Queens Satellite Academy High School
Title: Communities
Teachers: Brian Finnegan and Jill Bass

Subjects Covered: American Studies/ Civics


Target Population:

This is the beginning social studies class for all students newly admitted to our school, both general education and resource room students. Both the course content and the skills that we focus on form the foundation for the rest of our social studies courses and our social studies portfolio.


What is a community?
Types of Communities
Individual roles and responsibly of community members
National government
Local and State Government
Changes in Communities
Participation in Communities
Case Study: The Civil Rights Movement
Profile of Local Communities

Skills ( Students will be able to)

  • Define and give examples of Communities

  • Define social responsibility, civic responsibility, duty and rights

  • Analyze and evaluate the U.S. Constitution

  • Discuss and evaluate democratic values

  • Debate bill of rights court cases

  • Analyze and offer an informed opinion on various Community Issues.

  • Read and react critically to ,newspaper articles, eyewitness statements, historical documents and editorial viewpoints.

  • Demonstrate good class discussion habits.

  • Self-assessment of work habits.

  • Work more effectively in small groups.

  • Conduct independent primary source research.

  • Create web page.

  • Interview community member and write up interview.



There will be a varied approach to evaluation. There will be frequent quizzes to judge student understanding of the content of the class. There will be a number of essays in which students will be expect to show a deeper understanding of the concepts of the class. Many individual class reading assignments will be collected and graded to determine class understanding and critical thinking on reading material.


Self reflection is a vital component of the learning process and will be stressed in this class. Students will be filling out rubrics designed to have them examine their own progress in the class. There will be periodic individual conferences with students to discuss these rubrics. The final project in the class will be a student created WEB page on an individual community.


Instruction Materials

Various news article from newspapers on the WEB ( New York Times, Daily News, etc.)
Various teacher created handouts
Responsibility by Cheney and Watts

Instruction Strategies

All major concepts will be related to everyday examples to further student understanding. Complicated issues will be discussed in relation to students' personal lives to engage students in the learning process. To engage students in their own learning, students will be involved in small group work that requires presenting and teaching class content to each other.

Classroom activities will be aimed at meeting the needs of all learning styles. Scenes from contemporary films will be used to heighten interest and student understanding of basic concepts. Current events will also be emphasized to increase student interest. The use of computer technology will be a regular component of this class.