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Humanities Class at AAHS: Civics and Economics

This version was saved 11 years, 5 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Pete Scholtes
on February 10, 2013 at 6:15:43 pm


 Course summary: This year (2012-2013), Humanities class is called Civics & Economics. In this four-quarter course, students learn how American society works, how to participate and succeed in it, and how to make it better.


Jump to current unit:


Previous units:

1st Quarter:

2nd Quarter:

3rd Quarter:


Next unit (still being created):

Unit 7: Bill of Rights


Required textbook: You will receive an assigned copy of the textbook we'll be using, Civics: Participating in Government, by James E. Davis and Phyllis Fernlund. Bring this book to class every day. If necessary, use a locker (see Krissy for combinations) and a backpack. The replacement cost for a missing book is $15.


Credits: Civics & Econ is required to graduate. (See Social Studies Scope and Sequence for social studies graduation requirements.) The course is divided into 11 units spread over four quarters. One credit is awarded per quarter, four credits total for the course: two credits for economics, two credits for civics. 1st and 3rd Quarter count as civics. 2nd and 4th count as economics. Both subjects overlap all quarters, however, and U.S. History comes into play as well. See Civics and Economics: Units and Learning Goals for a full list of learning goals aligned with state standards.


Course content and estimated dates (revised Jan. 13, 2013):

1st Quarter

  Unit 1:                  American Values and Political Parties (CH. 1, 2, 21, and 22) Sep. 4 - Oct. 4

  Unit 2:                  Economics Fundamentals (Ch. 13; Ch. 15, sec. 1) Oct. 4 - 25

2nd Quarter

  Unit 3:                  Microeconomics (Ch. 14) Oct. 25 - Nov. 20

  Unit 4:                  Market Failures and the Role of Government (Ch. 15, sec. 3; Ch. 16 sec. 1-2) Nov. 20 - Jan. 10

3rd Quarter

                                     Unit 5:                  Personal Finance (Ch. 17)  Jan. 14 - Feb. 7 

  Unit 6:                  Purpose of American Government (Ch. 4 and 5)   Feb. 7 - Mar. 5

  Unit 7:                  The Bill of Rights and Freedom Movements (Ch. 6 and 7, Ch. 23 and 26) Mar. 5 - Mar. 26

4th Quarter

  Unit 8:                  American Legal System (Ch. 18, 19, and 20) Mar. 26 - Apr. 18

  Unit 9:                  State and local Governments (Ch. 11 and 12) Apr. 18 - May 9

  Unit 5:                  Macroeconomics and Foreign Policy (Ch. 16, sec. 3; Ch. 24 and 25) May 9 - June 4



  • You must have a notebook and folder or binder for organizational purposes.
  • Each student will receive a copy of the class textbook, Civics: Participating in Government, and is responsible for its care and maintenance. 
  • Bring these materials to every class period. We'll use the text for its glossary and U.S. Constitution, not just readings. Students are responsible for all materials presented in class.


Classroom Rules:

1. Be on time.

2. Treat everyone with respect and make peace.

3. Be prepared to participate in class discussions.

4. Respect the speaker.

5. No phones, music, or food.

4. Clean up all materials and dispose of them properly.

5. Bring all necessary materials to class every day.


Attendance: To be successful in this course, you will need to be here and ready to learn on a full-time basis. This means being fully prepared to work hard and give your best effort every day. If you are absent, it is YOUR responsibility to schedule your make-up work.


Grading policy:

 Academic Grade = about 2/3 of Final Grade:

  • Academic grade is made up of summative assessments (tests, projects, presentations) where students show what they know, demonstrating the learning goals they've achieved.
  • If a student is absent for a test, tests are typically made up within two days. However, deadlines may be based on individual student circumstances.
  • If a summative assessment is missing or incomplete, the score will be recorded in the grade book as missing (m), which counts as zero. At the end of the quarter, the (m) will be changed to a zero.
  • In order to change an (m) to a grade, a student must make arrangements with the teacher. Missing grades may not be changed after the quarter ends unless special circumstances warrant an incomplete (I).
  • Retake policy: Students who score below 70% on a test may retake them if they show a corrective effort, such as completing a study guide or creating flash cards. Retake grades are capped at 70%. Grades may not be changed after the quarter.     

 Career and Life Skills Grade = about 1/3 of Final Grade:

  • Career and life skills grade is made up of formative work (quizzes, exit cards, practice exercises, homework) and ability to turn in formative work on time.
  • Daily assignments and other formative work will not receive credit if turned in after the corresponding summative assessment is done.


       Grading scale:

90%  -  A

80%  -  B

70%  -  C

60%  -  D 


Parent Communication:

Parents or guardians will receive mid-quarter grades and progress reports through the mail. Students' grades will be posted in class biweekly. Parents may be contacted at any time during the year concerning positive or negative progress. Please contact Peter Scholtes with comments, questions, or concerns by e-mail or phone: peter.scholtes@academic-arts.org, 651.457.7427.



1st Quarter Units and Learning Goals

(Before each goal, think: "By the end of this unit, I'll be able to...")

Unit 1: American Values, Ideologies, and Political Parties (CH. 1, 2, 21 and 22)

__Describe American values.

__Analyze the preamble of the U.S. Constitution.

__Identify responsibilities of everyone in a republic and explain duties of citizenship.

__Define liberal, moderate, conservative, left-right spectrum.

__Analyze one's own political beliefs.

__Explain the origins of the two-party system.

__Analyze the influence of political parties on elections.

__Explain the role of interest groups, corporations, think tanks, the media, and public opinion on public policy.

__Evaluate various forms of political persuasion for validity, emotional appeals, ideology, bias, and prejudice.

__Describe election procedures, including the caucus system.

__Demonstrate voting skills, including registering to vote, evaluating candidates, and casting a ballot.


Unit 2: Economics Fundamentals (Ch. 13, Ch. 15 sec. 1)

__Identify factors of production.

__Explain significance of scarcity in economics.

__Describe different allocation methods.

__Identify incentives and trade-offs for choices made by individuals, households, or governments.

__Use the PACED decision-making process (Problem, Alternative, Criteria, Evaluation, Decision) to do a benefit-cost analysis.

__Explain the Pig Principle.

__Define law of diminishing returns.

__Define opportunity cost.

__Draw production possibilities curve to explain choice, scarcity, and opportunity costs.

__Compare economics systems and their incentives: traditional, command (planned), market-based (capitalistic), and mixed.

__Draw the Circle of Economic Life: a circular flow diagram including households, firms, government, financial institutions, and international trade.

__Analyze how capital investment affects productivity and economic growth.

__Explain why people trade.

__Describe the functions and characteristics of money in an economy: as medium of exchange, measure of value, and store of value, with portability, durability, divisibility, and limited supply.


*Find all units and learning goals here: Civics and Economics: Units and Learning Goals 


Last year's wikis: U.S. History and Dialogues

Spring 2012 Semester Archive

Fall 2011 Semester Archive



Instructor: Peter Scholtes



Class website: http://petehumanities.pbworks.com/

Humanities and Social Studies Teacher

Academic Arts High School

60 E. Marie Avenue Suite 220
West Saint Paul, MN 55118



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