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 16: Dec. 15-19


    Students counted up their warm-ups. Any missing warmups were recorded and need to be made up at home.

    We spent the rest of the class on the Tour Project.

    HW: Add an element & Study for the Islam Quiz which will be Weds/Thurs.


    Islam Quiz

    Project Work

    HW: Add an Element

    OVER BREAK: Add 2 elements per team

  • Social Studies Week 15: Dec. 8-12


    After discussing plagiarism and some of the many useful resources in the CIA Worldfactbook, students worked on their GoogleEarth Tour Projects.

    HW: Do another element (by Friday), or more if you can (it will save you work time over the break).


    After a bit of Islam review from last week’s lesson, we watched Crash Course World History Islam and discussed it.

    Students then worked in teams on a paired reading comprehension activity on the Spread of Islam. This is the storyboard paper they used for the exercise. Spread of Islam Storyboard

    HW: See above + finish storyboard if unfinished in class; Review all Islam stuff so far, especially the 5 pillars.


    Project work

    HW: Additional Element. Find locations for each element.

  • Social Studies Week 14: Dec. 1-5


    We discussed how to best use Google search – don’t keep trying the same search terms if they don’t work.

    James shared a tutorial on Google Advanced Search.

    James demonstrated how to create hyperlinks in the TourBuilder and in Google Drive, and wants students to use them in their Tour Projects. He will even allow these to substitute for a Bibliography, although real books like the lonely planet will still need a biblio citation.

    Students worked on element 2 and beyond – they had a full hour of work time.

    HW (Due Friday): Complete an entire additional element. It doesn’t need to be in Tour builder, but all the information should be in Drive or somewhere checkable. This assignment is IN ADDITION to whatever was completed during class time.


    Introduction to Islam and SW Asia:

    We used a World Map showing Islamic Population to discuss the geography of the religion, and to discuss the terms: Muslim, Islam, Arab, SW Asia,  and Middle East

    Students also added key cities to their cumulative maps: Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Baghdad, Cordoba, Cairo, Istanbul, Jerusalem

    We read this story of Mohammad and the founding story of the religion: Muhammad and the Rise of Islam

    Students, in teams, turned this detailed description of the 5 Pillars of Islam into Quick Review Cards for memorizing.

    We discussed the terms Muslim, Islam, Arab, and Middle East

    HW : See Mon/Tues


    Tour Project work time

    NOTE: Students who haven’t gathered all their info for at least 3 elements by the beginning of this class period are BEHIND and should work to get caught up.

    HW: Complete one additional element (beyond what you did in class) (Due Mon/Tues)

  • 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