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AHS Course Descriptions

English Department

English I:
This standards-based graded class is a study of literary genres. Students will read novels, short stories, drama, poetry and nonfiction. The departmental sequential writing program covers narrative, expository, descriptive and persuasive essays. In addition, fundamental research skills will be developed.
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors English I:
In an honors class students will be expected to meet the standards with less teacher scaffolding and more collaborative and independent practice. Although students at all levels of learning will have access to rigorous texts and grade level appropriate experiences, honors level courses may include advanced expectations in the following areas: text complexity, complexity of tasks and responses, and pacing. Students in English I honors will engage in practices that will prepare them for future honors and AP coursework as well as participate in a summer reading project. Honors courses are weighted.
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: 7th Grade NWEA Scores/Grades
 
English II:
This standards-based graded class is a survey of American Literature from the colonial period to the modern age. The writing skills developed in English I will be expanded continuing along the departmental sequential writing program.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors English II:
In an honors class students will be expected to meet the standards with less teacher scaffolding and more collaborative and independent practice. Although students at all levels of learning will have access to rigorous texts and grade level appropriate experiences, honors level courses may include advanced expectations in the following areas: text complexity, complexity of tasks and responses, and pacing. Students in English II honors will engage in practices that will prepare them for future honors coursework. Honors courses are weighted.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: Honors English I, Teacher Recommendation
 
English III:
This course is a survey of British Literature from Anglo‐Saxon times to the present. Vocabulary and writing skills developed in the first two years will be expanded continuing along the departmental sequential writing program. Preparation for the English section of the A.C.T. examination will be included.
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors English III:
In an honors class students will be expected to meet the standards with less teacher scaffolding and more collaborative and independent practice. Although students at all levels of learning will have access to rigorous texts and grade level appropriate experiences, honors level courses may include advanced expectations in the following areas: text complexity, complexity of tasks and responses, and pacing. Honors courses are weighted.
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: Honors English II, Teacher Recommendation
 
English IV:
This course is designed to present to students some of the literary achievements of modern world literature e. The writing skills developed in English I, II and III will be expanded in accordance with the departmental sequential writing program. This course will include experiences with the literatures and arts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. Honors students will have additional reading and writing assignments.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors English IV:
In an honors class students will be expected to meet the standards with less teacher scaffolding and more collaborative and independent practice. Although students
at all levels of learning will have access to rigorous texts and grade level appropriate experiences, honors level courses may include advanced expectations in the following areas: text complexity, complexity of tasks and responses, and pacing. Honors courses are weighted.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: Honors English III, Teacher Recommendation
 
Dual Cred Eng 101 (.5) ENGLISH 101
Development of critical and analytical skills in writing and reading of expository prose. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisite: SAT English > = 540.
 
Contemporary Literature: A Study into Harry Potter
This college level course offers students a chance to explore a demanding reading schedule, as well as Common Core Standards, while working with one of the most popular texts of our time. Over the course of this class, we will read and study the entire Harry Potter series and investigate why it has become so popular in our society. We will draw connections between different themes, characters, and ideas of the text to concepts covered in different classes. If you have never read Harry Potter before, then this class is for you! If you have read Harry Potter one million times, then this class if for you! If you are interested in a college level class that will cause you to further develop critical thinking skills, then this is class is for you! Accio Students!
 
 
Senior Seminar:
Senior Seminar is a senior elective course that focuses on skills that every senior needs in order to transfer from the “high school life” into the work or college world after graduation. Students learn about civic responsibility, building social and human capital, financial planning, career choices, and job skills. The class is student centered and project based. Students will leave high school with a portfolio of work that will help them through job interviews and decision making processes. The class also has ample service learning opportunities and the second semester can be used as a consumer education credit towards graduation.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: Senior Status
 
 
Theatre Arts:
Speech and Drama is a one-credit course offered by the English department as an elective. First semester is composed of four speeches, each one building on the last. You will enhance your skills of speaking, writing, and listening. The first speech is an interview speech, the second a narrative, the third asks you to demonstrate something, and the fourth is a persuasive speech. We will also practice job interview skills. Second semester is drama and you will warm-up with exercises and improvisations. You will move to monologues and then two-person scenes both scripted and unscripted. You will be judged on both your rehearsals and performance as well as added features such as costumes and props.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: None
 
 
 

Social Sciences Department

World Studies:
This one-credit course consists of a survey of the major themes and eras of world history from its early beginning to the present, with an emphasis on history, geography, economics, social systems, and political science. World Studies will be a foundational course to build skills for further studies of other social science courses and will enable students to understand the role of the United States in global affairs. This course provides a vehicle for exploring various belief systems, historical events, geographic regions, societies, and civilizations.
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: None
Honors World Studies:
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: 7th grade NWEA Scores/Grades
 
United States History:
This is a required course for graduation for all sophomores at Amundsen High School. The required Public Law 195 exam (Constitution Test) for graduation is mandated during the first semester of this class. It is a survey from the beginnings of the United States until the twentieth century. Skills in the social sciences as well as a rigorous content study are offered to students to achieve at the highest level.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors US History
In an honors course, students will make thematic connections in a reading and writing intensive setting. Students will be expected to meet the standards with less scaffolding and more independent and collaborative practice. Increased complexity of texts, tasks, and responses will prepare honors students for advanced placement and college level coursework. Honors courses are weighted.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation
 
Civics:
Civics examines the structure and function of American systems of government and the role of citizens in the political process. This course explores the crucial role that citizens have in accessing power and mediating the forms of power that government and  corporations have in American society. Civics classroom work encourages and leads
students to authentic democratic participation and builds a strong sense of civic identity. Instruction is student centered, utilizes multiple resources and pedagogical strategies, provides access to multiple forms of complex text, and is driven by authentic group projects.
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors Civics
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation
 
Psychology:
The psychologist David Myers wrote that to think like a psychologist one must learn to “restrain intuition with critical thinking, judgementalism with compassion, and illusion with understanding.” Whether students choose to pursue a career related to psychology or one in some entirely different field, this habit of mind will be of great value. This is a senior year course 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. Select topics include Learning, Motivation and Emotion, Developmental Psychology, Personality, Abnormal Behavior, and Social Psychology. Please note that this is a class designed for Senior year students. Students should have taken biology as a prerequisite. Grade: 12 Pre-requisite: None
 
Sociology:
Sociology is the study of society and social behavior. While psychology focuses on individual behavior, sociology focuses on social interaction, or the way in which group membership affects and determines personal behavior. All individuals belong to many groups, beginning with age, gender, ethnic, racial, religious, economic, and national affiliations. The study of sociology is an important preparation for careers in criminology, social work, public administration and marketing. Grade: 11, 12 Pre-requisite: None Economics: This course will provide students with an understanding of the way in which society organizes its limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants. Students will be introduced to the major characteristics of the mixed market economic system in the U.S. and how basic economic questions are answered. Grade: 12 Pre-requisite: None Latin American History: This course will examine the history of Latin America beginning with the rise of its ancient civilizations through the contemporary democratic period. The course is designed to provide an analysis of the institutions, events, and issues that have shaped the nations of the region. Current events will also be discussed on a frequent basis. Grade: 12 Pre-requisite: None AP United States History: AP U.S. History is a college-level course designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States history. This course is a two-semester survey of U.S. History from the age of exploration to our present time. Grade: 12 Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation AP Human Geography: AP Human Geography is a year-long course designed to meet or exceed the experience of an introductory one-semester college Human Geography course. The purpose of the course is to utilize geographic processes to systematically study and understand spatial patterns that are evident in the world in which we live.
 

Science Department:

 
Biology (Regular):
This is an introductory biology course for juniors who have already taken ecology and physical science. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the living world. In addition to standard biology content and skills, practicing self-directed learning is emphasized throughout the year. In addition to biology concepts, students learn scientific method in the context of life science. This course deals with abstract concepts and very tiny things. Activities include reading and writing, experimenting, inquiring, observing, modeling, creative projects, utilizing technology, problem-solving, analyzing data, research projects and communication.
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors Biology:
Students must first be referred by their sophomore science teacher. This is an introductory biology course for juniors who have already taken ecology and physical science. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the living world. In addition to standard biology content and skills, practicing self-directed learning is emphasized throughout the year. In addition to biology concepts, students learn scientific method in the context of life science. This course deals with abstract concepts and very tiny things. Activities include reading and writing, experimenting, inquiring, observing, modeling, creative projects, utilizing technology, problem-solving, analyzing data, research projects and communication. Students are required to complete an independent science research project, and to participate in the school-wide science fair.
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: Recommendation from Sophomore Science Teacher.
 
Chemistry:
This course is offered to sophomore students. Chemistry is a science that studies matter and the changes it undergoes. You will investigate and develop your understanding of what Chemistry means for you – specifically, you will study the forms of matter, investigate the methods by which science and society use chemistry, and explore the ways in which matter interacts. You will use labs and scientific investigations to aid your understanding. Through inquiries, experiments, and discussions, your understanding of Chemistry will grow and you will begin to understand the nature of matter, and the fascinating ways in which it behaves. You will cover the following topics: Varieties of Matter, Phases of Matter, Atomic Structure, Periodic Table of Elements, Chemical Formulas, Compounds, Types of Reactions, and Balancing Equations.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors Chemistry:
In this course, student will study matter and the changes it undergoes with a strong mathematical focus. You will investigate and develop your understanding of what Chemistry means for you – specifically, you will study the forms of matter, investigate the methods by which science and society use chemistry, and explore the ways in which matter interacts. You will use labs and scientific investigations to aid your understanding. Through inquiries, experiments, and discussions, your understanding of Chemistry will grow and you will begin to understand the nature of matter, and the fascinating ways in which it behaves. You will cover the following topics: Varieties of Matter, Phases of Matter, Atomic Structure, Periodic Table of Elements, Chemical Formulas, Compounds, Types of Reactions, Balancing Equations, Nuclear Chemistry, Gas Laws, Stoichiometry, and Acids and Bases. This class will prepare students well for AP Chemistry.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: Recommendation of Freshman Science Teacher, A or B in Freshman Science class, Strong mathematical aptitude
 
MYP Chemistry:
MYP Chemistry is a comprehensive, laboratory and literacy based exploration of introductory topics in chemistry. This course prepares students for first-year college chemistry for science majors and for the Advanced Placement chemistry in the high school senior year. The course explores chemistry from both qualitative and quantitative points of view. Reading, summarization and Lab procedures and skills are strongly emphasized. Along with the numerous math/reading/writing workshops, the course includes two student directed, lab-based research pursuits, over a dozen teacher directed lab learning activities and two essays about how science contributes to society.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: Current enrollment in the IB Middle Years Programme
 
Physics:
This course is offered to sophomore students who have completed Environmental Science. Physics deals with the aspects of energy and matter. In this physics course you will be introduced to concepts as information needed to meet a real-life challenge. Each chapter in this curriculum will engage you with science content and practices and will develop your understanding of the role of science in your life. The concepts covered are linear motion, forces and motion, momentum and conservation of momentum, work, energy & power, conservation of energy, circular motion, universal gravitation, vibration, waves, and optics. This is followed by an activity, “For You to Do.” After the activity, concepts will be discussed in “For You to Read” and “Physics Talk.” Completing the activity before reading about the concepts will give you a new Each concept will start with the question, "What do you think?" to access your prior knowledge. perspective into the topic of the activity. Upon completion of all the activities, you will exhibit your mastery of the concepts by applying them to real life successfully. Each chapter also has problems, exercises, and questions to help you to learn and apply the physics concepts.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: None
 
 
MYP Physics:
This course is offered to Freshman students who are enrolled in the IB MYP Program. MYP Physics is an interactive, laboratory and literacy based exploration of introductory topics in physics. This course prepares students for first-year college physics for science majors and for the Advanced Placement Physics in the high school senior year. This course will engage students with science content and practices and will develop understanding of the role of science in life. The course explores physics from both qualitative and quantitative points of view. Students will actively explore concepts in physics, they will explain and elaborate connections, and then evaluate their understanding.
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: Current enrollment in the IB Middle Years Program
 
Astronomy:
This class is an overview of all of astronomy. Our goal is to study not just what we know about the Universe but also how we know it. How do astronomers use observations and hypotheses to make inferences about things which are vastly remote and outside of our own experience? The goal is to learn what scientists have found about the processes that control the formation of planets, the birth and death of stars, the formation of galaxies, and the origin and ultimate fate of the Universe. The hope is that it will provide a new perspective on the Earth and our civilization that will change the way we think about our place in the Universe. In this class, students will explore NASA data to construct first-hand knowledge about astronomical universe. During the first and the second quarter of the class, students will be introduced to the dynamics of astronomy, and the structure of the universe .Then, Students will uses NASA data to perform astronomical research which will include but not limited to Lunar Research, Kepler data, and Hubble telescope data to learn more about the star evolution and red shift. The class will conclude by the end of fourth quarter where students will present their individual astronomy research project and share their findings with the school community ( students, teachers, family, and invited guests and grade schools)
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: Recommendation from Junior Science teacher.
 
Dual Credit Bio 114 (.5)
BIOLOGY 114
General Education Biology A laboratory course emphasizing scientific inquiry through
selected concepts of biology, such as organization, function heredity, evolution, and ecology. Biological issues with personal and social implications will be introduced to
enable students to make informed decisions. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.
Prerequisite: SAT English >= 540
 
 
IB Biology I and II:
This is a two-year, college level Biology course offered to juniors and seniors who are currently enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. The course focuses on a wide body of scientific knowledge, and also the nature of science, and science as a process. Biological principles and understandings are explored with an emphasis on critical thinking, data analysis, and experimental design. Topics include statistics, cell biology, biochemistry, ecology, evolution, plant science and human physiology. Students who are successful on the end-of-course IB exams are eligible for college credit.
Grade: 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Current enrollment in the IB Diploma Programme.
 
 
Algebra I:
The course will be taught using the Common Core Mathematics Standards. The big ideas discussed will include Foundations for Algebra, Introduction to Functions and Their Rules, Linear Equations and Inequalities, Modeling with Linear Functions, Solving Systems of Equations and Inequalities, and Non-linear Functions and Equations. Students will learn to use variables to describe patterns and numerical relationships. Students will learn to apply real number properties, perform operations on polynomials, solve linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, graph linear and quadratic functions and use appropriate. The second semester involves the study of systems of linear equations and rational, exponential and radical expressions and functions. Emphasis will be placed on creating mathematical models to solve real-world problems. Successful completion of the course is an indispensable step in preparation for geometry, advanced algebra with trigonometry, and other advanced mathematic courses.
Grades : 9
Pre-requisite: None
 
Honors Algebra I:
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: 7th grade NWEA Scores/Grades
 
MYP Algebra 1
This course addresses all Algebra I Common Core Standards and provides the foundation for advanced mathematics courses in high school. The course focuses on algebraic thinking and symbolic reasoning that can be used to generalize mathematical situations; with an emphasis placed on variables and number operations. Stress on solving and manipulating expressions and equations is essential. The relationship between equations and functions, and function concepts; characteristics of different functions must be understood as well. This course will incorporate opportunities to practice skills in several different ways. Visual representations such as graphs, tables, and charts are important to fluency in Algebra. Topics will include expressions, equations, real numbers, exponents, polynomials, radicals, quadratic equations, two variable equations, linear functions, rational expressions, absolute value, systems of equations, inequalities, probability and an emphasis on problem solving and graphing. Students will also explore Algebra I as an international language and investigate how Algebra I is used in real-world situations both in the United States and around the world.
Grade: 9
Pre-requisite: current MYP Status
 
Geometry:
Initially, much of the time is devoted to the Coordinate Geometry where students review graphing linear equations given various conditions, as well as discover the relationship between parallel and perpendicular lines. Students learn how points, lines, segments, rays and angles are used to form polygons, circles and solids. The course focuses on various topics in Euclidian Geometry, where students discover the properties of plane figures through the concept of proof and construction. An individual will be additionally introduced to the notion of solids with the focus on solid construction as well as discovery of surface area and volume. Concepts of transformation, congruence, similarity, area, volume and right triangle trigonometry are studied. Students are expected to have a strong prerequisite knowledge of Algebra I.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: none
 
Honors Geometry:
Students learn to analyze common geometric shapes and prove conjectures about properties of figures. Students learn how points, lines, segments, rays and angles are used to form polygons, circles and solids. Concepts of transformation, congruence, similarity, area, volume and right triangle trigonometry are studied. Deductive and indirect proofs are used to justify statements about geometric parts.
 
Grade: 10
MYP Geometry
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a philosophy of teaching and an approach to instruction. Students in the MYP explore significant content,
develop skills, and deepen conceptual understanding through their engagement with global contexts. Teachers will plan using the MYP objectives and assess using the
MYP criteria. In Geometry, students will reason inductively to construct geometric patterns, discover geometric relationships and formulate conjectures. Students will reason deductively to construct logical arguments and proofs using appropriate terminology. All students should regularly be engaged in the Standards for Mathematical Practice as defined by the Common Core. The mathematical content of Geometry includes
Similarity and Congruence, Transformational Geometry, Right Triangles, Geometric Constructions and Proofs, Measurement and Dimension, Modeling, Coordinate
Geometry, and Circles.
 
Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry
This class is a yearlong college preparatory course in Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry. This course will include many topics of study including: Quadratics, Complex Numbers, Rational Functions, Trigonometric Ratios, and many more advanced topics in mathematics
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: none
 
Honors Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation
 
IB Math Studies SL
This course introduces students to a variety of numerical and algebraic concepts and applications, explores functions and applies them to mathematical situations, continues the study of trigonometric and circular functions, logic, calculator applications, extends the study of probability and statistics and introduces the basic concepts and techniques of calculus. The course consists of the study of eight topics: Introduction to the Graphic Display Calculator, Number and Algebra, Sets, Logic and Probability Topic, Functions, Geometry and Trigonometry, Statistics, Introductory Differential Calculus, Financial Mathematics. This course prepares students for the IB Math Studies SL exam.
Grade: 11, 12
Pre-requisite: IB DP status
 
Honors Pre-Calculus
Pre-Calculus expands upon previously mastered algebra skills learned in algebra I and advanced algebra with trigonometry. Elementary functions, solving and graphing higher order equations and large systems of linear equations, sequences and series, matrices and determinants, theory of equations, partial fractions, probability and statistics and mathematical induction are studied. The analytic geometry part of the course involves the use of algebraic methods to analyze properties of the straight line, conic sections, and vectors. Parametric and polar functions are also studied.
Grade: 11, 12
Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation
 
Dual Credit Pre-Calculus (Math 143)
Similar to Pre-Calculus but at a faster pace and with more topics, pre-calculus emphasizes the notion of a function as a unifying concept for the topics of college algebra and an extension of the topics of trigonometry. The following families of functions and their characteristics are examined within this course: polynomial functions; rational functions; exponential and logarithmic functions; and trigonometric functions. Homework would be more frequent and challenging. Students who pass the course with a C or better and pass an end of the year exam will receive college credit for Pre-Calculus. Students need a minimum ACT math score to enroll or take the Compass exam and attain a minimum score.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: SAT Math >= 530
 
Financial Algebra:
This course combines algebraic and graphical approaches with practical business and personal finance applications. The class is designed to motivate students to explore algebraic thinking patterns and functions in a financial context as well as encourages students to be actively involved in applying mathematical ideas to their everyday lives. Topics such as investments, the stock market, business start-ups, banking, credit cards, income-tax, home buying and budgeting are part of the framework in which students will explore and master.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation
 
Dual credit College Math (Math 118)
This course focuses on mathematical reasoning and solving real life problems, rather than on routine skills and appreciation. The following topics are studied in depth: counting techniques and probability, logic/set theory, statistics, and personal financial management. The use of calculators is strongly encouraged. Students must meet minimum math ACT score requirement (21 in Math) or pass the Compass exam to be enrolled in course. Students who pass the course with a C or better and pass an end of the year exam will receive college credit for Math 118.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: SAT Math >= 530
 
AP Calculus:
This course is for students who have mastered the material in their previous classes and are willing to work hard. The course prepares students to take the AP calculus exam at the end of the year. Topics covered include derivatives, integration, and practical application of these concepts. You will need per Students are taught to work with functions represented in a variety of ways: graphical, numerical, analytical or verbal.
The course covers the meaning of the derivative in terms of a rate of change and a local linear approximation. These concepts will be used to solve a variety of problems. Furthermore, the meaning of the definite integral both as a limit of Riemann sums and as the net accumulation of a rate of change is taught, with applications. The course teaches the relationship between the derivative and the definite integral as expressed in both parts of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Students will model written descriptions of physical situations with functions, differential equations, or integrals. Technology is used to assist in verifying and interpreting results, determining the reasonableness of solutions, and then making conjectures. Students interested in taking AP Calculus AB need the recommendation of their current math teacher.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: SAT Math >= 530
 
Exploring Computer Science
This course is designed to introduce students to the breadth of the field of computer science through an exploration of engaging and accessible topics. Rather than focusing the entire course on learning particular software tools or programming languages, the course is designed to focus on the conceptual ideas of computing and help students understand why certain tools or languages might be utilized to solve particular problems. The goal of Exploring Computer Science is to develop in students the computational practices of algorithm development, problem solving and programming within the context of problems that are relevant to the lives of today’s students. Students will also be introduced to topics such as interface design, limits of computers, and societal and ethical issues.
Grade: 9/12
Pre-requisite: none
 

World Language Department

Spanish I
Spanish 1 is the first course in the series of regular Spanish classes available at the high school. It is a fast-paced introduction to the Spanish language. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the elements necessary to understand, speak, read, and write basic Spanish. Students will have intensive practice in each of the four domains of proficiency (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and will learn basic structures and gain considerable practical vocabulary throughout the course. Cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world will be addressed within each chapter of the course text, Buen Viaje, and through individual and group projects to be completed each semester. The evaluation of students is based upon a balanced combination of assessments (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), homework, and class participation. Students will expected to use the Spanish they know to communicate their questions and ideas at every opportunity possible.
Grade: 9, 10, 11
Pre-requisite: None
 
Spanish II
Spanish 2 starts the year off by reviewing the basics of Spanish 1. We review subject words, the difference between ser and estar, review conjugation rules, and cover the present tense. It is assumed that by second year, students have a good base of the Spanish language. In Spanish 2, we use the Buen Viaje 2 green textbook. We go deeper in our Spanish studies with more complex grammar such as the two past tenses (preterit and imperfect), the future tense, the se impersonal, and the conditional tense. We will expand our Spanish vocabulary covering restaurant words, vocabulary that has to do with travel, shopping vocab, means of communication, and forms of transportation. We hold more conversations en español by reading and performing dialogues. We incorporate technology and do a variety of hands on projects. In Spanish 2, we will continue to explore the various Spanish and Latin countries and cultures by watching videos, researching on the internet, and reading current events issues.
Grade: 10, 11, 12
Pre-requisite: Completion of Spanish I or equivalent
 
Spanish for Heritage Spanish Speakers I
Students will enrich their knowledge of their heritage language. The course will be focused on the four skills: reading, writing, speaking and understanding of the Spanish language. Literature, grammar, geography and culture will be covered throughout the year. Students will be challenged to use their critical thinking through legends, myths, and short narratives as well as studying the rules of accentuation and verbs tenses. This introduction will prepare students to continue mastering their native language.
Grade: 9, 10, 11
Pre-requisite: Teacher Recommendation
 
Spanish for Heritage Spanish Speakers II
This course is designed for the Heritage language learners to continue expanding their knowledge and skills of the Spanish Language, through: grammar, reading, writing, literature and culture. The objectives of this course are to foster a love and appreciation of the Spanish Language, and to develop communication skills. This course is conducted in Spanish.
Grade: 10, 11, 12
Pre-requisite: Completion of Span Speak I or Teacher Recommendation
 
Spanish for Heritage Spanish Speakers III
This course is designed for highly motivated students who want to continue studying their heritage language in depth. Students will continue enriching their knowledge of their native language through literature, grammar, geography and culture. Students will analyze more complex literature and grammar. This course will prepare students to continue mastering their Spanish language as well as to take the AP exam or the IB exam the following year.
Grade 11, 12
Pre-requisite: Completion of Span Speak I & II and Teacher Recommendation
 
Spanish for Heritage Spanish Speakers IV (IB-HL - AP Literature)
The IB/AP Spanish Literature and Culture course provides students with a variety of opportunities to expand their knowledge of the Spanish language through Literature, and prepares them for the IB and AP Spanish Exams. This course is conducted completely in Spanish. Activities revolve around the four skills of language learning: speaking, writing, listening and reading. The entire AP Spanish Literature reading list is covered in this course, as well as the IB curriculum as mandated by the IBO. Throughout the course of their High School career students here at Amundsen H. S. are exposed and introduced to the Spanish Language and Literature of Spanish and Latin American writers, thus in their Senior year, students are prepared for the rigor of this course.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: IB DP Status, Teacher Recommendation
 
French I
This year in FRENCH 1 students will learn the language structure and elements of the culture of FRANCE and the rest of the French speaking countries (CANADA and about 20 AFRICAN COUNTRIES) through a variety of activities including- besides the textbook- examples of music, art, film and food. The topics are personal introductions, food choices, family and friends, objects and daily activities. The grammar will cover forms of present tense verb conjugation, the form of the nouns and the adjective agreement. The textbook used is DISCOVERING FRENCH NOUVEAU1 (bleu) – the first four units- lessons 1-12
Grade: 9, 10, 11
Pre-requisite: None
 
French II
In French 2 we will review the material we have learned in French 1 and expand our knowledge and experience with more language and cultural lessons including music, art, film and food. The topics will be the city (Paris and Chicago) and the home, shopping, leisure time and food in depth. The language structure will expand to verb tenses beyond the present tense, finesse the noun/adjective agreement. The textbook used is the second half of DISCOVERING FRENCH NOUVEAU 1 (BLEU) – units 5th through 8th- lessons13-28
Grade: 10, 11, 12
Pre-requisite: Completion of French I or equivalent
 
French 3 – IB-SL
Students may take this course after completing French 1 and 2. This course will begin with a brief summary of the grammar and vocabulary covered in French 1 and 2: regular and irregular present tense, adjectives, foods, clothing, and tourism. It will continue with more advanced grammar, vocabulary and cultural content in thematic units such as daily life, Francophone Africa, and human rights. It will cover the curriculum for IB Standard Level 1 as mandated by the IBO.
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: IB DP Status, Teacher Recommendation
 
French 4 – IB-SL
Students may take this course after completing French 1, 2, and 3. This course will begin with a brief summary of the grammar and vocabulary covered in French 1 to 3: regular and irregular present tense, adjectives, subjunctive, passé compose, imparfait, foods, clothing, tourism, and Francophone Africa. It will continue with more advanced grammar, vocabulary, and cultural content in thematic units such as show business,, families, and human rights. It will cover the curriculum for IB Standard Level 2 as mandated by the IBO.
Grade: 12
Pre-requisite: IB DP Status, Teacher Recommendation
 

Fine Arts Department:

 
Beginning Band:
Beginning Band is the introductory level of the band program at Amundsen High School. In this class, students will have the opportunity to learn a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument in a group setting. The specific aim of the band program is to enable students to communicate effectively through instrumental music and to understand and value a variety of musical and cultural expressions throughout life.
Grade: 9,10,11,12
Pre-requisite: None
 
Advanced Band (I, II, III):
Advanced Band is the premier level of the band program at Amundsen High School. In this class, students will have the opportunity to continue with their chosen woodwind, brass or percussion instrument in a group setting. This is the primary performance ensemble on campus. All students enrolled in this class are expected to successfully perform at all band functions including but not limited to concerts, assemblies and sporting events. Students in Advanced Band have opportunities to perform additional ensembles such as Jazz Ensemble, Brass Quartet, Sax Quartet and Mariachi. Students receive honors credit (5 GPA points for an A) for this class.
Grade: 9,10,11,12
Pre-requisite: Completion of Beginning Band, Teacher Recommendation
 
Beginning Orchestra
Do you realize that over 95% of all Amundsen students begin orchestra with very little (if any) prior music experience? In beginning orchestra you will get to pick from one of the following instruments: violin, viola, cello or upright bass. In an environment that stresses both hard work and fun, you will learn how to read the notes, rhythms and symbols used throughout the music industry. You will be able to “speak the language” of music” and hopefully enjoy the pride and beauty that comes from performing as a team in a large-ensemble setting. From Mozart to Led Zeppelin,; the songs we play in class go way beyond the Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle songs often associated with a beginning ensemble. Beginning Orchestra is available to freshman-senior year students, with the possibility of playing in the advanced ensembles for several years if the work ethic is there.
Grade: 9,10,11,12
Pre-requisite: None
Advanced Orchestra (I, II, III)
Grade: 10,11 ,12
Pre-requisite: Completion of Beginning Orchestra, Teacher Recommendation
 
Art 1:
This class is an introductory visual art course that will explore the elements of art: color, texture, line, shape, form, and value using various mediums. Students will advance their skills and create original art by exploring a variety of materials and developing beginning skills. Students will make connections between art, their world, and contemporary social issues through creating, discussing and viewing. Art 1 class offers students the opportunity to explore new and different fields of art throughout the spectrum, including the discussion of drawing concepts and related vocabulary, art criticism, and art history, exploration of different drawing techniques and mediums, and growth of personal expression and problem solving. Students will also be introduced to color theory where they will participate in the mixing and making of color wheels and scales, mastering this color technique, and reflect it in their work, in addition to working with other new and fun mediums. The goal of this class is to equip students with the ability to see the effects of color, composition, and medium and understand its resourcefulness as they apply them to their own art making processes.
Grade: 9,10,11,12
Pre-requisite: None
 
IB Art 1:
This class is a basic class in Art. Students will cover the Elements and Principals of Design while completing lessons in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Crafts, Weaving and Textiles, and 3D work. The course of study is based on the Illinois State Standards for the Visual Arts, the MYP Criterion for Learning, the Areas of Interaction, and the IB Learner Profile Characteristics. During this course of study students will learn the Elements and Principles of Design. They will be engaged in the creation of two and three-dimensional works over the course of the year. Lessons in Drawing, Painting, Collage, Printmaking, Crafts, Weaving and Textiles, and 3-D Sculpture are taught. Students will use media that is available in the completion of these lessons.
Grade: 10
Pre-requisite: MYP Status
 
IB Visual Art:
This course is an Independent Study Class. These IB Diploma students will have had Art 1. The students will purchase and maintain an Investigation Workbook. In this workbook students will have investigations in the following areas of research: Critical, Contextual, Visual, and Independent. The topics chosen by the students are thematic but, not an obligation. The Studio's however, have to show a consistent engagement in their selection of media, artists, culture, as well as research with connections to all. If done with a theme, the students are more than likely to stay on track with their thematic process. Students will be given target dates to have completed work in the Investigation Workbook as well as for their Studio Work. The teacher can and will give helpful critiquing but is not allowed to tell the students what to do. She may say, " this works, but this needs work”, and give students artist materials for their investigations when available and as deemed necessary.
Grade: 11
Pre-requisite: IB DP Status
 
 
 

Physical Education Department

P.E. 1 & Health:
Students will engage in a variety of physical activities designed to promote and develop lifelong health and skill related fitness. Experiences may include, but are not limited to: fitness based activities, fitness testing, health related concepts, individual and team activities, aquatics, and dance. Students will also engage in a classroom based health course that includes the following components of health; physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, environmental and social. 
 
P.E. 2 & Driver Education:
Students will engage in a variety of physical activities designed to promote and develop lifelong health and skill related fitness. Experiences may include, but are not limited to: fitness based activities, fitness testing, health related concepts, individual and team activities, aquatics, and dance. Students will also engage in a driver’s education course.
 
P.E. 3:
This course will focus on developing and maintaining health related and skill related fitness through participation in various team games and sports in a recreational setting. Team games and sports may include but not limited to: basketball, flag football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, Pickleball, badminton, and volleyball.
 
PE-Indv/Lifetime Activity
Students will engage in a variety of physical activities designed to promote and develop lifelong health and skill related fitness through participation in individual lifetime physical activities including but not limited to dance, bicycling, bowling, golf, ice/inline skating, jogging, martial arts, racquetball, skiing, tennis, walking and dancing.
 
P.E. Junior Leaders
Students will learn the methods and techniques of teaching physical education, the policies and procedures of the physical education department and rules and equipment P.E. set up of various games and activities. Students will also participate in various movement based physical activities.
 
PE-Senior Leaders
Students will learn advanced methods and techniques of teaching physical education and have the opportunity to put these in practice. Students are assigned to PE I and II classes to serve as peer teachers and teacher aids.
 
PE-Intro Sport Ex/Health
This course incorporates the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics,  psychology and nutrition, which are studied in the context of sport, exercise and health. A
combination of content and experimental work provides the opportunity for students to acquire the advanced knowledge and understanding necessary to apply and analyze human performance. Ethical issues that exist within sporting competitions are considered. The course is designed for students interested in university courses including those specifically related to Sport, Sports Science or Physical Education.