Social Studies

Department Head: Brendan Lyons

Addison Trail Social Studies Department

Mission

The foundational levels of becoming an actively engaged citizen, capable of meeting the challenges of a global community, are formulated at the high school level. The core mission of the Social Studies Department at Addison Trail is to help students develop the skills and values that will help them to become knowledgeable and productive citizens. In the pursuit of these goals, the Social Studies Department will also seek to provide a proficient level of educational skills that will allow for all of our students to be both college and career ready upon their graduation from Addison Trail High School.

The broadly defined the term "social studies" encompasses an array of more narrowly focused academic disciplines. These disciplines include: History, Government, Geography, Sociology, Economics and Psychology. The common element in each of these disciplines is the genuine effort to understand some aspect of social relationships and the functioning of a society as a whole. We live in a democratic society and, thus by definition, an ever-changing society. Students in our courses will study both historical and contemporary geographic, social, political, and economic issues that have helped to shape the world we live in today.

It is our belief that as educators we are not the sole vehicle and/or source of their Social Studies knowledge. The world around us helps to shape our beliefs on a daily basis. Social Studies courses allow for students to delve into the realms of the subjective and objective, as well as the concrete and abstract. This allows countless opportunities to critically think, discuss, research, hypothesize, debate and challenge many social and historical norms. It is not our purpose to advocate one ideology, style or approach to formulate a conclusion about social events. Our goal, rather, is to provide students with the skills that are necessary to make informed decisions based upon available evidence.

As a department, we hope to achieve our goals through:

  • The personalization of the classroom environment and the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (P.B.I.S.)
  • The use of differentiated instruction and C.R.I.S.S. strategies that will help to ensure all students can learn
  • The alignment of our curriculum with the Common Core Standards for College Readiness & the Illinois State Standards for the Social Sciences
  • Ensuring that all of our courses promote the values of equity, inclusion & belonging.
  • Promoting equity & access in our Advanced Placement courses offerings

We hope to instill in our students:

  • A level of intellectual curiosity that will promote lifelong learning.
  • Knowledge of the people, history, and traditions that have shaped our local communities, our nation, and the world.
  • The objective analysis and evaluation of various sources of information
  • The use of comprehensive research to seek a solution to question and/or provide support for a claim
  • The capacity to ascertain connections between the Social Sciences and other intellectual fields of study.

A responsible Social Studies student ...

  • Is an active learner and participates actively
  • Is a cooperative learner
  • Is dependable
  • Is a good listener
  • Is conscientious about his or her work
  • Displays respect for teachers, classmates

District 88 Social Studies
Writing and Skill development focus
Grades 9-12

“Now more than ever, students need the intellectual power to recognize societal problems; ask good questions and develop robust investigations into them; consider possible solutions and consequences; separate evidence-based claims from parochial opinions; and communicate and act upon what they learn. And most importantly, they must possess the capability and commitment to repeat that process as long as is necessary. Young people need strong tools for, and methods of, clear and disciplined thinking in order to traverse successfully the worlds of college, career, and civic life.”
- Source: C3 Framework for Social Studies Standards

With this in mind, we would like to continue to vertically align the writing process in District #88 in our core courses. The writing focus in each of our core courses is outlined below:


Freshmen: AP/Core Human Geography

  1. Introduce the purpose of claim writing.
  2. Students will be able to state a CLAIM – Instead of just describing an issue or event, students will take a position on it.
  3. Students will practice finding reliable evidence to support their claims. Students will learn to differentiate between primary & secondary sources of information.
  4. Students will explain why they’ve taken a position, and explain how the evidence supports their claim.

Common Core ELA-Literacy.Writing Standard #1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Illinois Learning Standards for Social Studies Grades 9-12
SS.IS.5.9-12: Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to revise or strengthen claims.


Sophomore: AP/Core United States History

  1. Introduce the steps of an argumentative essay.
  2. Master the interpretation and application of primary and secondary historical sources.
  3. Create an argumentative claim supported by background knowledge and primary/secondary sources.

Common Core ELA-Literacy.Writing Standard #2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Illinois Learning Standards for Social Studies Grades 9-12
SS.IS.4.9-12: Gather and evaluate information from multiple sources while considering the origin, credibility, point of view, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources.


Junior/Senior: AP/Core Economics and AP/Core United States Government

  1. Develop more complex claim writing including compare and contrast.
  2. Courses will focus on the skill of identifying bias and point-of-view writing.

Common Core ELA-Literacy.Writing Standard #8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

Illinois Learning Standards for Social Studies Grades 9-12
SS.IS.6.9-12: Construct and evaluate explanations and arguments using multiple sources and relevant, verified information.

 

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Chris Bazant
Teacher
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LeVonne Cescolini-Boyer
Teacher
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Teacher
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Antonio Gonzalez
Teacher
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Laura Grunschel
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Jose Hernandez
Teacher
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Tom Hubner
Teacher
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Brendan Lyons
Department Chair
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Laura Magnavite
Teacher
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Mark Olson
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Teacher
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Teacher
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