Social Studies Classes Overview
The Social Studies department builds history, geography, civics, and economics skills by creating units of study that follow the Colorado Academic Standards. Like Language Arts and Science teachers, they backwards plan with end results, or final assessments, in mind. At the beginning of each quarter, teachers identify 3-5 Academic Outcomes that are rooted in the 4 Social Studies areas (history, geography, civics, economy) of the Colorado Academic Standards, that will drive instruction and from which teachers will assess student learning. Each grade level has a historical time period or lens, from which students “view” these history, geography, civics, and economics standards.
In 6th Grade, students learn about Geography, Civics, History, and Economics. The class is centered around teaching students how to navigate different texts, use geographical and historical tools, and promote cultural awareness and global citizenship. Within thesis units, students will understand how humans, place, and past are interconnected.
In 7th Grade, students learn about the human journey through world history, from 15,000 BCE up until the European Renaissance. On the way, students explore early human civilizations in the Middle East, North Africa, India, and China; examine the social and political systems of ancient Greece and classical Rome; and make the distant past relevant by studying themes of citizenship status, border conflict, geographic luck, and the historic limits imposed on human freedom.
In 8th Grade, students learning will focus on American History, spanning from pre-colonization to the Civil War. Individual units of study will focus on Native American cultures, European colonization, foundations of the United States government, westward expansion, immigration and personal finance. Within these units, students will hone their skills as historical researchers and writers, building capacity to understand events from multiple perspectives. Throughout all our studies in history, students will ask the question: How can understanding history help to transform society today?