History

As well as fundamental understandings of historical events, the history curriculum facilitates in-depth development of skills in chronological and spatial thinking, historical research and interpretation, academic literacy and writing, as well as interdisciplinary learning.

This four-year program is made up of two years of world history and two years of US history. Students will learn to interpret the correlation and causation of events; analyze the impact of a historical event on a region’s – or the world’s – economy, politics, society and technology; think and write critically about historical events; and explain how they have affected the modern world.

Course Description

Grades Offered: 9

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

In Ancient World History, students will study the time period from the Neolithic Revolution (B.C.E. period) up to the Columbian exchange (16th century). The course focuses on the following topics: Cultural/technological contributions of the six ancient world civilizations, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance; human migration and cultural diffusion; development of political and social structures; and empire expansion and downfall.

Grades Offered: 9, 10

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

This 9th/10th grade course spans the years 1500-present; subjects covered include the Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment, the American and French revolutions, Industrialization, the Age of Imperialism, the two World Wars, the Cold War, and 21st-century globalization. 

 

Focal Points

Some of the focal points include the Reign of Terror period of the French Revolution, the Stalinist era of the USSR, and the economic imperialism of the 19th-20th centuries. Students do gallery walks, analyze primary documents, and answer challenging reflection questions. What is a government’s role in the lives of its people? What is the right balance between liberty and order? We also discuss stories of genocide, resistance, and standing up for one’s values.  

 

History-Literature Integration

Narratives hold the unique power to __ different perspectives and voices. They also serve to hone students’ close reading, contextualizing, and analytical skills. In the course, students read excerpts from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (British slave trade), All Quiet on the Western Front (World War I), Animal Farm (as a comparison to the Soviet Union), Night (Holocaust), 

 

Interdisciplinary Studies & Real-World Connections

Students complete one or more lengthy projects that connect historical units to real-world problems. Past project topics include: 

  • Alternate Histories: WWII-present (2016-2017)
  • Genocide Research Project (various years)
  • Politics, Economy, and Education in Developing Countries (2019-2020, 2020-2021)
  • Democracy in the Digital Age (2021-2022)
  • The Debate on Standardized Testing (2021-2022)
  • Corporations: Positive Impacts and Controversy (2022-2023)

Grades Offered: 11

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

This is a comprehensive course intended to cover key topics and information from the Pre-Columbian period up to the current presidential administration. Students will take a thematic approach to analyzing U.S. History along with seeing history through different perspectives (including disenfranchised groups). American achievements will be celebrated, but students will not receive a whitewashed version. The class will explore controversy and failure during readings and discussions on the American experiment with nationhood as well as much deserved feathers in the cap. Time will be spent analyzing and responding to historical documents, literature, and influential speeches. Students will improve upon their map reading skills along with analyzing charts and graphs containing relevant statistics. 

Grades Offered: 12

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

In this course, students will examine the history of the American federal government and the meaning of democracy with focus on the three branches of government, civil rights and liberties, and modern-day issues. Students will study and analyze increasingly challenging primary texts, including excerpts from the Federalist papers, court cases, and original legislative documents; debate, challenge, and evaluate public policy, demonstrating comprehensive understanding of the complex and unique issues that pervade today’s society; and demonstrate active citizenship by writing a proposal addressed to a member or entity of the U.S. government. Students in the AP course will follow the AP curriculum and will be required to take the AP exam in May for possible college credit.

Grades Offered: 12

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

In this course, students will focus on the following topics: economic policy, money movements, banks and other financial institutions operating, economic growth, trade and exchange, consumer behavior, and modern-day issues. Students should be prepared for quantitative work (graphing, algebraic problems) as well as challenging reading assignments. Students in the AP course will follow the AP curriculum and will be required to take the AP exam in May for possible college credit.

This course covers the study of art from prehistory to the 19th century. 

Students explore and analyze artwork through five units of study: 

  1. Global Prehistoric Art
  2. Ancient Mediterranean Art: Artwork from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Themes explored: beliefs about human origins, harmony and order, cosmology, soul/rebirth
  3. Early European Art to the Renaissance:
  4. Global Art Traditions:
  5. Interdisciplinary Studies: Some of the interdisciplinary topics covered in the past include: 
  • Analysis of commercial interior design, how design/color/lighting corresponds w purpose
  • Effect of art on mental health, biological processes(pleasure/reward systems, release of dopamine)
  • Role of art in politics - art as propaganda; censorship of artistic expression; use of art to make a statement, expose an issue, satirize or criticize
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See AP & Honors Course Offerings in History and Social Sciences

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