The goal of the Social Studies department at HSCL is to cultivate strong members of the community who know the geography and history of the world, the history of our country, and the functions of government. To that end, students are provided with rich content that allows them to insightfully consider big ideas in history, geography, economics, civics, citizenship, and government through curricula integrated with Common Core literacy standards. Students learn about the world through inquiry-based instruction, which allows students to understand, interpret, and gain insight into important events in the world. By exploring disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, students gain insight into the world in which they live in order to become civically engaged members of society.
U.S. History & Government
Freshman Social Studies introduces students to the content of United States history and government from its foundation to the present day, as well as important literacy skills in reading and writing about history. Students learn to determine central ideas within a variety of texts as well as to read history from different perspectives. Traditional and nontraditional historical perspectives, such as those presented in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, are analyzed. During this course students are also introduced to the skills necessary for the construction of arguments supported by textual evidence from primary sources, such as the Declaration of Independence, and secondary sources, including important pieces of historical literature such as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Some of the major themes covered during this course are nation-building, the Constitution and constitutional flexibility, global power and foreign policy, the role of government in economic and social life, and social and political reform movements. Upon completion of this course, students sit for the New York State Regents in United States History and Government.
Global History I – Ancient and Classical Civilizations
Sophomore Social Studies deepens students’ literacy skills developed during freshman year while emphasizing historical research. Students in this two-course sequence of Global History begin to produce research projects that require the collection, interpretation, and integration of a variety of source materials. Students also learn to use online archives of academic journals like JSTOR to carry out research and to employ MLA formatting for research papers and citation. Some of the major themes covered during sophomore year include the impact of geography on early societies, the rise and fall of empires, as well as the lasting impact of the past on the present. Global History during 10th grade aligns to the Global Literature class, in which students read a variety of texts from the ancient world through the European Renaissance.
Global History II- From the Enlightenment to Global Interdependence and the Contemporary Era
Students continue their study of Global History during junior year with a two-part sequence: 1) Revolutions: Political, Social, Economic, and Technological and 2) From Anti-colonial Movements to the Age of Globalization. Through an integrated approach to developing students’ writing and reading processes, this course will develop and maintain skills needed to succeed in high school and beyond. This course includes developing writing, thinking, and study skills in order to develop an understanding of global connections made across time and place, from the past to the present. This course allows students to understand and enjoy history. Upon completion of this course, students sit for the New York State Regents in Global History and Geography.