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6th Grade Social Studies

6th Grade Social Studies

In 6th grade, students expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that came before us in the ancient world. Students study early humans and the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The curriculum emphasizes the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic, and political structures, and the origin and spread of ideas that transformed the world we know today. Students analyze the interactions among various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, through time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds. The year is shaped by several essential questions:

  • What makes a community? What measures can we take to broaden our definition?
  • Where do we fall on the evolutionary timeline? 
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • What is the meaning of “civilization”? Who decides what a civilization looks like or is defined?
  • What are the major legacies of ancient civilizations? What do these legacies look like today?
  • What is the legacy of slavery, starting in Mesopotamia?
  • How did the concept and practice of justice begin and evolve in the ancient world? Why is justice the cornerstone of modern civilizations?
  • How did the adoption and appropriation of cultures in the ancient world influence the development of societies? 

Throughout the year, students learn and apply historical thinking skills including articulating the relationships between events across time, posing historical questions, discerning the difference between fact and opinion, summarizing key ideas, synthesizing research from multiple sources, seeing events from multiple perspectives, using historical evidence to support interpretations of the past, discerning between primary and secondary sources, researching information about the past, and communicating information in writing, discussion, and in class presentations. As students learn and engage in conversations about ancient civilizations, they draw connections and contrasts with our own time and culture.

  • 6th Grade