Social Studies » Social Studies

Social Studies

Within our Social Studies programming, students will receive instruction over the course of a school year by one teacher. Students will receive a numerical grade at the end of each marking period and an overall numerical final grade in June.  




Social Studies: Units of Study & Department Overview of Grading Policy



      Given at the beginning of each unit of study to all students.

      25 multiple-choice questions covering all skills within the upcoming unit.

      Pre-tests do not count towards student’s averages, rather the data collected is used to assess prior knowledge as well as differentiate instruction throughout the unit.


      Given at the end of each unit of study to all students.

      25 multiple-choice questions covering all skills that were assessed  in the pre-test and taught throughout the unit as well as several content-based questions.

      The first portion of the post-test are questions based on texts included in the test and assess skills such as; identifying a main idea, finding text details to support a claim, identifying cause and effect relationships.

      The second portion of the post test are questions based on content knowledge that was covered throughout the unit.

      Data from each post-assessment is used to measure growth and to determine whether or not students need further interventions to meet their goals.


      Quizzes are given at teacher’s discretion throughout each unit of study.


Tests and quizzes make up 30% of each marking period grade.




      Homework assignments vary based on teacher discretion.

      All homework assignments are expected to be handed in on the day they are due.

      Homework will consist of work to review the day’s lesson and skills, reinforce previous knowledge, or extend student’s understanding of the topic.

Homework assignments make up 20% of each marking period grade.


Class Participation

      In Social Studies class, all students are expected to participate in small group and whole-class discussions.

      In addition, students are expected to come to class prepared with their materials and ready to work at the start of each class.


Class participation makes up 20% of each marking period grade.



Portfolio Tasks


      For each unit of study, students complete at least one formal writing assessment. These writing assessments are used to showcase students’ understanding of historical concepts and themes.

      Additionally students will complete at least one project for each of the 5 units of study. Projects will be completed both independently and or collaboratively in groups.  Each project will have a specific task with rubric and students will be asked to create a final product to showcase their understanding of historical concepts and themes.

Portfolio pieces make up 30% of each marking period grade.

Unit 1 - Geography of the Eastern Hemisphere

  • The diverse geography of the Eastern Hemisphere has influenced human culture and settlement patterns in distinct ways. Human communities in the Eastern Hemisphere have adapted or modified the physical environment.


Unit 2 - First Humans, The Neolithic Revolution, and the Early River Valley Civilizations

  • This unit of social studies focuses on the first humans through the Neolithic revolution in the Eastern Hemisphere. These first humans modified their physical environment and adapted to their environment to survive. The complex societies that developed in the Eastern Hemisphere during this time. Their differences and similarities are also a  center of focus throughout the unit. 


Unit 3 - Comparative World Religions 

  • This unit of social studies focuses on comparative world religions from the time frame of 2000 B.C.E. through 630 C.E. It focuses on the major religions and belief systems that developed in the Eastern Hemisphere during this time. Important similarities and differences between these belief systems is all a major area of focus. 


Unit 4 - Comparative Classic Civilization in the Eastern Hemisphere

  • (ca. 600 B.C.E.—ca. 500 C.E.): As complex societies and civilizations change over time, their political and economic structures evolve. A golden age may be indicated when there is an extended period of time that is peaceful, prosperous, and demonstrates great cultural achievements


Unit 5- The Mediterranean World and Interactions across the Eastern Hemisphere

  • Students will explore how The Mediterranean world was reshaped with the fall of the Roman Empire. They will study three distinct cultural regions: feudal Western Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and the Islamic caliphates. They will discover how regions interacted with each other and clashed over control of holy lands.

Unit 1:Early Encounters

  • The physical environment and natural resources of North America influenced the development of the first human settlements and the culture of Native Americans. Native American societies varied across North America.


Unit 2: Road to Independence

  • Growing tensions over political power and economic issues sparked a movement for independence from Great Britain. New York played a critical role in the course and outcome of the American Revolution.


Unit 3: A New Nation

  • The newly independent states faced political and economic struggles under the Articles of Confederation. These challenges resulted in a Constitutional Convention, a debate over ratification, and the eventual adoption of the Bill of Rights.
  • The United States Constitution serves as the foundation of the United States government and outlines the rights of citizens. The Constitution is considered a living document that can respond to political and social changes. The New York Constitution also has been changed over time


Unit 4: A Nation Grows

  • Driven by political and economic motives, the United States expanded its physical boundaries to the Pacific Ocean between 1800 and 1860. This settlement displaced Native Americans as the frontier was pushed westward.
  • Social, political, and economic inequalities sparked various reform movements and resistance efforts. Influenced by the Second Great Awakening, New York played a key role in major reform efforts.


Unit 5: A Nation Divided

  • Westward expansion, the industrialization of the North, and the increase of slavery in the South contributed to the growth of sectionalism. Constitutional conflicts between advocates of states’ rights and supporters of federal power increased tensions in the nation; attempts to compromise ultimately failed to keep the nation together, leading to the Civil War.