"Some of the most important work done by Middle School faculty is to use the curriculum as a means to teach the skills necessary for life-long academic success."

– John Gifford, Assistant Head of School & Head of Middle School

History and Social Science

Middle School History and Social Sciences, Academics

Our global "interconnectedness" is growing and the more we understand and appreciate about people from different regions of the world, the better off we all are. The same holds true for a young person's degree of knowledge and familiarity with our country's government and economic system (as well as others around the world). With this in mind, we offer a World Geography survey course to Class VI students and a beginning government and economic course called Civics to Class V students.

Skill development throughout this two-year sequence includes active reading of various types of printed matter (text, novel etc.), proper note taking, test preparation techniques, group work and projects, critical and evaluative thinking, creative and analytical writing, and public speaking.

World Geography | Full Year
Full Credit
Required For: Class VI


Class VI World Geography explores the world in two phases. The first examines global issues and develops course-specific skills that will help students as they explore regions of the world in the second phase. These skills include building an adequate geographic vocabulary, developing accurate map reading and design skills, briefly surveying the earth's geologic history, covering the earth's climate and vegetation regions, examining world population and environmental concerns, and explaining governmental and economic concepts. In the second part of the course, the focus turns to the culture, history, and physical features of various regions. During this time, students will also plan their own extensive around-the-world trip from February to May. The course finishes with a three-week interdisciplinary (Geography/Science) unit in May that culminates with an Alternative Energy Project that includes the active participation of all Class VI students.

Civics | Full Year
Full Credit
Required For: Class V

Class V Civics introduces students to the of study of citizenship as well as the political and economic systems of the United States. Centered on reading assignments from a variety of sources, the course also uses computer simulations, debate, mock trials, video, individual and group projects, Web sites and position papers to enrich and enliven the learning experience. It is a highly interactive class. Skill development includes active reading, note taking and writing, critical and evaluative thinking, thesis articulation and public speaking. The students also write a major paper in the spring, in which they are asked to examine and evaluate a series of Supreme Court decisions concerning specific and often controversial topics from U.S. society. The course also makes connections with United States History, current events and geography.

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The Middle School Curriculum