COURSE DESCRIPTIONS, 7th Grade:
 
Grade 7 – Year Courses
 
Global Studies – Seventh grade students take Global Studies--a yearlong course based upon world history, geography, economics, government, and ecology standards—to fulfill their social studies requirement. During Global Studies, students journey backwards through time to discover a world of empires. First, students learn how Greek civilization flourished to contribute many gifts (like psychology, democracy, art, literature, and theater) that we continue to use during our modern times. Next, students study life during the ancient Roman Empire, concentrating on the uniqueness of human relationships. As the school year progresses, students become familiar with the system of feudalism during the Middle Ages, as well as the dynastic rule that occurred throughout the then known world. Finally, students examine the religious, economic, social, political, and cultural changes that took place during the European Renaissance and Age of Exploration. Throughout Global Studies, students strengthen their cartography, critical thinking, and creative writing skills. In addition to studying how to organize answers to essay questions and to write creatively, students experience hands-on learning as they analyze artifacts, examine primary source materials, role play, engage in simulation activities, and work cooperatively.
 
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS, 8th Grade:
 
Grade 8 – Year Courses
 
US/PA Studies – This yearlong course consists of early American history and geography. The American history segment is designed to provide the 8th Grade middle school student with the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the following topics: the growth of Democracy, the causes of the Revolutionary War, the Revolutionary War; the Constitutional Convention; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; the origin of political parties; the growth of Federalism; the War of 1812; the Era of Good Feelings; the Age of Jackson; the impact of transportation advances; and the Industrial Revolution. Students will have the opportunity to develop a cultural understanding and raise awareness of the responsibilities of good citizenship. In addition, the course emphasizes the growth and development of critical thinking, basic study skills, and communication skills. Integrated into the U.S. History course is U.S. Geography, which provides the middle school student with the opportunity to explore various geographic regions in the United States. These regions include the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. Regionalism, as a geographic theme, is emphasized specifically in conjunction with economics, cultural studies, demographics, history, nationalism, and topography. Critical thinking skills are developed with an interdisciplinary approach to teaching. This segment of the course focuses on the development of the United States regions as it impacts United States History.
 
American Studies – American Studies is an advanced course of US/PA Studies. The American Studies class follows the basic curriculum of the US/PA Studies course and additionally covers topics more in depth and with an emphasis on critical thinking skills, oral and written communication, and creative thinking. The needs of the SOAR student are met by focusing on debate skills, journal writing, and literary analysis. Students read and complete an independent project on a novel. Students also participate in a field trip where they engage in hands-on activities. Independence is encouraged as students have the opportunity to design the final product in various enrichment activities.