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Social Studies

The goal of Social Studies is to help create literate and well informed citizens, who actively participate in a democratic society. New Kent Middle School is working to create an appreciation of the world around us. We want to help make students aware and develop conversational and philosophical knowledge of history and how it relates to us and what we will become.

Social Studies is the part of the school curriculum that employs the facts, concepts, generalizations, and skills of history and the social sciences to promote responsible citizenship. Through the study of history, past events and decisions are examined critically and assessed according to their importance for the present and future. The social sciences (history, anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology) serve as vehicles for studying human behavior in various settings. Combined in a social studies curriculum, the study of history and the social sciences encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and a commitment to human dignity.

Course of Study

Sixth Grade
United States History to 1877

Students will use skills of historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the union. The standards for this course relate to the history of the United States from pre-Columbian times until 1877. Students will continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography as they study United States history in chronological sequence and learn about change and continuity in our history. They also will study documents and speeches that laid the foundation of American ideals and institutions and will examine the everyday life of people at different times in the country's history through the use of primary and secondary sources.

Seventh Grade
United States History: 1877 to the Present

Students will continue to use skills of historical and geographical analysis as they examine American history since 1877. The standards for this course relate to the history of the United States from the end of the Reconstruction era to the present. Students should continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography within the context of United States history. Political, economic, and social challenges facing the nation reunited after civil war will be examined chronologically as students develop an understanding of how the American experience shaped the world political and economic landscape.

Eighth Grade
Civics and Economics

Students will examine the roles citizens play in the political, governmental, and economic systems in the United States. Students will examine the constitutions of Virginia and the United States, will identify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens, and will describe the structure and operation of government at the local, state, and national levels. Students will investigate the process by which decisions are made in the American market economy and explain the government’s role in it. The standards identify personal character traits, such as patriotism, respect for the law, willingness to perform public service, and a sense of civic duty, that facilitate thoughtful and effective active participation in the civic life of an increasingly diverse democratic society.