In middle school, students enrich their understanding of their place in the world with an exploration of the people and events that ushered in the major Western and non-Western civilizations. Their coursework is designed to help students gain the knowledge, skills, and civic values they need to become thoughtful and active citizens.
Students focus on note-taking, managing assignments, and the building blocks of writing an essay. Topics and themes include the development of North America, indigenous peoples, colonization, and the Revolutionary War.
Students start their exploration with the early hominoids and then wend their way through the Ancients: Sumer, Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome, and the Israelites.
Students pick up the trail and move through the rise of Christianity and the Israelites under Roman rule, then travel through the Dark Ages, the rise of Islam, and the development of Africa, Japan, and the Americas, ending with the Renaissance/Reformation and Europe in the modern age.
To complete their world tour, eighth graders bring their studies home, focusing on American history and government. The framework comprises five key eras: 1) the Revolutionary Period and the Constitutional Convention; 2) expansion, slavery, the Dred Scot Decision, the Civil War, and Reconstruction; 3) the Centennial year of 1876, the Gilded Age, Industrialization, Invention and Reform; 4) the Great Depression and World War II; and finally, 5) the Civil Rights Movement.
This grand tour of human history is done through a variety of methods, including research, mapping, expository writing, forming and defending opinions using historical evidence, using and evaluating websites, writing persuasive essays, and more.