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Middle School Social Studies

The Middle School Social Studies curriculum emphasizes instruction in Maryland’s core learning goals for Social Studies: History, Geography, Economics, Political Systems and Peoples and Nations of the World. The WCPS curriculum is built on the foundations of Maryland’s State Curriculum. Teachers utilize reading, discussion, writing and participation in various Social Studies skillsets, such as collaborative problem solving, visual discovery and experiential activities in order to challenge and engage students while increasing their understanding of history, politics, geography, economics and culture.

Social Studies instruction is founded in a common philosophy guided by district-wide PreK-12 Transfer Goals:

  • Transfer Goal 1: Formulate investigations using multiple sources of information to address a question, form an opinion or to solve a problem.
  • Transfer Goal 2: Apply the relevance of historical lessons to a given situation, problem or challenge.
  • Transfer Goal 3: Apply knowledge of political and social structures to actively participate as an informed global citizen.
  • Transfer Goal 4: Communicate and support ideas effectively to address a particular audience and purpose.

6TH GRADE

In sixth grade, students study World History from the earliest cultures and civilizations to the middle ages. Learners develop important social studies and critical thinking skills including the construction of timelines, reading and analysis of primary and secondary sources, use of atlases and globes and interpretation of visual sources. Through this work, students are able to understand historical events, the process of social change, the impact of individuals and the relation between historical issues and current events.

Modules of study include:

  • Early Settlements & Geography

  • Research & Historical Investigations

  • Empires: Roles of Citizens & Government

  • Medieval World & Economics

  • Transition Americans and Exploration

7TH GRADE

In seventh grade, students study Geography and World Cultures. Learners investigate the world through an approach that considers modern issues framed through geographic, political, historical, social and economic lenses as well as confronting different customs, traditions and other unique characteristics of people and places around the globe. Students build and extend their skills by creating and interpreting maps, constructing timelines, reading primary and secondary sources, using atlases and globes and interpreting cultural artifacts. Additionally, in 7th grade, students complete a Student Service Learning Project as part of the state curriculum.

Modules of study include:

  • The World in Spatial Terms

  • Regional Adaptations

  • Populations

  • Economics & Consumption Patterns

  • Pollution & Human Impact on the Environment

  • Global Politics

8TH GRADE

In eighth grade, students study American History from colonization through the Industrial Revolution. Learners develop their understanding of the United States through the use of social studies and critical thinking skills including the construction of timelines, examination of primary and secondary sources, creation and analysis of maps, use of atlases and globes, interpretation of political cartoons and collection of data to formulate historical understandings. Through this work, students are able to apply historical understandings about the formation of the American nation as well as its culture, politics and economics and relate this knowledge to current issues and events.

Modules of study include:

  • Settlement of the Americas

  • The American Revolution

  • Foundations of Government

  • Growth and Expansion

  • Civil War & Reconstruction

  • Beginnings of Modern America