Click on the headings below to read an overview of each Social Studies course offered at Holy Cross.
The 5th graders explore the historical events from the earliest Americans to World War II. They act as investigators to discover how history has impacted their lives today. The survey of this time period in the United States will include geography, civics, economics, and history. History comes to life as they learn with artifacts, documents, speeches, music, paintings, maps, poetry, and photographs.
The sixth grade World History course investigates ancient civilizations. Students learn about the geography, history, and cultures of these civilizations. These ancient civilizations come to life with artifacts, documents, speeches, music, paintings, maps, and photographs. Students discover the influence these ancient civilizations have on the world today. Various online resources are used to engage students. In order to understand today’s world, students must learn how the ideas, events, and people of the past shaped our lives. Students study and discuss current events using various resources including periodicals. Students explore new regions, introducing them to people and places around the globe. The curriculum focuses on the past as it connects to the present and future.
In this 7th Grade course, the students learn to appreciate the rich physical and cultural heritage of the great state of Louisiana. This is done first by exploring the recent past and present of Louisiana along with the state’s culture, geography, economics, and government. These units will be followed by an in-depth look at the history of Louisiana, from the early Native Americans to Huey P. Long.
In this 7th Grade course, the student will learn about Louisiana and all it has to offer. The student will explore the many unique and distinct characteristics of Louisiana that define our state. They will not only study the great history of Louisiana but also its culture, heritage, geography, economy, and government. They will also become better acquainted with Louisiana and have a better knowledge and understanding of our state and its position in the world today. Students will develop pride in our culture and develop an appreciation for the contributions of the many ethnic groups that make up Louisiana. Students will examine our unique geography and how it is affecting us not only on a daily basis, but into the future. They will identify our unique resources and how they affect our state economy as well as study the state government and how it evolved into one of the most unique in the U.S.
In World Geography students will study the world from both a physical and cultural perspective. Students will learn the major physical features of each continent, as well as the political boundaries separating each country. Students will be made aware how cultures from around the world interact with one another in both positive and negative ways by relating them to current events happening around the world.
In World Geography Honors students will study the world from both a physical and cultural perspective. Students will learn the major physical features of each continent, as well as the physical boundaries separating each country. Students will be made aware how cultures from around the world interact with one another in both positive and negative ways by relating them to current events happening around the world. The students will obtain information from Internet research as well as from outside reading sources. The students will also create technology projects, writing exercises and class discussions to further their knowledge of the different civilizations found throughout the world.
World History focuses on the birth and development of Civilizations, starting in the Middle East and Europe during the Classical Age and ending in the 20th century. The course puts a special emphasis on Western Civilization and its impact on today’s political and economic climate. The goal of the course is to gain a general knowledge of major historical events as well as the ability to compare them with the current events happening in the world today.
This course will follow the civilizations in the Middle East, the Far East, and Europe, from the earliest civilizations through the Age of Exploration. The focus will be on the key elements of society and the ways these elements shaped each civilization and how these civilizations impacted the future world. The elements analyzed are religion, economics, geography, politics, social status, technology, and cultural beliefs. The students use extensive research information obtained from the Internet and outside reading sources to analyze each one of these civilizations. The students also create technology projects, writing exercises and class discussions to further their knowledge and understanding of each civilization.
AP World History is a rigorous, yearlong course designed to explore history from approximately seven million B.C.E. to the present. Students will develop the ability to think about history thematically by drawing comparisons and highlighting distinctions between societies, by examining primary historical documents, and by understanding how different societies change over time. Critical thinking through analysis of cause and effect relationships will be a primary focus of this course. AP World History is structured around the investigation of five themes woven into nineteen key concepts covering six distinct chronological periods. This will be accomplished by focusing on four historical thinking skills: crafting historical arguments from historical evidence, chronological reasoning, comparison and contextualization, and historical interpretation and synthesis.
AP World History requires the development of thinking skills using the processes and tools that historians employ in order to create historical narrative. Students will also be required to think on many different geographical and temporal scales in order to compare historical events over time and space.
The course relies heavily on college-level resources. This includes texts, a wide variety of primary sources, and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. These resources are designed to develop the skills required to analyze point of view and to interpret evidence to use in creating plausible historical arguments. These tools will also be used to assess issues of change and continuity over time, identifying global processes, comparing within and among societies, and understanding diverse interpretations.
Students will be required to participate in class discussions using the Socratic seminar format. In addition, students will be responsible for preparing class presentations in order to further develop higher-level habits of mind or thinking skills and broaden content knowledge. The course emphasis is on balancing global coverage, with no more than 15% of course time devoted to European history. This course is designed to be challenging and rewarding, inviting students to take a global view of historical processes and contacts between people in different societies.
AP European History is an in-depth look at the history of Europe from 1300 to Present day. This class introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world today. This class will move at an accelerated pace – students can expect reading every night, covering approximately a chapter in the text each week.
In addition to providing a basic narrative of events, AP European History students will also learn how to think like historians. Students will examine a series of historical documents, both primary and secondary, in an effort to better understand history. Students will prepare for the rigors of the AP exam, and because of this, students will be writing essays on a weekly basis as well as taking a series of higher order thinking multiple-choice tests.
The goals of this course are:
American History is a survey of the development of the United States, emphasizing the political, social, and economic institutions that distinguish American culture. This is a course that not only focuses on the events that transpired but also the people who shaped them. In this course students employ rigorous questioning techniques to determine cause and effect. The course begins with an examination of early colonial culture, explaining how the events from this period would ultimately lead to independence and eventually into the Civil War. The second semester focuses on the post-Civil War landscape of the United States and how the country went from being a shattered nation to the dominant world power of the Twentieth Century.
The first half of this course will cover topics in American History from the colonial era through Reconstruction. The course is intended to be a general survey of the social, cultural, economic, and political currents that have shaped American history through the Civil War and Reconstruction era. The course presentations will focus on the major milestones leading from the exploration, settlement and expansion of the United States from colonial times through Reconstruction, paying particular attention to the issues and events that helped shape the American character and democratic principles and ideals.
Students will conduct extensive readings of primary sources and engage in writing exercises intended to sharpen critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to synthesize multiple sources and points of view. Special attention will also be paid to the issue of American Historiography.
The second half of this course will cover topics in American History after the era of Reconstruction to the present. The course is intended to be a general survey of the social, cultural, economic, and political currents that have shaped American history since the Civil War. The course presentations will pay special attention to the issues of cultural diversity and will attempt to expose students to the agency of the common man.
As with the first half of American History, students will conduct extensive readings of primary sources and engage in writing exercises intended to sharpen critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to synthesize multiple sources and points of view. Special attention will also be paid to the issue of American Historiography.
This course is a survey of the development of the United States, emphasizing the political, social, and economic institutions that distinguish American culture. The first semester examines the colonial origins of America and the development of the United States to the era of Reconstruction.
The second semester examines the development of the United States since the era of Reconstruction to the modern period.
Through this course, the student will learn the historiography relating to the development of the American system of government. Also, he will be exposed to the structural development of the various levels of American government, the role of political parties in our governance, the formation of public policies, and the tasks performed by the three branches (legislative, executive and judicial) of government in our federal system.
This course introduces students to the institutions and processes of American Government, and improves student’s skills in describing and analyzing the context of American politics. The Honors section of this course will include additional journal readings, critical thinking scholarship, and writing-intensive exercises. Students will have an opportunity to engage in discussion that analyzes politics, the role of government in society, and public involvement in government. Students should expect significantly more reading and writing. With this additional responsibility, it prepares the students for the lively give-and-take conversations that take place. By the end of the class, students will be able to intelligently discuss the institutions in American government; the civil liberties and rights issues that America has faced and continues to battle; the various ideologies and interactions of political parties, interest groups and the media; as well as evaluate the alternative economic and social policies.
A well-designed AP course in United States Government & Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. While there is no single approach that an AP United States Government & Politics course must follow, students should become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes.
Students successfully completing this course will:
Introduction to Business is a class that introduces the students to the many facets of the business world. Using real life, current scenarios and examples the students will learn about business in the global economy as well as business in the local economy. The forming of business organizations, financial and wealth management, marketing, advertising and small business management will all be key units covered. Students will have the opportunity to exercise their entrepreneurial spirits and management skills with an array of free enterprise style assignments that encourage free thinking and problem solving. A key component of the course will be career planning and development where the students will gain valuable tools to aid in their transition from high school to college and college to a career. Participants will be taught the course through lectures, group projects, online tools and games, external speakers and presentations to allow for differentiated learning. Progress and achievement will be measured through participation, presentations, group projects and theory papers.
This course will provide an overview of fundamental economy such as needs and wants, goods and services and the distribution of resources. The role that business plays in the economy will be explored. The American economy will be evaluated domestically along with its role in the global economy. Students will be taught about relevant topics with the aim of not only increasing their understanding of the global economy but to also encourage students to apply knowledge to real-life situations. There will be opportunities throughout the course to discuss current events in economics as they apply to the topics being covered. Students will have the opportunity to exercise their creative and entrepreneurial spirits whilst being encouraged to think critically through hands on assignments and tasks. Topics include Economic Systems, Wants vs Needs, Supply and Demand, Value of Money, Credit and Debt, International Trade, Stocks and Bonds, Taxes, Political Systems, Business Cycles and The Great Depression.
The Law Studies course is an honors-level class offered to those students who are interested in the legal profession. In this yearlong course students will be exposed to some of the courses covered during the first year of law school including contracts, criminal law, torts, civil procedure, and constitutional law. In addition, during the first semester students will learn the components of a trial including opening statements, direct examination, cross-examination, rules of evidence, and closing argument. The first semester will conclude with students participating in a mock trial utilizing those skills. In the second semester, students will have an opportunity to do legal research and write a brief that will be the basis for a moot court (appellate advocacy) exercise at the end of the year.
Law Studies II Honors is a course designed to introduce the student to appellate advocacy. During the year, the student will learn legal research and writing as well as techniques for oral argument. Law Studies I is a prerequisite for this course.
This course covers the scientific study of the mind and its impact on human behavior, attitudes, and beliefs. Topics include the impact of others’ behavior on our own behavior and beliefs, altered states of consciousness, learning, human development, and mental illness.
This course is designed to provide students with a general knowledge of the field of psychology. It will include, among others, topics such as the foundations of psychology, consciousness, human development, learning, emotions, personality, psychopathology, and therapy. Additionally, topics of specific interest to the students will be identified and discussed throughout the semester in order to foster a personal ownership of the learning experience. The class is presented through a dialectical perspective in which students are expected to not only form their own opinions about many of the subjective aspects of the psychological field but also compare and contrast those views with differing opinions of their classmates and instructor. The ultimate goal is to help them develop a balanced understanding of the dynamic nature of truth along with the necessary skills to discuss said understanding at a collegiate level.