Social Studies Department
6th grade Social Studies
Students in grade six expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major Western and non-Western ancient civilizations. Geography is of special significance in the development of the human story. Continued emphasis is placed on the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic, and political structures, as well as in establishing and spreading ideas that helped transform the world forever. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant, and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.
7th grade Social Studies
Students in grade seven study medieval and early modern history from a Christian perspective. This history class begins with the fall of the Roman Empire (476 A.D.) and ends just before the birth of America (18th century). Students will study the rise of Islam and compare this religion with Christianity. Students will grapple with the Crusades and determine what, if anything, constitutes a just war. Students will study the Renaissance and analyze how societies progress. Students will examine the Reformation and contrast the differences between the Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations within the Christian faith. Students will evaluate the impact of enlightenment thinkers on the Christian world view. Students will explore medieval times in Africa, China, Japan, and the Americas as well as Europe. Critical thinking, research, factual evidence, and persuasive writing will be emphasized.
8th grade Social Studies
Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.