Chronological and Spatial Thinking
- students explain how major events are related to each other in time
students construct various timelines of key events, people, and periods of the historical era being studied
- students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems
Research, Evidence and Point of View
- students frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research
- students distinguish fact from opinion in historical narratives and stories
- students distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories
- students assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions from them
- students detect the different historical points of view on historical events and determine the context in which the historical statements were made (the questions asked, sources used, author’s perspectives)
- students explain the central issues and problems of the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place
- students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long- and short-term causal relationships
- students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns
- students recognize the role of chance, oversight, and error in history
- students recognize interpretations of history are subject to change as new information is uncovered
- students interpret basic indicators of economic performance and conduct cost/benefit analyses in order to analyze economic and political issues
Grade 6: World History and Geography—Ancient Civilizations
Students in grade six expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major western and non-western ancient civilizations. Geography is of special significance in the development of the human story. Continued emphasis is placed on the everyday lives, problems and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic and political structures, as well as in establishing and spreading ideas that helped transform the world forever.
Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.
Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of China, in terms of the significance of the trans-Eurasian “silk roads” in the period of the Han and Roman empires and their locations.
Grade 7: World History and Geography—Medieval and Early Modern Times
Students in grade seven study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia from 500–1789 AD. After reviewing the ancient world and the ways in which archaeologists and historians uncover the past, students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and early modern times. They examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies and commodities.
Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages in terms of the growth of cities and the trade routes created among Asia, Africa and Europe and the products and inventions that traveled along these routes.