History 6: The Ancient World

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Sixth grade history focuses on Ancient Civilizations. Students explore the variety of ways social scientists – historians, geographers, archaeologists, and anthropologists study the past and present. They learn to view historical events from multiple perspectives. Current events figure regularly in the curriculum.  Geography includes the study of 5 themes of geography: Location, Places, Regions, Human/Environment Interaction and Movement. Reading and making maps is a focus of the class.

Using Habits of Mind, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and other materials, students tease out and reflect on their own best learning strategies, experiment with them, and refine them. In conjunction with language arts, students develop several techniques for textbook reading and various texts containing increasingly challenging vocabulary. Multiple styles of note taking are practiced and each student eventually selects the formats that work best for him or her. Expository writing is also threaded together with language arts instruction.  Students receive guided practice in paragraph and essay writing, summarizing, and paraphrasing. 


Unit Essential Questions Habits Of Mind Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
Ancient Civilizations
  • How do social scientists study the past? 
  • What factors contributed to the success or failure of ancient civilizations and why?
  • What are the contributions of ancient civilizations  to our contemporary world?
  •  Perserverance, taking risks, self-discipline, self advocacy,  resiliency are Habits of Mind that are discussed throughout 6th grade. 
  • Study skills are practiced and improved upon throughout the year. 
  • Students learn how archaeology contributes to the ongoing study of prehistorical records.
  • Students learn how geography contributes to our understanding of the world.
  • Students explore the 7 characteristics of civilization: The Arts; Technology; Writing; Stable Food Supply; Social Structure; Government; Religion.
  •  Students identify and study the ancient development of both western and non-western ancient cultures - Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome.
  • Through role play, experience, writing and reading, students build on skills of analysis to understand ancient civilizations. 
  • Mastery of the expository paragraph structure and devolopment of five paragraph essays are goals of history 6.
  • Students learn and practice strategies for reading expository texts - both in digital and printed form.
  • A variety of notetaking techniques are covered.
  • Self assessment and reflection are hallmarks of History 6.
  • Rubrics are used to assess writing and essays.
  • Vocabulary tests, essay tests for content, multiple choice tests for comprehension. 
  •  Differentiated choice is often given to students so that they can challenge themselves for greater achievement.
  • Project and group presentations serve as assessment for integrated work.
  • Habits and effort are part of each assessment.
  • Textbook and digital text - Ancient World TCI www.learntci.com.
  •  Literature read in conjunction with Language Arts.
  • Films are shown throughout the year to supplement text. 
  • Sixth Grade works closely with all three divisional libraries to aid in resources and research.
  •  Students learn to assess primary documents by focusing on various points of view. 
  •  Gender studies is a spring unit, focusing on historical roles of women as seen through art. 
  • Visitors from the community are invited to share experience, ethnicity, religion with students.
  •  Multicultural views of "heroes" are studied in the form of storytelling and myth.
  • Curriculum is integrated throughout the disciplines based on thematic units, including the garden,  ancient stories and myths, geography and math.Discovery days in the fall,  our spring trip to Arago,  emphasize year long thematic units of study.