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Social Studies

The Berlin High School Social Studies Department is committed to the mission of developing responsible and ethical citizens as well as lifelong learners. Departmental courses actively engage students in the acquisition of theoretical, technological, and practical knowledge; rigorously challenge students to think creatively and critically, and encourage students to understand, accept, and appreciate the diverse nature of society. In particular, departmental courses prepare Berlin High School students to read critically, write effectively, and communicate clearly and persuasively. In this way, the Social Studies Department, its faculty and its courses, provides students the skills to achieve and to fulfill the expectations of their school and community.


Department Curriculum

SCHOOL-WIDE RUBRICS


COURSE OFFERINGS

WORLD AND ITS PEOPLE

HS04061G World and Its People, 
Full Year 1.00 credit
Grade 9

Students enrolled in the full-year grade 9 course will study Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia (particularly India, China, and Japan) through the lens of the five themes of Geographic Interconnections; Culture, Religions and Philosophies; Power, Authority, and Governance; Imperialism, Nationalism, and Sovereignty; and Human Rights and Social Justice.

CIVICS

HS04161G Civics
Full Year 1.0 credit
Grade 10

Students will study the historical and contemporary conflicts of constitutional principles. They will investigate the rights and responsibilities of citizens, take positions on current issues and participate in civic projects. Investigations of local, state and federal governments will help prepare students to become active citizens in the present and future. Civics is a state-required course for graduation. Students are required to complete a performancebased assessment through the Civics course.

US HISTORY

HS04101G12 US History
FULL YEAR  1  credit
Grade 11

All students in Grade 11 enroll in US History or AP US History. The most important aspects of United States history from the 1880s to modern times are studied, with an emphasis on major social, cultural, political, and economic developments of the time period.

**AP U.S. HISTORY

HS04104H **AP U.S. History
Full Year 1.00 credit
Grade 11

The AP United States History program is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States history. Students will learn to assess historical materials and their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability and their importance—and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. Admission to an AP course should depend upon a student’s commitment to the subject as well as high aptitude. Student responsibility for reading and digesting material is a must. We encourage each member of this class to take the AP examination and is responsible for costs associated with the AP examination.

INTRODUCTION TO LAW

HS04162G Introduction to Law
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grade 10, 11, or 12

In this course, students will examine the reasons why one should know law and how it applies to our everyday lives. Concepts such as jurisdiction (federal, state and local), preparation for a trial, jury selection, types of courts, types of laws (criminal and civil) will be studied.

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

HS04258G Introduction to Sociology
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12

The Introduction to Sociology curriculum is designed to allow students insight into and appreciation of the basic concepts of human relationships, their causes and consequences. This course will provide students with an understanding of these relationships through observation, research, readings and discussions regarding topics such as self, school and town community, American culture and society, group dynamics, pop culture and mass media, social problems, social institutions and human development.

INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY

HS04254G Introduction to Psychology
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12

Can you really have a “great personality?” What does “smart” mean? How do we define insanity? This course will examine ideas such as personality, intelligence, emotion, human development, and psychological disorders such as depression and addiction. Readings and films will include both literary and historical sources.

**AP US GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

HS04157H **AP US Government
& Politics
Full Year 1.00 credit
Grades 11 or 12

Advanced Placement United States Government & Politics is a course designed for students who are ready to meet the demands of college level work. Students will analyze and interpret political culture and behavior in the democratic process, rules governing elections, and political parties and agendas. They will critique both historical and contemporary events underpinning the ideologies and institutions of American government.

**AP WORLD HISTORY

HS04057H **AP World History
Full Year 1.00 credit
Grades 11 or 12

This AP course, organized around key concepts and themes, covers six chronological periods of world history from 600 BCE to the present. The themes and key concepts are intended to provide foundational knowledge for future college-level coursework in history. Themes focus on interaction between humans and the environment; the development and interaction of cultures; statebuilding, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and the development and transformation of social structures. The goal of the course is to develop historical thinking skills necessary to explore the broad trends and global processes. Accordingly, students will be able to craft historical arguments from historical evidence, use chronological reasoning and understand historical causation, compare and contextualize broader regional, national, and global processes, and engage in historical interpretation and synthesis. We encourage each member of this class to take the AP examination. Students are individually responsible for the costs associated with the examination.

**AP PSYCHOLOGY

HS04256H **AP Psychology
Full Year 1.00 credit
Grades 11 or 12

The AP Program offers a course and exam in psychology to qualified students who wish to complete studies in post secondary school equivalent to an introductory college course in psychology. 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. We encourage each member of this class to take the AP examination. Students are individually responsible for costs associated with the AP examination.

**CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN AMERICAN POLITICS

HS04153H **Contemporary Issues in 
American Politics
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grade 11 or12

This class will be run as a Socratic seminar where students will analyze political theories and institutions, and their relevance to the present. Students will discuss how assumptions about human nature, economics, and individualism dictate politics. They will question why politics is not an exact science and why politicians disagree. Students will determine when and if people should rebel against their government, and develop their own ideas on who should hold more power than others, if at all. They will question what creates justice in society, determine why the world is the way it is today, develop their own educated views on politics, and make predictions for the future.

GLOBAL POVERTY

HS04249G  Global  Poverty
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grade 11 or 12

Over 1 billion people in the world today live on less than $1/day. This course aims to explore why this is so, and what can be done about it. Students in this class will examine and compare basic living conditions in countries throughout the world. Students will also develop an understanding of basic economic principles and terminology, and evaluate different approaches to solving poverty and improving the daily lives of people around the world.

SPORTS IN AMERICAN SOCIETY

HS04149G Sports in American Society
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12

Students in this course will examine American history, society, and culture through the perspective of sports. Major topics of the course, including economic, ethnic, gender, and contemporary issues, will be explored through literature, film, research, and activities. Additionally, students will become familiar with social interaction, sports organization, social and psychological aspects of sports, team behavior, and the culture of sports at the professional, collegiate, high school, and youth levels.

CONFLICTS IN REEL HISTORY

HS11100G12 Conflicts in Reel History
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12

Movies teach us about conflicts between groups of people and nations. This course will begin by considering current conflicts and groups that wish to stop conflicts. The same conflict will be compared by viewing different video perspectives. Questions to ponder throughout the course may include: How have attempts at resolving conflicts created further problems? How do people and nations seek and react to change? What is the proper balance between the rights of the individual and the power of government?

REEL AMERICAN HISTORY

HS11101G22 Reel American History
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12

Reel American History will tap into students’ personalized learning experiences. This course will be crafted based on student interest of American history. Areas that might be explored through film can include: immigration, slavery, the changing status and roles of women, the Great Depression, America’s role in World War II, etc. Questions to ponder throughout the course may include: How do Americans define freedom and equality and how have American conceptions of freedom and equality changed over the course of U.S. history for members of various racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and minority groups? Is the United States a “just” society and how has the concept of justice evolved over time?

Department Members:

Lynn Addamo
Kyle Armstrong
David Bosso
Jeffrey Cronk
Pam Hamad
John Line
Amy Marchetti
Brendan Rush
Jennifer Wilkosz