October 26, 2022 | Sam Martino
The middle school has been hard at work in social studies class. Through the first six weeks classes have been focusing on social studies literacy.
During the “Social Studies Boot camp” students have been practicing some basic skills they will use throughout this year and beyond.
Classes learned how to read and decipher maps. Students learned that maps allow people to navigate and measure the world, as well as demonstrate how people understand their world. Maps can define what’s “official” and designate who controls what land.
Students also became familiar with timelines. Classes practiced deciphering how far apart certain dates were as well as how to read the scale of different timelines. We also learned that what’s put on and left off a timeline tells a lot about the perspective of the creator.
In addition to maps and timelines, classes also practiced gathering data, creating graphs, and interpreting the results. Social scientists and historians frequently need to make sense of data and make inferences from the results.
Classes practiced informational writing when comparing and contrasting. Students read about the ancient Egyptian and Mayan civilizations and wrote essays on what they learned. Students noted that there were similar writing systems and architecture. Some key differences observed were time period, geography, agriculture, and religion. We will continue to practice formal information writing throughout the year.
Finally, students have been learning how to be effective researchers. Students practiced identifying reliable sources, using different search methods, and differentiating between primary and secondary sources.
All of these skills will be invaluable as go through this year (and beyond!). Soon we will start to dive headfirst into our global history curriculum. Students will grapple with human origins stories and think about how they fit into the larger historical narrative.