7th Grade Social Studies
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Discover Your World!
Social Studies: Grade 7
Geography & Culture
Syllabus for 2011 - 2012
Together we will discover the world of geography and culture. As students, geographers, and historians we will trek our way around the Western Hemisphere in search of how geography, culture, and history shape the world in which we live. We begin with a foundation in geographic study, focusing on the five themes of geography, physical geography, and human geography. The development of map skills will be a major part of our course and will allow us to piece together the relationship between geography and culture.
We will continue our journey first by studying culture as an idea. What is culture? What is cultural development? Why do cultures vary? Does geography impact culture? We will be able to answer these questions through the study of the social groups, languages, religions, economics, and political systems of the world.
As historians and cultural anthropologists we will delve into the development of culture over time, looking at the histories of different peoples and nations in the Western Hemisphere. There are many ways in which to understand other peoples; through music, food, art, folkways, and traditions. We will have the opportunity to explore the people and places of our world throughout our year together.
Build the skill base necessary for students to think critically, reason logically, and question with clarity the world around them.
Develop the map and globe skills necessary for understanding the world.
Application of geographic knowledge to understand the interaction of people and their physical environments.
Foster appreciation of the varied cultures and peoples of the world.
Develop cultural perspective through the study of other cultures in relation to their own.
Expand knowledge of history from the perspective of the historian, focusing on how history works as a discipline.
Broaden understanding of the research and writing process as we conduct research projects and write research papers.
Geography: Tools and Concepts
Research methods in history:
- Primary and secondary sources
- How sources are used in research
- Analysis: the core of understanding source material
- Asking effective questions
- Building a research project
- Writing histories: How and Why
The United States of America
Service Learning Project:
A. 10 Hours of community service
B. Journal - at least 3 entries reflecting your experience
D. Presentation / Speech
E. Project reflecting your experience
Resources & Text:
Primary and Secondary source materials
Movies / Music
Exploring Our World
Assessments: (You will be graded on)
Class Participation: 20%
Homework (Weekly & Daily Assignments, Notebook checks): 10%
Projects & Presentations: 25%
What you will need for this class:
Three ring binder (with paper & tabs)
Dividers (Homework, Notes / Handouts, Tests/Quizzes)
Pencils (Lots of them!!)
Homework Policy: Homework assignments are not intended as busy work, they relate directly to what we are working on in class. I expect students to come to class with homework completed. There will be point deductions from each assignment for each day it is late. Late work will be accepted up to two weeks after the assignment is due. Weekly G's may not be turned in late, due to the fact that you have 1 week to complete them.
Notebook Checks: Students are required to have a three ring binder for this class. During the first week of school we will set-up your binder. You will be told in advance when notebook checks will take place but know that in general it will be every 4 weeks. The first page of your notebook should be a copy of the syllabus. Each unit should include a notebook check list.
Class participation: In general participation is based on your attendance and preparation for class. I will also be looking at how you work with your fellow classmates in groups, and class presentations.
Student and Teacher Expectations: To be developed in class.
General Rules of Thumb:
Please do not bring your IPod, Cell Phone, Blackberry etc. to class
We all share this space so keep it as clean as possible
Bring to our class the energy of which I know you are capable
All school code of conduct rules apply in our classroom
I am looking forward to a great school year with all of you, both students and parents. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am available most days after school for extra help and makeup work so students are always welcome to schedule time with me as needed.
ALSO: It is my intention that every student will succeed in my classroom. Be good and treat each other with respect.