Social Studies: United States History and Government


Overview of Social Studies in 7th Grade

Role-playing, discussing controversial issues, interrogating primary sources and exploring civil and human rights are at the core of social studies in the 7th grade at SGS.  This means fostering some specific habits of mind:  curiosity, tolerance, empathy and openness.  Students are asked to form original conclusions, discuss controversial issues and come up with their own solutions to historical and present day problems. They will learn from multiple perspectives, including those frequently marginalized in more mainstream accounts in history and civics.

Questions about Social Studies in 7th Grade? Here is an overview of content, essential questions, skills and assessments: Social Studies Curriculum

This Week:

We began the year with an introductory unit on the causes and outcomes of the Revolutionary War,  and the weak governing system that followed under the Articles of Confederation. Students next learned about the writing of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and in the weeks ahead they will explore the many ways these founding documents show up in everyday life. Playing roles of people who make laws (legislative), enforce laws (executive) and interpret laws (judicial branch), they will often articulate a perspective (their own or one assigned). These kinds of activities gives them practice not just in identifying arguments and supporting them with facts; they are getting into the habit of giving both sides of an issue a best case fair hearing. This has been shown by research to enhance young people’s political tolerance and participation in government later in life!

Important class handouts:
Essential principles in Const      Bill of Rights simplified  3-Branches-Worksheet-1.pdf3 Branches

Homework this week

Food for Thought Electoral College

Video links on the topic from 6:30 – 13:00

Spring Break Trip to Washington, DC with the Close-Up Foundation!

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Information about this year’s trip April 8-11 (during Spring Break: DC Back-to-School flyer

 Did You Know presentations

Every 7th grade student informs the entire SGS community about an event, issue or person she feels we should be informed about. They conduct independent research, write and present (with a partner) a “Did You Know” presentation for either a Monday or Friday community meeting, beginning in late January.