Social Studies

8th Grade History

This course introduces students to the history of the United States from the Articles of Confederation to the end of the 19th century. Using primary and secondary sources, they explore time and place in nineteenth-century America.  Beginning with the political and intellectual transformations that preceded the Articles of Confederation, students review the ideas and principles that form the basis of our constitutional republic. Students further their understanding of American government from an in-depth study of the United States Constitution and the evolution of the government created during its first century.  Students explore the challenges faced by the new nation and the role of political and social leaders in meeting these challenges. Students also analyze the nature and effect of territorial, demographic, and economic growth in the 19th century. They analyze and evaluate early attempts to abolish or contain slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence for all. In studying the Civil War and Reconstruction, students evaluate multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the war and its aftermath. Throughout the course, students learn to use historical evidence to both support historical arguments and to construct historical narratives.  

 

7th Grade Social Studies

The seventh grade social studies curriculum focuses on early world history and geography. Students begin their exploration into world history with a focus on historical thinking. Students learn how these disciplines are distinct in how they ask questions and frame problems to organize and drive inquiry. Students learn that historians must have some evidence to support their claims. They investigate how these social scientists select, analyze, and organize evidence, and then use that evidence to create accounts that answer questions or problems.

Students investigate human history from the beginning until 500 C.E. They learn about the earliest humans and explore early migration and settlement patterns. In studying the origins of farming and its impact upon emerging human cultures, students analyze evidence from the fields of archaeology and anthropology and employ a wide range of data sources including artifacts, photographs, and geographic information. Students examine how the emergence of pastoral and agrarian societies set the stage for the development of powerful empires, trade networks, and the diffusion of people, resources, and ideas.

Students will also study how the rise and fall of empires, as well as the nomadic groups in Afro-Eurasia, generated new zones of cultural and commercial exchange that linked regions across the world and enabled ideas to spread. 

Students examine the development of belief systems in their historical context. These new belief systems had distinctive beliefs, texts, and rituals. Each shaped cultures by developing ethical practices and establishing codes within which diverse people were able to communicate and interact, often well beyond their local neighborhood. In doing so, students consider why some belief systems grew into world religions.

At the conclusion of the course, students learn about global economics and different systems of government.

 

6th Grade Social Studies

In an ever-flattening world, nearly all Americans are affected by world events. The global impact of events emanates not only from political and diplomatic forces and events but also from the powerful “crosscurrents of an increasingly global economy.” Traditional human concerns about economic, political, social, and environmental issues manifest themselves across the globe in a variety of ways. Using a geographic lens to explore global phenomena provides a means for students to compare how humans in different places address similar issues. It also enables students to study broad patterns of human behavior and the global consequences of those actions. Knowledge, understanding, and application of geographic content and perspectives are essential to bring coherence to the causes and effects of physical and human events that occur on the Earth’s surface. While traditionally schools have adopted a hemispheric approach to studying the world, this course adopts a more holistic view of the world. Instead, this course is designed to challenge students to think globally, exploring global or cross-regional patterns and interactions, which are essential if students are to be successful in an increasingly flat, interconnected world.