Bender, Jon (Department Coordinator)
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Academic Social Studies Grades 6 - 8
In 6th grade World Cultures, students will study people, places, and societies of the contemporary world. In addition they will study the influence of individuals and groups on historical and contemporary events in those societies and identify the locations and geographic characteristics of various societies. Students will learn the different ways of organizing economic and governmental systems. They will study the concepts of limited and unlimited government and describe the nature of citizenship in various societies. Students will compare institutions common to all societies such as government, education, and religious institutions. Students will also learn how the level of technology affects the development of various societies.
In 7th grade Texas History, students study the history of Texas from early times to the present. Students will learn about the regions of Texas and the distribution of population within and among the regions. They will also study the factors that caused Texas to change from an agrarian to an urban society. Students will learn about the structure and functions of municipal, county, and state governments, explain the influence of the U.S. Constitution on the Texas Constitution, and examine the rights and responsibilities of Texas citizens.
The 8th grade course studies U.S. History from the early colonial period through Reconstruction. Students will learn about the physical characteristics of the U.S. and their impact on population distribution and settlement patterns in the past and present, analyze economic factors that influenced the development of colonial America and the early years of the republic, examine American beliefs and principles, including limited government, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights, and evaluate the impact of Supreme Court cases and major reform movements of the 19th century.
Advanced Social Studies Grades 7 and 8
Students in advanced social studies classes will cover the same content as an academic social studies class, however, they should expect a more rigorous class, faster pace, more in-depth classroom discussions, intensified vocabulary, an increased amount of reading and writing assignments and the need for effective time management. Advanced social studies students will not earn high school credit, but they will be exposed to practices such as FRQs (Free Response Questions) and research and project opportunities that they will experience in Advanced Placement Courses in high school.
Teachers offer multiple opportunities, including reteach and retest, for students to demonstrate mastery of the TEKS. The following is the district grading policy for MS Social Studies:
Grade 8 Social Studies STAAR
Middle school students participate in a Social Studies STAAR test at the end of their 8th grade year. Students prepare all three years for this test focusing on the mastery of TEKS considered to be foundational as well as TEKS directly assessed on STAAR. The STAAR Blueprint identifies those areas directly assessed on the 8th grade STAAR test.
Parents and students can access the Texas Assessment Family Portal at texasassessment.gov to view and print released STAAR tests as well as login to access the online practice tests.
Middle School Social Studies District Calendars
The suggested pacing for all grades can be found below and outlines the suggested pacing for the units in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade social studies by the approximate number of weeks:
All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade middle school social studies students also participate in two social studies Curriculum Diagnostic Benchmarks (CDB) each year. Please contact your child’s teacher for information as to when those exams will be administered.