In the middle school, the sixth and seventh grades focus on world geography, history, culture, and current events. Courses follow a regional approach to the study of the historical, political, economical and cultural development of the world. Our goal with middle school social studies is to help students develop skills that will be essential to their success in upper school coursework. Such skills include critical thinking, reading with understanding, clear written and oral communication, and focused study and research. Teachers train students to interpret and create maps, charts, and graphs, as well as to use technology as a tool for research projects and presentations. Middle school courses are as follows:

Sixth Grade Social Studies
The sixth-grade social studies curriculum focuses on the cultural geography of Asia and Africa. Each regional unit helps students develop geographical knowledge through a careful study of political and physical maps and map interpretation. In addition, students also gain a broad-based understanding of key historical figures, events, and cultural characteristics. Critical thinking, research, writing, and oral presentation skills will also be emphasized in class activities and projects. Social studies themes and cultural studies are often integrated into interdisciplinary units with the English department.

Seventh Grade Social Studies
The seventh-grade social studies curriculum builds upon students’ cultural literacy and geography skills learned in the previous year. Critical reasoning, research, writing, analysis of political cartoons and primary source documents, and oral presentation skills will be emphasized through class activities and projects. This course features a broad-based study of the history and cultural geography of Europe, Russia, and Latin America. All units accentuate the role of geography and its influence on history and culture. Current events are an integral part of weekly class activities.

Eighth Grade Social Studies
The eighth-grade social studies curriculum is designed to help students develop a better understanding of, and appreciation for, the history of the United States from the pre-colonial era to the Civil War era. This multi-disciplinary course highlights the nation’s historical, political, cultural, economic, and institutional development. An in-depth study of the Constitution along with the causes of the Civil War and its effects on United States history will be emphasized through projects, debates, and historical analysis. The course culminates with a five-page United States Civil War research paper in coordination with the eighth-grade English course.