MHS Social Studies Department

The Social Studies Department strives to make history class a meaningful, relevant and engaging experience in which students are challenged to think critically about past events, make connections to their own lives and draw conclusions as to how these events have impacted the state of the world today. Using Facing History and Ourselves curricula and pedagogy, lessons ask students to reflect on individual actions and choices that have shaped history all the while discovering their role as active, productive citizens within their own schools and communities.



Global History & Geography 9

This course focuses on global history from the earliest humans to the beginnings of the Atlantic World. Reading primary and secondary source documents, participating in Socratic Seminars and other simulation activities, students develop the research, writing and historical thinking skills necessary to debate complex historical events. This course gives students a greater awareness of world cultures and history while requiring examination and reflection on their own role as a global citizen.

Global History & Geography 10

This course focuses on global history from 1750 to the recent past. Honing skills learned in Global History 9, students continue to work with more challenging primary and secondary sources becoming more careful consumers of information. Studying historical controversy through multiple perspectives and using evidence to argue positions is a long term goal. This course immerses students in various cultures studying how they changed and were changed by contact with other groups. All the while, students make connections between the current state of the world and units studied in class.

United States History & Government

This course focuses on major themes, individuals and events of American history from the beginnings of the Atlantic World to the recent past. Students analyze the development of American democracy, the American economic system and the relationships among groups of people in this “nation of immigrants.” The increasingly important role of the United States in world affairs will also be examined. Through careful use of primary and secondary sources, simulations and Socratic seminars, students delve into the complexity of American history while also making relevant connections to the state of America today.

AP United States History

This course focuses on major themes, individuals and events of American history from the beginnings of the Atlantic World to the recent past. developing analytical skills necessary to interpret primary and secondary source material, write critical essays, prepare for debates and engage in historical simulations.

Current Issues in Politics & Government

Participation in government and in our communities is fundamental to the success of American democracy. Using local, national and international current issues as a starting point, students will make connections to the various ways citizens engage in civic activity. With a solid background in the fundamentals of American democracy -- including the rights and responsibilities of citizens and their role in shaping public policy -- this course encourages students to become active leaders in their school and community. Their enhanced understanding of legal and legislative institutions will also prepare them to begin their lives as active citizens.

Economics & Personal Finance

Economics and Personal Finance is an introductory course focusing on the basic principles of Micro and Macroeconomics. Through various avenues (documentary and feature films, current events, simulation activities) students will learn about basic economic principles as they apply to real-life situations. Topics will include an adult understanding of supply and demand, common economic indicators, and the basics of fiscal and monetary policy. Of equal importance, students begin to examine their individual responsibility for managing their own personal finances (savings and checking accounts, interest rates, use of credit cards, student loans, budgets). Through this mixture of theory and practical know- how, this course encourages students to become independent and thoughtful players in the American free-market system as well as informed voters.

Syracuse University PA Sociology

This is a skills-based course that utilizes primary and secondary source materials drawn from recent professional social science journals and books. Students will examine the Sociological perspective and Social Research methods; Culture, Groups, and Social Structure; Self and Identity; Social Inequalities: Race, Class, and Gender; and Social Change. It is a writing intensive class with a research paper, synthesis papers, and short summaries of readings. Movies and documentaries are used throughout the course to reinforce some of the major themes.

AP European History

Students may opt to enroll in AP European, a full-year college level course designed to prepare students for the AP exam in May. Through research, lectures, discussion, group work and other activities, students will study the history of western civilization from 1350 to 2000. Units of study include the Late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Absolutism, the Age of Reason and the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era. In addition, students study the Revolutions of 1848, Nationalism and its Effects, the World Wars and Post-War Europe (1945-2000).

AP US Government & Politics

Students may opt to enroll in this course, a full-year college level course. Through the use of group work, simulations, lectures, debates and other activities, student will study in detail the inner workings of the U.S. Government. Units will include constitutional underpinnings of American democracy, federalism, separation of powers, Congress, the Presidency, the federal judiciary, political parties, political beliefs, mass media, interest groups, civil rights and civil liberties. Students will be required to complete a research project and take the AP exam at the end of the course.