Academics » Humanities


English, History, Theology

Mission: Trinity Hall’s Humanities Team empowers students to appreciate and understand the historical, cultural, theological and literary contexts of their global society through an interdisciplinary approach that encourages 21st century skills.

Goals: The goal of the Humanities Team is to challenge students to become:

  • critical thinkers and creative problem solvers through careful research and analysis of information;
  • effective communicators through oral and written means for a variety of audiences and purposes;
  • life-long learners who understand the value of collaboration, diversity and integrity;
  • responsible and moral citizens who apply their understanding of the past to evaluate and respond to present and future issues in society.



GRADE 9:  English I: Literature & Composition

During freshman year, students will explore a wide variety of literary genres, ranging from the classical texts of Homer and Shakespeare to modern-day novels and poetry. Students will also learn to write for different audiences and purposes, with an emphasis on literary analysis, while improving their oral communication and collaboration skills as well through frequent class discussions, group projects, and presentations. English I aims to teach students the foundational skills of close reading, critical thinking and effective writing, including grammar and vocabulary enrichment.


GRADE 10:  English II: Modern Global Literature

During sophomore year, students will study contemporary works from various countries and cultures including novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction texts. English II emphasizes 20th and 21st century literature as a representation of historical conflicts and theological events. Students will continue to improve critical thinking skills and utilize writing as a means of self-expression and formal communication.


GRADE 11:  AP English Language & Composition/American Literature

Complementing students’ study of US History and the American Catholic Church, this course will focus on American literature. Through close analysis of canonical fiction and non-fiction texts ranging from our country’s colonial times to present day, students will prepare for the AP Language & Composition exam, which requires a keen understanding of rhetorical style and effective analytical and argumentative writing. As the culminating experience, students will engage in a challenging journey of self-exploration and reflection in order to write an autobiographical essay.


GRADE 12:  AP English Literature & Composition

This yearlong college level course requires students to closely read and analyze a variety of genres and to write for a variety of purposes. Students should expect to read and write often, in class and at home, and to work collaboratively and independently.  Student who take this class will be able to carefully read and critically analyze imaginative literature, understand the way writers use language to provide meaning, and write well, focusing on critical analysis of literature.  Thoughtful and thorough completion of the coursework will fully prepare students for the AP English Literature and Composition exam.


GRADE 12: English IV:  Themes in Literature

This senior English course presents a thematic exploration of literature through the study of a variety of genres, ranging from novels and plays to short stories and magazine articles, from both classic and contemporary writers. In addition to the in-class and online conversations generated by our close readings, students will express their interpretations of and responses to the literature through analytical, argumentative, and personal essays while also using the texts as inspirations for their own creative writing and projects. The main goals of the course are to increase students’ appreciation of literature, foster a lifelong love of reading, improve students’ confidence and comfort with writing, and further prepare students for college-level Humanities courses.



History/Social Sciences:

GRADE 9: World History I

The study of history helps us to understand who we are, where we came from, and what our future may hold. World History I will help students develop a deeper understanding of the forces that shaped our world and make connections between historical events and the present day. Applying a Western perspective, students will explore major social, political, economic, and cultural achievements throughout the world from the dawn of history through the turn of the 20th century. During the course, students will work to develop writing, researching, and critical thinking skills. Students will also build vocabulary, note-taking, and study skills.


GRADE 10: AP World History

AP World History will provide students with a global perspective on past and contemporary history through an integrated, thematic study of primary and secondary sources. The course will complement the Western perspective of World History I offered in the freshman year of study, highlighting change and continuity, cause and effect, and comparison and contrast among the major developments of human societies in inter-regional and cross-chronological contexts. By the end of the sophomore year of study students will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement exam in World History.


GRADE 11: US History (AP option)

The US History course will deepen students’ understanding of United States history from the period of colonization through the present day. Through analysis of various primary and secondary sources, students will build on foundational knowledge learned in their World History courses about the U.S. role in the world and will continue to deepen their understanding of the American identity, social and economic life, and political change and continuity over time. By the end of the junior year of study students who opt to take the AP level of this course will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement exam in U.S. History.


GRADE 12: AP US Government & Politics/AP Comparative Government & Politics

During the first half of the year, this course provides a college-level, non-partisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States.  Through the study of U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, visuals, political cartoons and additional texts the students will gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes and behaviors. The second half of the course introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in various political settings using six countries--China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia--as models. Students will be prepared to take both the AP US Comparative Government & Politics exam and the AP Comparative Government & Politics exam.


GRADE 12: AP Psychology 

From the College Board: The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatments of psychological disorders, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.


GRADE 12: Economics 

Honors Economics is a one-trimester course offered in senior year.  In this course students will gain an understanding of what economics is and examine economic problems and institutions.  Through discussion and debate they will explore topics in economics, such as supply and demand, scarcity, opportunity costs, market structures and business organizations. Using current events and relevant materials, students will engage in an inquiry based learning experience.  Students will be exposed to a variety of sources as they dive into the world of economics.  Using literature, movies and music in addition to more traditional classroom resources, students will develop an understanding of how economics impact them and the world around them.



GRADE 9: Theology I:  Introduction to Theology

Theology I is designed to help students learn more about the Catholic faith, the church, and their own relationship with God. The course focuses on the foundations of the Catholic Church’s beliefs and teachings, the Old Testament Scripture, and the Christian churches at the time of the reformation.


GRADE 10: Theology II:  World Religions

As students living in a global society, it is important to gain an understanding of other religions. Theology II will explore a variety of religions practiced around the world as well as the church’s response to global conflicts, particularly in the 20th century. Students’ knowledge of world religions will enhance their understanding of the world history and literature they are studying as sophomores.


GRADE 11: Theology III:  Mission of the Church

To complement students’ study of American history and literature during junior year, Theology III will focus on the American Catholic church experience and the role the students have in the church today. Students will explore the moral life of a believer, examining morality issues as addressed by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops as well as the institutional church.


GRADE 12: Theology IV:  Contemporary Church

As Trinity Hall girls prepare to graduate, they will closely consider their role in the church. Students will study church documents that focus on the laity’s role in the life of the church, particularly the role of women in the church.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students: Trinity Hall admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.