Social Studies Department

Marchel Krieger

Department Chair: Social Studies Instructor

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Caroline Blumenshine

Social Studies Instructor, Foreign Language Instructor - French

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Larry Eslick

Social Studies Instructor

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Paul Hanson

US History and ND Studies

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Benjamin Smith

Social Studies Instructor

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Social Studies Classes

Ninth grade civics is the first credit counting toward graduation. Four credits of social studies are required for graduation.


Required 9 - Elective 10-12* - 1/2 credit

*This course does not replace the required Social Studies courses for 10-12 students (World History, United States History, Government and Economics) but may be used as an elective.

Civics is the study of what it means to be an American citizen. This course provides a broad overview of democratic principles, federal government structures, state/local government issues, the political process, the American economy and what is means to be an active participant in society. Special attention will be given to preparation for the required ND citizenship exam.

North Dakota Studies

Required 9 - 1/2 credit

*This course does not replace the required Social Studies courses for 10-12 students (World History, United States History, Government and Economics) but may be used as an elective.
North Dakota Studies is the study of North Dakota social studies in several areas including history, culture, geography, politics, and the economics. It is the freshman companion course to Civics.

World History

Required 10 - 1 credit

World History is more than just a series of dramatic events. It is the story of the human community – how people lived on a daily basis, how they shared ideas, how they ruled and were ruled, and how they fought. World History includes subjects like economics, politics, and social change. It covers past and present cultures, religious inspiration, artistic movements and the study of human movement through Geography.

United States History

Required 11 - 1 credit

Gain insight into relationships among people, ideas, and events, learn and use significant facts of United States History. Students will develop an appreciation of history, including literature, music, architecture, and the fine arts while improving fundamental skills, such as reading, listening, speaking, writing, interpreting graphic material, using maps, outlining and use of source material. Critical thinking skills such as recognizing and defining problems and issues, evaluating information and sources, and distinguishing fact from opinion will be emphasized. Value concepts , such as dignity of human being, respect for law, freedom and equality, duties as well as rights, and a democracy as an ideology and way of life are examined. Time period covered is 1900 to present.

AP US Government & Politics

Elective12 - 1/2 credit

This course will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in America. Topics will include: constitutional foundations of American government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy, and civil rights and civil liberties. This course is an elective, but would replace regular Government as a required class. The student who enrolls in this course will have the opportunity to take an Advanced Placement exam at the end of the year with the possibility of earning college credit. Payment for the exam will be each student’s responsibility (cost approximately $87.00).


Required 12 - 1/2 credit

The science of economics deals with making choices about using resources and spending money. This course’s major focus is the study of how the goods and services a society wants are produced and how they are distributed among people. The course emphasizes significant aspects of our free enterprise system and better decision making on the part of consumers. This course has a dual credit option through NDSCS in Wahpeton.


Required 12 - 1/2 credit

This course focuses on the study of how power, politics, & government work in America. Special emphasis will be given to the need for citizen involvement, current events as they relate to the course outline & problems in our democracy.


Elective 12 - 1/2 credit

This course deals with the study of how the human mind works together with the body to produce thoughts and actions. Topics include: Historical psychology philosophy, careers, research, learning, human development, personality, mental disorders and treatment. This is an excellent class for those who may take a psychology class in college or be interested in a career in a mental health profession. The class is taught as a college prep course. Student assessment will include writing papers. Computer access is also important.


Elective 12 - 1/2 credit

The study of people’s behavior in groups is the focus of this class. Emphasis will be placed on: culture, social institutions, social problems and the process of change in society. Specific topics can include: deviance and social control, the family, education and gerontology.