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Social Studies

Lower School

Grade 5 US History

Grade 5 Social Studies examines American History from the Pre-Columbian Period to the American Revolution. The course is structured around the parameters of history, geography, civics, government, economics, and humanities. Specific units include: Exploring and Settling America, Life in the Colonies, and the Road to Revolution. Social Studies skills including the interpretation of primary sources and the analysis of maps, charts, and graphs represent a common thread throughout the course. Students are kept abreast of current events through the use of an age appropriate periodical. A basal text with rich supplementary materials forms the infrastructure of this course.

Grade 6 Early and Ancient Civilizations

Grade 6 Social Studies examines the world from prehistory -500 A.D. The course revolves around the parameters of history, geography, government, economics and the humanities enabling students to have a deeper and more thorough understanding of causation. Specific units of study include Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt and Nubia, Phoenicia, Ancient Israel, Ancient Greece, and Rome. Students continue to build their social studies skills including the interpretation of primary sources and the analysis of maps, charts, and graphs. A research strand commences at this level resulting in a process oriented project. In addition, a year long unit on Community Service includes numerous opportunities for students to relate with the Belmont community.

Archeological Dig

Upper School 

Grade 7 World Cultures

Social Studies in the seventh grade explores the regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America as they relate to the 5 Themes of Geography: location, place, region, human-environment interaction, and movement. The course focuses on the parameters of history, geography, government, economics and the humanities enabling students to understand the world around them and to make connections between civilizations and their institutions.

The course attempts to show students the factors that result in cultural diversity and to help them appreciate the contributions of societies throughout the world. The research sequence continues in Grade 7 with a research based project or performance-based assessment. The research skills required are a continuation of the process started in Grade 6.

Grade 8 U.S. History to 1877

Grade 8 Social Studies is a continuation of U.S. History in Grade 5 and studies the American Revolution to the Civil War and Reconstruction. The course revolves around the themes of history, geography, government, economics and the humanities. Units of study include: Social Studies Skills, American Revolution, The Constitution, Westward Expansion, Role of Minorities in shaping America, Civil War and Reconstruction.
All students participate in a nationally renowned process known as National History Day as the culmination of the middle school social studies research strand. Students are asked to operationalize a theme by doing a research paper, exhibit, media production or live performance. The focus is on process and a careful examination of primary and secondary sources, as well as visits to museums, libraries and other historical sites. The culmination of this rigorous academic activity is the Chenery History Day which celebrates the accomplishments of the students.