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




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Human Rights and Social Justice

HS04259G - Human Rights and Social Justice1/2 Year  0.5 Credits
Grades 11 and 12

This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the key questions and concerns shaping the study of human rights across the world. Students will explore the complexities underlying civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, both in theory and practice. Drawing on a variety of perspectives and cases from around the world, including the United States, students will be equipped to think comparatively and critically about a wide range of human rights issues and work to create and offer solutions to these issues.

Debating Current Events

HS04064G - Debating Current Events1/2 Year   0.5 CreditsGrades 10, 11, and 12
Democracy works only when the people inform themselves about the issues of the day and are able to debate fellow citizens in a constructive manner. This course will offer the techniques of debate using a variety of current events. The hope is that students will build the habit of being informed on multiple perspectives while advocating for a particular position.


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.


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?


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?

Social Studied Dept
Department Members:
Lynn Addamo
David Bosso
Joy Cooper
Leilani Jones
Amy Marchetti
Brendan Rush
Michael Sobolewski
Jennifer Wilkosz

 Department Head
Jeffrey Cronk