As adolescents mature, they become less inwardly focused and more able to consider the problems and patterns of society as a whole. Through our social studies curriculum, St. Michael’s seeks to nurture civic-minded students eager to scrutinize and discuss important issues of humanity’s past, present, and future. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop historical knowledge using inquiry, critical thinking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills. Cooperative hands-on activities, simulations, and Webquests encourage these higher-level thinking skills while making history stimulating and relevant, as well as preparing them for rigorous AP classes in their future.
Sixth Grade Social Studies
Sixth grade students explore the broad arc of world history, from early humans through the Middle Ages. Hand crafting a tool with only raw materials found in the outdoors, staging the “Burial of a Pharaoh,” trading porcelain vases for spices or silk along the Silk Road, and acting as tour guides on our annual trip to southwestern Colorado shed light on the evolutions of such institutions as government, religion, economics, and social systems. In addition to the exciting exploration of history through reenactments, the students also write rigorously to develop the skills to communicate their in-depth knowledge and analysis of the ancient cultures.
Seventh Grade Social Studies
In seventh grade, the curriculum turns to American history from the Civil War through World War One. The course investigates relationships between and among historical events and concepts, and evaluates these events that shape history by viewing them from the geographic, social, political and economic perspectives. Interactive learning opportunities include historic simulations, hands-on-activities, and technology based projects. Students utilize primary and secondary sources to analyze the landmark events that shaped the young nation and the conflicts that threatened its very survival. Units delve into the roots and ramifications of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, and the United States’ emergence as a world power.
Eighth Grade Social Studies
Building on the previous year’s study of early American history, eighth graders investigate our nation’s history from the 1920’s to the present. The curriculum strives to provide a relevant, engaging experience, in which our students are challenged to think critically about past events, draw conclusions, and make connections to their own lives. Innovative online simulations, historic mock trials, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and other class projects spark students’ curiosity about our country’s social and political systems – and their impact on the students’ own lives. The class trip to Washington, D.C. is a culminating learning experience.