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History Department

Welcome to the History Department grade level course descriptions and resources.

 

World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations

This Grade six course investigates the origins and development of ancient societies of major western and non-western civilizations. Included are the societies of the Near East, Africa, the ancient Hebrew civilization, Greece, Rome, and the classical civilizations of India and China. For each of these societies, emphasis is placed on the major contributions, achievements, and beliefs that have influenced civilizations across the centuries to the present day. This course stresses the special significance of geography in the development of the human story and provides the opportunity to study the everyday lives of people living in vastly different areas of the world. The course content focuses on the people in ancient societies; their problems and accomplishments; their social, economic, political structures, and belief systems; the tools and technology they developed; the arts they created; the architecture; the literature they produced; their explanation for natural phenomena, and their direct or indirect contributions to issues such as the role of women and the practice of slavery.

 

In this course, students will know and be able to:

  • Analyze the effect of geography on the political, economic, and social growth of ancient civilizations.

  • Compare and contrast how ancient civilizations resolved basic economic questions of what, how, and for whom to produce.

  • Compare and contrast the origin and development of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Kush.

  • Evaluate the contributions of the ancient Hebrews to Western ethical and religious thought.

  • Describe the transition from tyranny and oligarchy to early democratic forms of government in ancient Greece.

  • Evaluate the impact of ancient Greek and Roman forms of government on modern democracies.

  • Evaluate the impact of Hinduism and Buddhism on ancient civilizations.

  • Analyze the impact of Confucian thought on the political, social, and economic development of ancient China.

  • Apply the principles of a market economy to the Roman Empire.

  • In accordance with their individual capacity, students will grow in the ability to:

  • Locate, interpret, and assess information found in primary and secondary sources.

  • Use the tools and concepts of geography to read and interpret various kinds of maps, globes, models, diagrams, graphs, charts, tables, and pictures of the ancient world.

  • Describe how major historical events are related to each other in time by distinguishing between cause and effect, sequence, and correlation.

  • Construct historical interpretations and solutions through the evaluation of different ideas, values, behaviors, and institutions.

  • Use the specialized language of historical research and the history-social science discipline.

  • Evaluate the accuracy of information obtained from computer programs, films, radio, television, and videotapes.

  • Combine ideas, concepts, and information in new ways; make connections between seemingly

  • unrelated ideas.

  • Describe how social, economic, organizational, and technological systems operate.

 

World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times

This Grade seven course explores world history and geography from the Fall of Rome through the Age of Enlightenment. The course investigates the social, cultural, and technological changes during this period. This course briefly reviews the role of archaeologists and historians in uncovering the past. It goes on to examine Islam as a religion and as a civilization. The course examines the spread of Islam through Africa, the rise of the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations; the civilizations of China and Japan; Europe during the High Middle Ages; the turbulent ages of the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution. This course seeks to enhance understanding of the interconnection of past events, people, and ideas to events and issues of importance in the world today.

 

In this course, students will know and be able to:

  • Analyze the impact of the fall of the Roman Empire on Western Europe.

  • Compare and contrast the origin and development of Mesoamerican civilizations.

  • Analyze the contributions of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, and Islam to various societies.

  • Analyze the impact of the geography on the development of trade in Ghana.

  • Differentiate how China and Japan resolved basic economic problems in their respective societies.

  • Explain how trade and production of goods in Western Europe was affected by the Crusades.

  • Apply the principles of a market economy (for example, decision-making, supply and demand, cost benefit analysis) to China during the Tang and Sung Dynasties.

  • Explain the impact of Islam on Africa and the influence of Muslim traders on Asian societies.

  • Analyze the impact of the spread of Buddhism on eastern civilizations.

  • Analyze the influence of Christianity on Medieval European governments.

  • Trace the principle of rule of law established in the Magna Carta to modern-day democracies.

  • Analyze how the ideas of the Enlightenment influenced the formation of Western democratic

  • governments in political, philosophical, and economic thoughts.

  • In accordance with their individual capacity, students will grow in the ability to:

  • Locate, interpret, and assess information found in primary and secondary sources.

  • Use the tools and concepts of geography to read and interpret various kinds of maps, globes, models, diagrams, graphs, charts, tables, and pictures of the medieval world.

  • Describe how major historical events are related to each other in time by distinguishing between cause and effect, sequence, and correlation.

  • Construct historical interpretations and solutions through the evaluation of different ideas, values, behaviors, and institutions.

  • Use the specialized language of historical research and the history social science discipline.

  • Evaluate the accuracy of information obtained from computer programs, films, radio, television, and videotapes.

  • Combine ideas, concepts, and information in new ways; make connections between seemingly

  • unrelated ideas.

  • Describe how social, economic, organizational, and technological systems operate.

 

United States History & Geography: Growth and Conflict

The Grade eight course examines United States history and geography concentrating on the growth of the United States during the period of colonization through the Age of Industrialization. The course begins with an intensive investigation and review of the major ideas, issues, and events preceding the founding of the nation. The course then concentrates on the shaping of the Constitution and the nature of the government that it created. The development of unique regions in the West, Northeast, and the South and the causes and consequences of the Civil War, is covered in depth. The course studies the movement of people into and within the United States; the experiences of diverse groups (women, racial, religious, ethnic, and economic classes) and their contributions to the evolving American identity. The course also connects historical issues to current affairs in order to develop a greater understanding of the basic institutions and policies of the nation.

 

  • In this course, students will know and be able to:

  • Evaluate the political philosophy of natural rights and natural law as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

  • Compare and contrast the influence of the religious and philosophical beliefs of both groups and individuals on slavery in the United States.

  • Analyze the impact of the Constitution on the development of the United States.

  • Analyze the impact of geographical factors on the development of pre-Civil War America.

  • Describe how the expansion of slavery changed the economic structure of America.

  • Trace the development of and evaluate the historical policies of the United States toward the Native Americans through analysis of data, primary and secondary sources.

  • Analyze the impact of Manifest Destiny on the expansion of the United States into neighboring territories.

  • Examine the effects of Reconstruction on race relations in the United States.

  • Evaluate the principles set forth in the Reconstruction Era Amendments.

  • Evaluate the interrelationship between industrialization and immigration in a post-Civil War era.

  • In accordance with their individual capacity, students will grow in the ability to:

  • Locate, interpret, and assess information found in primary and secondary sources.

  • Use the tools and concepts of geography to read and interpret various kinds of maps, globes, models, diagrams, graphs, charts, tables and pictures of the United States.

  • Describe how major historical events are related to each other in time by distinguishing between cause and effect, sequence, and correlation.

  • Construct historical interpretations and solutions through the evaluation of different ideas, values, behaviors, and institutions.

  • Use the specialized (concept) language used in historical research and the history-social science discipline.

  • Evaluate the accuracy of information obtained from computer programs, films, radio, television, and videotapes.

  • Combine ideas, concepts, and information in new ways; make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.

  • Describe how social, economic, organizational, and technological systems operate.

 

Reading Like a Historian

The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features a set of primary documents designed for groups of students with a range of reading skills. This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues and learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence.

 

Civic Online Reasoning

We are in the midst of an information revolution in which we increasingly learn about the world from screens instead of print. If young people are not prepared to critically evaluate the information that bombards them online, they are apt to be duped by false claims and misleading arguments. Students are assessed on civic online reasoning—the ability to judge the credibility of the information that floods young people’s smartphones, tablets, and computer screens. These assessments show students online content—a webpage, a conversation on Facebook, or the comment section of a news article—and ask them to reason about that content.