Social Studies 2017-05-30T23:54:27+00:00

WhiteOak-socialstudies_10-05

Social Studies Course Descriptions

The skills addressed at each level are in accordance with the MA Curriculum Frameworks and also correspond to the Common Core Curriculum.

U.S. Geography:       (Grade 4)
Utilizing the five themes of geography (location, place, human interaction with the environment, movement, and regions), students will study cultural and physical features of the United States today. Students will become familiar with immigrants and immigrants’ rights, resources (both natural and limited), and the different regions of the U.S. and their key geographic features. They will also learn about contemporary Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the island cultures in the Caribbean Sea. Geography skills include understanding and being able to utilize absolute and relative location, longitude and latitude, key terms, the compass rose, map keys, and map scales. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.

U.S. History:        (Grade 5)
“Students study the major pre-Columbian civilizations in the New World; the 15th and 16th century European explorations around the world, in the western hemisphere, and in North America in particular; the earliest settlements in North America; and the political, economic, and social development of the English colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries. They also study the early development of democratic institutions and ideas, including the ideas and events that led to the independence of the original thirteen colonies and the formation of a national government under the U.S. Constitution.” (Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework, Pg. 27) Geography skills include recognizing various types of maps and using timelines. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
World Geography:        (Grade 6/7 alternate years with Ancient Civilizations)
Students will study the world beyond North America, continent by continent, utilizing the five themes of geography (location, place, human interaction with the environment, movement, and regions). “Location refers both to absolute location indicated by longitude and latitude and to relative location, indicated by direction, distance, or travel time. The concept of place refers to the physical and man-made characteristics of a place such as a town or city. Human interaction with the environment encompasses the many ways in which people have adapted to their surroundings or altered them for economic reasons. The movement of people, goods, and ideas is the fourth concept. The fifth, region, refers to ways of categorizing areas of the earth, such as by climate or religion.” (MF, Pg. 33) Students will continue to develop the skills to be able to identify and/or locate specific places and cities, absolute and relative location, climates, major physical characteristics, major resources, and data about population. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
Ancient Civilizations:        (Grade 6/7 – alternate years with World Geography)
Students will investigate the origins of human beings in Africa and early river valley civilizations to maritime civilizations in the Mediterranean. Topics for first semester include human origins and ancient river civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and India). Second semester topics focus upon the roots of Western Civilization with emphasis on the cultures of Greece, Rome, and Israel. Studies will focus upon “religions, governments, trade, philosophies, and art of these civilizations as well as the powerful ideas that arose in the ancient world and profoundly shaped the course of world history. These ideas include monotheism, democracy, the rule of law, individual worth, personal responsibility, the alphabetic principle for a writing system, and scientific reasoning.” (MF, Pg. 42) Geography topics will include types of maps, vocabulary terms, graphs and charts, and absolute and relative location. Students will also focus upon comparing historical and modern maps, using primary and secondary sources, learning about multiple causes and effects, and learning new terms for economics and government. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
U.S. History I: Foundations and Framework of the American Government (Grade 8)
Students will focus upon the political and intellectual origins of the American Revolution and the Constitution. First semester topics will include political, economic, intellectual, and historical factors leading to the Revolution, key documents (the Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation), Thomas Jefferson’s political philosophy, and major battles and characters of the Revolutionary War. Second semester topics focus on the birth of the new nation, the creation and contents of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, checks and balances, the separation of powers, roles of Federal, State, and local governments, Massachusetts state government, and the rights and responsibilities of American citizens. Primary source documents will be read and discussed throughout these studies. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
U. S. History II: Growth of the Nation and Civil War (Grade 9)
Students will study the political developments in the U.S. under Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, Jacksonian Democracy, John Marshall and the Supreme Court, Suffrage, westward expansion, comparisons of life (education, transportation, slavery, economy, and culture) in the North and the South, Abolitionism, and key developments that led to the Civil War, during the first semester. Second semester topics include Lincoln’s presidency, the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War leaders and key battles, the effects, policies and consequences of Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow laws. Primary source documents will be read and discussed throughout these studies. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
U.S. History III: The Industrial Revolution and U.S. International Growth (1870 – 1940)        (Grade 10/11)
Students will explore the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution, immigration, union, political parties, increasing U.S. involvement in world affairs, World War I, Progressivism and the New Deal, causes and consequences of the Great Depression, etc. Primary source documents will be read and discussed throughout these studies. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
U.S. History IV: Modern U.S. History, 1939 – Cold War        (Grades 10/11)
World War II is the focus for the first semester. Topics include American Isolationism, German and Japanese aggression, Fascism, key battles, key leaders, and key documents, Japanese internment, women in the workforce, etc. During the second semester, students will investigate the causes and consequences of domestic Cold War trends, policies of Truman and Eisenhower, McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, the policies of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and more. Primary source documents will be read and discussed throughout these studies. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.
Twentieth Century World History         (Grade 12)
Students will investigate twentieth century struggles for democracy, the decline and fall of the Soviet Union, Apartheid, changes in Central and Eastern Europe and in China, global interdependence, current events, and unresolved problems of the modern world. Primary source documents will be read and discussed throughout these studies. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, vocabulary, geography, research, group discussion, organization, and independent work skills.