Middle School Social Studies
Students study geography and history in Middle School. In sixth grade, students begin by exploring world cultural geography. This is a complement to the work already accomplished in lower school and is a preparation for the work that will be done in seventh and eighth grades. It also serves as a foundation for the AP World History and International Relations courses that are offered in the upper school. The course focuses on political and cultural geography, helping students to focus attention on topics such as the role of the United Nations, world religions, and the Sustainable Development Goals. The signature project for this course is research into specific countries. Students work collaboratively to produce the outputs required for this project. The project also offers the opportunity for collaboration across content areas with the final product being in the form of a digital presentation.
In seventh and eighth grades, academice study turns history. Seventh grade history students begin their year by examining the philosophical and historical foundations of the U.S. Constitution, and connecting these with the Constitutional aspects of major events in U.S. history. The class also focuses on the events from 1861 to now, and how changes over time are reflected in the transformation of the Constitution.
In World Civilizations I, eighth graders learn about the world's history from Prehistory to the European Renaissance, specifically the continuum of civilizations and the diverse cultures that developed over time. In this class, students interpret and create maps, diagrams, and charts and study images of artifacts. This class also helps students to develop a style of historical essay writing and uses comparative history assignments to spur critical analysis skills. The year culminates with a major project on the Silk Road.
In seventh and eighth grades students complete history day projects that can be of any topic the students choose, with approval from their teachers. They are required to work collaboratively on their research. Research must include primary and secondary sources as well as print and digital formats. The projects offer the chance for cross-content collaboration. Citation skills are taught in composition class and the final product from the research is a digital presentation.