Middle School Social Studies

Grade 6: Early Humans & Settlements in River Valley Civilizations, 7000 BCE-500 CE 

In the sixth grade, students work to bring history alive and develop an understanding of early humans and River Valley Civilizations. Students will focus on how early civilizations struggled to survive and what impact they had on the evolution of modern societies.  Students are encouraged to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures throughout their studies.  Our program continually weaves physical geography and map skills as well as current events literacy.  Students will be asked to work individually and cooperatively to enhance core curricular skills of critical thinking, reading and writing, oral argument and presentation throughout our social studies program.  This is section one of a two-year program at the middle school level. 

Course Essential Questions: 

  • How does an understanding of geographic and physical features help us understand our world today and in the past?
  • How do physical and human geography contribute to the study of history?  
  • How did geography influence and impact the development of river valley civilizations?

Grade 7:  Empires, Religions & Government (600 BCE- 1000 CE) 

In seventh grade, students will take part two of the two-year world history program.  Students will continue building upon skills fostered in the sixth grade, while focusing on the concepts of Empire, Religion and Government. This includes an examination of Ancient Greece and Rome, India, Judaism and the early Islamic Empires. The seventh grade program will reinforce the geography and map skills introduced in grade six, and continue to encourage current events literacy in students. Students will continue their study of world history in a two-part World History program at the High School. 

 Course Essential Questions:

  • How can physical geography shape a culture?
  • What are the elements that allow a civilization to flourish?
  • How do people develop a cultural identity?
  • What is the role of the citizen in this society? How it is defined? How has it changed through time? Who gets to be a citizen?
  • Why do some religions last and become global religions?
  • How do cultures interact and influence each other?
  • What is the legacy of this civilization? Innovation? Culture?
  • How did class systems arise and shape the development of early civilizations?

Grade 8:  US History I: The Revolution through Reconstruction,  1776-1890 

Students examine the historical and intellectual origins of the United States during the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras. They learn about the important political and economic factors that contributed to the outbreak of the Revolution as well as the consequences of the Revolution, including the writing and key ideas of the U.S. Constitution. Students also study the basic framework of American democracy and the basic concepts of America government such as popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights. Students study America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, and economic and social change. Students will learn about the growth of sectional conflict, how sectional conflict led to the Civil War, and the consequences of the Civil War, including Reconstruction and the emergence of the United States in the late 19th century.