Seventh grade social studies takes our students through the course of American History from 1607 through 1920. The themes of the course revolve around three revolutions: Independence and the Constitution, the Industrial Revolution, and American women acquiring the right to vote. Students engage in a family-history project which enables them to situate themselves and their families in this period of history. They write a term paper reflecting an area of personal interest in American History and end the year with a trip to Gettysburg, PA and Washington D.C.
The eighth grade social studies unit is a constructivist course in Jewish history in which the students are able to control their own learning. The essential question of the course is, “How does the Jewish community react to societal changes around them?” The units include the return from the Babylonian Exile, interaction with Hellenism, the rise of sectarianism, the history of Masada, interaction with Rome, the rise of Christianity, the ascendancy of Islam, Enlightenment and Emanciptation, the first and second World Wars, and the Shoah.
In addition to studying content, we also engage in the study of the writing process, focusing particularly on expository writing. We work on study skills, test taking, and expanding our vocabulary for social studies reading. Our goals also include the skill of summarizing texts, teaching classmates, and learning how to speak to an audience of peers.
The primary goal of the social studies curriculum in the K/1 multi-age class is to expose our students to history and culture in a manner that promotes awareness of the world in which they live and introduces interesting and exciting topics that can be integrated into other subject areas. In that vein, thematic units include Getting to Know You, Families, Friends, We are the Same and We are Different, Continents and Countries Around the World, and Celebrations Around the World.
The 2/3 multi-age class thematic units include maps and landforms, the rainforest, polar regions and desert environments, Native Americans, and China (Asian studies).
The 4/5 multi-age class studies the explorers and early settlers of the New World. Students study world geography and follow the migration of the Jewish people throughout the ages, through Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
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