Social Studies


Like many other districts across the United States, the social studies curriculum in the Sheboygan Area School District uses an “expanding world” model in its elementary and middle school curriculum. Middle school students study our Western Hemisphere neighbors and nations of the Eastern Hemisphere. As they mature socially and intellectually in the eighth grade and high school years, students return to earlier areas of study and explore the same topics with more depth of understanding. High school students also explore a particular field of social studies in greater depth by taking at least one elective.  The Department also currently offers a wide choice of Advanced Placement and college courses for those seeking accelerated programming. The course descriptions found on here will give you a more specific idea of what our students study as they progress through the grades. 

Grade 6 - Latin America and Canada
The Social Studies program at grade six focuses on the remaining nations of the Western Hemisphere. Canada, Mexico, Central America, and continental South American countries are emphasized.  Students draw on knowledge and skills from history, geography, economics, political science, anthropology, and sociology as a way to help them learn about how people live in this region. The emphasis on Western Hemisphere also reinforces and extends student’s skills in using maps and globes.

Grade 7 - Eastern Hemisphere
The Social Studies program at grade seven continues the study of global geography and world cultures that began in grade six. The international scope allows for an emphasis on global interdependence. The student explores the Eastern Hemisphere’s culture and geography to further enhance his/her understanding of the world. The focus is on the variety of ways the people of the world address the different forces that shape their lives. The history of nations is studied in order to illustrate changes through time. The aspirations of developing nations are also highlighted. The need and search for peaceful relations among nations are stressed. Together grades six and seven serve to create a “global studies foundation” that completes the expanding world model begun in kindergarten.

Grade 8 - U.S. History to 1877
The Social Studies program at grade eight marks a transition from the geographic approach of grades six and seven back to an historical one. The course traces the history of American political, social, economic, and cultural development from early migration of its native citizens through the Reconstruction Era. United States History offers students the opportunity to share in the experiences of proceeding generations, understand what shaped the present, and to envision future possibilities in order to prepare them for being active citizens.

Grade 9 - Non-Western World
Grade nine involves the study of the African-Asian World. Emphasis is placed on the geography, history, and cultural life of the people of Africa and Asia. The following regions will be studied: Middle East, Africa, India, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Comparisons are made to illustrate how life is similar and yet different from our own.  Contemporary events relating to these areas are also examined to help understand how we are involved and affected by events in the “African-Asian World.”

Grade 10 - Western Civilization
This course examines the important philosophic, political, and economic concepts that have evolved to form the distinctive basis of Western culture: monotheism, rationalism, humanism, the nation-state, the rule of law, democracy and its challenging ideologies, the market economy, empiricism, and the scientific method.

Grade 11 - U.S. History
This course begins with an examination of the U.S. Constitution and the manner in which power is held accountable in a republic. It then traces the political, social and economic developments of the United States from 1870 to 1990 through exploration of the topics of industrialization, imperialism, progressivism, economic depression, world war, the Cold War, the rise to a world superpower and the continuous effort to better realize the American Dream.  Through this students acquire a better understanding of our constitutional framework and their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

The High School Elective Program
Students in the high schools have the following courses available as electives:
  • AP United States History I & II
  • American Economy I & II
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • Social Issues I & II
  • AP Psychology I & II
  • Psychology I & II
  • World Geography Today
  • AP Geography
  • Philosophy I & II
  • Comparative Eastern Religions
  • Comparative Western Religions
  • Sociology I & II
  • AP American Political System