The 5th grade year in Social Studies will focus on developing the skills necessary to successfully study the past. Students will be introduced to several ancient civilizations through the study of the four main branches of social studies; history, geography, economics, and civics. They will be taught how to properly use inquiry skills related to each of these four branches to “think like a Historian” and build an accurate interpretation of the past. They will begin their studies by examining the changes that humankind experienced as they moved out of the stone age, ending their nomadic lifestyles in exchange for more permanent settlements. Students will then investigate the growth of early civilizations, understanding the various factors that allowed these early societies to grow and prosper. The year will continue with the study of several other ancient civilizations across the world. Students will look for patterns and themes across each culture. This will allow them to identify the common features of civilization through the lens of the four branches of social studies.
The 6th grade year in Social Studies will move students forward in world history. They will continue to learn how to study the past through the lens of the 4 main branches of social studies; history, geography, economics and civics. The year will begin with a study of the ancient civilizations in areas not covered in 5th grade such as Africa and the Americas. As the year continues, students will begin to examine changes that occurred and began to propel human kind toward the modern world. This will allow them to study significant time periods such as the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. They will work to better understand the progression of human history and the year will conclude with an introduction to the Age of Exploration, setting them up nicely for the beginning of their 7th grade year.
The Seventh grade year in Social Studies will focus on the early history of the United States. Students will continue to use skills of historical inquiry developed in the younger grades to better understand the progression of our nation’s development. They will begin with a study of Colonial America and analyze the series of events that led to the fight for American independence. As the year continues students will study significant moments of early American history such as the creation of the constitution, westward expansion, industrialization and more. The year will conclude with an in depth study of the American Civil War. During the year students will also continue to work on their document analysis skills. They will work towards developing the ability to create a short essay that responds to a document based question, using sufficient evidence from both primary and secondary sources.
The Eighth grade year in Social Studies will continue the investigation of United States History. Students will begin with the Reconstruction era, picking up right where the 7th grade year concluded. This year will allow students to examine United States history into a relatively modern setting, concluding with the end of the Second World War. Students will use this year to perfect the skills of historical inquiry they have been building on since the 5th grade. They will be able to look at historical content through the various lenses of social studies as well as utilize skills of historical document analysis. Students will use these historical thinking skills to practice writing thesis based essays; an essential skill for higher level classes.