Social Studies

SOCIAL STUDIES

The Social Studies curriculum is designed to develop students’ knowledge, skills, and personal qualities through the study of history and the other social sciences. Our Social Studies courses are designed to both meet the requirements of the Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework, which was approved by the State Department of Education in October 2003 and emphasizes the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.

Although most Social Studies courses offered to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors emphasize history, these courses also develop content knowledge in other areas of the social sciences. As required by the Social Studies Curriculum Framework, the study of the principles of geography, citizenship and government and economics make up a major part of our history courses. Additionally, electives are offered in courses dealing with psychology, sociology, anthropology, government and law, and economics.

Social Studies courses at the college preparatory level are open to all students. Placement in an honors or Advanced Placement course requires that students meet stated prerequisites. These are listed for each appropriate course. All Melrose High School students must successfully complete three full credit Social Studies courses, including U.S. History 2, in order to graduate.

Social Studies Sequence for the 2015-16 school year
Traditional Path Accelerated Path

9th Grade:
World History- CP or
World History- H or
AP European History

9th Grade:
AP European History
10th Grade:
U.S. History 1 – CP or
U.S. History 1 – H

10th Grade:
AP United States History*

*Covers the content of both U.S. History 1 & U.S. History 2

11th Grade:
U.S. History 2 – CP or
U.S. History 2 – H or
AP United States History
11th Grade**:
An AP Elective:
AP Economics or
AP Psychology

12th Grade:
Electives

12th Grade:
Electives

**During the 2014-15 school year, some sophomores were enrolled in AP United States History as part of a pilot. Those students also have the option of taking AP European History in the 11th grade.

322 World History 2 Level: CP                     1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 9

Expectations: Curriculum for this course covers the world history of civilization from the French Revolution century to the present. It covers the same topics and skills as World History II H but at a pace and depth more appropriate for the college preparatory level of study. Students are expected to complete 4 open responses and 4 core assignments as well as a 3-5 page research paper and 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

307 World History 2 Level: H                      1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 9
Prerequisite: 2 of the following 3: Average grade of “A” for trimesters 1 and 2 in Grade 8 course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits).
Expectations: Curriculum for this course covers the world history of civilization from the French Revolution century to the present. Topics include Absolutism, the development of constitutional monarchy and the French Revolution, the rise of the nation state in Europe, the Industrial Revolution, and 19th Century political reform in Western Europe. Imperialism in Africa, Asia and South America, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the Russian and Chinese revolutions, as well as a look at the world at the beginning of the 21st Century. Emphasis will be placed on critical reading and writing, as well as the use of primary source documents. Students are expected to complete 4 open responses and 4 core assignments as well as a 5-7 page research paper and 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

303 AP European History Level: AP              1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 9

Prerequisite: 4 of the following 5: Average grade of “A” for trimesters 1 and 2 in Grade 8 course; an advanced score on the Midyear Exam; a score of 255 or higher on 7th grade ELA MCAS; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits; a proficient score on the qualifying DBQ.

Expectations: The curriculum for this course is a nationally prescriptive core designed by the College Board in preparation for an exam administered in May. Successful completion of the course could result in college credit. The course provides students with an opportunity to master an overall knowledge of the basic chronology, major events, and trends in European History from 1450 to the modern era through an examination of the political, social, economic, and intellectual forces in European History. A strong emphasis is placed on both informative and argumentative historical writing and document analysis. The course is designed to prepare students for advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by both semester and full-year college courses. Students are expected to read closely, construct oral and written arguments, and utilize both inductive and deductive reasoning. Students will learn how to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. Students taking this course are required to take the AP European History exam and complete at least 5-8 hours per week of independent practice outside the classroom such as homework, reading, and projects as well as a set of summer assignments.

302 AP European History Level: AP                1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 11-12

Prerequisite: 2 of the following 3: Average grade of A of better in Honors level of an A+ or better in a CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; and advanced score on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits)

Expectations: The curriculum for this course is a nationally prescriptive core designed by the College Board in preparation for an exam administered in May. Successful completion of the course could result in college credit. The course provides students with an opportunity to master an overall knowledge of the basic chronology, major events, and trends in European History from 1450 to the modern era through an examination of the political, social, economic, and intellectual forces in European History. A strong emphasis is placed on both informative and argumentative historical writing and document analysis. The course is designed to prepare students for advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by both semester and full-year college courses. Students are expected to read closely, construct oral and written arguments, and utilize both inductive and deductive reasoning. Students will learn how to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. Students taking this course are required to take the AP European History exam and complete at least 5-8 hours per week of independent practice outside the classroom such as homework, reading, and projects as well as a set of summer assignments.

323 United States History 1 Level: CP          1 Social Studies Credit
Prerequisite: None                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Grade 10

Expectations: Curriculum for this course examines the creation and growth of the United States from 1763-1877. The course covers the same topics as honors U.S. History I, but at a pace and depth more appropriate for the college preparatory level of study. Students are expected to complete 4 open responses and 4 core assignments as well as a 4-6 page research paper and 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.
312 United States History 1 Level: H            1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 10

Prerequisite: 2 of the following 3: Average grade of “B-” in Honors level or an “A-“ or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits).
Expectations: Curriculum for this course examines the creation and growth of the United States from 1763 to the rise of the Gilded Age. Topics include the American Revolution, Constitution, rise of political parties, early national period, manifest destiny, and the reform movement, the Age of Jackson, the Civil War and Reconstruction. The course will look to balance the growth of governmental power, with an examination of the rights and privileges of the average person. Emphasis will be placed on critical reading and writing, as well as the use of primary source documents. Students are expected to complete 4 open responses and 4 core assignments as well as a 5-7 page research paper and 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

316 United States History 2 Level: CP        1 Social Studies Credit
Prerequisite: None                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grade 11

Expectations: Curriculum for this course examines the United States from Imperialism to the present. It covers the same topics and skills as honors U. S. History but at a pace and depth more appropriate for the college preparatory level of study. Students are expected to complete 4 open responses and 4 core assignments as well as a 5-7 page research paper and 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

315 United States History 2 Level: H           1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 11

Prerequisite: 2 of the following 3: Average grade of B- in Honors level or an A- or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits).

Expectations: Curriculum for this course examines the United States from the late 1800s to the present. Topics include, the American West, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, life in the 50’s and 60’s, Vietnam, America in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and our role in the 21st century. Emphasis will be placed on critical reading and writing, as well as the use of primary source documents. Students are expected to complete 4 open responses and 4 core assignments as well as a 6-8 page research paper and 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

305 AP United States History Level: AP     1 Social Studies Credit
Grade 11

Prerequisite: 2 of the following 3: Average grade of A of better in Honors level of an A+ or better in a CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; and advanced score on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits)

Expectations: Curriculum for this course provides students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the study of U.S. history with a heavy emphasis on historical writing. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full year college courses. Students are expected to learn to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship, developing the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment, and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. Topics range from the human migration to the American continents to current issues. Students taking this course are required to take the AP U.S. History Exam and complete 5-8 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.
314 Anthropology/Sociology Level: H               1 Credit
Grade 12

Prerequisite: World History 2, U.S. History 1 and U.S. History 2. Additional criteria includes 2 of the following 3: Average grade of B- in Honors level or an A- or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits).

Expectations: Curriculum for this course involves a study of the principles of anthropology and sociology and will help students to better understand the individual in relation to his or her culture. Students are expected to focus on prehistoric human evolution in both the physical and cultural sense, Old World archaeology, and New World, pre-Columbian Native cultures. Students are expected to also study contemporary American culture, its values, and taboos, and other cultures in order to observe the variety of ways in which people structure their institutions. Using the principles of sociology, the students will have the opportunity to pursue in-depth analyses of certain social problems, such as violence, prejudice, and poverty. Students are expected to complete 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

344 Psychology Level: CP                        1 Credit
Prerequisite: World History2, U.S. History 1, and U.S. History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grade 12

Expectations: Curriculum for this course is designed for students who would enjoy a general introduction to the study of psychology. The curriculum will cover many of the same topics as in honors Psychology but at a pace and depth more appropriate to the college preparatory level. Students are expected to complete 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

343 Psychology Level: H                         1 Credit
Grade 12

Prerequisite: World History2, U.S. History 1, and U.S. History 2. Additional criteria includes 2 of the following 3: Average grade of B- in Honors level or an A- or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits).

Expectations: Curriculum for this course focuses both on the scientific basis of psychology and on its relevance to the student’s own life. Methods, theories, and current issues in psychology are presented. Students are expected to take part in demonstrations and experiments, and are introduced to the case study approach. Major units include perceptions, learning, motivation, personality, and problems in behavior adjustment. Students are expected to complete 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

304 AP Psychology Level: AP                1 Credit
Grade 12

Prerequisite: World History 2, U.S. History 1, and U.S. History 2. In addition to 2 of the following 3: Average grade of B- in Honors level or an A- or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits).
Expectation: Curriculum for this course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the history, theories, and methods of psychology. Course topics include the historical perspectives of psychology; scientific research; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; learning, memory, and cognition; motivation, emotion, and personality; human development; psychological disorders and treatments; social psychology. Topics will be introduced through lectures, discussions and demonstrations; students will do a significant amount of reading and writing outside of class. Students taking this course are required to complete a reading/writing assignment during the summer prior to the start of the course. Students taking this course are also required to take the College Board AP Exam in Psychology in the spring of their senior year and will be expected to complete 5-8 hours each week of independent practice such as homework, reading and projects.

354 Economics Level: H                         1 Credit
Grade: 11 & 12

Prerequisite: World History 2 and U.S. History 1. Additional criteria includes 2 of the following 3: Average grade of a B- or better in Honors level or an A- or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits.)

Expectations: Curriculum for this course includes the economic principles of supply and demand; the law of scarcity, growing international interdependence, and consumerism are the focus of this course. The curriculum will also focus on how businesses operate, financial planning, political economics, and our economic future. Students are expected to complete 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

352 AP Economics Level: AP                1 Credit
Grade: 11 & 12

Prerequisite: World History II and U.S. History I Prerequisite Criteria: 2 of the following 3: Average grade of a B- or better in Honors level or an A- or better in CP level course for terms 1 and 2 in current course; a score indicating proficiency on the Midyear Exam; Teacher recommendation (effort, homework completion, participation, study habits.)

Expectations: Curriculum for this college level course combines Macroeconomics (the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole) and Microeconomics (the principles of economics that apply to the functions of businesses and individual decision makers). Topics include supply and demand, monopolies, Federal Reserve policy, and international trade. The curriculum for this course is a nationally prescriptive core designed by the College Board in preparation for an exam administered in May. Students taking this course are required to take the College Board AP Exams in both Macro and Micro economics and will be expected to complete 5-8 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

334 Civics & Legal Issues Level: CP                           0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Grade: 10-12

Expectations: Curriculum for this course is valuable to every citizen. Students are expected to study the role the law and our judicial system play in one’s life. Topics include criminal and juvenile law, consumer law, the Constitution, family law, negligence, and individual rights and responsibilities. Through the use of case studies students are expected to develop a better understanding of law. Students are expected to use analytic reasoning skills in dealing with current problems in society and the methods by which the legal community tries to resolve these issues. Students are expected to complete 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

391 & 392 Global Leadership Level: CP/H            0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Grade: 10-12

Expectations: Curriculum for this course studies issues in the globalized world through a study of global affairs and global service. Students will examine human rights issues and the role of service leaders in the global community. Topics include education, the environment, health, social entrepreneurship, and what is means to be a global citizen. Building off of these learning experiences, students will design a global action project that will allow them to make a difference around one issue for which they are passionate. External hours are required to receive honors credit for this course. Students will be expected to complete 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

386 Sports in Society Level: CP                          0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Grade: 10-12

Expectations: Curriculum for this course will cover the influence of sports on our society, as well as social, economics, and legal issues as they relate to sports. Such topics will include several sports ranging from youth to professional levels. This is course is recommended for students who participate in, or enjoy sports, or who may be considering one of the many careers that are part of the modern sports industry. Students are expected to complete 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

387 History through Film Level: CP                   0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Grade: 10-12

Expectations: Curriculum for this course will involve the viewing and analysis of a number of films, which are meant to represent significant events in history. Film can be a method for the study of history, and that is the goal of this course. Students will view films and participate in related research and study that will allow them to analyze and evaluate the historical accuracy, and in some cases the inaccuracy, portrayed in film. During the course the primary focus will be on three connections between film and history: films as a reflection of the time during which the film was made, film as a philosophical or historical essay from the film maker’s perspective, and film as “window on the past”, a recreation of past events and the methods used to create historical films. Participating in this course will afford students a unique opportunity to use critical thinking skills to enrich their study of history. Examples of the types of films that may be covered include Gladiator, Birth of a Nation, Braveheart, War Horse, Cinderella Man, Conspiracy, Saving Private Ryan, etc. Students will be expected to complete 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

388 World Religions Level: H                           0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grade: 10-12

Expectations: Curriculum for this is an introduction to the world’s religious traditions and spiritual philosophies. Topics of study may include the history, common origins, and belief systems of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, the monotheistic traditions of Hinduism and Shinto as well as the spiritual philosophies of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, Native American, African, and Aboriginal Australian mythologies, New Age belief systems, the concepts of religious fundamentalism, and religious extremism. Curriculum for this course is meant to be an overview and academic understanding of religion without advocating any one religious belief. Students are expected to complete 3-5 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.

384 Historical Research Methods Level: CP 0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grade: 10-12

Expectations: Students will be introduced to and expected to apply a variety of research methods used by historians when conducting original research. Methods discussed will include but are not limited to oral histories, examination of municipal records, use of periodicals (including those on microfiche/microfilm), and use of unpublished primary sources (letters, diaries, scrapbooks, etc.). Examples will be drawn largely from local sources, but techniques can be applied to many time periods, locations, and topics. All students enrolled in the course will complete an independent original research project on a topic of their choosing.

393 Current Events Level: CP                          0.5 Credit
Prerequisite: World History 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Grade: 10-12

Curriculum for this course includes a study of current world affair and includes a study of events of a political, social, and economic nature. There course includes a heavy emphasis of research and the use of periodicals. Assessments include, but are not limited to graded discussions and presentations. Students are expected to complete 2-3 hours per week of independent practice such as homework, reading, and projects.