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Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School

This is outdated, but may be useful for historical value

Social Studies Department 2008-2009

Mr. Bluhm

Mr. Dalasio

Mr. Marx

Mr. Pierce

Mr. Sohns

Mrs. White


The Social Studies Department consists of a wide variety of both required courses for seventh and eighth grade students as well as required courses for grades 9-12. These courses are listed below, along with their course descriptions.

Students wishing to take courses beyond those which are required should consult with the social studies teachers and/or their guidance counselor to determine their eligibility for these courses. Most courses are taken in sequence so that students do not find themselves in academic difficulty as a result of taking a course that is too advanced.


Junior High Courses

Civics and Government – 1 Credit - This course has been developed to give Junior High School students a basic understanding of the functions and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society. Students will be introduced to the basic structure of government and how they function in that system.

Honors Civics and Government – 1 Credit - This course has been developed to give Junior High School students a basic understanding of the functions and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society. Students will be introduced to the basic structure of government and how they function in that system. An accelerated pace and more in-depth study will be utilized during this course.

Geography - 1 Credit - This course examines our planet and the impact that land forms, bodies of waters, and climate has played on cultures around the world. Emphasis is placed on major nations of the world and how physical features of the world can impact on daily life. This course utilizes texts, atlases, maps, tapes, and computer programs to lead to student understanding.

Honors Geography - 1 Credit - This course is similar to Geography. Differences include a faster pace more in-depth examinations of vital topics and greater opportunities for students to do research and participate in projects related to geography.

World Cultures - 1 Credit - This course examines our world today from geographical, political, historical and cultural standpoints with emphasis on non-western civilizations. The geography component examines the important physical features on each of the nations and how these physical features have impacted on the cultures of each region. Special emphasis is placed on the economic and social development that have impacted on the development of the world civilizations

Honors World Cultures - 1 Credit - This course is similar World Cultures II. Differences include a faster pace, the opportunity to study certain vital topics in greater depth, and the requirement that students research and write a research paper on a cultural aspect of one of the areas studied.

American Geography/Pennsylvania History – 1 Credit - The students will study the contributions of individuals and groups who are essential to the history of Pennsylvania. Historical documents and artifacts will be examined to emphasize their importance in the geographical, economic, and political growth of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Honors American Geography/Pennsylvania History – 1 Credit - The students will study the contributions of individuals and groups who are essential to the history of Pennsylvania. Historical documents and artifacts will be examined to emphasize their importance in the geographical, economic, and political growth of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Senior High Courses

American History I – 1 Credit - This course is an examination of the history of the United States from the time of the explorers up to the beginning of the Civil War. Important economic, political and social events are analyzed, stressing the development of trends and ideas within the context of our culture. Much of the material presented is organized in a topical manner rather than a chronological manner, and the inquiry approach is utilized to great extent.

Honors American History I - 1 Credit - This course is similar to American History I. Differences include a faster pace, the opportunity to study certain important topics in greater depth, and a requirement that two book analyses be written before the completion of the course.

American History II - 1 Credit - This course provides special attention to the social, economic, and political aspects of American History. Much of the material presented is organized in a topical rather than a chronological manner, and the inquiry approach is used to a great extent. The course begins with an examination of the Civil War and Reconstruction and moves along at a brisk pace to America today. The course focuses a great deal of attention on America's rise as an industrial and world leader, and finishes up by looking at where America is headed in the 21st century. A combination of textbook reading, lectures, films, maps, and outside readings are used throughout the course.

Honors American History II - 1 Credit - This course is similar to American History II. Differences include a faster pace, the opportunity to study in greater depth topics of special interest and opportunities for students to do research and write a research paper as well as to debate a question of special interest to the student.

European History - 1 Credit - This course will give students a strong knowledge of European history since 1815. It will use a variety of materials to help students understand how individuals and groups have altered the course of European History. Students will understand not only what happened, but how and why it happened and its impact on future events.

Law and Government - 1 Credit - We interact with different divisions of our federal, state, and local governments on an almost daily basis. Young adults should know how their government works, their roles as citizens in our country, and why they play such an important role in our government process, along with every other American citizen. This course teaches students how our democratic system of government operates, the role of the electoral process, and how the government impacts on their daily lives. Yet we must realize that ours is a law-based society. Citizens, especially young adults, want to know their rights and responsibilities under the law. This course also allows students to develop a better understanding of the American legal system and their rights and responsibilities under the law. Some of the other areas to be covered include criminal and juvenile justice, torts, and individual rights. This course is designed to allow students to develop their problem solving abilities, and uses newspapers and magazines to supplement the text to make discussions especially timely.

American Issues - 1 Credit - This course examines a wide variety of issues in modern American society, and tries to objectively analyze each of these issues, allowing students to develop their own points of view. Issues such as health care, the importance of the stock market in a free market economy, U.S. military involvement aboard, consumer spending and its impact on our economy, and what employers are looking for from their employees are but a few of topics to be examined in this course, using the case study method as well as textual readings, tapes, and computer simulations whenever possible.

 

 

AP COURSES
The Social Studies Department offers Advanced Placement Courses in several content areas. These courses are normally offered every other year. Students should consult their guidance counselor concerning the Advance Placement Courses being offered during the upcoming semesters.

Pennsylvania History Standards
The State of Pennsylvania and the Department of Education have enacted Pennsylvania History as a requirement for all students. Students at Lackawanna Trail will be taking the Pennsylvania History course as a component of their Geography course in eighth grade. A course description for this course is contained in the descriptions on this page.

This course does fulfill the Pennsylvania History requirements and is standards driven to meet the requirement set out by the department of education and the state of Pennsylvania.

PA Dept. of Education Website

 

Psychology - 1 Credit - This course stresses the study of human behavior. Many experiments with animal behavior are studied in an attempt to better understand human behavior. Relationships among individuals, families, and other groups within our society at-large are also examined. Some of the topics covered in depth include the brain and nervous system, problems of high school students and home life, mental illness and its treatment, and social problems, such as alcoholism and drug abuse. This course utilizes texts, discussions, role-play, and simulations to develop student understanding, and field trips to local psychiatric facilities are also planned.

Advanced Placement American History - 1 Credit - This course has been developed to prepare students for the College Board's Advanced Placement Test in American History. Students will utilize primary source materials in order to develop understandings of how individuals have altered the course of American History. Students will develop understandings of not only what happened, but how and why it happened, and how it impacted (both positively and negatively) on future events in our nation's history. As the Advanced Placement exam relies heavily on student performance on essay questions, students will be expected to develop their essay writing skills throughout the year, always pointing toward the Advanced Placement test, which can earn students college credits.

Advanced Placement Government - 1 Credit - This course has been developed to prepare students for the College Board's Advanced Placement Test in Government and Politics. Students will utilize primary source materials as well as texts in order to develop understandings of a variety of political and governmental systems, and students will understand the arguments that both support and critique each of these systems. More importantly, students will understand the basic writings that form the foundation of our own governmental system, and will understand how these writings have impacted upon our governmental system today. As the Advanced Placement Test relies heavily on student performance on essay questions, students will be expected to further develop their essay writing skills throughout the year, always pointing towards the Advanced Placement test, which can earn students college credits.

 

 

 



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