Social studies in grades five through eight is designed to extend the learning in younger grades through historical and cultural perspectives and more abstract thinking. Themes of study take on deeper social issues, such as human rights, justice, dissent, multiculturalism and historical perspectives through different lenses. Learning is project based; using real materials and documents, encouraging students to engage in research, debate and presentation of ideas.
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Grades 5 & 6
As in younger grades, social studies in fifth and sixth grades are designed to cover a two-year period. One year the focus is on Africa. Students engage in activities that invite them to examine another culture, enabling them to better grasp how their own background shapes their perspective. Geography, folktales, Ancient Kingdoms of Ghana, Human Rights in the U.S. and Human Rights in South Africa are key topics within this theme. In alternate years, the focus is on understanding historical research, early settlers and explorers of the Americas, colonial life in North America and The American Revolution. We take advantage of the wealth of resources and historical sites in the greater Boston area. Our goal is to bring to life the history of the 17th and 18th centuries and to give students a clearer understanding of how historians learn about the past.
Grades 7 & 8
In seventh and eighth grades, social study themes are taught through a humanities model designed to cover a two-year period. One year the focus is on justice. Students learn how the U.S. government was formed and about its structures and how it works. They create and discuss their own classroom rules, learn how laws are made and study what happens to societies when unjust leaders create unjust laws. Units during the year include: The Constitutional Convention, U.S. Civics, Facing History and Ourselves (an examination of the Holocaust) and African American Civil Rights. We are fortunate to be close to many historical sites, museums and other civic resources, and our older students take many field trips throughout the year. In alternate years, the focus is on Multicultural Voices of the United States. Students study U.S. history from the arrival of the first settlers, the Spanish Conquest and The Manifest Destiny, as well as different waves of immigrants and modern-day immigration. Students also draw upon their own personal and family histories to see how they fit into society both historically and in the contemporary U.S. Each year concludes with a week-long trip to either New York City or Washington D.C.