The Social Studies curriculum is based on the Grade Level Content Expectations and is broken into five strands: history, geography, civics, economics and inquiry. The State’s middle school curriculum is broken down into three themes: Eastern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere and American History (Revolution to Civil War).
The Honey Creek approach is based on the belief that students learn best when topics are covered in depth. This increases the level of engagement and opens the door for more lively classroom discussions. The deep engagement forces students to think more conceptually and better prepares them to draw parallels to other places and times.
A variety of assessment vehicles are used in Social Studies. This gives a better sense of the students’ progress, and it also makes the lessons more interesting. Some of the assessments in recent years include creating simulations, writing historical fiction, participating in debates, taking tests or quizzes, writing persuasive essays, designing homes, putting on trials, creating news shows, making technology projects, designing free-choice projects, marketing and selling products, and putting on performances. Students often have a variety of choices when completing these assessments. In some cases they can choose the type of assessment. In other cases, they can choose a different way to present within a project. In this sense, everything in social studies is differentiated by choices the students make. Each major assignment is accompanied by a rubric. The rubrics are tied to the content expectations, but the expectations for each student vary. Over the three years of middle school, faculty develop a very clear understanding of each student’s capabilities, which, in turn, allows the teacher to set different (but high) expectations for each student.