Our Sociology course is centered on understanding human behavior, in particular how other’s influence our own behavior and how we influence others. Our examination in this course will be broad– spanning culture, norms and values, groups, socialization, social institutions, crime, violence and altruism, racism and sexism, collective behavior, and social movements. It includes understanding how people think about each other, and how their beliefs are shaped by others. We will study important issues like conformity, obedience, and prejudice. Social psychology is one of the most fascinating areas in psychology, and a crucial background for anyone who plans to do work in situations where the reaction’s of other humans are critical.


The Sociology course at MHS is an active participation one semester course. The purpose of the course is to provide an overview of the impact of the social environment on the behavior of individuals while in group situations. A variety of topics studied include: changing attitudes, group influences, gender differences, sociocultural influences, relationships, beliefs, aggression, violence, helping behavior, cultural diversity, how we view others, verbal persuasion, advertising, the media, social persuasion, major theories, intergroup relations, communication, sociobiology, language, the internal environment, social worlds, deviance, careers, illness, aging, death, multicultural societies, sport psychology and future issues.


By the end of the semester, you will be able:

  • To gain an awareness of how other’s influence our own behavior and how we influence others.
  • To actively participate in a variety of subject activities.
  • To actively participate in classroom exercises on a daily basis.
  • To expose the student to the basic sociological concepts and theory, and relate these to everyday living.
  • To examine how positive and negative behaviors relate to group relationships, and how subsequent choices made.



A straight points system will be used to determine your grade. Your grade will be dependent on the following:

-Homework (between 5 and 20 points dependent on the size of the assignment). Late homework is not accepted unless a student has been absent. (There are certain exceptions to this rule that will be discussed individually)

-Quizzes (between 5 and 50 points)- Quizzes will be both announced and unannounced.

-Classwork (between 5 and 50 points) Classwork and participation is a very important part of making history exciting, interactive, and relevant. Classwork is a great way to help not only learn new material but to also improve your grade.

-Projects (between 50-150 points-usually one per quarter)- Will include essays, research papers, posters, PowerPoints, presentations, etc. All projects handed in late will be penalized one letter grade per day late.

-Class Discussions (between 10 and 40 points)

-Tests (between 75 and 150 points)


Classroom Management:

  1. Class begins as soon as the bell rings. Students must bein their seats when the bell rings otherwise they will be considered late. You should be seated and ready to begin class-work at that time. There will be a “Do Now” posted on the board that you will copy and answer in your notebook daily. If there was homework, take it out and place it on your desk so that it is ready to be checked or collected. If you are late with a pass, quietly put it on my desk, take your seat, and begin the “Do Now”. If you are late three times without a pass, it will result in a teacher detention. Further lates will result in a discipline referral and will be dealt with as stated in your student handbook.
  1. Respect-I will respect you, and you are expected to respect me and your peers. We expect you to be mature individuals who listen, encourage, and accept others’ thoughts and opinions.
  1. No gum chewing, food, or drinks allowed in class. All belongings (book bag, purse, etc) need to be placed securely under your desk or on the back of your chairs, in order to avoid any accidental injuries. All desks are to be clear except for your notebook, book, pen, or other items we are working with.
  1. Hats, coats, Ipods, and cell phones are to remain in your locker. There is a three-strike policy throughout the entire year. The first time I see it, I will give you a verbal warning. The second offense I will take it and give it back to you at the end of the school day. The third time I will bring it down to the office and discipline action will be taken as stated in your student handbook.
  1. The bathroom may only be used in emergencies. If you do have to go to the bathroom you will fill out your “hall passport” in your student handbook and have me sign it. Do not ask to use the bathroom or to go your locker before class begins; just go before you get to class. Anyone late for any reason is late. If your belongings are in the classroom but you are not in your seat when the bell rings, you are still considered late.
  1. When you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up any and all missed work, including notes taken. All missed homework must then be shown to me within the same number of days missed so that credit can be given. Likewise, if you are absent on a test/quiz day, you will be given a day for each day absent to make up the test/quiz to make it up after school.
  1. When assigned class-work you are expected to work quietly in your seat unless otherwise instructed. If you finish early you are to work on either your Sociology homework or an assignment for another class. If working in a group setting, students are expected to work together cooperatively to complete the task given.
  1. Homework must be in class with you on the day it is due! NO credit will be given for homework turned in at a later date. It is suggested that such work still be completed, for it is likely that it will be covered in a test/quiz or count again in a notebook check.

WARNING: Some of these movies may be rated R for violence, language, or adult content. As the instructor, I will use selected scenes and edit graphic material which is not relevant to material being discussed in class for appropriateness.

“Do Nows”
Everyday will begin with a “Do Now.” You will find the “Do Now” on the board. Please keep all “Do Nows” in the front section of your notebook. We will check them quarterly. If you are absent, please write the date and absent. It is your responsibility to find out the “Do Now” from the day you were absent and copy it into your notebook.


  1. A three ring notebook filled with lined paper
  2. Pens, pencils, highlighters
  3. daily planner/assignment pad

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The human is by nature, a social animal”



Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have regarding this course. I will be happy to answer them. I want you to know that one of my most important goals this year is to keep the lines of communication open between us. Please do no hesitate to contact me any time via email at or through the school secretary. My faculty webpage is also a useful tool for you to be able to print assignments, PowerPoints, notes, and to keep abreast with our current unit of study. I am anticipating an informative and engaging year here, and look forward to working with you!

After having read this with me, and having discussed any questions, please show it to your parents and discuss it with them. Then, I would appreciate it if you both signed off on this contract and returned to your notebook. (This will be checked and counted as a homework assignment.) It is to remain in your notes as a reference tool for the semester.


Ms. Shanahan

Student’s Signature: ______

Parent’s Signature: ______

-Finally, please let me know in the lines below if there is any additional information about your student that I should know as his/her teacher.