Upper School

Social Studies

Seventh Grade Social Studies

This course will provide students with knowledge and skills essential to understanding and thinking critically about world history.  Students will examine ancient civilizations and compare the geographic forces, economies, political systems, cultural achievements, technological advancements, and social relations evident in civilizations representing diverse geographic locations and a range of eras.  The evolution of early civilizations to the Middle Ages leads to a more concentrated focus on the events occurring in Europe, which cause global expansion into other parts of the world.

Textbook:

Title:                     World History: Ancient Civilizations through the Renaissance

Author:               S. Burstein & R. Shek

Publisher:          Holt McDougal, 2012

Units of Study:

Unit 1

  • Prehistory
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Mesopotamia
  • Ancient India
  • Ancient China
  • Ancient Hebrews

Unit 2

  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • Ancient Africa
  • The Islamic World

Unit 3

  • East Asia
  • The Early Americas
  • The Middle Ages

Unit 4

  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • Exploration

Breakdown of Units:

Unit 1

  • Prehistory
    • General Terms
    • Stone Age and Ice Ages
    • Prehistoric Man – Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon
    • Four River Valleys and Fertile Crescent
  • Ancient Egypt
    • Pharaohs and Royal Women
    • Religion – Death and the Afterlife
    • Daily Life and Appearance
    • Nile River and Papyrus
    • Architecture and Ancient Cities
    • Kush and its ties to Egypt
  • Ancient Mesopotamia
    • Sumer
    • Babylonians – Hammurabi’s Code
    • Hittites and Assyrians
    • Chaldeans – Nebuchadnezzar
    • Phoenicians
  • Ancient India
    • Harappan and Indo-Aryan Civilizations
    • Hinduism
    • Buddhism
    • Mauryan and Gupta Dynasties
  • Ancient China
    • Geography and Natural Barriers
    • Xia Dynasty
    • Shang Dynasty
    • Zhou Dynasty
    • Three Philosophies – Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism
    • Qin Dynasty – Great Wall
    • Han Dynasty – Silk Road
    • Inventions
  • Ancient Hebrews
    • Historical overview
    • Beliefs – Ancient and Modern

Unit 2

  • Ancient Greece
    • Geography
    • Trojan War
    • Religion and Myths
    • Government and Literature
    • Athens and Sparta
    • Persian and Peloponnesian Wars
    • Golden Age
    • Great Greeks – Leaders, Thinkers, Writers
  • Ancient Rome
    • Geography and the Founding of Rome
    • Early Rome and Government
    • Punic Wars
    • Religion and Myths
    • Emperors and Empire
    • Society and Culture
    • Rise of Christianity
    • The Fall of Rome
  • Ancient Africa
    • Geography
    • Empires – Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Great Zimbabwe
    • Kush and Aksum
    • Culture – Folk Tales and Ashanti Proverbs
  • The Islamic World
    • Geography
    • Islamic Beliefs and Practices
    • Empires and Rulers

 

Unit 3

  • East Asia
    • China – Isolationism, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties
    • Mongols – Genghis Khan and Kublai Kahn
    • Marco Polo
    • Japan – Government and Culture
    • Japanese Religions – Shinto and Zen

 

 

  • The Early Americas
    • Geography
    • South American Civilizations – Maya, Aztec, Inca
    • North American Mound Builders
    • North American Tribes by Region
  • The Middle Ages
    • Geography
    • The Franks and Charlemagne
    • Wars and the Growth of Nations
    • Power Struggle in England and France
    • Church Problems – Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition
    • King John and the Magna Carta
    • Feudalism and Knights
    • Culture and Daily Life

Unit 4

  • Renaissance and Reformation
    • Italian Renaissance
    • Humanism and Art
    • Reformation and Protestantism
    • Henry VIII
    • Scientific Revolution
  • Exploration
    • Voyages of the Explorers
    • The New World
Eighth Grade Social Studies

The historical focus continues in the eighth grade with the study of European exploration and the early years of the United States. This study incorporates all four social studies strands into a chronologic view of the development of the United States. Students examine how historic events are shaped by geographic, social, cultural, economic and political factors.

Textbook with student online access:

Title: United States History, Beginnings to 1877

Publisher: Holt McDougal

Units of Study:

  1. History:  Students will explore the narrative history of the development of the United States from Pre-Columbian to the Reconstruction of the Civil War
  2. Geography: Students will study how physical characteristics of the environment that influenced population distribution, settlement patterns, and economic activities in the United States.
  3. Economics: Students will analyze the economic structures that shaped the United States, including, colonialism, mercantilism, and industrialization.
  4. Government: Students will study the events and ideas that shaped the continuing development of the United States Constitution.
  5. Citizenship and Responsibility: Through an ongoing exploration of the relationship between participating in civic and political life and the attainment of individual and public goals, students will study the obligations and rights of the citizen in a free market society.
American History

Course Description:

This course examines the history of the United States of America from 1877 to the present. The federal republic has withstood challenges to its national security and expanded the rights and roles of its citizens. The episodes of its past have shaped the nature of the country today and prepared it to attend to the challenges of tomorrow. Understanding how these events came to pass and their meaning for today’s citizens is the purpose of this course. The concepts of historical thinking introduced in earlier grades continue to build with students locating and analyzing primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives to draw conclusions.
Course Overview

Unit 1: Historical Thinking & Skills
Students apply skills by utilizing a variety of resources to construct theses and support or refute contentions made by others. Alternative explanations of historical events are analyzed and questions of historical inevitability are explored.

Unit 2: Founding Documents
Some documents in American history have considerable importance for the development of the nation. Students use historical thinking to examine key documents which form the basis for the United States of America.

Unit 3: Industrialization and Progressivism (1877-1920)
Ignited by post-Civil War demand and fueled by technological advancements, large-scale industrialization began in the United States during the late 1800s. Growing industries enticed foreign immigration, fostered urbanization, gave rise to the American labor movement and developed the infrastructure that facilitated the settling of the West. A period of progressive reform emerged in response to political corruption and practices of big business.

Unit 4: Foreign Affairs from Imperialism to Post WWI
The industrial and territorial growth of the United States fostered expansion overseas. Greater involvement in the world set the stage for American participation in World War I and attempts to preserve post-war peace.

Unit 5: Prosperity, Depression & the New Deal (1919-1941)
The post-World War I period was characterized by economic, social and political turmoil. Post- war prosperity brought about changes to American popular culture. However, economic disruptions growing out the war years led to worldwide depression. The United States attempted to deal with the Great Depression through economic programs created by the federal government.

Unit 6: From Isolation to World War II (1930-1945)
The isolationist approach to foreign policy meant U.S. leadership in world affairs diminished after World War I. Overseas, certain nations saw the growth of tyrannical governments which reasserted their power through aggression and created conditions leading to the Second World War. After Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II, which changed the country’s focus from isolationism to international involvement.

Unit 7: The Cold War (1945-1991)
The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) emerged as the two strongest powers in international affairs. Ideologically opposed, they challenged one another in a series of confrontations known as the Cold War. The costs of this prolonged contest weakened the U.S.S.R. so that it collapsed due to internal upheavals as well as American pressure. The Cold War had social and political implications in the United States.

Unit 8: Social Transformations in the US (1945-1994)
A period of post-war prosperity allowed the United States to undergo fundamental social change. Adding to this change was an emphasis on scientific inquiry, the shift from an industrial to a technological/service economy, the impact of mass media, the phenomenon of suburban and Sun Belt migrations, the increase in immigration and the expansion of civil rights.

Unit 9: US & the Post-Cold War World (1991-Present)
The United States emerged from the Cold War as a dominant leader in world affairs amidst a globalized economy, political terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Modern World History
This course examines the history of the United States of America from 1877 to the present. The federal republic has withstood challenges to its national security and expanded the rights and roles of its citizens. The episodes of its past have shaped the nature of the country today and prepared it to attend to the challenges of tomorrow. Understanding how these events came to pass and their meaning for today’s citizens is the purpose of this course. The concepts of historical thinking introduced in earlier grades continue to build with students locating and analyzing primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives to draw conclusions.
Course Overview

Unit 1: Historical Thinking & Skills
Students apply skills by utilizing a variety of resources to construct theses and support or refute contentions made by others. Alternative explanations of historical events are analyzed and questions of historical inevitability are explored.

Unit 2: Founding Documents
Some documents in American history have considerable importance for the development of the nation. Students use historical thinking to examine key documents which form the basis for the United States of America.

Unit 3: Industrialization and Progressivism (1877-1920)
Ignited by post-Civil War demand and fueled by technological advancements, large-scale industrialization began in the United States during the late 1800s. Growing industries enticed foreign immigration, fostered urbanization, gave rise to the American labor movement and developed the infrastructure that facilitated the settling of the West. A period of progressive reform emerged in response to political corruption and practices of big business.

Unit 4: Foreign Affairs from Imperialism to Post WWI
The industrial and territorial growth of the United States fostered expansion overseas. Greater involvement in the world set the stage for American participation in World War I and attempts to preserve post-war peace.

Unit 5: Prosperity, Depression & the New Deal (1919-1941)
The post-World War I period was characterized by economic, social and political turmoil. Post- war prosperity brought about changes to American popular culture. However, economic disruptions growing out the war years led to worldwide depression. The United States attempted to deal with the Great Depression through economic programs created by the federal government.

Unit 6: From Isolation to World War II (1930-1945)
The isolationist approach to foreign policy meant U.S. leadership in world affairs diminished after World War I. Overseas, certain nations saw the growth of tyrannical governments which reasserted their power through aggression and created conditions leading to the Second World War. After Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II, which changed the country’s focus from isolationism to international involvement.

Unit 7: The Cold War (1945-1991)
The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) emerged as the two strongest powers in international affairs. Ideologically opposed, they challenged one another in a series of confrontations known as the Cold War. The costs of this prolonged contest weakened the U.S.S.R. so that it collapsed due to internal upheavals as well as American pressure. The Cold War had social and political implications in the United States.

Unit 8: Social Transformations in the US (1945-1994)
A period of post-war prosperity allowed the United States to undergo fundamental social change. Adding to this change was an emphasis on scientific inquiry, the shift from an industrial to a technological/service economy, the impact of mass media, the phenomenon of suburban and Sun Belt migrations, the increase in immigration and the expansion of civil rights.

Unit 9: US & the Post-Cold War World (1991-Present)
The United States emerged from the Cold War as a dominant leader in world affairs amidst a globalized economy, political terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Economics and Financial Literacy
This course explores the fundamentals that guide individuals and nations as they make choices about how to use limited resources to satisfy their wants. More specifically, it examines the ability of individuals to use knowledge and skills to manage limited financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial security. We’ll also explore practical and relevant tools, techniques and methodologies on how to financially navigate the post-high school world, including Resume building, formal email writing, and personal financial budgets, goals, and plans. 

Course Overview

Unit 1: Economic Decision Making & Skills
Economic decision making relies on the analysis of data. Economists use data to explain trends and decide among economic alternatives. Individuals use data to determine the condition of their finances and to make savings and investment decisions. We’ll also begin to explore some fundamental techniques and tools necessary to personal financial planning.

Unit 2: Fundamentals of Economics
Productive resources are limited and allocated in a variety of different ways. An efficient way to allocate productive resources is through markets. We’ll also be investigating a variety of markets in real time.

Unit 3: Government & the Economy
The health of a nation’s economy is influenced by governmental policy. Fiscal policy can be used to spur economic growth. Monetary policy can be used to moderate fluctuations in the business cycle. We’ll also look at interest rates, and inflation.

Unit 4: Global Economy
Global issues and events influence economic activities. We’ll look at modern day going-ons and how they affect our lives and day-to-day financials.

Unit 5: Working & Earning
Employment provides a means of creating personal income. We’ll also learn how to craft a Resume and draft a proper business email.

Unit 6: Financial Responsibility & Money Management
Responsible personal finance decisions are based upon reliable information and used to reach personal goals. We’ll also investigate upcoming decisions in your lives that will dictate the direction of your financial goals.

Unit 7: Saving & Investing
Saving and investing strategies help individuals achieve personal financial goals. We’ll also investigate a number of financial products and services available to consumers.

Unit 8: Credit & Debt
Credit and debt can be used to achieve personal financial goals. We’ll explore how to navigate these channels and what to steer clear from.

Unit 9: Risk Management
There are various strategies to help protect personal assets and wealth. Whilst there will be no field trips to casinos, we will explore basic strategy around investment.

American Government

This course is required for graduation and is aligned closely with the State Standards for the American Government end-of-course exam. We examine how the American people govern themselves at national, state, and local levels of government. Students can understand and begin to influence issues addressed by federal, state, and, local governments through personal service, and research projects.

 

Textbook:

Title: American Government 10th edition author: Wilson & DilulioPublisher: Houghton Mifflin Company

Units of Study:

Unit 1 – Civic InvolvementUnit 2 – Civic Participation and SkillsUnit 3 – Basic Principles of the U.S. ConstitutionUnit 4 – Structure and Functions of the Federal GovernmentUnit 5 – Role of the PeopleUnit 6 – Ohio’s State and Local GovernmentsUnit 7 – Public PolicyUnit 8 – Government and the Economy

Breakdown of Units:

Unit 1 – Civic Involvement

Students can engage in societal problems and participate in opportunities to contribute to the common good through governmental and non-governmental channels.

 

Content Statements:

  1. Opportunities for civic engagement with the structures of government are made possible through political and public policy processes.
  2. Political parties, interest groups, and the media provide opportunities for civic involvement through various means.

 

Unit 2 – Civic Participation and Skills

Democratic government is enhanced when individuals exercise the skills to effectively participate in civic affairs.

 

Content Statements:

  1. Issues can be analyzed through the critical use of information from public records, surveys, research data, and policy positions of advocacy groups.
  2. The processes of persuasion, compromise, consensus-building, and negotiation contribute to the resolution of conflicts and differences.

Unit 3 – Basic Principles of the U.S. Constitution

Principles related to representative democracy are reflected in the articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution and provide structure for the government of the United States.

Content Statements:

  1. As the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution incorporates basic principles which help define the government of the United States as a federal republic including its structure, powers and relationship with the governed.
  2. The Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers framed the national debate over the basic principles of government encompassed by the Constitution of the United States.
  3. The constitutional government in the United States has changed over time as a result of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, legislation, and informal practices.
  4. The Bill of Rights was drafted in response to the national debate over the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.
  5. The Reconstruction Era prompted Amendments 13 through 15 to address the aftermath of slavery and the Civil War.
  6. Amendments 16 through 19 responded to calls for reform during the Progressive Era.
  7. Four amendments have provided for extensions of suffrage to disenfranchised groups.
  8. Five amendments have altered provisions for the presidential election, terms, and succession to address changing historical circumstances.
  9. Amendments 11, 21, and 27 have addressed unique historical circumstances.

Unit 4 – Structure and Functions of the Federal Government

Three branches compose the basic structure of the federal government. Public policy is created through the making of laws, the execution of the laws, and the adjudication of disputes under the laws.

Content Statements:

  1. Law and public policy are created and implemented by three branches of government; each functions with its own set of powers and responsibilities.
  2. The political process creates a dynamic interaction among the three branches of government in addressing current issues.

Unit 5 – Role of the People

The government of the United States protects the freedoms of its people and provides opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process.

Content Statements:

  1. In the United States, people have rights that protect them from undue governmental interference. Rights carry responsibilities that help define how people use their rights and which require respect for the rights of others.
  2. Historically, the United States has struggled with majority rule and the extension of minority rights. As a result of this struggle, the government has increasingly extended civil rights to marginalized groups and broadened opportunities for participation.

 

Unit 6 – Ohio’s State and Local Governments

The State of Ohio acts within the framework of the U.S. Constitution and extends powers and functions to local governments.

Content Statements:

  1. The Ohio Constitution was drafted in 1851 to address difficulties in governing the state of Ohio.
  2. As a framework for the state, the Ohio Constitution complements the federal structure of government in the United States.
  3. Individuals in Ohio have a responsibility to assist state and local governments as they address relevant and often controversial problems that directly affect their communities.

Unit 7 – Public Policy

Federal, state, and local governments address problems and issues by making decisions, creating laws, enforcing regulations, and taking action.

Content Statements:

  1. A variety of entities within the three branches of government, at all levels, address public policy issues that arise in domestic and international affairs.
  2. Individuals and organizations play a role within federal, state, and local governments in helping to determine public (domestic and foreign) policy.

Unit 8 – Government and the Economy

The actions of the government play a major role in the flow of economic activity. Governments consume and produce goods and services. Fiscal and monetary policies, as well as economic regulations, provide the means for government intervention in the economy.

Content Statements:

  1. The federal government uses spending and tax policy to maintain economic stability and foster economic growth. Regulatory actions carry economic costs and benefits.
  2. The Federal Reserve System uses monetary tools to regulate the nation’s money supply and moderate the effects of expansion and contraction in the economy.
Contemporary Global Issues / Model United Nations

Course Description:

This course is a senior elective and is aligned closely with the State standards for Contemporary World Issues. The dynamics of global interactions among nations and regions present issues that affect all humanity. These dynamics include competing beliefs and goals; methods of engagement; and conflict and cooperation. Contemporary issues have political, economic, social, historic, and geographic components. Approaches to addressing global and regional issues reflect historical influences and multiple perspectives. Students can understand and begin to influence global issues through personal service and research projects, as well as through participation in the Yeshiva University Model United Nations.

Textbook:

Various articles and periodicals

Units of Study:

Unit 1 – Global Connections
Unit 2 – Civic Participation and Skills
Unit 3 – Civil and Human Rights
Unit 4 – Social Institutions

Breakdown of Units:

Unit 1 – Global Connections

The 21st century is characterized by changing circumstances as new economies emerge and new technologies change the way people interact. Issues related to health, economics, security, and the environment are universal.

 

Content Statements:

  1. Trade, alliances, treaties, and international organizations contribute to the increasing interconnectedness of nations and peoples in the 21st century.
  2. Advances in communications technology have profound effects on the ability of governments, interest groups, individuals, and the media to share information across national and cultural borders.

 

Unit 2 – Civic Participation and Skills

Individuals and groups have the capacity to engage with others to impact global issues.

 

Content Statements:

  1. Individuals can evaluate media messages that are constructed using particular tools, characteristics, and conventions for unique purposes. Different communication methods affect how people define and act on issues.
  2. Individuals can assess how effective communicators address diverse audiences.
  3. Individuals can identify, assess and evaluate world events, engage in deliberative civil debate, and influence public processes to address global issues.
  4. Effective civic participation involves identifying problems or dilemmas, proposing appropriate solutions, formulating action plans, and assessing the positive and negative results of actions taken.
  5. Individuals can participate through non-governmental organizations to help address humanitarian needs.

 

Unit 3 – Civil and Human Rights

There are challenges to civil rights and human rights throughout the world. Politics, economics, and culture can all influence perceptions of civil and human rights.

 

Content Statements:

  1. Beliefs about civil and human rights vary among social and governmental systems.
  2. Nations and international organizations pursue their own interests on issues related to civil and human rights, resulting in both conflict and cooperation particularly as it relates to injustices against minority groups.
  3. Modern instances of genocide and ethnic cleansing present individual, organizational and national issues related to the responsibilities of participants and non-participants.

 

Unit 4 – Social Institutions

Civilizations adopt and adapt social institutions to address challenges and meet the goals of decision-makers in society.

Content Statements:

  1. Non-Governmental organizations often play a leading role in addressing issues of special interest.
  2. Governments and NGO’s identify priorities differently and have different, often opposing interests.

Video

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Growth Mindset – Definition

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