Social Studies

illustrations of various school-related items

Learning lessons from the past using Primavera’s interactive social studies format is exciting. Take virtual field trips or virtually visit the Challenger Space Center and experience history in a whole new way.

Click on a course below for description, suggested grade level and prerequisite requirements:

World History A explores the key events and global historical developments from hunter-gatherer societies to the Industrial Revolution. It begins with analysis of early prehistoric people from the Paleolithic era to the Agricultural Revolution. Students follow the rise and fall of early empires and then consider the fall of the Rome Empire and its aftermath. Continuing through the Middle Ages, students analyze the Crusades, feudalism, the plague, and Asian empires. They explore the impact and effects of the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation on human culture and analyze conflicts between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant and Catholic reformers. Examining the Age of Exploration, students study European explorers seeking out new trade routes to Asia, the discovery of the Americas, the rise of joint-stock companies, the slave trade, and emergence of the American colonies. Students analyze important revolutions in history, including the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, the American and French Revolutions, South American Revolutions, and the Industrial Revolution.

Throughout the course, students examine and analyze materials that describe historical periods and interact with primary and secondary sources, readings, biographies, and other materials that paint a picture of world history and encourage students to explore historical topics. Discussions with peers help students think creatively and critically about topics. The projects that span the course are designed to develop and sharpen the students’ writing skills.

Suggested grade level: 10
Prerequisites: None

World History B picks up where World History A concluded with examining revolutions in the world and the establishment of European colonies around the globe. This course begins by exploring European colonies and the impact of European imperialistic desires on those colonies, in some instances leading to rebellions and in others to war crimes. Students trace the thwarting of the Napoleonic Empire and how imperialism led to great wealth for many nations. They analyze how this promoted cultural differences and led to nationalism, eventually resulting in World War I. Students analyze the effects of the First World War, including the Great Depression and internal colonial rebellions, and how this set the stage for the Second World War. Students then examine the two spheres of influence that emerged after World War II, resulting in a 45-year Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, with global effects on political, cultural, and economic realms. The course explores the power vacuum that emerged following the Cold War and how its end affected various nations in the world. Analyzing modern-day concerns, students learn about the impact of increased communications, news, and social media, economic globalization, environmental and energy issues, and technological advances and threats associated with them.

Students examine and analyze materials that describe historical periods and interact with primary and secondary sources, readings, biographies, and other materials that paint a picture of world history and encourage students to explore historical topics. Discussions with peers help students think creatively and critically about topics. The projects that span the course are designed to develop and sharpen the students’ writing skills.

Suggested grade level: 10
Prerequisites: None

American History A covers the establishment and growth of the United States, with a focus on the ideas that shaped America’s history. The course covers European exploration and the impact Europeans had on the lives of those native to North America. Included are the foundation of British colonies in North America, the founding of the United States, the War of 1812, US western expansion, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Indian Wars, immigration, American imperialism, the Progressive movement, and World War I. Special focus is given to the ideas that shaped the history of those living in the United States. Students review the American Revolution as they probe the major influences on the development of democracy and the principles of the US Constitution. They study the influence of movements including the Great Awakening, women’s suffrage, civil rights, and industrialism on the nation’s development. The course also examines the role of citizenship in the nation’s growth and political development.

Students examine and analyze materials that describe historical periods and interact with primary and secondary sources, textbook readings, biographies, period literature, and other materials that paint a full picture of early American history and encourage students to explore historical topics. Discussions with peers help students think creatively and critically about each topic. All units include projects designed to develop and sharpen the students’ writing skills.

Suggested grade level: 11
Prerequisites: None

American History B begins by evaluating the changing lifestyle of Americans during the 1920s, and how their lives dramatically changed as the United States experienced the Great Depression. Students continue on to explore the key events, leaders, and policies that involved the United States in World War II. They move through history to analyze the Cold War struggle and America’s rise as a superpower, along with the Vietnam War, Korean War, and Nixon administration. They explore politics and culture after the Watergate scandal and explore the social and political implications of the civil rights and women’s rights movements. Students learn about the events, leaders, and policies of presidential administrations through Barack Obama’s first term.

Throughout the course, students examine and analyze materials that describe historical periods and interact with primary and secondary sources, textbook readings, biographies, period literature, and other materials that paint a full picture of early American history and encourage students to explore historical topics. Discussions with peers help students think creatively and critically about each topic. The projects that span the course are designed to develop and sharpen the students’ writing skills.

Suggested grade level: 11
Prerequisites: None

American Civics and Government provides students with basic knowledge of the history and philosophy of the United States government and its principles, which guide our democracy. Students examine the United States Constitution in order to answer questions and determine the facts of government. The course focuses on the functions and duties of the three branches of government. Special attention is given to political participation, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and government systems of the world.

The course uses the study of political institutions to explore the history, organization, and functions of the US government. It offers students learning opportunities that build on one another. A goal of the course is for students to develop the critical skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in a demanding and thoughtful academic setting. Students are encouraged to use their knowledge of the organizations and management of governing to develop their own views on current political issues. They are taught how to apply what they have learned in civic action.

Civics and Government looks closely at the political knowledge and values of the country and gives students a look at the problems faced by presidents, congressional representatives, and political activists. It also covers the roles of political parties, interest groups, and the media in shaping the government. The Supreme Court is presented as the “voice of reason” in the balance of powers.

Suggested grade level: 12
Prerequisites: American History A & B Recommended

The Civics: Citizenship test is an Arizona Department of Education graduation requirement that reviews and assesses knowledge about the government of the United States, citizens’ rights and responsibilities, and American history. It provides students with a brief history and philosophy of the United States government and its principles, which guide our democracy. Specifically, students learn about the US Constitution and its amendments, the branches of government, the various rights and responsibilities of citizens, the US economy, the nation’s geography and symbols, as well as other related areas. The content includes readings, videos, a Constitutional Amendments interactive, primary sources such as the nation’s founding documents, and biographies of individuals instrumental in the founding of the United States. There are points in each lesson and unit at which students can check their understanding of the content. The course also includes references to government services with which students may need to interact as citizens, such as the Selective Service System, the Internal Revenue Service, and a preview of the USCIS Citizenship Test taken by those wishing to become US citizens. The course reinforces the importance of knowledge in fully realizing active citizenship, and it culminates in a final exam that mirrors the required citizenship test.

Per the Arizona Department of Education, students must receive a 60% or better to pass the Civics test to fulfill the graduation requirement. Students may take the course/test as many times as needed in order to pass and meet the state requirement.

NOTE: Required for Graduation

Grade: PASS or FAIL (a letter grade will not be issued)
Suggested grade level: 8-12
Prerequisites: None

This course introduces the principles and the applications of economics in everyday life. Students develop an understanding of limited resources, and compare it with unlimited wants and needs. Students learn how individual and national economic decisions are made to allocate goods and services among competing users. Students apply economic principles to think and problem solve.

Suggested grade level: 12
Prerequisites: None