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Junior High History 7: In-Depth

Content goals


The Amerindian, European, and African settlement of the Western Hemisphere

Key Topics: 

  • The Native American Settlement of the Western Hemisphere and Wisconsin Native American Civilizations
  • The Columbian Exchange:  Evangelization, Trade, and Exchange.
  • French and British colonization; the 7 Years War


The Revolutionary War, and the U.S. Constitution, and the early Republic

  • From Resistance  to the American Revolution
  • The U.S. Constitution, its political principles, the ways in which citizen participate in the American political system with special emphasis on Wisconsin government
  • The Early Republic and Western Migration and the early Catholic missionary church


The Antebellum Era and the U.S. Civil War

  • The Age of Andrew Jackson
  • The Slavery Crisis
  • The U.S. Civil War


The Reconstruction Era and the Gilded Age

  • The Challenge of Reconstruction
  • The “Old” West
  • The Gilded Age and the Missionary Church


Students perform recitations on the Kipling’s Six Honest Serving Men (the journalist’s questions), the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

In the 7th grade, students are introduced to the 5 Themes of Geography:  Location, Place, Human-Environment Interaction, Movement, and Region.  Students should be able to know and identify the following:

  • Pre-historic and Age of Exploration Settlement Patterns
  • North and South American Physical Regions
  • Patterns of Western Expansion: Surveyance, Land Speculation, Trade, Migration
  • Native American Settlements
  • 19th Century Immigration Patterns
  • Ecological Succession in Wisconsin—the impact of glaciers and humans in south central Wisconsin.
  • The Chesapeake Bay
  • The 50 States
  • The Slaveholding States
  • The States of the Confederacy

Analysis Goals

Secondary Sources

  • SQR3 reading method
  • Formulating reading questions for texts without heading

Primary Sources

  • Understand the distinction between primary, secondary, and inspired sources
  • Interpret a written primary source according to the three steps of primary source analysis
  • Interpret an historical object
  • Interpret a religious artifact
  • Know how to take a position on a historical question using evidence from primary and secondary sources.
  • Analyze political documents such as the Declaration of Independence and The U.S. Constitution as foundations of U.S. political philosophy

Chronological Thinking

  • Students learn how to organize important events in chronological order through timeline exercises.
  • Students understand the rationale for historians’ use of periodization
  • Understand the concept of Historical Context both in terms of “big” context and “little” context

Historical Thinking

  • Explain how a historian’s claim or argument is supported with evidence.
  • Identify the main point of a paragraph
  • Students learn to frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research
  • Students are able to identify, explain, and utilize the six questions historians use to interpret historical events and processes
  • Students recognize the role of chance, contingency, and error in history
  • Students learn to define terms using a Frayer Diagram.
  • Students learn how to assess the historical significance of a person, group, event, document, process, or idea.

Composition Goals

  • Write a summary from a section in a history textbook, or primary source
  • Write a precis of a short primary source
  • Know how to write a definition using a Frayer Diagram
  • Writing a historical definition based on Theon’s 6 (the Journalist’s questions).
  • Using a text to write an answer to the “Thinking Like a Historian” Questions
  • Writing a “claim” paragraph:  claim (topic sentence), two sentences of evidence, one sentence of analysis.
  • Using reading questions to write “research” notes
  • Cornell Notes (writing notes in rudimentary outline form, writing annotations, mnemonic devices and self-test questions in left column, and summaries of notes on bottom row)
  • Outlining textbook sections and chapters
  • Writing Primary Source Analysis
    • Placing artifact in its historical context
    • Interpreting the artifact by identifying keywords and central sentences
    • Explaining what the artifact reveals about history
  • Reverse Outlining
  • Keyword Outlines
  • Formulating Research Questions
  • Capitalization Rules
  • Recognizing comma splices

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