Social Science 6: Ancient Worlds
The 6th grade Social Science course covers ancient world history from 3000BCE through approximately 200CE. Students will first learn about geography and prehistoric humans and then about historical events and early civilizations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa. We will do this in a structured way with the ultimate goal of answering our big questions for the year: How do humans create complex and stable civilizations? What things can break the stability of civilizations?
Social Science 7: Medieval World
The 7th grade social science course covers medieval world history from 25 C.E. through 1800 C.E. Students will learn about historical events and civilizations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Central America, and South America during medieval times, as well as events and people associated with the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, Age of Exploration, and the Enlightenment.
Social Science 8: U.S. History
This class focuses on US history and geography. Students will learn about historical events and civilizations that changed and grew from the Age of Exploration to the Turn of the Century.
Through readings, discussions, projects, and papers, students will learn how to critique and analyze past historical events around the globe and relate those to events presently shaping our world. Students will start by learning the fundamentals of geography and world religions, before moving into specific historical moments, movements, and conflicts. Topics emphasized this semester include geography, world religions, imperialism and colonization, revolutions, wars, and political movements. This course meets OSA’s graduation requirement and the CSU/UC systems A-G admissions requirements. This course meets the California State Standards for 10th grade social sciences.
This United States History course is designed to educate the students in the history, the mechanics, and the make up of the United States. Through readings, discussion, and debate the students will learn how to critique and analyze the past and the present and to predict the future in United States events. The students will start by learning the basic skills , such as map reading, time lines, note taking etc. The students will then apply those skills into deeper level of thinking in the contents of United States History. This course is geared towards having the students obtain a better understanding of governments, religion, culture, and events that effect the history of this country.
Themes that will be discussed through out the year include the importance of chronologically, control, power, fear and propaganda. This course is a California State graduation requirement.
AP US History
This course meets in daily schedule consisting of 50 minute periods five classes a week. Lectures and class discussions support and clarify the text reading. There are eleven units of three or four text chapters each. The course is scheduled to finish the text around the end of third term, about mid week in April, giving two or three weeks of intense thematic review, multiple choice practice, and essay writing before the AP test. The distinguishing characteristic of this course is the emphasis on analytical and interpretive writing. Every unit concludes with multiple choice reading quizzes and two essay prompts from the period covered in the chapters. Students must choose and outline one of the essay prompts. They may use the notes that they have taken from the text reading to respond to the prompt.(First Semester only) In addition, several In-class DBQ essays are written each term—every prompt from a released AP exam. In third term students begin writing multiple free response prompts from which students must choose two in a format similar to the AP test essay section.
US Government and Economics
In the first semester of this course, students will explore economics, which broadly involves how humans use/allocate scarce resources but also includes insights into incentives and human decision making, issues involving international trade, the government’s role in managing the economy, and a fun mix of psychology and economics called “behavioral economics.” Throughout the semester, we will also track current events, both as they relate to economics but also as background for understanding the upcoming Government curriculum. In semester 2, students will analyze the American political system. Areas of emphasis include the people and groups that shape the political landscape, the Constitutional and historical underpinnings of our political system, the people and institutions that make up the US Government, and the policies, laws, and cases that are produced by that government.
Elective: Contemporary Issues
Students read a variety of texts, including novels, short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students learn reading strategies and develop their writing skills in the following genres: argument writing, literature response and analysis, narrative writing, reflective writing, expository writing, and poetry. Vocabulary study focuses academic language and the history and origins of the English language. Listening and speaking strategies, including collegial discussion techniques, are emphasized during class discussions, oral presentations, and Socratic seminars.
Elective: Art History
Art forms considered in this class will be visual, musical, performance-based, theatrical, fashion, architectural, literary, film, and dance, reflective of the arts emphasis areas offered here at OSA. The course will be organized thematically as it is impossible to teach about the history of all of the arts chronologically in one school year. What will connect the art we study is that in each unit the chosen artworks will relate to an exploration of a specific philosophical question that will guide our thinking. Studying art in this fashion will help you develop your ability to analyze and make connections that you might not have been able to reach otherwise. This class is also designed to enrich your art practice, so you are encouraged to bridge what you learn here and your creative process.
Elective: Ethnic Studies
This course is about the way race and ethnicity operates in the daily lives of Americans. As a class, we will analyze, discuss, and interpret a variety of media, predominantly texts, which depict the oppression and resistance of ethnic groups within the U.S. Students will end the year with a greater understanding of the systemic inequalities that thrive in our society and the actions being taken to counter these systems. Through extensive writing, analysis, and discussion, all students will improve their ability to process material at a college level.
Elective: Mock Trial
This elective teaches about the judicial system and how a trial actually works. The years starts off with an overview of our country's judicial branch and how it functions. Around October the class is assigned a “case” that students study in order to prepare to compete against other schools’ teams. Students act as lawyers, witnesses, and other courtroom players. They make a case on why their client should be found guilty or not. This course includes independent and group work and encourages students to have the best presentation of their case. After the trial competition is over, the class switches to debates. Students pick topics and have a wide range of debates against their classmates. This class is great for students who have an interest in the judicial system and want to do fun competitions. The only requirement is that students have a desire to be and participate in class, and participate in the competitions.
Elective: AP Psychology
The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Topics include: history and approaches, research methods, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, cognition, motivation and emotion, developmental psychology, personality, testing and individual differences, abnormal psychology, treatment of psychological disorders, and social psychology.