In sixth grade social studies, boys develop the overall skills required to establish a framework for future verbal, reading, writing and research challenges. The class travels through time as well as around the globe. From Ancient Rome through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, our quest is to identify successful and thriving cultures. We learn how and why a culture flourishes, even when faced with great difficulties. Our culminating spring trip to Chicago is a broad learning experience for the boys as we look at how modern day American cities have embarked on their own urban renaissance. As the boys do research, write essays, work on presentations, and engage in discussion, they examine new ideas and refine basic skills. Through this course, they discover that history is very much alive and impacts current events in many ways.
Seventh grade social studies focuses on key cultural conflicts that have shaped the American personality. The conflicts examined include those between Native Americans and the English, the colonists and the British during the rise of the American Revolution, and the North and the South during the Civil War. The course also covers conflicts during the Age of Industrialization and consider quality of life issues in both the Industrial Era and Digital Era. Students take a deep look into the conflict between Southern Segregationists and Civil Rights leaders through the lens of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Developing reading and writing skills through discussion, active note taking, paragraphing and work on expository essays is a major emphasis during the year.
Our units are enriched three key times during the year through Field Studies. In the fall, boys study frontier Ohio through hiking, biking and canoeing. Later, a study of the Industrial Era is advanced through the creation of our own assembly line and visits to key Youngstown labor museums. Our year culminates in a Cleveland study. In this unit we use oral history to understand the current entrepreneurial spirit in the city and the role Community Development organizations play in revitalizing our Cleveland neighborhoods.
Students in eighth grade social studies explore revolutions and counterrevolutions, the Constitution, the American justice system, the geopolitical structure and cultures of the Middle East, current events at home and abroad, and photojournalism through the lens of utopian and dystopian societies.
Throughout the year, students respond to history and the modern world in various ways: they debate, analyze, research, take notes, craft essays, write poems, analyze bias in news articles, take photographs and conduct street interviews during the culminating trip to Washington, D.C. Most importantly, this class is about developing the student’s voice and his global awareness.
In the fall, students travel by the Rapid to the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas and Carl B. Stokes Federal Courthouse for a daylong immersion into the American justice system. In the spring, the class travels to D.C. to witness government in action and develop a personal definition of what democracy means to them.