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Social Studies Curriculum Overview. Curriculum Open House Night February 11, 2009. Graduation Requirements. All Staples Students must complete a minimum of 3.5 credits in Social Studies 1 Western Humanities 1 United States History ½ American Government ½ Area Studies ½ Elective.

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social studies curriculum overview

Social Studies Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Open House Night

February 11, 2009

graduation requirements
Graduation Requirements
  • All Staples Students must complete a minimum of 3.5 credits in Social Studies
    • 1 Western Humanities
    • 1 United States History
    • ½ American Government
    • ½ Area Studies
    • ½ Elective

Our Program

core skills
Core Skills
  • Comprehensive grade 9 and 10 writing program
    • Coordination with Writing Consultant
    • Common assessments, rubrics
  • Graduation standards in effective writing, speaking, historical understanding
  • Consistency in skills and content through common assessments, exams, course-alike planning time

Our Program

course levels
Course Levels
  • Honors/AP courses promote :
    • Greater student independence, interpretation, higher-order thinking skills, self-reflection and regulation
    • Not more work, deeper understanding
  • More focused on research, using evidence, knowledge of course content to create arguments
  • Honors classes in 9th and 10th grades
  • AP Courses for juniors/seniors only

Our Program

western humanities
Western Humanities
  • Essential Question:How does the role of the individual change over time?
  • Thematic history of the development of Western Civilization
    • Ideals, Individuals in society, Changes in social structure, Rise of nation-states
  • More historical content than middle school courses
    • Coverage of Ancient Greece through World Wars
  • Offered at Honors, A and B levels

9th Grade

which level is right for me
Which level is right for me?
  • “A” levelis appropriate for vast majority of students
  • Continue the development of skills mastered in middle school
    • Persuasive writing using supportive information
    • Individual and collaborative experiences
    • Using technology for research, demonstration of learning
  • Typically, 1/2 hour of homework to be prepared for next day’s class

9th Grade

guidelines for b and honors
“B” level

Designed to support struggling learners

Below grade-level readers

Students who struggle to work without constant adult help

Content is cut down to concentrate on building basic skills

Personal organization

Note-taking, summarizing, identifying main point

Goal is to prepare students for A-level in 10th grade


More historical content, research

Longer primary documents

Textbook is written at a high reading level

Designed for students looking for an extra challenge

Must be able to handle larger, long-term assignments

Must be willing to be accountable to/collaborate with classmates

Guidelines for “B” and Honors

9th Grade

parallel program w english
Parallel Program w/English
  • Skill Connections
    • Critical Reading
      • Three-step reading process
      • Making notes/annotating text
    • Critical Writing
      • Development of a thesis
      • Use of relevant evidence
    • Critical Thinking
      • Three levels of questions
      • Periodic self-reflection

9th Grade

parallel program w english10
Shared study of art throughout the year

How does art reflect the society in which it originated?

Learning how to “read” art critically

Some opportunities to match historical content with literature

Greece w/ Odyssey in 9H

Renaissance w/ Chaucer, Shakespeare and Girl with the Pearl Earring or Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Scientific Revolution w/ Frankenstein

Rise of Dictators w/ Animal Farm, Maus

Parallel Program w/English

9th Grade

united states history
United States History
  • Offered as A level, Honors, and Honors Collaborative
  • All courses are thematic
  • Students must meet department writing standard in order to pass the course


  • Open to all 10th grade students
  • History from the perspective of traditionally underrepresented groups

Honors Collaborative

  • Concentration on one theme throughout the year
  • No division between what is English class and what is Social Studies class

10th Grade

american government
American Government
  • Students can take two courses to fulfill government requirement
    • American Government
      • Semester-long
      • Simulation-based study of three branches of government
      • Requires public speaking
    • AP United States Government & Politics
      • Full-year
      • Comprehensive college-level study of institutions of government and the political process
  • If a student does not meet goal on 10th grade CAPT Interdisciplinary Writing section, must do so through writing in their government class

11th & 12th Grades

area studies
Semester courses

Open to juniors and seniors

Focus on

Impact of geography

Foundations of traditional society & religion

Political and economic trends

Contemporary issues



East Asia

Latin America

Middle East

May also be taken for elective credit

Area Studies

11th & 12th Grades

Open to all juniors and seniors


Current Issues

Introduction to Economics


Women in American History


Environmental Studies (w/Science Department)

Advanced Placement courses

AP Economics

AP World History

AP United States History

AP United States Government and Politics


11th & 12th Grades

still have questions
Still Have Questions?
  • If you have any questions, you can call:
  • Staples High School Guidance office at 341-1225
  • James D’Amico, Social Studies Department Chair at 341-1399