History 7: World Cultures

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World Cultures continues the study of civilizations begun in sixth grade.  Students learn to think critically about historical eras, analyze primary sources for accuracy and bias, define problems, and relate historical events to the modern world.  Students acquire the patterns needed to read actively for both the main idea and increase their vocabulary.  Students focus on writing as a process. Students concentrate on the process of developing their essays through such stages as pre-writing, outlining, and first and second drafts. Students extend the depth and detail of their writing and practice writing introductory paragraphs, topic sentences, and strong conclusions.  Beginning the year in a large group, they learn the skills necessary to complete projects independently, including planning, time management, outlining, and research.  Research involves interviewing, reading for specific information, and using both print and electronic research.  In the course of the year, students practice speaking skills including, exchanging ideas; debating, and honoring ideas of others. Units include geography and the human experience with an emphasis on current world geography; Middle Ages in England, China, Middle East, North Africa, and Japan with an emphasis on mapping of culture, impact of religion, and development of political systems; and revolutions in science, Enlightenment, America, France, and Estonia.  Spring brings planning a trip to a country in the Eastern Hemisphere with an emphasis on studying the culture of a country through travel. The final unit of study involves the history of Mt. St Helens.


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
World Cultures
  • What are domestic and international issues concerning geography?
  • How do culture and experience influence people's perception of places and regions?
  • How do cultures acquire new ideas, goods, and technology?
  • What pieces of our culture have we shared with other cultures?
  • What are the consequences of trade?
  • What should governments do?
  • How should we handle conflict?

Knowledge of the following geographic & cultural regions

  • Physical and political environments of Oregon, the United States and Earth
  • Feudal Japan, China, Medieval England, Byzantine Empire, and the Rise of Islam
  • Age of Exploration--Voyages of Discovery, Conquest of the Americas, Growth of Trade
  • European Colonization--Global Empires, Struggle for North America, Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Rise of the Monarchy--Absolute Monarchs, Limited Monarchies
  • Age of Revolutions--Scientific Revolution, Age of Enlightenment, American & French Revolutions
  • Cultural differences between the United States and other countries


  • Draw maps, discuss different spatial representations of Earth's surface
  • Explore reasons behind conflicts arising from boundaries and other political/physical divisions
  • Identify reasons why civilizations developed where they did
  • Compare information from a variety of historical sources
  • Take notes that reflect understanding of the sources
  • Evaluate the question, Do the means justify the end?
  • Synthesize information into a historical fiction story




  • Expository and imaginative writing, including paragraphs, essays, historical fiction, and poetry
  • Unit Tests including maps, essays to assess knowledge of essential quesitons, and a variety of question types
  • Research projects graded with point system so that students see where work is strongest and where revision is needed

Resource include:

  • Focus on understanding all of humanity as a way to understand ourselves
  • All cultures share general qualities; cultures vary in the way these qualities are manifested in daily life
  • Immigrants help make countries rich and diverse places 
  • Explore and ask questions about the nature of culture and specific aspects of culture
  • Impact of western culture and globalization on the modern world.
  • Clash of civilizations.
  • Plate tectonics and water resources are both linked to science topics
  • Students integrate studio, woodshop, music, drama, English, and math into their presentations.  Expository essays and imaginative writings including such topics as figurative language are a combined effort with Language Arts and 8th grade history in terms of writing process, essay process, thesis statement, scoring rubric, etc.