Social Studies


    High School

    The Hershey High School Social Studies Department aims to guide students in developing historical thinking skills, geographic and cultural experience and knowledge, and an understanding of the decisive role of critical thought and tolerance as 21st century global citizens.

    In 9th grade Civics, students learn how responsible citizens productively engage in a political system.

    In 10th grade World History, students learn how the changing relationship between human beings and the physical and natural environment affected human life from early times to the present, why relations among humans been so complex since early times, and how human views of the world, nature, and the cosmos have changed.

    In 11th grade American History, students learn what it means to be an American, how Americans have responded to challenges, and how American democracy has failed and succeeded.

    From the eleventh grade on, students may also choose to take Money and Power, a course that fuses political science with economics; Law and Society, which fuses law and sociology; and Psychology, in which students investigate the science and study of the human mind.

    Advanced Placement classes in the Social Studies Department include AP Human Geography, an intensive study of the history and science of the human inhabitation of the planet; AP US History, an intensive study of all of American history; and AP European History, an intensive study of European history since the High Middle Ages.

    Middle School

    The sixth grade Social Studies curriculum involves the geography, history and culture of the Western Hemisphere while incorporating the five themes of geography.  The teaching and learning encompasses spatial thinking by using maps of the United States, Canada and Latin America.  Thematic maps of our western world, regions of Canada, and urbanization in Mexico City are all focus areas.  Current events enhance connections students are making through classroom engagement.  Mapping Labs create a hands-on approach in working with physical and political features. The infusion of technology and writing within the units of learning rounds out the sixth grade year.

    In seventh grade students study information about cultures around the Eastern Hemisphere then apply the newly acquired knowledge to real and practical situations. The curriculum includes simulations, role-playing, case studies, group activities, writing and research assignments, projects, key concepts of geography and current events. The students will learn the names of places and where they are located, in the process comparing them to our country and others in order to gain a deeper understanding of the people in those places.  Our goal is to impress upon our students the importance of becoming contributing citizens of our society.

    In eighth grade, students have a course in American history, American Cultures I.  In this course, we study American history up to and including the Civil War and Reconstruction. The year is broken down into two main topics: 1) the establishment of the government of the United States; and 2) the history of the United States through Reconstruction.