Social Studies

6th Grade Social Studies Curriculum

Sixth graders study the origins of human beings in Africa and the early civilizations that flourished in the Mediterranean area. They study the religions, governments, trade, philosophies, and art of these civilizations as well as the powerful ideas that arose in the ancient world and profoundly shaped the course of world history. These ideas include monotheism, democracy, the rule of law, individual worth, personal responsibility, the alphabetic principle for a writing system, and scientific reasoning.

Students will be able to:

* Apply their knowledge of geographic features as related to historical and modern maps
* Connect present day nations with ancient civilizations
* Construct and interpret timelines and use vocabulary associated with the calculation of time
* Understand the difference between prehistory and history and the methods that historians and archaeologist use to study the people and cultures of the past
* Discuss human origins and early life in a comparison of the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages
* Explain the development of the world’s first civilizations, the role of the geographic features and the importance of the polytheistic religious beliefs in the river valley civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
* Identify the origins, central teachings and legacies of the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity
* Summarize the role of trade and commerce between ancient civilizations and how trade helped spread knowledge and forced the development of writing systems and currency
* Identify the Mediterranean Sea area and key ports
* Explain the development and expansion of the classical civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome
* Compare and contrast Greek and Roman culture (government, religion, art, trade, learning, and education) and their impact on the modern world
* Describe and compare the accomplishments of historical figures throughout the ancient world
* List the legacies of each ancient civilization and their importance of those contributions to other civilizations throughout time


* The Big Chill: A Paleolithic Exploration(Project-Based Unit)
* Ancient Greece (Project-Based Unit)
* The Greek and Roman Challenge (Project-Based Unit)
* Pompeii Quest (Project-Based Unit)
* Pompeii Revisited (Project-Based Unit)
* Grade Six Resource HotList
* Human Origins Program (Smithsonian Institute)
* Odyssey Online
* Ancient Civilizations (Seneca Valley School District)

7th Grade Social Studies Curriculum

Students will be able to:

* Use basic geography skills to understand and read maps.
* Use latitude and longitude lines to locate places on a map or globe
* Identify the key geographic features of North, Central, and South America
* Explain the colonization of the Americas and the major reasons for the conflict between the Europeans and the Native Americans.
* Summarize the Five Themes of Geography

Seventh graders study the world outside of the United States and North America. Students systematically learn geography around the world continent by continent, similar to the way in which atlases are organized. they also learn about each continent in an order that reflects, first, the early development of the river valley civilizations and then later development of maritime civilizations in the Mediterranean area and in Northern and Western Europe. In so doing, students better understand their study of early civilizations around the Mediterranean area from grade 6.

In grade 7, students address standards that emphasize physical and political geography and embed five major concepts: location, place, human interaction with the environment, movement, and regions.

Concepts and Skills:

History and Geography

1. Use map and globe skills learned in prekindergarten to grade five to interpret different kinds of projections, as well as topographic, landform, political, population, and climate maps.
2. Use geographic terms correctly, such as delta, glacier, location, settlement, region, natural resource, human resource, mountain, hill, plain, plateau, river, island, isthmus, peeninsula, erosion, climate, drought, monsoon, hurricane, ocean and wind currents, tropics, rain forest, tundra, desert, continent, region, country, nation, and urbanization.
3. Interpret geographic information from a graph or chart and construct a graph or chart that conveys geographic information (e.g., about rainfall, temperature, or population size data.)
4. Explain the difference between absolute and relative location and give examples of different ways to indicate relative location for countries or cities across the world.
5. Identify how current wworld atlases are organized andd the kind of information they provide for each continent and country.
6. Identify what time zones are, when and how the precise measurement of longitude was scientifically and historically determined, examples of differences in time in countries in different parts of the world.
7. Use the following demographic terms correctly: ethnic group, religious group, and linguistic group.

Civics and Government

* Define what a nation is and give examples of the different ways nations are formed.
* Give examples of several well-known international organizations (e.g. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the British Commonwealth, and the United Nations) and explain their purposes and functions.


* Provide examples of currencies from several countries and explain why international trade requires a system for exchanging currency between nations.
* Give examples of products that are traded among nations, and examples of barriers to trade in these other products.
* Define supply and demand and describe how changes in supply and demand affect prices of specific products.
* Identify the key elements of a market economy.
* Describe how different economic systems (traditional, command, market, mixed) try to answer the basic economic questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce.
* Compare the standard of living in various countries today using gross domestic product per capita as an indicator.

Essential Questions:

* What is a community and how to people create their communities?
* How has the environment influenced how people live?

8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum

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. Finally, 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.

Students will be able to:

* Analyze the causes and documents of the American Revolution
* Describe the historical influences that affected the foundation of the United States government
* Explain the major events and effects of the War for Independence
* Interpret the primary documents that form the foundation of American government
* Describe the formation and framework of American government
* Evaluate the events and consequences of Westward Expansion
* Explain the major political, social, and economic events of the early to late 19 th Century using appropriate primary documents
* Evaluate the causes and events leading to the Civil War
* Identify the major events and documents of the Civil War and its long-term effects


* Grade Eight Resource HotList
* Archiving Early America
* The Freedom Trail Online Tour
* Another view of the Freedom Trail
* Who Want to be a Mill Worker? (Project-Based Unit)
* The Beat of the Civil War (Project-Based Unit)
* The Massachusetts Historical Society
* The Commonwealth Museum
* The Massachusetts Archives