Social Studies

The Social Studies Department offers a variety of courses to help all students achieve a strong foundation regarding the historical factors that have shaped the world. It is the goal of the Social Studies Department to help develop in students the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to make rational, informed decisions about the economic, social, and political issues confronting them, their society, and the world at large.

The Social Studies Department offers a variety of rotating elective courses designed to introduce students to the social sciences and encourage further post-secondary study of the humanities.

Students must complete 3 credits in Social Studies.

One credit must be in World History, 1 in US History, and .5 must be in Civics.

NHS Academic, Social and Civic Learning Expectations - Graduates of Nonnewaug High School will demonstrate that they are critical thinkers, readers, listeners and viewers as well as independent, technologically-adept learners and effective communicators.


Social Studies Courses


WORLD HISTORY: Ancient Times – Present 9

1 credit

World History is a survey of selected historical events from ancient times to current events. This modern approach focuses on the impact of geography, economics, social factors, and government upon historical events which is stressed throughout. Connections are continuously made between the past and current world events. Key concepts include human migration, nationalism, liberalism, and political and social trends around the world. Students will develop an understanding of world geography, religion, and cultures. Reading, writing, and study skills will be taught and reinforced in this course. The honors level course is designed and implemented so that the depth of the topics discussed in the course surpass that of the college prep level course to include the following: extensions of learning, accelerated pacing, greater complexity in topics, and greater responsibility, creativity, and reflection on the part of the students as their thinking and feelings are challenged. No Prerequisite Required Honors or College Prep


UNITED STATES HISTORY: Civil War to Current Events 10

1 credit

U.S. History focuses on America and the rest of the world in the twentieth century. Students will study major topics that include imperialism from the point of view of both the colonizer and the colonized, America's emergence as a world power, the devastation of World War I, the growth of communism and fascism and their connection to World War II, the Holocaust, the Cold War and its conclusion, domestic politics and social movements in the United States, and, if time permits, current world politics. Throughout the year, emphasis is placed on examining how all of these events have influenced the world we live in today. Students will continue to develop, refine, and apply reading, writing to their study of history. The honors level course is designed and implemented so that the depth of the topics discussed in the course surpass that of the college prep level course to include the following: extensions of learning, accelerated pacing, greater complexity in topics, and greater responsibility, creativity, and reflection on the part of the students as their thinking and feelings are challenged. No Prerequisite Required Honors or College Prep


CIVICS 10-12

.5 credit

Civics is a thematic approach to American Government and Politics. Each theme will provide students with the opportunity to connect current events with the governmental process. Students will analyze the process of citizenship, branches of government and their functions, and the individual’s place in a democratic society. Students will make connections pertaining to the themes being discussed and the real world. This class is required for graduation. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISTORY 10-12

1 credit / UConn ECE

AP U. S. History is a survey of American history from early exploration to the 21st century. Its level of difficulty is designed to be that of an introductory university course. The expectation is that students are able to complete extensive independent reading and writing applied to U.S. History. The students in this course must take the AP U. S. History test in May. Level selection is recommended through consultation with the Social Studies Department. No Prerequisite Required Advanced Placement / UConn ECE


ADVANCED PLACEMENT PSYCHOLOGY 10-12

1 credit

The goal of the AP Psychology course is to provide high school students with a quality educational experience that is equivalent to a one-semester, college-level introductory course incorporating the concepts and materials typically covered in such a course. This course gives students a working knowledge of the theories and key concepts of each of the major subfields within psychology and exposes students to many of the contributing psychologists and significant research studies that have shaped the understanding of behavior and mental processes. The course will also provide students with an appreciation of the scientific method and ethical procedures that produce such knowledge. Students are required to take the AP exam in May. No Prerequisite Required Advanced Placement


ADVANCED PLACEMENT EUROPEAN HISTORY 11-12

1 credit

AP European History is open to juniors or seniors who want the challenge of a college-level course. This course is a survey of European History from 1450 CE to the present. The level of difficulty will be that of an introductory university course. The students will do extensive independent reading and writing, and will be required to participate in daily class discussions of historical topics. Students will work a great deal on the evaluation and interpretation of historical documents. Students will be required to take the AP examination in May. No Prerequisite Required Advanced Placement


CURRENT ISSUES 10-12

.5 credit

In Current Issues, students will study and discuss major topics of domestic and foreign importance as they occur in present time. Students will analyze and discuss newspaper articles, periodicals, teacher-selected handouts, and video. In addition, they will often watch the previous evening's televised national news, and discuss how both the written and TV news compare. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


THE LAW AND YOU 10-12

.5 credit

In The Law and You, students will study topics in law that are of a practical nature, such as Torts (civil litigation), Juvenile Rights and Responsibilities, Family Law and the Bill of Rights. The class will center on discussion and educational opportunities such as mock civil and a criminal trials. The course is designed to be a review of current legal events and cases. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


PSYCHOLOGY 10-12

.5 credit

Psychology students will become familiar with the history of psychology, the vocabulary of psychological study, and the major subjects in the field, including the biological bases of behavior, different states of consciousness, learning theory, the development of personality, human depression, eccentricities and abnormal behaviors, and the treatment of psychological disorders. Homework will include readings and written assignments from a standard text on the introduction of psychology. The honors level course is designed and implemented so that the depth of the topics discussed in the course surpass that of the college prep level course to include the following: extensions of learning, accelerated pacing, greater complexity in topics, and greater responsibility, creativity, and reflection on the part of the students as their thinking and feelings are challenged. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


AMERICAN POP CULTURE 10-12

.5 credit

American Pop Culture students will study the investigation of developments in mass media throughout the 20th century and the impact each has had on American culture. Topics include how various media such as radio, television, print, and the internet have both reflected and influenced American culture. American Popular Culture is designed to prepare students to be intelligent consumers of information through an investigation of the ways in which various media are influenced, matured, and controlled by society and how various media in turn affects cultural change. Students will evaluate multiple sources of information in diverse media formats to critically explore topics through comparisons of primary sources, expository writing assignments, and persuasive communication exercise. The course will utilize the tools of sociology as well as history. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


HISTORY THROUGH FILM 10-12

.5 credit

In History through Film, students will examine the relationship between film and history. Historians rely on a variety of primary and secondary sources and artifacts to interpret the events and forces that shape societies. Beginning in the twentieth century, the motion picture industry has provided historians with another tool to critically interpret the past. Similar to other types of resources, films present an interpretation of history that should be investigated and critically analyzed and evaluated by the viewer for bias, integrity, and accuracy. The films that the class studies will provide a vehicle for learners to engage in rigorous inquiry to evaluate the values, ideas and larger historical issues of specific eras in American history. Students will be required to watch the assigned films in class and at home and write essays that evaluate points of view, reasoning, and the use of evidence and rhetoric. They will also create performance-based assessments including scripts and short videos of their own. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


GENDER STUDIES 10-12

.5 credit

Gender Studies provides students the opportunity to explore the role of gender in shaping the lives of women in the United States and other nations. Students will examine the psychological, political, economic, cultural and racial influences that have contributed to the development of what it means to be female, both historically and in contemporary society. Have these ideas contradicted the reality of women’s lives? When are women’s rights human rights? How have society’s needs shaped the changing concept of what it means to a woman? Emphasis will be placed on the development of analytical skills through the analysis of primary source documents, literature, discussion and writing. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


SOCIOLOGY 10-12

.5 credit

Sociology students will explore concepts such as the foundations of sociology, crime and deviance, relationships, the adolescent in society, social media and internet personas, urban and rural environments, rights of passage, racism, and music and perception. Sociology uses novels, memoirs, films, and social media for experimental and exploratory purposes. Students will complete a sociological experiment related to a topic covered in the course content. The course will include required readings and essays, as well as traditional summative assessments. No Prerequisite Required College Prep

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