Social Studies

Welcome to Middle School Social Studies


What we did in class and assignments can be found in the Recent Assignment button on the left, under Social Studies.

Recent Assignments

  • Social Studies Week 13: Nov. 24-26


    After a discussion of TFR, Replacement Rate, and Dependency Ratio, students got into their groups based on which homework reading they did: Dilemma 1, 2 or 3. They created posters on their dilemma and shared them with the class.

    We took a quiz. Questions were drawn from the quiz/answer sheet students were given in class last Wednesday.

    We started going over the big semester project CityTourProjectDetailedHandout

    HW: Read over/Mark up the Project Document (15 min) due Weds. Also pick your top 3 cities from EACH continent from the lists in the doc.


    Students chose partners (or not), drew numbers, and chose their city. Absent students will need to email me their top 3 from each category.

    I did a demo on using the tourbuilder tool, and students created their tour files and shared them.

    HW: Do one element of the tour; order your lonely planet from MEL

  • Social Studies Week 11: Nov. 10-14


    We discussed the EU – why it formed and some crucial aspects of it, especially economic issues.

    We clarified what the word supranational meant, and how the individual nations still have some autonomy. We updated the EU maps in the reading from Friday to include member states that have joined since the reading was published.

    We then conducted an exciting simulation of trade and travel in the EU before and after its creation.

    HW: Finish the reading (handout from Friday). Add to the notes chart on the sections about Political Cooperation and Cultural Cooperation.(Due Friday)


    We debriefed the simulation from Mon/Tues.

    We looked at cartograms and discussed how to make them. Students then began making their first cartogram (population of EU nations).

    HW cont HW from Mon/Tues


    Continue working on pop Cartograms. Start a second cartogram (if time).

    HW : finish pop cartogram


  • Social Studies Week 10: Nov. 3-7


    We reflected on our skits from last week.

    Skits can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/RomeSkits

    We updated our maps to include the extent of the Roman Empire at its height in 117 A.D.

    We discussed a few key events on the Roman Empire.

    We did an activity exploring the Fall of Rome:

    10 theories of rome pdf

    10 Theories matrix pdf

    HW: Make a 3″ x 5″ Index card w Rome facts for the quiz on Wed/thur


    Wrap-up discussion of 10 theories


    Mapping Europe

    HW: Beautify landscape map


    Cont. Mapping exercises

    Start EU REading

    HW: EU Reading & Web Notes


  • Social Studies Week 9: Oct. 28-31, 2014

    MON- No School



    We composed the remainders of the mini-dramas. Students brought in their props, and practiced their skits.

    HW: Create your cue cards for the performance.


    After a quick run-through, teams performed their skits in the pit. They were recorded and a link will be provided for students to view their own and their classmates skits afterward.

    Study/learn the key points sheet.

  • Social Studies Week 8: Oct. 20-24


    We discussed the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how they are useful.

    Table groups shared their weekend HW – analyzing a primary source, and discussed.

    We read the story: Dog of Pompeii – see last week’s post for the documents

    HW: Do Cornell Notes (in notebook) for a reading (Roman Empire) posted as a pdf in Google Classroom (DUE FRIDAY)

    Double HW assignment; note: there is a more and less advanced option detailed in Classroom



    We wrapped up our story panels on the Dog of Pompeii.

    We introduced the Eyewitness Mini-Dramas activity and students began compose their skits.

    EyewitnessSkitsRome (1)

    A link to and list of the specific sources can be found in last week’s post.



    Continue working up skits

    HW: Make props/finalize scripts




  • Social Studies Week 7: Oct. 13-17 (updated)


    -We shared our Biopoems on Alexander

    -We shared our warm-ups on “What we Know about Ancient Rome”

    -The quiz from Friday was returned (not 1st hour, b/c it was digital)

    -We started the Video “Roman City” By David MacCauley, on The Roman Empire; we used this guide to keep us focused: Roman City Notes

    HOMEWORK: Cornell Notes on a reading (posted on Google Classroom) to be done in the Social Studies Notebook, DUE FRIDAY. Detailed reminder of how to do Cornell Notes is in the Google Classroom post.


    -Continued “City” and discussed the Guide

    -Started reading fiction story “Dog of Pompeii” Dog of Pompeii Story and used this guide to help keep us focused: Dog of Pompeii Guide


    -Finished Dog of Pompeii & Guide

    HW: Interpretation of Primary Source: Students will receive 1 of 5 primary sources to interpret/comment on in preparation for a group activity.

    Students should mark up the text (= circle, underline, make comments in the margin). There are very wide margins in the text, where they need to make educated guesses as to what we can learn from the source. What is the Value? In other words, What can we learn about the Romans or the particular situation the text deals with? You don’t have to be right. Make judgements that seem REASONABLE. 

    These are all from the website: Eyewitness To History The 5 sources we are using are:

    1) Nero Persecutes the Christians

    2) Rome Celebrates the Vanquishing of the Jews

    3) How to Keep a Slave in Ancient Rome

    4) The Assassination of Julius Caesar

    5) The Grandeur of Rome

  • Social Studies Week 6: Oct. 6-10


    After partners reflected on their collaboration and teamwork during part one of our jigsaw activity from last week – Ancient Athens Teaching Displays, students did part B, in which they spent 6 minutes with each of the 10 displays. They read, analyzed, discussed, and took notes on each display. This went very well, and the displays, overall, turned out very nicely! Here is the blank chart they used for notes: Athens Record Sheet

    HW: Fill in the Gaps (if necessary, using a simple Google search) and study your Athens Notes  (Record Sheet) from the jigsaw part 2.


    Short Review Game: Students used game cards they made previously on key people, places, and things from their learnings on Ancient Athens and played a short hybrid game of pictionary, charades, and describe it.

    Mini-Debate: Was Athens “Golden Age” really golden? This is not like a more official debate we will have soon in the class, but a short version to give new students a warm-up preview of sorts, and to allow students to apply some of what they learned in a debate setting. This will be rather short.

    Discussion: Aristotle Quotes from last weeks HW

    Lesson: Cornell Notes – using a medium level text about Alexander the Great from History.com

    Intro/Start HW: Alexander Bio-Poem (DUE MONDAY) biopoem Template and Example

    HW: Review for Quiz


    Watch some Alexander documentary clips

    Quiz on Greece


  • Social Studies Week 5: Sept.29-Oct. 3


    We finished up last week’s British Museum Online Interactive partnered activity (see last week for document which guides students through the site).

    We took a short quiz on landforms.

    We started a small jigsaw project exploring Ancient Athens that will take us through the week. The details and rubric are all in this document.

    Athens Teaching Display

    HW: Aristotle Quote Discussion Thread: Instruction and Quotes on Google Classroom


    We finished part 1, and worked on parts 2-4.

    HW: Aristotle Quote Discussion Thread Part 2, in Google Classroom; Complete whatever isn’t finished of display, other than printing and assembling the display, which will be done in class Friday.


    Print and assemble display

    HW: Finish assembling the display and making it look good.