Social studies students develop a strong knowledge base in history, geography and cultural studies. This helps create a love for the subject and interest in continuing studies. We believe it is necessary for students to memorize and comprehend important facts so they can use this information to think analytically and critically about history and culture. Students are taught a wide array of study skills they can utilize to master the content.
Students learn how to think like a real historian. They learn how to determine the basic facts of an historical happening by asking questions about where and when the event occurred as well as the details of what happened. Then they must consider why the event happened and what factors contributed to it, therefore analyzing its cause and effect. We teach them to think about the context in which the historical event unfolded. Students then learn to analyze the impact and significance of the historical event, both in the short- and long-term.
We provide our students with extensive experience in research. They learn how to collect data from general and specialized libraries and use the various reference tools available. Students become adept at using some of the excellent reference sites on the Internet. In addition, they learn how to seek out primary sources from various archives. Students are taught how to take notes, how to organize their notes, and how to set up an outline from their notes. They learn how to think about the data they have collected – organizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating.
Finally, students learn how to display their research in a variety of forms – papers, speeches, re-enactments, audio-visual productions. All seventh and eighth grade students participate in National History Day that gives in-depth experience in our social studies objectives.
At all grade levels, we try to make history come alive whether through debates and simulations, field trips to our city’s vast resources, or visiting speakers. Furthermore, our classes also reach out to the world through various service projects such as sending school supplies to Uganda or writing letters to soldiers overseas.