critical reading, writing, and analysis skills; crucial skills that translate to any later academic discipline or career path. To enroll in AP U.S. History, a student must have a 3.0 GPA.   Highly capable and motivated students may take the AP Exam in May and possibly earn college credit.  Students should expect to devote substantial time to course readings and written work every week.  *Students can opt out of regular U.S. History to take this course instead with the understanding that it is a significantly more difficult course with added expectations and workload. 

AP US History Explanation Video

Sample AP US History multiple choice test questions


World History & Geography

  • 10th Grade
  • Required
  • 2 semesters

World History and Geography is a Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) graduation requirement. Its purpose is to allow students to understand past events, discover connections between these events, and demonstrate how past events have shaped our modern world.


World A - Content is organized into units based on time periods.  Emphasis is placed on effective reading, writing,and thinking skills that are key to accurate historical analysis and to thinking and problem solving skills important in the workplace. Units start with human civilization foundations and then examining the Byzantines, Middle Eastern, African, Asian and Western European civilizations from the 600 CE to 1450 AD.  We end with the study of Central and South American early civilizations to the Global Interactions of the 1600-1700s.

World B -  Content is organized into units based on time periods.  Emphasis is placed on effective reading, writing,and thinking skills that are key to accurate historical analysis and to thinking and problem solving skills important in the workplace. Topics analyzed start from the Enlightenment and Revolutions eras, through the World Wars from a World History perspective, to the Cold War Era and 20th Century Genocide.  We end the course with a study of Globalization.


AP World History

  • 10th - 12th Grade (9th grade by instructor approval only)
  • Elective or substitute for World History & Geography
  • 2 semesters
  • Students must complete summer reading and writing in order to enroll AP World History.
  • Students may take this course instead of World History A and B and still receive MMC credit.

Advanced Placement World History is a challenging course that is structured around the investigation of selected themes woven into key concepts covering distinct chronological periods. AP World History is equivalent to an introductory college survey course. The course has a three-fold purpose. First, it is designed to prepare students for successful placement into higher-level college and university history courses. Second, it is designed to develop skills of analysis and thinking in order to prepare students for success in the twenty-first century. Finally, it is the intent of this class to make the learning of world history an enjoyable experience.  Students will be able to show their mastery of the course goals by taking part in the College Board AP World History Exam in May.

AP World Syllabus

AP World Summer Project and Unit 1 Sample


United States Government

  • Some sections will be offered as Online Learning: Blended Course
  • 10th -12th Grades
  • Required
  • One semester

United States Government is a Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) graduation requirement.  Students will learn the basic principles of American government, which include the role of government in society, the functions of the three basic branches of government, and the constitutional rights and other political processes, such as voting and elections. Emphasis will be placed on current events.


More information about US Government


AP United States Government & Politics

  • 11th – 12th Grades
  • Elective or substitute for United States Government
  • Two semesters
  • 3.0 + GPA
  • Students may take this course instead of U.S. Government and still receive MMC credit.

This college level course is a rigorous study of the design and function of the American political system.  Students will demonstrate an understanding of American politics and the processes of government that help shape our public policies.  Extensive reading is a major requirement.  A student must have a 3.0 GPA in order to enroll in the course.  College credit can be earned if a student achieves a qualifying score on the AP Government and Politics test in the spring.  This course meets the Civics/Government requirement for graduation so long as the student completes BOTH terms.

Economics  

  • Some sections will be offered as Online Learning: Blended Course
  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Required
  • One Semester

Economics is a Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) graduation requirement.  Economics introduces students to both macroeconomic and microeconomic concepts, Students will study the choices and decisions people and businesses make concerning the resources available to them.  Many macroeconomic and microeconomic topics will be covered, as well as personal finance and investment fundamentals.

 AP Macroeconomics

  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Elective or substitute for Economics
  • Two Semesters
  • GPA 3.0+
  • Students may take this course instead of Economics and still receive MMC credit.

In this advanced placement course, students will gain a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole.   This course emphasizes the study of national income and price level determination, as well as the development of a student’s familiarity with economics, performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics.    A student must have a 3.0 GPA to enroll in this course.  College credit could be earned if a student achieves a qualifying score on the AP Macroeconomics and Microeconomics tests in May.

AP Microeconomics

  • 10th – 12th Grades
  • Elective or substitute for Economics
  • Two Semesters
  • GPA 3.0+
  • Students may take this course instead of Economics and still receive MMC credit.

The purpose of an AP course in microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Further, topics include how different market structures produce different kinds of firm behavior.  Students who successfully complete the course and earn a 3 or higher on the AP Microeconomics Exam can earn up to 3 credit hours of college credit.  A student must have a 3.0 GPA to enroll in this course.

IB 20th Century World History SL/HL

  • 11th – 12th Grades
  • Two semesters SL

This course focuses on numerous events from world history in the 20th Century, and is open to any interested 11th or 12th grader, whether or not they are pursuing an IB Diploma.

Students will be given a breadth of historical material but will focus on the following content areas in depth: The Unification of European countries, peace-keeping/international relations 1918-1936; causes, practices, and effects of various wars (World War I and II, Russian Revolution, Chinese Civil war, Spanish Civil War, Korean Conflict, and Vietnam, as well as various other epochal events in modern history.

The course is designed with the intent to sharpen analytical thinking and writing skills.  The ability to research, analyze and synthesize is critical to gain a further understanding of the subject.  Students will work collaboratively and individually during the course of the year as they seek a deeper and more comprehensive grasp of historical reasoning and thinking.  This is a college-level course.  The texts to be used are college texts.  Students will also be reading many primary sources and other historians' interpretations.  The reading and writing load for this course is demanding.  Students will also research and write an historical research paper.

IB History of the Americas (HL)

  • 12th Grade
  • Two semesters HL

This regional history course focuses on specific aspects of United States, Canadian, and Latin American history in the 20th Century from the Great Depression to the 1980's, including World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and post World War II political developments.  The course is comparative in that the topics studied are analyzed from the perspective of Canada, the United States, and key Latin American nation states.  The course is open to any interested senior, whether or not they are pursuing an IB Diploma.

The course is designed with the intent to sharpen analytical thinking and writing skills.  The ability to research, analyze and synthesize is critical to gain a further understanding of the subject.  Students will work collaboratively and individually during the course of the year as they seek a deeper and more comprehensive grasp of historical reasoning and thinking.  This is a college-level course.  The texts to be used are college texts.  Students will also be reading many primary sources and other historians' interpretations.  The reading and writing load for this course is demanding.  Students will also research and write an historical research paper.


SOCIAL STUDIES ELECTIVES


AP European History

  • 10th-12th Grade
  • Two Semesters
  • GPA 3.0+

Advanced Placement European History is a yearlong college level course that is aimed at preparing highly motivated and capable students who wish to pursue interests in history and develop historical analysis skills.  The course is an in-depth study of the history of Europe from the High Renaissance (1450 A.D.) to the present day and introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of the AP program in European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European History, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing. The students may take the AP European History test in May and could receive college credit if they pass.


AP Psychology

  • 10th-12th Grade
  • Two Semesters
  • GPA 3.0+

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals . Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology . They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students enrolled in AP Psychology should expect a college-level workload.

Psychology

  • 10th-12th Grade
  • One Semester

This course is designed to promote an understanding of the scientific process and how it is applied to the elements of human behavior and mental processes. Ever wonder why we as humans behave certain ways or think certain things? This course will provide you an opportunity to answer these questions and more.

Introduction to Law

  • 10th-12th Grade
  • One semester

This course explores the foundations of the U.S. legal system and the judicial branch of government.  The express purpose of this course is to present to students substantive information about law, democracy, and human rights.  The course does this through problem-solving, critical thinking, cooperative learning (role playing and mock trials), and improved communication and conflict-resolution skill building activities.  Students will develop a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the American legal system, as well as their rights and responsibilities as citizens.  Regular attendance, participation and engagement with class activities is an absolute key to success in this class.   U.S. Government is a helpful pre-requisite.


Ancient History

  • One semester

This course focuses on the development of the river valley civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China and culminates in a study of the contributions of Greece and Roman civilizations.   Students will learn about what made these civilizations successful and what these civilizations accomplished.  Assessments include essays, projects, presentations, and written tests.

Cultural and Global Issues

  • One Semester

Cultures and Global Issues explores European, Native-American, Hispanic, African, Islamic, and East Asian cultures.  The class will focus on elements of traditional culture, the contributions and struggles of various racial and ethnic groups, as well as current issues of significance to each cultural group studied. The goal of the class is to gain an understanding of cultures and recognize the similarities, differences and struggles of a group while celebrating their contributions. By increasing our appreciation for the diversity in the world we will not only better understand current world issues but also lessen our feelings of prejudice and decrease our tendency to stereotype and discriminate.  

P.A.L.S. - in training

  • 11th Grade
  • Second semester
  • .5 credit of General Elective

The P.A.L. (Peer Assistance Listening) Program is designed to support students at all levels in a variety of ways.  During the one semester “P.A.L.s in Training” course, selected juniors are tasked with self-discovery, are encouraged to push beyond their self-defined limits, and are exposed to quality communication practices with specific training in listening skills.  After they have successfully passed this course, they may become “P.A.L.s in Action.”  

Entry into this program is based on a nomination and application process.  There is limited room available.


P.A.L.S. - in action

  • 12th Grade
  • Two semesters
  • .5 - 1 credit General Elective 

The P.A.L. (Peer Assistance Listening) Program is designed to support students at all levels in a variety of ways.  Besides mentoring at the high school level, the P.A.L.s in-action are very active in the district’s K-8 schools.  Each day, P.A.L.s are traveling to Harbor Lights, Mac Bay, and several of the district’s elementary schools.  In these environments, the P.A.L.s serve in the roles of mentors, motivators, tutors, and “big brothers and big sisters.”  P.A.L.s make great companions for students having difficulty with their peers, or for individuals who just need a little extra attention that they are not receiving at home. Frequently, there are a couple of bilingual P.A.L.s who greatly enjoy working with students struggling to overcome language barriers.

To be a PAL in-action, students must successfully complete the P.A.L.s in-training course during their junior year.