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Social Studies

6th Grade

Students began the year by locating and exploring the physical features of Earth (continents, oceans/seas, mountain ranges, deserts, and rivers) using Google Earth. They began their study of Ancient Civilizations by analyzing a map of Africa and Southwest Asia in order to determine the physical characteristics of the environment that encouraged the development of the earliest civilizations. The essential question students will explore in their first unit of study is “How do social scientists interpret the past?” They will analyze cave paintings from Lascaux, France, and other prehistoric artifacts in order to develop theories about the life of the earliest humans.

 

7th Grade

Students began the year by locating and exploring the physical features of Earth and the United States using Google Earth and various maps. They began their study of the United States by analyzing a physical map of the United States and a 1750 political map of North American and determining how contact with European colonists impacted Native Americans. The essential question students will explore in their first unit of study is “How did the first Americans adapt to their environment?” They will use maps to explore various Native American cultural regions and determine how the natural resources available to Native Americans led to differences in lifestyle (e.g. clothing, housing, food).

 

8th Grade

Students began the year locating and exploring the physical features of Earth and the United States using Google Earth and various maps. Eighth graders study of the United States after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Students began their first study by comparing two population density maps of the United States (from 1870 to 1890) with a map of major railroads in the United States in 1870 and 1890. They explored the relationship between railroad expansion and westward migration. The essential question students will explore in their first unit of study is “How did settlers change the West and affect Native Americans?” They will explore  the motivations and challenges faced by various settlers (e.g. miners, ranchers, cowboys, homesteaders) and analyze the impact settlers and government policies (e.g. Homestead Act, Pacific Railway Act, Indian Removal Act) had on Native Americans.