6-8 Social Sciences
Students in middle school Social Sciences explore the past and present of humanity by working with historical documents, considering current events, and thinking critically and creatively in response to essential questions about civilization, race, collaboration, equity, culture and what it means to be human.
Sixth grade focuses on the Western Hemisphere. Topics of study include the first settlers of the Western Hemisphere. Meso- and South American Empires, Colonization and Genocide, Resistance and Independence and Sociological and Ecological Justice.
Seventh grade will look at the history of the Eastern Hemisphere. Topics of study include Early Humans and Civilizations, African Societies, Social Structures, Networks and Exchange, Land and Resources, and Globalization.
Eighth grade explores United States History from the colonial period through the Reconstruction and includes study of the Constitution. Topics of study include the history of race in Oregon, examining governments and civics, colonialism and consequences, resistance, revolution and resilience, power and growth, a look at what it means to be free, and empowerment through literacy. In addition, students in eighth grade engage in a Black Lives Matter week of Action.
In addition to the texts, resources and activities hand-selected by Portland Public Schools teachers for their students, materials for supporting the Social Sciences in grades 6-8 include:
“TCI is a K-12 publishing company that creates science and social studies curriculum to enable educators to improve their ability to engage students in a diverse classroom. Our K-12 curriculum and services for educators are based on proven teaching strategies and practices that bring education to life in order to achieve consistent and positive classroom results. “
“The Stanford History Education Group is an award-winning research and development group that comprises Stanford faculty, staff, graduate students, post-docs, and visiting scholars. SHEG seeks to improve education by conducting research, working with school districts, and reaching directly into classrooms with free materials for teachers and students. SHEG’s Reading Like a Historian curriculum and Beyond the Bubble assessments have been downloaded more than 9 million times. SHEG's current work focuses on how young people evaluate online content. SHEG has created a Civic Online Reasoning curriculum to help students develop the skills needed to navigate our current digital landscape.”
“Learning about tribal nations in Oregon is important for all students. Each nation has a distinct origin story, worldview, and timeline of their history and contemporary context. However, much of that information has been presented to the general American public from a non-Native American perspective, filled with clichés, misconceptions and falsehoods. The ODE partnered with representatives of the nine federally recognized tribal governments in Oregon to create Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon. These nine essential understandings have been created to serve as an introduction into the vast diversity of the Oregon Native American experience.”