Social Studies: 7 th Grade

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1 Social Studies: 7 th Grade In social studies, there are two types of work that we do. One is developing skills, like reading maps, analyzing primary and secondary sources, understanding cause and effect and reading and using timelines. Another type is learning the content and analyzing the relationship between historical events and groups of people. Core Question1: What can I do to help my child prepare for 7 th grade Social Studies? 1. Working with maps beyond just identifying places is a skill that is the basis for understanding historical events. Some examples are: From what city did the first crusade start?

2 During which Crusades was the city of Jerusalem invaded by the Christians? In what ways did the third Crusade travel to the Arabian Peninsula? 2. Talking to students about current events and how they relate to history. Some examples are: We study the crusades, which occurred during the middle ages and in the Middle East. Many people discuss that this fight has continued throughout the ages between the Muslims and the Christians. We study how the Europeans sent explorers to the new world to look for new land in the name of their country. Discuss the current events on immigration, languages spoken in different parts of the world, or cultural differences between people in different parts of the world. 3. Discuss your religious/spiritual beliefs and where they come from. We discuss different religious origins and the beliefs of people during the Middle Ages and students often have more questions about where their beliefs come from and want to know more about their own houses of worship. 4. Have students look at controversial issues from both sides and create an argument based on the facts or their beliefs. Having them examine both sides to an issue can help them to create better arguments and therefore, better writing in the area of social studies. Should there be school uniforms? Students will commonly say that there should not be uniforms; you might ask them why schools might be implementing uniforms. You might also ask them what benefit there might be for the kids to have them. Should there be a 0 tolerance policy for violent behaviors in schools? Was exploration a good thing or bad thing? Who should rule the government? Is gold worth the same as salt? Should people be able to move up the social ladder, or should people stay where they are regardless of how hard they work? 5. Students should know how to read a timeline that includes events Before Common Era (B.C.E. or B.C) and after Common Era (C.E. or A.D.) Adding and subtracting to know how many years passed in between events Putting events in order according to the dates they happened Deciding what are important events to put on timelines Knowing when events happened in relation to other events

3 Core Question 2: What will my child learn throughout the year during 7 th grade Social Studies? What can I do at home to support what is being learned at school? Unit 1 1. Describing the difference between primary and secondary sources. Examples of Primary Sources (First-hand account of an event/time period): Diary Autobiography Memoire Examples of Secondary Sources (Second-hand account of an event/time period): Textbook Biography Historical Fiction Encyclopedia 2. Identifying the seven elements of a civilization. A place can only be called a civilization if it has all of the following: Social Structure Writing Technology Government Stable Food Supply

4 Arts Religion 3. Beginning to understand social structure (Egypt) Every civilization organizes its people into groups according to what they think of as important (money, education, land ownership, livestock ownership, etc.) and those at the top of the social structure have the most power, while those at the bottom have little power. 1. Was Ancient Sumer a civilization? 2. Must every society become a civilization? Unit 2 1. The Feudal System Barbarian attacks forced the Europeans to create a new social class system. Students study that system and how each group needed the other in order to survive. Each class had a specific job and supported each other. 2. The Catholic Church Students study the basic beliefs of the Catholic Church and these beliefs influenced the lives of the people. 3. Life in Feudal Towns Students examine how life was like in a feudal town. 4. The Decline of Feudal System Students examine the Magna Carta, the Black Plague and The Hundred Years War and how in combination, they shifted the balance of power and ended the feudal system. 5. Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox Church Students study how Constantinople s location made it the perfect trading hub for Asia, Europe and Africa. Students look at how the Greek Orthodox Church split from the Catholic Church and how this affected the people and the Church. 1. How did the Plague, the Magna Carta, and the Hundred Year s war eliminate Feudalism?

5 2. How does religion influence people s lives? Justinian Joan of Arc Unit 3 1. Muhammad s life Students study where Muhammad was born and how he came to begin the Islamic faith. 2. Pillars of Islam Students Study the pillars of Islam and how these beliefs influence the lives of the people. 3. Muslim Contributions Students study the major contributions of the Muslims during the Middle Ages, such as zoology, geography and navigation, and medicine 4. The Crusades Students study how did the Crusades started and what effect they have on the world. 1. What is the most important Muslim invention and how does it influence us today? 2. How do religious beliefs influence people s actions? 3. What lesson can we take from the Crusades? King Richard III Salah Al Din Pope Urban II Unit 4 1. Early Societies of West Africa Students understand the progression from small villages of family members to larger towns and eventually civilizations. They also learn how the selection of village leaders started with the wisest, oldest male to the wealthiest male as they began to trade and develop an

6 economy. 2. Gold and Salt Trade of Ghana Students understand that Ghana s economy was based on charges taxes to salt traders as they passed through. Ghana charged salt traders gold in order to go through to gold mines to the south of Ghana, despite having no resources of their own. This practice continued as Mali and Songhai developed into civilizations. 3. Influence of Islam in West Africa As Muslims moved into West Africa, they began to change many of the cultural aspects of the region. They changed the language, government, art and architecture, laws, and education. Mansu Musa (first Muslim West African King) and his pilgrimage to Mecca let the Islamic world know how advanced West Africa was.

7 4. Cultural Legacy of West Africa Some the ways that Africans passed down their culture was from storytellers (griots), music, dance, and tapestries. Key Questions: 1. Is salt worth the same as gold? 2. How did the choosing of African Kings change over time and with cultural influences? Mansa Musa Unit 5 1. The Political Development of China Students learn about the different dynasties in China and the different ways they ran their government. Aristocracies (the wealthy are in charge), Meritocracies (people who have taken a test to prove they can lead are in charge) and foreign-ruled government (people from other countries run the government). 2. China s Changing Economy Students learn about how changes in China s farming (irrigation, new inventions, new fastergrowing rice) led to a complete change in their jobs and people created cities. 3. Chinese Discoveries and Inventions Key Questions: 4. China s Contact With the Outside World Students will know how different dynasties dealt with their trade policy, based on events from the previous dynasty s actions and the consequences of their decisions. 1. How should government officials be chosen? 2. How did an increase in rice production lead to urbanization? 3. What was the greatest Chinese invention and how does it impact us today? 4. Should countries open their borders to trade and to be influenced by others?

8 Unit 6 Genghis Khan Kubla Khan Marco Polo 1. Influence of Neighboring Cultures on Japan Students will examine the effects of interacting with other cultures near Japan. Students follow the path of Buddhism from India into Japan. ss well as other cultural influences from Korea and China. 2. Japan s Golden Age Students describe the Golden Age of literature, art and drama in Japan and explain the effects of the Golden Age. 3. The Rise of the Warrior Class in Japan Students learn how Japan classified its people and how each class needed the other to run an effective civilization. 1. How was the class system of Japan like the class system of Feudal Europe? 2. What effect did the Golden Age of Japan have on its society? Prince Shotoku Murasaki Shikibu Unit 7 1. The Maya Students will examine the beginnings of the Maya and their cultural practices, including social class, religious practices, marriage and writing. 2. The Aztecs

9 Students will examine the beginnings of the Aztecs and their cultural practices, including the development of Tenochtitlan, religious practices, and rituals of war. 3. The Inca Students will examine the beginnings of the Inca and their cultural practices, including social class, religious practices and how they maintained a large empire. 4. Contributions of the Inca, Aztecs and Inca Students learn about the ways the Inca, Aztec and Maya have influenced the cultures of today. 1. What are the similarities and differences of the Aztec, Inca and Maya? 2. What cultural influences of the Inca, Aztec, and Maya have continued in the Americas today? Montezuma Unit 8 1. The Reformation Students examine key reasons for the Reformation and the splitting of the Christians into Protestants and Catholics. They also study the impact these splits had on Europe and the development of the United States.

10 2. The Renaissance Students understand that this time in European history was based in art, architecture, and drama and how it helped change the economy of Europe. Students will also examine how people began to question the norm and sparked changes in science, religion and government. 3. Key People of the Renaissance/Reformation Students examine key people of the Reformation and the Renaissance and their impact on society. 1. How do changing beliefs lead to changes in culture? 2. How did the split of the Church effect the lives of Europeans? 3. How new thoughts change the culture of Europe? Martin Luther William Tyndale Henry VIII Michelangelo Titian Albrecht Durer Copernicus Andreas Vesalius Isabella I Elizabeth I Shakespeare Miguel Cervantes Leonardo Da Vinci Unit 9 1. Age of Exploration Students look at the reasons for exploration and the impact it had on both Europe and the Americas. (economically, languages, religions, and populations)

11 2. Scientific Revolution Students examine new ways of thinking about science and religion and how these thoughts changed the way people understood science and how to research questions with the Scientific Method. 3. Age of Enlightenment Students look at how the Age of Enlightenment started and key people who changed the way Europeans thought about individual rights and how these ideas later led to the development of the American system of democracy. 1. Was exploration a good thing or a bad thing? 2. How did ideas of philosophers of Europe influence documents of the United States government? Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain Christopher Columbus Henry Hudson Cabral Hernan Cortes Francisco Pizarro Copernicus Galileo Isaac Newton Thomas Hobbes John Locke Voltaire Cesare Beccaria Baron de Montesquieu Core Question 3: How do I monitor my child s progress and learning throughout the year? What resources can I use in order to do this? Progress for Social Studies can be monitored through the Parent Portal, checking student grades or indicators of progress, and contacting their teachers. Parents can also monitor progress by helping students keep track of assignments, their assigned dates, and due dates and asking students to see their work that has been returned. Going through the work and expectations (rubrics, checklists, or grades) and reflecting on how to do better the next time, or to continue the work that they have done.

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