Middle School Social Studies
Currently in NYS, the History portion of the 6th grade Social Studies standards are devoted to Ancient Civilizations, with 7th and 8th grade devoted to NYS and US History. Social Studies also includes instruction in Geography, Civics/Citizenship, Government, and Economics.
At South Seneca, grade 6 uses Ancient Civilization studies to emphasize the “Pillars of Civilization,” which include government, trade, religion, cities, jobs/occupations, and written records. Particular attention is devoted to learning basic geography like continents, US states, and capitals. In addition, there is an emphasis on writing in Social Studies, which begins in grade 6 with “document-based questions” (DBQs), and the skill of using historical documents to formulate a written thesis.
Similarly, the 7th and 8th grade curriculum uses the NYS and US History studies as a backdrop for exploring the larger themes of social studies. Each year includes reflection on a personal connection to the material, an experience with citizenship in the form of service learning projects, and basic instruction in economics and US government. DBQ writing is developed further, and extended in the form of the “Thematic Essay,” previewing the type of writing expected on NYS High School Regents exams.
** The state is transitioning now to a new Standards framework, and the 7th grade class of 2014-15 will be the first to sit for the new Global Studies Regents exam in June of 2018.
The 6-12 Social Studies department is working together to make any necessary adjustments to the curriculum moving forward.