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Social Studies Curriculum
Social Studies - 6th Grade
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Core Standards of the Course

Benchmark: Humans originated in Africa and migrated across the Earth, creating ancient civilizations in nearly every region that could support life. Modern civilizations can trace their foundations to these ancient civilizations. Their cultures and histories can teach us much about ourselves and the modern world in which we live.

Standard 1
Students will understand how ancient civilizations developed and how they contributed to the current state of the world.

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Objective 1
Explain why physical geography affected the development of early civilizations.

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  1. Identify the major physical features of the regions where ancient civilizations flourished.
  2. Describe how these features influenced the success or decline of the civilizations.
  3. Compare maps of these ancient civilizations to current political maps and make inferences about the continuing affects of physical geography on cultural development.

Objective 2
Objective 2: Evaluate how religion has played a central role in human history from ancient times to today.

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  1. Explore the importance of religion in the cultural expression of ancient civilizations (e.g. customs, artistic expression, creation stories, architecture of sacred spaces).
  2. Identify key tenets of the major world religions (i.e. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism).
  3. Analyze how religious ideas influence current issues.

Objective 3
Explain how modern governments can trace some of their attributes to the systems of power, authority, and governance established in ancient civilizations.

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  1. Identify forms of government within these civilizations.
  2. Compare those forms to existing systems of governance in today's world.

Obective 4
Analyze how the earliest civilizations created technologies and systems to meet community and personal needs.

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  1. Identify innovations in manmade structures over time (e.g. irrigation, roads, building materials) and their influence on meeting needs.
  2. Examine the evolution and importance of writing.
  3. Identify cultural expressions that reflect these systems (e.g. architecture, artistic expression, medicine, philosophy, drama, literature).
  4. Compare social classes, vocations, and gender roles within ancient civilizations.

Benchmark: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance were epochs of great impact on our modern world. The expansion of knowledge, technological innovation and global interconnectedness set in motion changes that still resonate today.

Standard 2
Students will understand the transformation of cultures during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and the impact of this transformation on modern times.

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Objective 1
Explain how physical geography affects economic and cultural expansion.

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  1. Identify natural resources and physical features that affected expansion.
  2. Describe the development of international trade via the desert, sea, and land and the resultant cultural exchanges between Asia, the Middle East, and Europe (e.g. the Silk Road)

Objective 2
Explore the importance of religion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and its relevance to modern times.

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  1. Explain the influence of religion on cultural expression (e.g. the arts, architecture, government, education, family structure).
  2. Compare relations between the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish faiths during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the modern world (e.g. Crusades, periods of peaceful coexistence, periods of conflict).

Objective 3
Examine how systems of governance began steps toward self-rule during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

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  1. Examine relationships between significant events and ideas and their influence on systems of government (e.g. the rise of the merchant class, the Magna Carta, the impact of the Black Death, Germanic tribes, feudalism, manors, city-states).
  2. Compare individual rights of people in the United States today with the rights of selected groups in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (e.g. serfs, nobility, merchant class).

Objective 4
Explain the importance of the Renaissance as a rebirth of cultural and intellectual pursuits.

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  1. Investigate how technological and scientific developments of the time promoted literacy and the exchange of ideas that continue to this day (e.g. moveable type, telescope, microscope).
  2. Identify leading Renaissance artists and thinkers and their contributions to visual arts, writing, music, and architecture (e.g. Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Palestrina, Shakespeare, Tallis).

Benchmark: When people think of revolution, most of us think of armed conflict. World history has multiple examples of revolutionary times and revolutionary ideas and movements, but the era from 1750 to 1914 provides several strong examples of change in different arenas. The technological and economic impact of the industrial revolution meshed with the rise of new political ideologies and the rise of European dominance. The global forces of revolution created changes that still resonate to this day.

Standard 3
Students will understand how revolutions have had an impact on the modern world.

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Objective 1
Understand processes of revolution

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  1. Examine social, religious, and economic issues that may lead to revolution.
  2. Identify and compare how revolutions develop in multiple areas of human life (e.g. scientific, agricultural, industrial, political, medical).

Objective 2
Analyze the impact of selected revolutions.

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  1. Identify representative people from selected revolutions (e.g. Napoleon, Martin Luther, James Watt, Isaac Newton, Madame Curie, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek).
  2. Examine the outcomes of selected revolutions (e.g. the Scientific and Industrial revolutions, the Reformation, the French Revolution).

Benchmark: The modern world has witnessed incredible change in global trade, the spread of democracy, the influence of technology, an increase in environmental awareness and advances in human knowledge. The 20th century saw two world wars, the rise of competing economic systems, and unprecedented technological change. Against the backdrop of the modern world there are many opinions regarding the civic responsibilities humans have to one another.

Standard 4
Students will understand current global issues and their rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world.

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Objective 1
Analyze how major world events of the 20th century affect the world today.

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  1. Identify key events, ideas, and leaders of the 20th century (e.g. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts, dynamic Asian economies).
  2. Describe the impact of these events on the world today.

Objective 2
Explore current global issues facing the modern world and identify potential solutions.

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  1. Investigate pressing issues facing the world.
  2. Identify potential solutions to pressing issues.
  3. Identify individuals and groups making positive changes in the world today and support these choices with evidence.

Objective 3
Determine human rights and responsibilities in the world.

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  1. Identify rights considered essential for all humans.
  2. Propose steps individual students can take to protect these rights (e.g. support for sister schools, energy and resource conservation, letter writing, career choices, fundraising efforts).

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