Request Information

Social Studies

Department Policy:  Students need to seek approval from their current History teacher to sign up for a course.  The Department will take into consideration current History grades based on the scale below, and will also consider current English grades if a student is moving into a higher level course. 

College Prep »  Honors Level = 93%
College Prep »  AP = 96%
Honors » Honors = 85%
Honors » AP  = 93%
AP » AP = 85%

Graduation Requirements:  Students must take 3 years of history with one World, one US History, and one US Government course.

World Cultures

Grade 9
A study of the geography, history, and cultures of regions around the world. Students will learn valuable reading, comprehension, and writing skills while studying the important societies of our world. The class takes students through regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Students will examine the languages, religions, art, and traditions that define the cultures found within them. They will use a variety of resources, tools, and technology to deepen their understanding and achieve success. This course introduces students to the skills and concepts necessary to begin their study of history and provides them with the knowledge and opportunities to more fully understand and participate in the global community.

Honors World Cultures

Grade 9
A study of the geography, history, and cultures of regions around the world. Students will learn valuable reading, comprehension, and writing skills while studying the important societies of our world. The class takes students through regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Students will examine the languages, religions, art, and traditions that define the cultures found within them. They will use a variety of resources, tools, and technology to deepen their understanding and achieve success. This course introduces students to the skills and concepts necessary to begin their study of history and provides them with the knowledge and opportunities to more fully understand and participate in the global community. This class requires students to complete more complex readings and more frequent writing assignments. The class will take topics into more depth; students in this program must prepare to work independently, participate in focused class discussions, and share their ideas and insights through a variety of channels.

Prerequisite: Must have a 93 average in College Prep level course to move to Honors. To maintain Honors Level, must have an 85 average.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement.

United States Government and Politics

Grade 11 or 12
This course provides an introductory examination of the U.S. political system, including the development of its framework, traditions, and values over the past 200 years. Themes/topics include the constitutional underpinnings of the U.S. government; institutions of the national government; political parties, interest groups, and mass media; political beliefs and behaviors; civil rights and civil liberties; and public policy. Discussion of current events will help students to apply theory and concepts to relevant daily experience.

AP United States History

Grade 10 or 11

Designed to provide students with the factual knowledge, historical thinking, and composition skills necessary to complete the Advanced Placement exam and prepare students for future college level courses. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands equivalent to those made by introductory college courses. This APUSH course will develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of a well-informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.

Prerequisite:  85 in previous AP level History classes, 93 in previous Honors level History classes, and 96 in previous College Prep level History classes as well as department approval.  Current grades in English will also be considered. 

Note:  AP students must take the exam for AP, and families are financially responsible for the associated fees.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement

Honors Topics in United States History

Grades 10 and 11
This course is a thematic survey of American historical, political, and social developments from the establishment of the English Colonies (beginning in the 1600s) to the Modern Era. A variety of classroom techniques expose the students to the rigors of an Advanced Placement level course and attempts to prepare the student for AP level courses. Students interested in AP United States History and AP United States Government are strongly encouraged to enroll in this course Students will develop critical thinking skills, analyze primary sources, research methodology skills, place events in context, and understand the role of the political process in history as a result of this course. This course requires extensive writing assignments, research, and class discussion.  Students will demonstrate knowledge through various forms of authentic assessment. Some will be traditional, such as unit tests, essays, and research projects, while others will be non-traditional, such as flipped classroom and project-based learning. 

Prerequisite: Must have a 93 average in College Prep level course to move to Honors. To maintain Honors Level, must have an 85 average.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement.

AP United States Government and Politics

Grade 11 or 12

Designed to give students a critical perspective of politics and government. Students will analyze and discuss the importance of various constitutional principles, rights and procedures, institutions, and political processes that impact U.S. citizens. Units of study include the constitutional underpinnings of U.S. government; political beliefs and behaviors; political parties, interest groups and mass media; institutions of national government, public policy, and civil rights and civil liberties.

Prerequisite: 85 in previous AP level History classes, 93 in previous Honors level History classes, and 96 in previous College Prep level History classes as well as department approval.  Current grades in English will also be considered. 

Note: AP students must take the exam for AP, and families are financially responsible for the associated fees.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement

Topics in United States History

Grade 10 or 11
In this course, students will study United States history from the Industrial Age to the present. Cultural, economic, political, and social events of the period will be explored through research, discussion, writing assignments, and long-term projects. Topics will include industry and innovation, immigration, desire to build an empire, U.S. emergence as a world power, World War I, the Roaring 20s, the Depression, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and recent presidential administrations. Students will learn not only historical facts, but how to analyze point of view, make connections between events, and assess the actions of American leaders over the past century. The course will require a great deal of participation from the students. History Department approval is required to enter this course, and there will be a summer reading assignment.

Honors United States Government and Politics

Grade 11 or 12

This course provides an examination of the U.S. political system, including the development of its framework, traditions, and values over the past 200 years. Themes/topics include the constitutional underpinnings of the U.S. government; institutions of the national government; political parties, interest groups, and mass media; political beliefs and behaviors; and civil rights and civil liberties. Discussion of current events will help students to apply theory and concepts to relevant daily experience. This course is designed to give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. It requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics. Historical research and analysis of historical documents will be required, as well as assigned summer readings.

Prerequisite: Must have a 93 average in College Prep level course to move to Honors. To maintain Honors Level, must have an 85 average.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement.

Modern World History

GRADES 11-12
This course will investigate political, sociological, economic and cultural aspects of the post- World War II era. Units of study will include the impact of the world wars, awakening nationalism in the colonial world, the Cold War, world conflicts since World War II, the developing world, the processes of globalization, political stability, and individual liberty. This course is an elective open to Juniors and Seniors.

Honors Modern World History

Grades 11 or 12

This course will investigate political, sociological, economic and cultural aspects of the post- World War II era. Units of study will include the impact of the world wars, awakening nationalism in the colonial world, the Cold War, world conflicts since World War II, the developing world, the processes of globalization, political stability, and individual liberty. This course is an elective open to Juniors and Seniors.  This class requires students to complete more complex readings and more frequent writing assignments. The class will take topics into more depth; students in this program must prepare to work independently, participate in focused class discussions, and share their ideas and insights through a variety of channels.

Prerequisite: Must have a 93 average in College Prep level course to move to Honors. To maintain Honors Level, must have an 85 average.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement.

AP Human Geography

Grade Level - Varies

Human geography examines the patterns and processes of human activity on Earth, employing the use of spatial data and analysis to answer geographic questions that apply to our world today. Topics introduced in this course include geographic inquiry, population and migration, cultural patterns and processes, political organization of space, development, and both agricultural and urban land use. Students will be required to read college-level texts, understand, interpret, and analyze maps and other forms of spatial data, and think critically to solve problems. As described in the College Board Course Description, at the completion of this class, students will be able to:

(a) interpret maps and geospatial data, (b) understand and explain the implications of associations and networks among phenomena in places, (c) recognize and interpret the relationships among patterns and processes at different scales of analysis, (d) define regions and evaluate the regionalization process, and (e) characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.

Prerequisite:   85 in previous AP level History classes, 93 in previous Honors level History classes, and 96 in previous College Prep level History classes as well as department approval.  Current grades in English will also be considered. 

Note:  AP students must take the exam for AP, and families are financially responsible for the associated fees.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement.

AP European History

Grades 11, 12

The AP European History course focuses on developing students’ understanding of European history from approximately 1450 to the present. The course has students investigate the content of European history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in four historical periods, and develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past. The course also provides five themes (interaction of Europe and the world; poverty and prosperity; objective knowledge and subjective visions; states and other institutions of power; and individual and society) that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places. A summer reading assignment will be required, as well as a great deal of independent study and participation in class discussions.

Prerequisite: 85 in previous AP level History classes, 93 in previous Honors level History classes, and 96 in previous College Prep level History classes as well as department approval.  Current grades in English will also be considered. 

Note:  AP students must take the exam for AP, and families are financially responsible for the associated fees.  Department approval is required for admission into this course. There will be a summer reading requirement.

 

 

Catherine’s Dublin and Irish Renaissance Literature

Elective - Grades 11, 12

Catherine’s Dublin (Semester 1)

In this first-semester History course, students will examine 18th and 19th century Ireland through major social, cultural, political, and theological movements of the time. The course will specifically focus on the contemporary constructs of gender, social status and politics, that shaped the society in which Catherine established the Sisters of Mercy. In addition to tests, short research and writing assignments, students will be expected to give one major presentation and submit a capstone project at the conclusion of the Irish Renaissance Literature course.

Irish Renaissance Literature (Semester 2)

In this second-semester English course, students will learn about the Irish Renaissance (a.k.a., Celtic Renaissance) and the writers – both fiction writers and non-fiction writers – who were instrumental in developing and establishing an Irish national literature.  Students will read a wide range of print texts from drama and poetry to essays and political tracts.  In addition to tests and short writing assignments, students will be expected to give one major presentation and submit a capstone project. 

Department Members

Mrs. Erin Battisto P' 23

Titles: Faculty
Degrees: M.A. Lehigh University
Email:

Mrs. Eileen Carty

Titles: Dean of Students, Department Chair
Degrees: M.A. Hunter College
Email:

Dr. Karalyn McGrorty Derstine '01

Titles: Faculty
Degrees: Ed.D. Gwynedd Mercy University
Email:

Mrs. Elizabeth Newton

Titles: History Faculty
Degrees: M.A. Temple University
Email:

Mrs. Kylie Steiert

Titles: Faculty
Degrees: Masters of Education Messiah College
Email: