Middle School Social Studies Program of Studies

   Social Studies 7

OVERARCHING ENDURING UNDERSTANDING for Social Studies:

Acting as a member of a global society requires understanding the diversity of world views.   An individual’s world view is shaped by his/her environment, family, community, culture and experiences.  How does an individual develop his/her world view?

The Social Studies curriculum at Amherst Regional Middle School is based on a number of enduring understandings. Enduring understandings are "big ideas" uncovered by essential questions which guide learning. They help students to see relationships and patterns in the content of the course. While we begin with a common question, "How does an individual develop his/her world view?", the inquiry process enables students to discover their own unique answers.

The seventh grade social studies curriculum includes six units. In the introductory unit, students will apply the five themes of geography to projects focused on the question "Who Am I?". The next four units answer the question, "Who Are They?" by exploring the enduring understandings that help define an individual’s world view. The enduring understandings include how a person’s environment, identity development, and diversity within and between cultures shapes her/his world view. These enduring understandings will be examined through a series of case studies drawn from various regions of the world. The final unit asks students to answer the question "Who Are We?" by applying the enduring understandings from the prior units in a culminating project about global connections. Each seventh grade Social Studies teacher will create his/her curriculum including case studies according to student needs and the interdisciplinary connections of the team.

 

Social Studies 8

OVERARCHING ENDURING UNDERSTANDING FOR SOCIAL STUDIES:

The promise of America is one of opportunity.   America’s story must be told from diverse perspectives to understand how access to opportunities changes over time.   Because the struggle for opportunity continues today, we have a responsibility to shape American society to make the promise a reality.  Is America a land of opportunity?

 The Social Studies curriculum at Amherst Regional Middle School is based on a number of enduring understandings. Enduring understandings are "big ideas" uncovered by essential questions which guide learning. They help students to see relationships and patterns in the content of the course. While we begin with a common question, “Is America a land of opportunity?”, the inquiry process enables students to discover their own unique answers.

The eighth grade social studies curriculum includes six units. The units we study will span from the founding of the country into late 19th century. In the introductory unit, students will apply the historical method of inquiry, based on the collection and evaluation of evidence, to prepare them to uncover the stories of America’s past. The next five units examine changes in America: political change, technological change, cultural interaction and change, conflict, compromise and change, and social change. These changes frame the opportunities afforded to various groups in American society. At times, changes brought opportunity to some and obstacles to others. Units may be taught according to the needs of the students and teacher. Each eighth grade Social Studies teacher will create his/her curriculum chronologically or thematically according to student needs and the interdisciplinary connections of the team. 

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