7th Grade Social Studies
Seventh graders study the impact of different civilizations and societies around the world while learning to think, work, and communicate like a historian. Students begin the year looking at world geography and studying the characteristics of a civilization. They learn about the elements that all civilizations share and design and present their own original civilizations. Students then study the rise of Islam, the Muslim belief system, and the achievements and contributions of Islam’s “Golden Age.” Students next investigate the cultures and Kingdoms of West Africa, which includes a podcast project in which they study Afrofuturism and how cultural elements from ancient civilizations appear in the fictional kingdom of Wakanda in the film Black Panther. Students next explore medieval Europe, studying the legacy of Rome, feudalism, and the impact of the bubonic plague. Students then journey to Meso-American civilizations focusing on the Maya and the Aztec worlds. They learn about social roles, class structures, warfare, religious beliefs, spiritual practices, and the artistic and architectural achievements.
Throughout the units of study, students learn to read actively and with a historian’s eye for evidence, bias, and reliability. Class discussions, group projects, student presentations, simulations, and creative video and hands-on projects are all a regular part of the classroom experience. 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, and how to effectively research and gather information about the past. The year concludes with a History Mystery unit in which students are invited to choose from a menu of true and as-yet-unsolved historical mysteries. They employ all of their historical thinking skills to research the mystery of their choice, form a theory about what really happened, and support their ideas with evidence and historical analysis.
- 7th Grade