Social Studies

The Social Studies Department focuses on the development of reading, writing, research, critical thinking and technology skills through the study of World and United States History.

The writing curriculum in the History and Social Science Department is part of a vertically and horizontally integrated curriculum that has been developed in conjunction with the English Department. The Social Studies Department emphasizes global education with an emphasis on studying and appreciating diverse world cultures, exploring the effects of cultural contact both historically and in contemporary times, and recognizing and understanding the increasing interconnectedness of the world.

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  • What a Grade 8 student will know and be able to do in social studies:

    • Geography: Students will be able to identify how geography affects the development of culture and history.
    • Diversity: Students will be able to compare and contrast cultural similarities and differences to demonstrate tolerance and respect in a diverse world.
    • Connections: Students will be able to analyze how past events affect the present and future.
    • Leadership: Students will be able to identify characteristics of effective leaders and governments and how they influence the greater community.
    • Skills: Students will use reading, writing, and research skills to examine and analyze historical events and contemporary issues.
    • Social Responsibility: Students will develop an interest in contemporary human rights and social justice issues and seek opportunities to engage these issues through individual commitment and action.

Social Studies Curriculum by Grade

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  • Grade 6

    Ancient Civilizations
    Grade 6 course emphasizes an introduction to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, India, China, Greece and Rome, and exposes students to various themes, including developing global citizenship, how to study and understand the past, geography’s influence on developing civilizations, why civilizations rise and fall, effective leadership and governments, and connecting the past to the present.

    Activities are designed to heighten reading comprehension and critical thinking skills and to develop study skills. The course is also designed to promote understanding of different cultures through discussion, simulations and the consideration of the physical and cultural geography of Asia. A short research paper emphasizes the research process, and the construction of a web site addresses research and creative presentation skills.
  • Grade 7

    Medieval to Modern Times
    Grade 7 course emphasizes the rise and fall of empires. The diverse world cultures that are explored include Islam, Asia, Europe and Africa. The course emphasizes social science skills through the development of written essays and projects such as the building of Islamic mosques, websites about Asian topics, and African masks, recipes, and country reports. In-depth study of the Renaissance and Reformation includes a co-curricular research project with the English department, culminating in the Renaissance Faire. The development of critical thinking skills and analysis of global issues encourage students to articulate opinions about world events, and provides a diverse classroom experience.
  • Grade 8

    United State History
    Students examine the cultural, political events and economic events that led to the establishment and growth of the United States, and the role of the United States in a global society. Through an interactive curriculum, students gain insight into several major topics in United States history, including the Independence Movement, the creation of the Constitution, Immigration, the Civil War and Reconstruction, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement.

    Students develop skills in historical analysis, the formulation and presentation of both oral and written arguments, and the understanding of different perspectives. Co-curricular projects with the English department include a family history project, through which students will write about family histories researched through oral interviews, and a global civil rights project in which students will research, write and deliver speeches about global issues. The integration of national and international current events study into the curriculum provides students with concrete examples of the relevance of studying the past to understanding the present.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900