Director of Humanities
Dr. Nicole Chiesa
The Medford Public Schools Social Studies Department is committed to providing all students with the academic and problem-solving skills essential for personal development, responsible citizenship and life-long learning. The Social Studies Department’s curriculum goals for all grades are as follows:
- To provide authentic perspectives in all aspects of historical context
- To provide the educational foundation to prepare students to hold “the office of citizen”
- To recognize our binding heritage in a democratic vision of liberty, equality, justice, and the belief that a society can undertake to govern itself though the will of its people
- To promote and nurture respect among students for each other, their school, and greater community
- To develop awareness, appreciation and understanding of democratic values, precepts and practices
- To foster in students the knowledge, skills and commitment to strengthen their community, state, country, and world beyond their school years
The following are the Social Studies Department’s guiding principles, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:
- An effective history and social science education teaches students about the legacy of democratic government.
- An effective history and social science education incorporates diverse perspectives and acknowledges that perceptions of events are affected by race, ethnicity, culture, religion, education, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and personal experience.
- Every student deserves to study history and social science every year, from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
- An effective history and social science education teaches students to think historically.
- An effective history and social science education integrates knowledge from many fields of study.
- An effective history and social science education builds students’ capacities for research, reasoning, making logical arguments, and thinking for themselves.
- An effective history and social science education improves reading comprehension by increasing students’ content knowledge.
- An effective history and social science education incorporates the study of current events and news/media literacy.
- An effective history and social science education teaches students about using data analysis and digital tools as research and presentation techniques in the social sciences.
- An effective history and social science education develops social and emotional skills.
Throughout their middle school experience, students will continue to be exposed to civics, geography and economics. Below is an outline of each grade’s curriculum. The Social Studies Department has created rich and specific pacing guides for each of these grade levels with an emphasis on incorporating diverse, equitable, inclusive and belonging. Working in teams, significant interdisciplinary work can be achieved throughout each grade level. Below is a brief outline of each grade level.
Grade 6: Ancient Civilizations I
As sixth graders, students will explore political science, economics, history and archaeology as it relates to multiple areas of study. Students will assume the role of the historian as they embark upon the exploration of areas including Sub-Saharan African, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Phoenicia, Central and South Asia, as well as Greece and Rome.
Grade 7: World Geography and Ancient Civilizations II
Seventh graders will attain a strong sense of geography while also exploring political science, economics, history and archaeology as it relates to areas including the Americas, East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania.
In addition, seventh grade students will participate in the renowned Global Scholars program where they engage directly in e-classrooms with peers across the world. Throughout the experience, students will learn a variety of global and general learning competencies that will continue to support their future social science experiences.
Grade 8: United States and Massachusetts Government and Civic Life
Students conclude their social studies middle school career with a direct look at the role of civics in both historical and current day context. Topics to be explored include the creation of the United State Constitution, the development of government legislation, the role of legislation and court decisions in forming government and how individuals and an in depth look at the civic responsibilities of United States citizens. Eight graders will also take part in the self-driven Civics Commonwealth Challenge project that will allow them to fully engage with their local community.