Social Studies

6th Grade: The Medieval Perspective

Following upon the study of ancient civilizations in the 10s, 6th graders delve into the Middle Ages, learning about European, Middle Eastern, Asian, and North American civilizations from the 5th to 15th centuries. Studies focus on the function of class structure and social hierarchies and the role of religion. Classes look at ways in which aspects of modern society such as legal systems and mathematics stem from events and innovations that took place more than 1,000 years ago. Students continue to deepen their understanding of the concepts of historical perspective and bias as they learn how one’s point of view can shape the recounting of history.

7th Grade: Revolution and Innovation

Seventh graders explore the concepts of revolution and innovation through science, cultural perspective, and government in Europe and America. They begin by exploring the technological and intellectual innovations of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution. Students trace the paths of European explorers as they venture out across the world in the 15th century and then compare and contrast the expeditions of Europeans to the “new world” in later centuries. Students end the year by revisiting the Colonial era and the American Revolution, with a deeper context for the colonists’ desire for independence and change. Students relate what they learn to 21st-century globalization.

8th Grade: Identity, Citizenship and Democracy

Eighth graders extend the study of American history by tracing the path from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. This tumultuous period invites examination of issues of equality and justice, with attention to legal, military, social, and moral drivers of change. Complicated topics such as slavery, voting rights, marriage rights, privacy, and freedom of thought and speech are an important part of students’ exploration of this era. Students make connections between challenges Americans faced in the past and those they continue to contend with today.