History & Social Sciences Department
The History/Social Studies Department is fully committed to the development of the next generation of thinkers, leaders, and active, informed citizens. Social studies provides an arena for the analysis of societies in terms of their complex relationships, cultural patterns and political systems and beliefs. Our coursework draws upon virtually all other disciplines by applying math, science, and literacy skills necessary for success in today’s global economy.
Within the Social Studies program, students are provided with a framework to learn new content by integrating literacy and technology skills in an inquiry based environment. This design inspires students and sparks their curiosity to pursue deeper study in areas of interest and in turn become increasingly active and knowledgeable citizens. As 21st century learners, our students develop digital literacy skills, and learn the value of collaboration and innovative technology tools to drive their learning and strengthen their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Students are engaged and responsible for their learning which prepares them to succeed in college, work, and life. Our goal is the development of informed, thoughtful, opinionated, and prepared young people who are ready to take on a leadership role and advocate for social justice as they engage in the world around them.
Course Sequence and Requirements:
All students must pass the following courses to graduate from Malden High School:
- U.S. History I (College Prep or Honors)
- U.S. History II (College Prep or Honors) or Advanced Placement U.S. History
- ModernWorld History (College Prep or Honors) or Advanced Placement Modern World History
|College Prep||Honors/Advanced Placement*|
|9||U.S. History I(1763-1877)||Honors U.S. History I(1763-1877)|
|10||U.S. History II
|Honors U.S. History II
AP U.S. History
|11||Modern World History||Honors Modern World History
AP World History
|Grade||Full Year Electives||Level|
|11 & 12||AP U.S. History||AP|
|11 & 12||AP World History||AP|
|12||AP US Government & Politics||AP|
|11 & 12||Mock Trial||Honors|
|Grade||Semester 1 (quarters 1 & 2)||Semester 2 (quarters 3 & 4)||Level|
|9 & 10||Foundations of Law||Foundations of Law||Honors|
|11 &12||*American Law & Justice||Examining Criminal Justice||Honors|
|11 &12||*Foundations of Sociology||Social Issues||Honors|
* Honors and Advanced Placement: Any student who wishes to enroll in an Advanced Placement course must have earned a grade of 85 or better in history during the previous year and/or receive the recommendation of two of the following: a teacher, administrator or guidance counselor. Students with a demonstrated strong work ethic but who have achieved lower than an 85% on tests are strongly encouraged to reach out to AP Instructors and learn more about the level of work required. Students in AP courses are required to take the AP exam in the spring.
Legal Studies Strand
Students who take one of the elective courses below in each of their four years can earn, in addition to their required Social Studies Courses, can earn a Legal Studies Certificate. These courses may NOT be used in lieu of core history courses to fulfill graduation requirements – only towards a Legal Studies Certificate.
Grade 9: Foundations of Law Honors
Grade 10: Foundations of Law H, American Law and Justice / Examining Criminal Justice H (for 10th graders with Foundations of Law successfully completed and teacher recommendation)
Grade 11: American Law and Justice / Examining Criminal Justice H, Mock Trial, AP Government
Grade 12: American Law and Justice / Examining Criminal Justice H, Mock Trial, AP Government
U.S. History I Level: College Prep
#02113 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
In U.S. History I, students examine the historical and intellectual origins of the United States developed from Western Europe through the Revolutionary and Early Republic eras. Students study the framework of American Democracy; analyze key documents including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the basic concepts of American Government. The course then traces America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, economic and social change, sectional conflicts, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. As a part of the curriculum, students will engage in a community service learning project throughout the school year. In collaboration with the nonprofit organization Generation Citizen, students will discover, research, plan, and implement a project. Northeastern and Tufts undergraduate students partner with teachers to foster civic participation and youth advocacy. This project helps students become skilled in the areas of democracy, governmental process, public policy, advocacy, and action. The project is closely aligned with the content of the USI curriculum and will be an integral part of the student’s assessment and final grade.
U.S. History ILevel: Honor
#02112 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
See course description above. Any student with
strong reading and writing skills, and strong work habits, may participate in an Honors section of the course.
U.S. History II: Level: College Prep
#02223 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
In United States History II students will investigate a number of topics and themes that have shaped the United States from the end of the 19th century through the beginning of the 21st. The course begins with an analysis of the causes and consequences of the second Industrial Revolution and the attempts of the Progressives to address the problems of a more modern America. The crises of the Great Depression are examined as well as the New Deal programs that attempted to solve them. Through studies of American imperialism and the involvement of the United States in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, America’s role in international affairs is also considered in depth. The Civil Rights Movement is deconstructed as students continue to identify and analyze processes of change and questions of social justice. Throughout these studies, students will develop historical, research, and literacy skills, and participate in inquiry and project based learning programs such as National History Day.
U.S. History II:Level: Honors
#02222 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
See course description above. Any student with strong reading and writing skills, and strong work habits, may participate in an Honors section of the course.
AP United States History Level: Adv. Placement
#02341 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
Prerequisite: Any student who wishes to enroll in an Advanced Placement course must have a teacher recommendation and one of the following: 85 or better in United States History I or 85 or better in Modern World History or 75 or better in AP World History. Students should also demonstrate strong reading and analytical writing skills.
Are you ready to challenge yourself? Interested in earning college credit before leaving high school? Take a close look at Advanced Placement United States History if you are a serious, driven student committed to independent learning who enjoys considering the major topics and issues in historical study. Much of the coursework is completed outside of class meeting time, especially textbook reading and note taking. Students in AP US History should expect to devote a minimum of 12 hours per week to their coursework outside of class meetings. Class meeting time is primarily devoted to conversation, collaboration, processing work and skill development. AP US History provides the opportunities to develop deep historical knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live today, as well as the skills critical for success in other AP classes, college, and beyond. These include thinking, reading, writing, communication, and collaboration skills. Students learn to become more independent learners through analysis of historical documents, evaluation of differing perspectives, and observation of trends and changes over time. The Advanced Placement U. S. History course is part of a national program run by The College Board which allows students to earn the opportunity for college credit by scoring a 3, 4, or 5 on the exam offered in May of each school year. The course provides a comprehensive survey of the political, social, economic, intellectual, and cultural history of the United States, including the major topics of American history. All students must take the AP exam in the spring. The completion of a summer assignment is required.
Modern World History Level: College Prep
#02303 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
Prerequisite: Completion of grade 9 and 10.
This college preparatory thematic survey course highlights the major turning points that shaped the modern world from the 19th to the turn of the 21st century. Topics include: revolution, the rise of the nation state, and imperialism in the outbreak of the two world wars of the 20th century. Students will also develop an understanding of some of the major social, political, and economic crisis of the modern era through the use of such resources as the Brown University’s Choices units on Terrorism and The Challenges of Nuclear Weapons. Throughout these studies, students will develop historical, research, and literacy skills, and participate in inquiry and action based learning programs such as Model UN. In Model UN simulations and conferences, students will make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure. The goal of this course is to examine the historical content with the purpose of relating it to the modern world.
Modern World History Level: Honors
#02302 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
See course description above. Students will also be expected to do extensive reading, writing, and research as well as examine historical materials, make oral presentations and complete independent projects.
AP World History Level: Adv. Placement
# 02421 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
Prerequisite: any student who wishes to enroll in AP Modern World History must have completed U.S. History 2. S/he must also have earned a grade of 85 or better in history during the previous year or receive the recommendation of two of the following: a teacher, administrator or guidance counselor.
The Advanced placement World History course is part of a national program that allows students to earn the opportunity for college credit upon successful completion of the class by receiving a grade of 3 or better on the College Board exam in May of each school year.
The course is a challenging political and social survey of world history from 8000 B.C.E to the present, spotlighting five major historical periods (8000B.C.E. – 600 C.E.; 600 C.E. – 1450; 1450 -1750; 1750-1914; 1914 – Present.) The course focuses on six overriding themes: the dynamics of change and continuity; patterns of effects and interaction among societies and religions; the effects of technology, economics and demography on people and the environment; systems of social structure and gender structure; cultural, intellectual and religious developments; and finally, the changes in functions and structures of states and political entities. This is a rigorous and demanding course requiring students to have a strong work ethic, to read at a rigorous pace, and to complete a variety of writing assignments. Students are expected to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills and independent work habits. All students must take the A.P. World History exam in the spring. A summer reading assignment is required.
Social Studies Electives:
Grades 9 & 10
Foundations of Law: Level: Honors
#02913, 02912 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
This honors level semester course helps students develop in-depth knowledge of how and why laws are formed as well as the relationships between laws, law enforcement and social justice. The course will use inquiry and project based approaches to foster critical thinking and literacy skills. Unit topics include criminal law, civil law, equality under the law, human rights, crime scene investigation and careers in law and justice. Integrated into the curriculum are performance based assessments, including mock trials, policy debates, and a crime scene investigation. The main goal of the course is to equip students with a foundational understanding of the legal and criminal justice systems and to empower students to actively participate in a democracy.
AP Psychology Level: Adv. Placement
#02441 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
Prerequisite: Any student who wishes to enroll in AP Psychology must have completed the history requirements for graduation. S/he must also have earned a grade of 85 or better in history during the previous year or receive the recommendation of two of the following: a teacher, administrator or guidance counselor.
The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Areas covered include: history of psychology; research methods; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; cognitive psychology; physical, social and emotional development; abnormal behavior and therapies; social psychology; and gender differences. This is a rigorous and demanding course requiring students to have a strong work ethic, to read at a rigorous pace, and to complete a variety of writing assignments. Students are expected to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills and independent work habits. This course follows the APA guidelines for Advanced Placement Psychology, and all students are expected to take the AP exam.
AP United States Government and Politics Level: Adv. Placement
#02431 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
Prerequisite: Any student who wishes to enroll in AP United States Government and Politics must have completed the history requirements for graduation. S/he must also have earned a grade of 85 or better in history during the previous year or receive the recommendation of two of the following: a teacher, administrator or guidance counselor.
This course will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the government and politics of the United States. Students will examine various general concepts and specific examples in order to analyze and synthesize the functions and outcomes of government and politics in the United States. Students will use critical thinking skills to evaluate a variety of theoretical perspectives, as well as political behaviors and their outcomes. Students will learn important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to the U.S. government and understand typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences. Topics covered in this course include: constitutional underpinnings of United States Government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups, and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy, civil rights and civil liberties. An emphasis will be placed on critical thinking skills, essay writing, primary source analysis, debating skills, presentations, and other activities. Students should bring to the course a basic understanding of the various vocabulary, institutions, and ideological beliefs involved with and relating to U.S. government and politics. This is a rigorous and demanding course requiring students to have a strong work ethic, to read at a rigorous pace, and to complete a variety of writing assignments. Students are expected to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills and independent work habits. All Advanced Placement students are required to take the College Board AP exam.
Mock Trial Level: Honors
#02972 Credit: 1.0 (Full-year)
This course will prepare students to participate in the statewide mock trial competition conducted annually by the Massachusetts Bar Association. Students will explore various topics relating to the functions of the court system of Massachusetts. These topics will include Massachusetts court system structure, jurisdiction, and the difference between criminal and civil law. In preparation for the competition, the students will use critical thinking skills to analyze physical evidence and witness affidavits. They will work together as a class to construct sound legal arguments supporting and attacking both sides of the given case. The students will write opening and closing statements, as well direct and cross examination questions. Students will be selected to participate in the competition as either witnesses or attorneys. Through the preparation and trials students will become familiar with trial procedure, rules of evidence and courtroom decorum. Students who enroll in the course should have an interest in the criminal justice system and a desire to use public speaking skills. Juniors and Seniors. 25 student cap
American Law and Justice: Semester 1 Level: Honors
#02962 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
Prerequisite: Completion of U.S. History I and U.S. History II, or recommendation of Foundations of Law teacher
This informative semester course is the right choice for students with an interest in the criminal justice system. It consists of a series of units involving law, justice, and the courts. Emphasis is placed on such topics as criminal law, judicial decision making, law enforcement and the penal system. The course enables students to critically analyze policy choices related to crime, punishment, and rehabilitation. Throughout the year, students also learn about the range of careers available in the criminal justice system. Essential questions addressed during the course include What is crime? Who defines crime? What are the functions of a criminal justice system? How do criminal justice systems balance the safety of the community with individual rights? How do criminal and juvenile justice systems affect young people? Mock trials, debates, and position papers are a significant part of the curriculum. Some example projects include students learning and applying the various techniques used during a crime scene investigation, including what types of evidence to collect and how that evidence can be used to deduce information about the crime and/or perpetrator, and students role-playing prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers, jurors, and court personnel conducting a mock criminal trial.
Examining Criminal Justice: Semester 2 Level: Honors
# 02952 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
Prerequisite: Completion of U.S. History I and U.S. History II or recommendation of Foundations of Law teacher
This semester course can be taken in conjunction with, or separate from American Law and Justice. It consists of a series of units involving law, justice, and the courts. Emphasis is placed on such topics as criminal law, judicial decision making, law enforcement and the penal system. The course enables students to critically analyze policy choices related to crime, punishment, and rehabilitation. Throughout the year, students also learn about the range of careers in available in the criminal justice system. Mock trials, debates, and position papers are a significant part of the curriculum. Some example projects include students tracking the case of a juvenile repeat offender; and identifying and applying interventions that will positively redirect this youth while meeting the requirements of the courts. In addition students take on the role of a employee working in a law clinic, students represent either the state or a convicted felon during different phases in the corrections process: a sentencing hearing, petition for services in prison, and a parole board hearing.
Foundations of Sociology: Semester 1 Level: Honors
#02942 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
Prerequisite: Completion of U.S. History I and U.S. History II
Why do people wait patiently in line for public transportation in one place, while it is totally acceptable to push and shove in another? Could an event like the Holocaust ever happen again? These are just a few of the big questions that we will explore in Foundations of Sociology.
Sociology is the study of people and their relationship with society. This semester course will focus on providing students with a basic understanding of sociological concepts and methods. The course includes an overview of the various sociological theories and perspectives. It also provides an analysis of cultural diversity, social structure, and social control. As an Honors class, emphasis will be placed on the development of critical thinking skills, reading, essay writing, note-taking and research skills.
Social Issues, Semester 2 Level: Honors
#02932 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
Prerequisite: Completion of U.S. History I and U.S. History II
This semester course focuses on the history of and modern day implications of various social issues. It provides a vast overview of the sociological perspectives on the impacts of such topics as religion, technology, violence, the family, and many others. Students will learn to make informed decisions on a variety of local, national, and international social issues through the examination of evidence supporting multiple viewpoints. As an honors class, emphasis will be placed on the development of critical thinking skills, reading, essay writing, note-taking and research skills.
Independent Study – Social Science Level: College Prep/Honors
#02993, #02992 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
A student may request this course with parental, teacher, and Director’s permission. Interested students may obtain an Independent Study Request Form in the Guidance Office after the school year begins.