The Piscataway Middle School Social Studies department believes
that all of our students are capable of learning and achieving at high
levels. In order to prepare our students
for a rigorous high school experience and success in the 21st century world, we
attempt to provide an educational program that fosters growth in the areas of
critical thinking, literacy, writing, and the usage of technology. Our social studies students will:
Connect past history to the present day
Understand cause and effect in history
Understand the relationships among the
geography, the government, the economy, and the technology in a society
Analyze literary and non-literary sources of
information for their central idea, supporting details, potential bias, and
Compare multiple sources to find consistencies
Think critically to develop reasoned judgments
Develop and present logical and organized
arguments (both written and oral) based upon a variety of sources and credible
Understand and explain American civic values
Become positive contributors to a local,
national, and global community
Consider multiple perspectives
Promote cultural understanding
Inform themselves about current issues and
develop reasoned opinions and arguments
Use 21st century technology to effectively
research, communicate, and collaborate
Social Studies instruction will be based upon the "I do, we
do, you do" model. To the greatest
degree possible, we will attempt to base instruction upon inquiry, finding
applications to the real world, and collaboration among members of the
class. Modes of instruction can include
independent and collaborative research, reciprocal teaching, learning stations,
debate/discussion/mock trials, student presentations, and Socratic seminars.
Our sixth grade students study American History, beginning with the Colonies and ending with the Civil War.
Our seventh grade students study World History, beginning with the first civilizations and ending with the Roman Empire.
Our eighth grade study World History, beginning with Christianity and ending with the European discovery of the Americas.
Instruction is engaging and hands-on. Quarterly assessments will be administered in the form of Document-Based Questions (DBQs) and Performance-Based Assessments (PBAs). Our course curricula are aligned with the 2014 NJ State Standards for Social Studies (see pages 13-17 and 35-39).
Since Social Studies calls on strong literacy skills, our Social Studies teachers understand that they are literacy teachers as well as history/social studies teachers. As such, they will attempt to assist students in meeting the targets of the Common Core standards for Literacy and Writing in Social Studies.