The Day School at Baltimore Hebrew stresses an interactive, experiential approach to learning about Social Studies. The sequential curriculum develops concepts, skills, and their applications, building from year to year on prior knowledge and experience. Throughout the grades, Students utilize research skills and reasoning skills. Opportunities are provided at each grade level to utilize classroom learning to solve real-world problems and discuss real-world situations. Students are encouraged to use both print and non-print materials as well as primary sources to reinforce in-class learning. Students
also become active participants in communications about and actions regarding current local and world issues. Whenever possible, Judaic Studies is integrated into the Social Studies curriculum in all grade levels throughout the year. The listings below indicate topics and activities that are covered at
all grade levels, although topics may shift to other grade levels depending on grade groupings required by enrolment at some grade levels.
Grade 6 and Grade 7
- Course description:
The sixth and seventh grade years provide students with opportunities to study various cultures of the world, both modern and of days gone by. Through reading, research, discussion, and involvement with current world events, students gain an understanding of global geography (both physical and political) and global issues (political, social and economic.) Students are encouraged to relate each unit of study to issues that are immediately relevant in their own lives as Americans, as Jews, and as citizens of our world.
The students will:
- Identify: the geography, location, and climate of each area of the world studied.
- Identify: how the culture is influenced by its geography, location, natural resources, and climate
- Identify: important events in the history of the area
- Describe: the economic, political, and cultural characteristics of each area of the world studies.
- Describe: how various groups have influenced the development of each area or country.
- Describe: characteristics such languages, and ways of life.
III. Teaching units:
- Latin America
- The Caribbean
- Central America
- South America
- Mayan, Aztec, and Incan Civilizations
B. The Indian Subcontinent and surrounding countries
1. Western Europe
2. Ancient to modernEurope
3. Eastern Europe: emphasis on the development of communism and the break- up of the communist countries into independent states
4. Australia, New Zealand, and thePacificIslands
5. World War II
IV. Concepts and key ideas:
- Changes in a country have occurred historically due to the geography, climate, and natural resources of an area, as well as influences of other cultures and peoples.
- Religion and ethical issues often influence the development of a culture.
- The movement of people affects the political and cultural description of a country.
V. Methods and activities:
- Reading and discussion of textbook selections and current print and non-print sources
- Project based inquiry and presentations
- Involvementin current events issues by development of discussion topics and/or action activities.
- Guestspeakers and field trips on related topics.
- Teacher Created Materials
- Print and non-print periodicals for current events
- Geography Tools and Concepts, Prentice Hall
- World Geography: A Global Perspective, Prentice Hall
- Asia and the Pacific, Prentice Hall World Explorer
- Interact simulations
GRADE 8 (7 and 8 may run a 2 year cycle)
I. Course description
The eighth grade social studies program takes students from the beginnings of our national government after the Revolutionary War through time into the post World War II era. These studies are integrated with Judaic topics such as social justice, and Holocaust studies. Students learn about each of the major events in history with an eye to the lessons these events teach us and the impact these events have had on our world today.
The students will:
- Describe the events that led up to the American Revolution and major events and battles of the Revolution
- Explain the problem encountered in setting up a new government and various parts of the Constitution.
- Describe the movement for westward expansion in the 1800s and problems in political relationships withEurope.
- Explain the changes that occurred as industry developed in theUnited States.
- Identify the events that led up to the Civil War, its major battles, economic issues, impact on families, and cultural effects.
- Describe how the reconstruction of the South after the Civil War is still shaping attitudes today.
- Explain how the effects of expansion, the growth of railroads, and development of major industries and monopolies impacted the lives of many different cultures in the United States.
- Describe the growth of immigration and development of big cities.
- Describe how the United States becomes a world power in the pre-World War I era.
- Identify major effects of World War I on the world and theUnited States.
- Identify characteristics of the Roaring Twenties, the causes of the Great Depression, and America’s efforts to recover.
- Identify causes of World War II, and major events on the European, Pacific, and the home fronts.
- Identify the challenges facing America from the 1950’s to modern times related to attempts to prevent theexpansion of communism, economic trials, the Middle East and other international problems.
IV. Teaching units:
- Expansion and Reform
- The Civil War and Reconstruction
- Development of IndustrialAmerica
- Modern America Emerges
- The Post World War II United States
V. Concepts and key ideas:
- Our nation began to create a more just government.
- The formation of our government required compromise on decisions regarding the directions to be taken.
- The growth in land acquisition, population increases, and industrial development had both benefits and caused problems for the young nation.
- The debates over the slavery issue and states’ rights lead to the Civil War.
- Southernattitudes continue to be reshaped from reconstruction to modern times.
- The expansion of the railroads and the western frontier leads to problems with Native peoples and the intervention of Congress.
- Thegrowth of immigration leads to problems in big cities and the development of new political parties and labor unions.
- The United States becomes a world power with its participation in a war with Spain and then its entering World War I.
- The changes in society after World War I lead to the Great Depression.
- As Roosevelt’s “New Deal” attempts to affect a recovery from the Depression, the United States is pulled into a second World war.
- The post-World War II era has been marked by struggles around the world and at home related to the spread of communism, national intrigues, andMiddle East problems.
VI. Methods and activities:
- Readingand discussion of selected materials from textbooks.
- Current print and non-print sources for up-to-date news.
- Research and presentation of information.
- Project based study and presentation.
- Guest speakers and field trips as appropriate.
- Social action activities.
- Relating historical events to our modern world in order to develop the values and attitudes necessary to promote a just world in the future.
- Teacher Created Materials
- Current print, non-print, and internet sources
- United States History, American Guidance Service, a division of Prentice Hall
- The American Nation, Prentice Hall
- America’s Story- Steck Vaughn