Our challenging standards-based curriculum emphasizes the development of essential skills, the understanding of important concepts, and the ability to apply learning to real-world problems.
Our curriculum includes courses of study for all students in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, music, visual arts, physical education, and health. In addition, students take grade-specific trimester courses in technology, research, and study skills which are designed to support their integrated learning experience.
The Social Studies curriculum at ASMS is a comprehensive and thought-provoking program that teaches students about their world: past, present, and preparation for the future. The courses are aligned to the learning standards established by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS).
In all of the middle school courses, students learn to research, analyze, explore, and connect with social, political, economic, cultural, and historical texts and media. They use critical thinking to determine the value and validity of historical evidence, and they learn to present their work in written, digital, and creative formats. Students also learn to illustrate the connections and interactions of people and events across time from a variety of perspectives.
Social Studies 8
United States History
In 8th grade social studies, students explore U.S. history in the context of themes that apply directly to their lives and the world we live in today. The year is divided into 3 units. Each unit begins with a chronological overview of U.S. history relevant to the theme of the unit before shifting into more in-depth analysis. In the first unit, students investigate the origins of government and the development of the U.S. constitution. At the beginning of this first unit students will focus on the geography of the United States in order to build context moving forward. The second unit focuses on war and peace, as students analyze the ethical implications of the use of force in different contexts. In the third unit, students explore questions of social justice and the evolution of the ideals espoused in the Declaration of Independence.
Throughout the year, students develop their ability to analyze primary sources, including historical documents, images, speeches, and personal letters. They delve into the concept of identity, studying the experiences of different groups to gain an appreciation for the complexities of the past and present. They develop an understanding of the range of human responses to difference, and they formulate their own views on the role they play as citizens. Ultimately, students learn to analyze bias and perspective to gain a more full understanding of what is going on in the world around them, and they draw connections to their own personal choices today.