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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Social Studies

Social Studies Common Core State Standards are designed to prepare students for college and career demands of the 21st century. Social Studies courses require students to:

  • read and analyze complex primary and secondary source materials,
  • acquire increasingly sophisticated vocabulary,
  • research purposefully from a variety of sources,
  • write expository essays that successfully inform, analyze, explain, and argue,
  • make cogent, insightful presentations, and
  • listen purposefully.

Graduation requirements include four credits in Social Studies . To meet these requirements, students typically take the following courses in sequence:

  • 9th grade - Global Studies 1
  • 10th grade - Global Studies 2
  • 11th grade - United States History
  • 12th grade - United States Government

The completion of a research paper is a requirement of each of these courses.

The Lower Merion School District requires all students to take a full-year U. S. Government course. Students enrolled in Honors and College Preparatory courses typically take U. S. Government as a 12th grade course. Students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Harriton often take U. S. Government in Summer School (if offered), concurrent with 11th and 12th grade IB Social Studies courses, or in 10th grade. If IB Students take U. S. Government in their sophomore year, they are strongly encouraged to request Global Studies 2 in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade as an additional course, subject to availability.

Global Studies 1 or Global Studies 1 H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 9
  • Prerequisite: It is strongly recommended that students who opt for the Honors level have earned a grade of “A“ or “B” in 8th grade Social Studies
  • Course Number: 02010402
  • Course Number: 02010413

The goal of the two-year Global Studies Program is to understand the complexities of our 21st century world through multiple lenses. In Global Studies 1, students delve into the world’s history, cultures, human and physical geography, economic, and political structures from 1000-1750 through an inquiry and discovery process of learning. Honors level students have increased rigor in their study and application of learning.

Global Studies 2 or Global Studies 2 H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 10
  • Prerequisite: It is strongly recommended that students who opt for the Honors level obtain a grade of “A” or “B” in Global Studies 1
  • Course Number: 02020422
  • Course Number: 02020423

Global Studies 2 is the second half of a two-year study begun in 9th grade. For 10th grade, Global Studies 2 continues an investigation into the complexities of our 21st century world through multiple lenses such as examining the world’s history, cultures, human and physical geography, and economic and political structures. With an opening unit that recalls lessons from the 17th and early 18th century to help students recognize this continuity, Global Studies 2 concentrates on the past 300 years, from 1750 to the modern era. Like Global 1, this course uses an inquiry-based framework. Honors level students will have increased rigor in their study and application of learning.

United States History or United States History H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that students who opt for the Honors level obtain the grade of “A” in Global Studies 2
  • Course Number: 02030202
  • Course Number: 02030303

This course surveys the historical growth of the United States socially, economically, and politically from 1920s to modern day. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the course traces movements and events that led to progressive reform, social and political conflict, cultural trends, the emergence of the United States as a world power, and the resulting issues thereby created.

AP United States History

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11
  • Prerequisite: Students must have completed the course of studies in Global Studies 2 prior to taking AP U. S. History; it is recommended that interested students have grades of “A” or “B” in Global Studies 2 H
  • Course Number: 02030404

This course is taught at the college level and is designed to give students the opportunity to explore the scope of American history through the analysis of primary documents and the critical evaluation of various forms of historical evidence. The curriculum is prescribed by The College Board and covers the American experience from colonial times through the twentieth century. Social, political, and economic trends as well as major movements, conflicts, and events require considerable reading before and during the course and refined skills in research and writing will be expected and practiced. One of the goals of this course is to prepare students to successfully complete the AP examination in United States History.

United States Government or United States Government H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisites: Open only to seniors and pre-IB sophomores
  • Course Number: 02040222
  • Course Number: 02040323

Students acquire an understanding of the institutions and processes of the three branches of government in the American political system including the Presidency, the Congress, the Judicial System, Interest Groups, and Lobbying and Political Parties. This course also places an emphasis on Civics with an experiential civics component focusing on local, regional, or state governmental issues. Politics and policy are examined from a historical perspective, and students apply this knowledge to current issues to develop in-depth understandings of the forces at work in our democracy. Students are expected to deepen reading and writing skills. Honors level students have increased rigor in their study and application of learning.

AP United States Government & Politics

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisite: Open only to seniors and pre-IB sophomores It is recommended that interested students have grades of “A” or “B” in the current honors or AP level Social Studies core course and recommendation from a member of the Social Studies Department
  • Course Number: 02040424

This course is taught at the college level and is designed to give students a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of the Constitutional underpinnings of the American system and the processes within our democracy including political parties, interest groups, voter participation and behavior, and civil liberties and civil rights. The student undertakes considerable reading at an advanced level. One of the goals of this course is to prepare students to successfully complete an AP examination in United States Government and Politics. This course satisfies the United States Government graduation requirement.