Junior High Social Studies

Junior High Social Studies at St. Patrick's

Mrs. Monica Staples

Homework Policy:

Homework is assigned 2-3 times a week. In grades 6-7, homework is an extension and reinforcement of what was included in the day’s lesson. In 8th grade, students are asked to be prepared to discuss the assigned reading.  Entrance slips are used to kick off that day’s discussion. Students will also do much of their homework online using Pearson Realize guiding their assignments.

Curriculum Highlights:

Students in 6th grade learn about early man and the development of civilization including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Nubia, Kush, Israel, Greece, Rome, and Byzantium and the fall of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.

Students in 7th grade focus their studies on World Geography, Africa, Asia, and the Southwest Pacific. Emphasis is given to present-day struggles and accomplishments of African and Asian nations. During the second half of the year, 7th grade students will begin U.S. History.

Students in 8th grade focus on United States History, from the colonization and eventual independence to westward expansion and social reform movement.

  • Students are introduced to Early Man and Mesopotamia. They will participate in an archaeological dig,
  • While learning about Ancient Egypt, students will understand the different social classes and the importance of gods and goddesses and the afterlife.
    • Students will compare Egypt and Nubia, creating a visual representation of their differences.
  • Reinforcing their knowledge from Religion class, and working cross-curricularly, students will demonstrate the similarities and differences of Ancient Hebrews with the Bible.
  • Students will design maps depicting Ancient Greece and the impact it had on the rest of the world.
    • Students will read and write their own myth that incorporates elements from the Ancient Greeks.
  • Students will live a “day in the life” of Ancient Romans. Focus will revolve around society, economy and religion.
    • Students will analyze the fall of Rome and causes that led up to it.
  • Writing a proper research paper will be the focus of the last quarter.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of coordinates, students will identify countries, landforms and topography to get a good grasp of the world around them.
  • Students will recognize that the world around them faces many challenges and have overcome these challenges to be strong nations.
    • Focusing on modern time, students will be introduced to nations of Africa. They will compare and contrast struggles lost and victories won within the last few years.
    • Students will have a strong understanding of the government, religion, ethnic make-up and the people of a select number of African countries.
  • Designing their own presentation based on the same format used previously with African nations, students will choose one nation from Asia.
    • Students will write a research paper on their Asian nation and follow up with a PowerPoint presentation to share with the class.
  • The culminating activity is the “Amazing Race” developed by current 8th graders using information gathered from these presentations.
  • Second semester, students will begin their study of U.S. History.
  • Students will learn in greater depth the colonization of America.
  • Following the many causes that led to the American Revolution, students will justify the need for freedom.
    • Assigned a specific person in history, Patriot or Loyalist, students will role play their parts, defending their causes for agreeing or disagreeing with the need for a Revolution.
    • Students will draw political cartoons showing factual knowledge and interpretive skills.
  • Students will delve into the inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation, and study the Constitution.
  • Students will discuss the need for a strong government, and explore the foundations laid by President Washington through President Jackson.
    • A research paper will focus on the particular influences men and women played in the formation of our nation.
  • Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny will lead into the Industrial Revolution.
    • Focus on the mindset of our country’s leaders will be analyzed and discussed and debated.

Expectations of Excellence


Students will strive to:

  • Come to class prepared to learn, prepared to support their peers, and to be respectful.
  • Be proud of their accomplishments, and turn in clean, neat, well-thought-out work.
  • Engage in class discussions, debates, Socratic circles, and student-led lessons.