Welcome to the MBJH Social Studies Department

    Grade 7 Civics

    The goal of education in civics and government is informed, responsible participation in political life by competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles of the constitutional democracy that established the republic of the United States of America. These standards incorporate the strands of economics, geography, history, and civics and government with an obvious emphasis on political ideology. They address representative democracy, individual rights and freedoms, law, personal finance, and civic responsibilities.

    Students at this age should be able to assume more responsibilities in their family, school, and community roles. To address this concern, students are given opportunities to apply civic knowledge to problem-based learning   situations in the community and to other activities that foster increased personal responsibility.

    The classroom environment should provide students with numerous opportunities to participate in instruction that incorporates a variety of formats and learning tools, including role playing, debate, and hands-on activities as well as the use of graphic organizers, text, charts, and graphs. Students should have multiple opportunities for listening, reading, and writing activities as well as group and individual projects. Culminating projects ensure that students apply their civic knowledge and skills to understand local, national, and international issues.

    Grade 7 Geography

    Geography is a diverse field of study that describes and examines spatial patterns of physical and human phenomena across Earth’s surface and the processes that created them. Geography provides a spatial perspective that enables students to answer questions about the world around them, including why things are located where they are. In this one-semester geography course, students increase their knowledge about the physical and human nature of the world and about relationships between people and their environments. Interwoven throughout the course are the three interrelated components of geography. These components include Earth as a physical object, a physical environment, and a place in which humans live; geographic skills; and spatial and ecological perspectives. Students also study geography in the context of economics, civics and politics, history, and culture. Content standards follow a thematic approach based on the essential elements of the National Geographic Research and Exploration’s National Geography Standards, which includes the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and uses of geography.

    The classroom instructional environment should provide students with numerous opportunities to participate in learning activities that incorporate a variety of formats and learning tools, including role-playing, debate, and hands-on activities as well as the use of maps, globes, satellite images, and skills to interpret graphic organizers, text, charts, and graphs. Students should have multiple opportunities for listening, reading, and writing activities as well as group and individual projects. Culminating projects ensure that students apply geographic knowledge and skills to understand local, national, and international issues.


    Grade 8 Ancient and Medieval World History

    Students in the eighth grade can be described as curious and independent learners who are discovering who they are and determining their place in the world. They are asserting their independence from adults and are becoming more reliant on their peers. These students need to be allowed to develop their independence with a great amount of guidance. Through exposure to various media and first-hand experiences, students are becoming more aware of events on a global scale and are learning how these events affect them. The study of world history in Grade 8 addresses the time period from prehistoric man to the 1500s. Content standards for this grade incorporate the strands of economics, geography, history, and political science, with an emphasis on the history and geography strands. This course covers the migrations of early peoples, the rise of civilizations, the establishment of governments and religions, the growth of economic systems, and the ways in which these events shaped Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Unique to this course are the experiences that provide for the study of the ways human beings view themselves over time. The prevailing use of terms to describe the Gregorian calendar is B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin for ―in the year of our Lord). The terms B.C.E. (before the Common Era) and C.E. (in the Common Era) are beginning to appear in some schools of theology, state and national assessments, and in national history standards. The use of the abbreviations B.C.E. and C.E., also based on the Gregorian calendar, does not, in any way, diminish/negate the importance of the abbreviations B.C. and A.D.

    To address the independent and curious nature of eighth graders, instruction is designed to actively involve students in critical thinking and exchange of ideas, including critical evaluation, interpretation, reasoning, and deduction. Instruction of this nature can best be accomplished through the use of electronic media such as the Internet, videos, and television as well as by participation in small-group and individual activities.

    World History: 1500 to the Present

    In the ninth grade, students develop strong personal opinions, beliefs, or positions on current issues and events of the past. Teachers capitalize on this characteristic to stress the importance of grounding positions and opinions in knowledge. As students transition from middle school to high school, they can understand and use complex concepts such as adaptation, assimilation, acculturation, diffusion, and historical knowledge and inquiry to study the past, its relationship to the present, and its impact on the future. Students in Grade 9 are able to think critically and logically about personal, national, and global issues. This enables them to apply and utilize their knowledge and curiosity to develop informed opinions about issues such as the quest for peace, human rights, trade, and global ecology.

    At the ninth-grade level, students continue the study of world history from 1500 to the present. Critical thinking and analysis are important in this course. Through historical inquiry, students gain an understanding and appreciation of history as a story of people much like themselves and become increasingly able to understand global interdependence and connections among world societies. The course directs students to think critically about the forces that combine to shape the world today. It allows them to analyze development and changes in the European, Asian, African, and American civilizations and ways in which the interactions of these cultures have influenced the formation of today’s world. Knowledge of other cultures enables students to develop a better appreciation of the unique American heritage of liberty. Geographic concepts increase learners’ comprehension of global connections as they expand their knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of cultures, both historical and contemporary.

    Ninth-grade students continue to have preferred learning styles. Therefore, the use of a variety of instructional strategies and techniques is effective in helping students gain the knowledge and skills this course requires. Well-equipped classrooms include a variety of visual stimuli such as charts, globes, graphs, and maps. Multiple opportunities are provided for students to participate in the educational process through the use of electronic and print media and small-group interaction.

    Ninth Grade
    Advanced World History: 1500 to the Present

    Advanced World History: 1500 to the Present may be taken in place of the regular class. The advanced class addresses all of the standards listed previously and goes a step further in their implementation. The advanced class is characterized by the following:

    -an examination of topics in more depth
    -an increased emphasis on higher level/critical thinking skills
    -additional outside reading assignments
    -more emphasis on reading and writing skills through writing of essays and analysis of information from various sources such as primary documents 

    AP Human Geography

    The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.  You will employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences.  You will also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. 

    Skill Development

    Upon successful completion of the course, students should have developed skills that enable them to:
    · interpret maps and analyze geospatial data.
    · understand and explain the implications of associations and networks among phenomena in places.
    · recognize and interpret the relationships among patterns and processes at different scales of analysis.
    · define regions and evaluate the regionalization process.
    · characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.
    · read, outline and master college-level reading
    · participate in college-level discussions and analyses
    · negotiate challenging assignment expectations and timelines
    · work cooperatively and collaboratively on projects
    · cultivate essential map skills and knowledge
    · integrate technology into their habits of learning, academic production and daily thinking