Social Studies 7 and 8

Brief Course Description:

Junior High Social Studies is a survey course of American history, covering the period of time from the pre-history of the Americas to the present in two years. The course textbook, The American Journey, Glencoe, McGraw Hill, 2003, suveys this history in chapters 1 through 32 .Year 1 covers the pre-history of the Americas to the start of the Civil War in chapters 1 through 15. Year 2 covers the history of the Civil War to the present in chapters 16 through 32.

Course Goals and/or Major Student Outcomes:

General knowledge and awareness of the outlines of U.S. history and the ability to analytically interact with and present the facts of this history in an organized manner is the main goal of 7th and 8th grade Social Studies. Successful completion of coursework requires systematic reading from the textbook, class participation, learning and applying note-taking and organizational skills, timely completion of homework assignments, testing on a regular schedule, and writing essays on the content of each chapter. Exceptional effort is encouraged and can be demonstrated by positive participation in classroom discussions, self-initiated research, work beyond the minimum requirements, and the thoughtful consideration of and assistance to others.

Course Objectives: See Course Goals

Key Assignments:

  • Section quizzes, typically 3 or 4 per chapter, are given on the day after the assigned reading of the section. These quizzes are taken from teaching aids provided by the publishers of The American Journey to reinforce concepts and promote comprehension.
  • A chapter test, covering the full contents of a chapter, is given at the end of the instruction period. This test is prepared by the instructor and designed to expose the student to a variety of testing methodologies and test-taking skills, including in-class essays. A cumulative semester test is also given.
  • Guided Reading homework assignments for each chapter section and a Vocabulary Activity sheet for each chapter, taken from teaching aids provided by the publishers of The American Journey, are given to reinforce concepts and promote comprehension.
  • Instruction on note taking and organization, including a requirement for taking notes and maintaining a Social Studies Organizational Binder, is provided.
  • Essays, following the standard 5 paragraph narrative format, are assigned for each chapter.
  • Participation in National History Day competition with yearlong preparation is incorporated into the calendar schedule or as a separate class with oversight and instruction from the Social Studies teacher.
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