Middle School, Grades 5-8
The grade 5 social studies program stresses geographic, economic, and social/cultural understandings related to the United States, Canada and nations in Latin America today. These perspectives build on and reinforce historic and political content about the United States included in the grade 4 social studies program. When appropriate, the grade 5 program should use contemporary examples of case studies to help students understand the content understandings that follow. The content understandings were developed to assist in selecting specific factual information and case studies.
Grade 6: The Eastern Hemisphere
The grade 6 social studies program emphasizes the interdependence of all people, keying on the Eastern Hemisphere. Many of the lessons and activities for this grade level draw on specific examples of nations and regions in the Eastern Hemisphere chosen by the district. It is highly recommended that lessons also compare and contrast this specific information with similar data from the United States, Canada and Latin America.
The grade 6 program focuses on a social science perspective emphasizing the interaction of geography and economics. The core disciplines of geography and economics are used to develop and draw relationships and understandings about social/cultural, political and historic aspects of life in the Eastern Hemisphere. Historical insights are used as a means of developing a total perspective rather than an organizing framework. The focus should be on major turning points that sequence into the 7th grade social history of the United States.
Each district has a responsibility for extending the student's content examples from cultures other than the student's own, and from a variety of geographic, socioeconomic, ethnic and racial groups.
Grade 7/8: United States and New York State History
Social studies content in grades 7 and 8 focuses on a chronologically organized study of United States and New York State history. Couse content is divided into 11 units, tracing the human experience in the United States from pre-Columbian times to the present, and tying political, geographic, economic, and social trends in United States history to parallel trends and time frames in New York State history.
Teachers are encouraged to develop and explore the 11 units of study within a two-year time frame. Knowledge of the needs of students and availability of instructional material and resources will assist in determining which units to study in which grades. The grades 7-8 course builds on and seeks to reinforce skills, concepts, and content understandings introduced in the K-6 program. It is, therefore, a vital link in the overall goals of the K-12 social studies program, and provides a solid content base in American history, allowing the grade 11 course to do greater justice to the study of the United States as a developing and fully developed industrial nation. By including hemispheric links to Canada and Mexico when appropriate, teachers will provide students a model for the global connections they will discover in the grades 9 and 10 social studies program.