Law and Public Service Curriculum

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    5 Credits, Grade 9
    This course is designed to allow students ample presentation and performance opportunities so that they may gain experience in front of an audience. Throughout the course of the year, students will participate in class, small group, and partner exercises. Before each major presentation (i.e. individual oral interpretation of poem/song lyrics, informative speech, etc.) students will participate in several small group presentations to develop and master the necessary skills. The intention behind this method is to develop and practice the skills of the unit in a collaborative and creative environment, so that the students’ knowledge, skills, and especially confidence levels will be raised by the time they deliver their individual presentations. Students will present a variety of speeches, including but not limited to oral interpretation and persuasive speeches on controversial topics. In addition, students will develop debate skills throughout the year, which will culminate in a formal debate that includes constructive speeches and rebuttals. Videos and audio clips will be utilized to supplement lessons so that students may see and hear exemplary speakers and performers. In addition, students will complete written assignments that include self-evaluations, peer critiques, and observations. The course is activity-based rather than lecture-based and is designed to give students the freedom that comes with being in a workshop setting. 

    5 Credits, Grade 9
    Honors World Literature and Writer’s Workshop prepares students for the diversity of global literature by responding to it in a clear, cogent manner. As a survey course in the Contemporary Global Issues and the Law and Public Service Learning Centers, the Honors World Literature and Writer’s Workshop prepares students for the rigors of writing both expository and non-expository pieces in line with the Core Content Curriculum Standards. After reading all core pieces, both in class and assigned readings, all material will be discussed thoroughly in class and monitored by both the teacher and the student. Required readings include: Unit One: The Odyssey, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Big Fish- Daniel Wallace; Unit Two: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green ;Unit Three: Romeo and Juliet; Unit Four: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, “How Much Land Does A Man Need?”- Leo Tolstoy; Unit Five: All Quiet on the Western Front- Erich Maria Remarque or Hiroshima- John Hersey. All core pieces are noted with an asterisk in the “Instructional Resources and Materials” section of each unit. 

    5 Credits, Grade 9
    Honors Comparative Civilizations introduces students to the political, social, and economic institutions that have shaped civilizations over the course of history. This course identifies the fundamental practices that have transcended time and place, practices that have helped shape the most successful civilizations in history and have been passed along to others to adopt and modify according to their own needs. This course will begin with an examination of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and India, and identify how geography played an integral role in shaping specific practices. Students will examine how cultural diffusion resulted from trade networks, and identify how an exchange of ideas led to the growth of empires. Students will identify the practices shared by the most prosperous and long-lasting civilizations in Europe and Asia, seeking to know how and why these characteristics led to success. This course will also examine how Europeans created a western world hegemony in the 15th and 16th centuries as a result of exploration and colonization. By examining how Europeans attempted to impose their political, social, and economic views on others, students will have the ability to assess ways this was not only helpful but hurtful too. Revolutions throughout the world erupted during the 19th and 20th centuries, helping to weed out flawed practices that hindered or limited progress. This course, as part of the Law and Public Service Learning Program, will focus specifically on how different political ideologies emerged during the 20th century and evaluate in what ways we are dealing with the implications of those ideologies in the 21st century.

    5 Credits, Grades 11-12
    AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.

    5 Credits, Grade 10
    The Honors American Literature and Research Seminar is a five-credit course that aligns to the Common Core Standards and satisfies one year of the New Jersey requirement for four years of English. The course focuses on research practice, the study of rhetoric, and consciousness of perspective designed to develop independent thinkers. The thematic units include such topics as oppression, religious indoctrination, rhetorical conviction, and American idealism. By design, students will read and analyze through a lens of social criticism understanding the deeper impact that all forms of literature have upon our collective cultural identity. Students are expected to research and read independently as well as collaborate and contribute to the discussion. Practices of close reading and Socratic seminars provide an opportunity for students to construct logical arguments and evaluate validity of sources. Synthesis of research and organization are skills essential to this course. A variety of writing formats including journals, formal academic papers, reflections, and Document Based Questions require students to practice and recognize the importance of form and purpose in composition. As citizens of a changing world where communication is both complicated and enhanced by technology, students will be expected to hone public speaking skills and techniques. Ultimately, students will incorporate communication and reading skills learned throughout the course to their independent studies in service learning. Conversely, they will use that real-world knowledge to inform their perspective of the American social experience as they relate to poetry and prose. 

    5 Credits, Grade 10
    Honors US I is designed as the first part of a two-course series in advanced American history study. Students take Honors US I during their sophomore year, and upon successful completion, will go on to take Advanced Placement US II during their junior year. After completing both courses, the student will be prepared to complete the rigorous College Board Advanced Placement Exam in United States history. Honors USI examines the earlier part of US history from colonization through the Reconstruction period. The role of government, growth, and expansion, treatment of minorities and equality, are among the recurring themes of the course. Learning goals will be achieved through a variety of instructional methods and assessments including, but not limited to, chapter outlining, tests and quizzes, expository and persuasive essays, DBQs, document analysis, speeches, class discussion, debate, individual and collaborative projects, and a guest speaker series. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared for the rigors of the Advanced Placement US II course. 

    5 Credits, Grade 11
    Honors Legal and Fiscal Theory is a course that offers students opportunities to explore the foundation, evolution, and interconnectedness of our legal and fiscal systems. The theoretical and practical knowledge from this course will be used to empower students to help them understand, analyze, and synthesize material that directly impacts them and their place within the American society. Students will employ strategies such as internet-based research; collaborative inquiry, case studies, simulations, debates, and guest speakers. Using authentic assessment students will understand how legal and fiscal decisions impact themselves and the society that surrounds them. This course fulfills New Jersey’s graduation requirement for 2.5 credits in financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy.

    5 Credits, Grade 11
    In the Advanced Placement United States History course, students will learn to assess historical materials, including their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance, as well as to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. The advanced placement U.S. History course teaches students to develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of informed judgment and to present their ideas clearly and persuasively. Additionally, the Advanced Placement U.S. History course is geared towards the 21st-century learner, as students will interact with various forms of technology throughout the course, including online research databases, Moodle courseware, and web 2.0 applications.

    5 Credits, Grade 12
    In the Honors Senior LPS Seminar students will be exposed to the values of citizenship, justice and service as they plan and execute service-learning projects that address real needs in the community. Skills and knowledge are enhanced by active experiences in volunteerism and public service on the school, local, state and national levels. Career opportunities are explored during externships in government offices, volunteer agencies, and law-related institutions.

    5 Credits, Grade 12
    Honors Business and Contract Law is a course that provides an understanding of law and its effect and relationship to people and business. The course will explore the government’s role in regulating and monitoring businesses engaged in: banking, retail sales, investment, manufacturing, internet sales, and service industries. Inevitably the use of a contract applies to most of these business activities. Students will gain an understanding of why and how contracts are used in business. Student enhancement of the course content will include instructional strategies such as: case study analysis, role-playing skits, student presentations, guest speakers, internet application, film viewing, and debates.