Middle School Social Sciences

Geography and American History

In seventh grade students study geography—the study of the Earth’s surfaces, the processes that shape it—and the complex relationship between humans and their environment. Students explore the physical features of the world and learn to see and speak about it. In eighth grade this knowledge is applied to the study of world geography, including physical, human, and economic geography.

A major project is undertaken in seventh grade as students learn research, problem-solving and critical thinking skills in preparing a topic for presentation for the National History Day theme for the year. The first quarter of the year is spent on this project, which can be expressed as an historical paper, an exhibit, a performance, or a documentary.

Ninth grade introduces the students to the study of American History. The major themes of American History from the early colonists to contemporary times are studied, with students also contributing current events papers on a regular basis.

Several times during the year major trials are reenacted by the students, with the teacher as judge, and faculty members or senior citizens as the jury. This is a lively way for students to gain a deeper understanding of the subtleties of events in historic times. They enjoy this activity and eagerly await the verdict of the jury.

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