Middle School Social Studies 

Welcome back for the 2023-2024 school year at St. Augustin School!  The middle school students are off to a great start again this year, and we have been very busy in Social Studies class. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with you and your children. During the course of the upcoming school year, the students will be learning more about many different topics in my class, such as American history, American government, world regions, world cultures, contemporary global studies, civic ideals, current events, global interdependence, and global crises. This is the second year of implementation of the new Iowa Core Curriculum for K-12 schools, so we will continue to focus on many new elements of curriculum in all my classes. Please use this website for information about class content, activities, events and assignments, curricula, and course enrichment. Please email or call me if you have any questions about Social Studies class.  Let's make it another successful year!


6th Grade 

Latin America Unit; Central America/Caribbean Islands maps; South America maps (countries, landforms, major bodies of water, major cities, climate, resources) 

"Cuba After Fidel" article discussion and questions; Iowa Core 6.20, 6.21, 6.22

Chapter 7: Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean; Lesson 1- Physical Geography and Climate; Iowa Core 6.17Lesson 2- History of the Regions; Iowa Core 6.20, 6.22Lesson 3- Life in the Regions; Iowa Core 6.13, 6.14, 6.20

THE MAYA; Kids Discover Magazine: The Maya; Lesson #22 in the textbook- development of Maya civilization, three periods of Mayan civilization, Mayan society, religion, calendar and writing system, Maya cities, intellectual achievements, astronomy, agricultural practices, theories of the collapse and decline of the Maya civilization, connections to modern societies in Latin America in contemporary times; Iowa Core 6.13, 6.17, 6.20, 6.22; Maya Concepts (Part 1 and Part 2); The Maya: Blood of Kings History Channel/Time Life Video documentary viewed in class

THE AZTECS; Kids Discover Magazine: The Aztecs; "The Aztecs" article, with questions; development of Aztec civilization, daily life, Aztec society, the city of Tenochtitlan, calendar system, agriculture, medicine, religion, sculpture, weaving, writing system, warfare, arrival of the Spanish and the Spanish Conquest; Aztec Sun Stone project; The Aztecs: Engineering an Empire History Channel documentary via YouTube; Hernan Cortes- Hero or Villain? with class discussions, research, justifications, article posts; "Invasion of Tenochtitlan" article work

"The Fight Against Teen Vaping" Junior Scholastic article work

"A Team Stays Together in a Time of War" Junior Scholastic article work; topics included the current conflict in Israel/Palestine, world religions, displacement, cultures, social media, sacred sites, global connections, and global impact; Iowa Core 6.13, 6.14, 6.17, 6.20, 6.21, 6.22

Political and Economic Ideologies Unit; content includes class discussions, definitions, and research into several historical and contemporary economic and political ideologies and types of government: democracy, republic, constitutional monarchy, theocracy, oligarchy, dictatorship, feudalism, capitalism, fascism, socialism, and communism; Google slideshow, group work, quick documentaries; Iowa Core 6.15, 6.20, 6.22

United States Government (some basics) introductory unit; three branches of American government, major functions of each branch, checks and balances, LegislativeExecutiveJudicial; federal system of American government, America's constitutional republic


7th Grade 

Contemporary Global Studies: Australia/Oceania- Past and Present 

Australia/Oceania maps (countries, landforms, major cities, bodies of water, resources)

Antarctica maps/content; major landforms, geographic features, major bodies of water, scientific research stations and claimed territories; Iowa Core 7.16"An Antarctic First" Junior Scholastic article"Surviving the Endurance" articleIowa Core 7.23, 7.24, 7.26Survival! The Shackleton Story History Channel documentary

Tour the World YouTube video

Standard of Living and Global Inequality Unit; students compared and researched the standard of living in four different nations: Haiti, Turkey, Dominican Republic, and the United Arab Emirates; read and discussed various articles on Google Classroom and completed graphic organizers for content; Iowa Core 7.14; What causes global standard of living inequalities, and why do inequalities persist? How does standard of living affect peoples' lives? How do people themselves impact standard of living- for both good or bad? How does a nation's history impact current standard of living for its people today? Does a nation's government have an effect on its peoples' standard of living?

Ancient Greece; Kids Discover Magazine; Lesson 31- The Legacy of Ancient Greece, The Illiad "characters" and Troy video clips; Iowa Core 7.24, 7.26Lesson 27- Life in Athens and Sparta; "Child Soldiers of Sparta" article; Lesson 30- Alexander the Great and his Empire; The Conquerors: Alexander the Great TLC documentary; Greek alphabet; Ancient Rome; Kids Discover Magazine; Lesson 38- The Legacy of Rome in the Modern World; Iowa Core 7.24; Roman emperors (especially the Julio-Claudians); Gladiator selected clips; A Day in Pompeii- 3D Animation geologic simulation, with Kids Discover Magazine: Pompeii; Lesson 36- The Origins and Spread of Christianity; Iowa Core 7.24, 7.26Christian persecution in imperial Rome, the life and teachings of Jesus

The Dark Ages: The Fall of Civilization and the Rise of a New World Order History Channel documentary (with content questions and discussions); Kids Discover Magazine: Knights and Castles; Iowa Core 7.24, 7.26; Renaissance Connections/ Traders, Explorers, and Colonists webpage links

Black Death/Influenza Pandemic of 1918/Covid 19 Global PandemicThe Black Death History Channel documentary; students worked in cooperative groups to research, compare/contrast, and analyze the similarities and differences between these three global events and completed a detailed Venn diagram for classroom display; Iowa Core 7.13, 7.24, 7.25, 7.26

Globalization Unit; students studied the impacts of globalization as a whole throughout the world, and then we focused on the specific effects of globalization on the nations of Japan, China, and South Korea, and the United States using articles presented via Google Classroom; the students completed several comparative T-charts in cooperative groups, detailing many "pros" and "cons" of globalization- both for the present and the future; Iowa Core 7.18


8th Grade    

Module 5: Forming a Government; Iowa Core 8.14, 8.17, 8.18, 8.19, 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23, 8.24; The Articles of Confederation, The New Nation Faces Challenges, Creating the Constitution, Ratifying the Constitution; "The Fight Over the Constitution", 10 Days that Changed America: Shay's Rebellion; Federalist or Antifederalist? class activity; Module 6: Citizenship and the Constitution; Structure of the Government; Iowa Core 8.14 

Kids Discover Magazine: THE CONSTITUTION; Iowa Core 8.23, 8.24

A More Perfect Union: George Washington and the Making of the Constitution

Civics in Action: A Citizenship Handbook; The Constitution, Federal Government, Citizens' Rights and Responsibilities; Iowa Core 8.24

The United States Constitution; Articles, Amendments, summary, Bill of Rights; Iowa Core 8.14, 8.24

Module 7: Launching the Nation; Iowa Core 8.14, 8.20, 8.21, 8.23; Washington Leads a New Nation, Hamilton and National Finances, Challenges for the New Nation, John Adams' Presidency, Jefferson Becomes President, Lewis and Clark Expedition (with interactive map)

The History Channel Presents- AMERICA: The Story of Us (Westward)

Module 8: War and Expansion in the Americas; Iowa Core 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23; The Coming of War, The War of 1812, Settling International Issues; The Star-Spangled Banner lyrics, description, historical connotations (YouTube)

Module 9: A New National Identity; Iowa Core 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23; American Foreign Policy, Nationalism and Sectionalism, The Monroe Doctrine, the Missouri Compromise

Module 10: The Age of Jackson; Iowa Core 8.21, 8.22, 8.23, 8.24; Jackson's administration, Native American relocation; Andrew Jackson: From Common Man to President documentary; Andrew Jackson- Hero or Villain?

Junior Achievement Finance Park: Section 1: Income; Section 2: Saving, Investing, and Risk Management; Section 3: Debit and Credit; Section 4: Budget +

Module 12: Expansion and Conflict

Module 13: The North

Module 14: The South

Module 15: Slavery in the United States

The History Channel Presents- AMERICA: The Story of Us (Division)

Civil War Unit; Module 17: A Divided Nation; Iowa Core 8.14, 8.17, 8.18, 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23, 8.24; The Debate Over Slavery, Trouble in Kansas, Political Divisions, The Nation Divides; "Uncle Tom's Cabin" book excerpt read in class; Module 18: The Civil War; The War Begins, The War in the East, The War in the West, Daily Life During the War, The Tide of the War Turns; PBS Special Presentation: The Civil War; A Film by Ken Burns (Episode 1- The Cause) and (Episode 2- A Very Bloody Affair) with question sheets and class discussions throughout; "Faces of the Civil War" post, Civil War battle maps

The History Channel Presents- AMERICA: The Story of Us (Civil War)



Junior Scholastic Current Events Magazine

Junior Scholastic classroom password: jsmagazine2324