The history curriculum builds upon content from the Lower School program and prepares students for the curriculum in the Upper School. An understanding of the uniqueness of this age group is reflected in a program centered on the interests and abilities of Middle School students. Gaining knowledge of and appreciation for many different cultures is an important aspect of the program. Students not only learn facts and dates but are also asked to consider causes, effects, and implications of events in history. Through this process they come to realize that change is constant, that “truth” is often incomplete and subjective, and that the past is a vital, integral part of the future.
The sixth grade curriculum teaches students about the world around them. Students begin the year by focusing on geography. Not only do students learn basic skills about maps and interpreting data, they will focus on deeper geographic questions like how where you live affects how you live. From there, students will explore various countries during the Middle Ages. Students will examine the political and social structures in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. This study culminates in the production of a Middle Ages Fair. The year concludes with a look at the world as it is today. Students will re-visit the countries they learned about in the Middle Ages and look at how their societies have evolved. Throughout, students are using the content they are learning to work on skills like research, writing, collaboration, and note-taking.
The seventh grade curriculum examines American History from the birth of the country during the Revolutionary War until the Progressive Era in the 1920s. This includes a look at our early presidents, the causes of the Civil War, the war itself, its aftermath, and the expansion of the country. Students use this content to work on a number of skills, including writing, research, group work, and creativity. Students also complete a coding project that is aligned with their math class. Every student will write a research paper based on a thesis statement of their choosing. In addition, the seventh graders produce the History Trials every spring.
The eighth grade curriculum focuses on 20th century American History. Students begin by learning about World War I, the progress through the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War to the present. Throughout, students are examining essential questions that deal with how America became a super power and what impact that has had on this country and on the world. In addition, students will look at how various people gained rights. There is also a strong focus on developing skills like research, writing, and note-taking. All students produce a research paper. Finally, students host a documentary film festival.