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History

Vision/Mission Statement: The Middle School History Department is dedicated to enriching students’ understanding of their world through the study of peoples and cultures who came before. The curriculum is grounded in:
  • Historical thinking and analysis
  • Critical writing and research
  • Real-world application
  • Global citizenship
Course Descriptions:

GR 6: World History and Geography - Ancient Civilizations (Early Beginnings to 300 CE). Students in sixth-grade world history and geography classrooms learn about the earliest humans, the development of tools, the foraging way of life, agriculture, and the emergence of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, ancient Israel, the Indus River valley, China, and the Mediterranean basin. Although teachers should keep the focus on ancient events and problems, this course gives students the opportunity to grapple with geography, environmental issues, political systems and power structures, and civic engagement with fundamental ideas about citizenship, freedom, morality, and law, which also exist in the modern world. Students practice history as an interpretive discipline. They read written primary sources and secondary sources, investigate visual primary sources, and learn how to analyze multiple points of view, cite evidence from sources, and make claims in writing and speaking based on that evidence.

GR 7: World History and Geography - Medieval and Early Modern Times (300 CE to 1750 CE). Students in grade seven study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia (East, South, and Southwestern)  in the years CE 300-1750. With solid grounding in the ways in which archaeologists and historians uncover the past, students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and early modern times. They examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. They learn about the resulting growth of authority, the natural rights of human beings and the divine right of kings, experimentalism in science, and the dogma of belief. In addition, students assess the political forces let loose by the Enlightenment, particularly the rise of democratic ideas. Throughout, students are asked to consider how the ideas, systems, and beliefs they study in history class continue to influence their world today.

GR 8: United States History and Geography - Growth and Conflict. The eighth-grade course of study begins with an intensive review of the major ideas, issues, and events that shaped the founding of the nation. In their study of this era, students will view American history through the lens of people who were trying—and are still trying—to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Throughout their eighth-grade United States history and geography course, students will confront the themes of freedom, equality, and liberty and their changing definitions over time. This course will explore the geography of place, movement, and region, starting with the Atlantic seaboard and then American westward expansion and economic development, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and finally, industrialization. (Adapted from the State of California History-Social Science Framework)
 
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Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, SHS is a Catholic, independent, co-ed day school for students in preschool through grade 12