Social Studies and History
The goal of the History Department is to empower young women to be critical thinkers, powerful writers and thoughtful citizens. Our students gain an understanding and appreciation of their own, and other, cultures by studying the past and its effects on the present and future. History is taught as an interdisciplinary subject, integrating art, literature, music and science. Instruction is enhanced through the use of primary sources, technology integration, classroom simulations, debates and field trips. Study and organizational skills are reinforced through research projects, written reports, and classroom presentations.
Fifth Grade: Social Studies
Fifth Graders will learn about history and the English language through a combined humanities course. The humanities curriculum is designed to show students the deep, natural connection between history, reading, and writing. They will learn and practice the historical inquiry skills by posing questions about the past, and applying skills associated with locating, analyzing, evaluating and using sources as evidence to develop an informed argument or interpretation. The history textbook will be used to teach informational reading and note-taking skills. Through the reading of fiction and nonfiction novels, planned presentations, and extemporaneous speaking, the students have ample opportunities to grow as thinkers and communicators. They will write for a variety of purposes, including both argumentative, narrative, informational, and creative writing. Field trips, re-enactments, and productions are incorporated into the study of the time to provide a fully immersive experience.
Sixth Grade: Social Studies
The sixth grade social studies curriculum increases the student's awareness of the universality of human culture. Students examine seven ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia, India, China, Greece, Rome, and African Kingdoms. Before exploring these civilizations, the girls learn how to define civilization and culture in order to have the tools and vocabulary necessary to examine all civilizations - including our own. Students explore their world, past and present, by using appropriate maps, textbooks and many primary and secondary sources.
Seventh Grade: History
The seventh grade curriculum explores the world in which we live through the study of culture and geography. Using the five themes of geography, we learn about the world continent by continent, with the goal of being able to map the world by heart by the end of the school year. Through map making, case studies, and current events, students develop their geographic skills and perspective. Our study culminates with World's Fair, an interdisciplinary and multimedia project incorporating the themes of the year.
Eighth Grade: History
American History is taught from a thematic approach to help the students see the "big picture" as to how key events in American history are connected across time. The course is divided into four quarter-long units, each organized around several essential questions. These four units examine how the government has evolved in the country's history, compare and contrast various wars and military conflicts in American history, study how the discrimination against many groups in the United States has changed and finally research how the role of the federal government in the American economy has progressed over time. In order to approach history in an engaging way as free of bias as possible, much of the reading is done through the analysis of primary sources.