History – Social Science - OverviewStudents in sixth-grade world history and geography classrooms learn about the lives of the earliest humans, the development of tools, the gathering way of life, agriculture, and the emergence of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River valley, China, and the Mediterranean basin. With the guidance of their teachers, students review the geography of the ancient and contemporary worlds and recognize that these civilizations were not static societies but continually experienced change. In addition to developing basic geography skills, students are introduced to patterns, systems, and processes of physical and human geography. Students will study the fundamental aspects of this period: The movement of early humans across continents and their adaptations to the geography and climate of new regions
The rise of diverse civilizations, characterized by economies of surplus, centralized states, social hierarchies, cities, networks of trade, art and architecture, and systems of writing
The growth of urban societies as well as links with one another through trade, diplomacy, migration, conquest, and the diffusion of goods and ideas
The development of new political institutions (monarchy, empire, democracy) and new ideas (citizenship, freedom, morality, law)
- The birth and spread of religious and philosophical systems (Judaism, Greek thought, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity), and changes in societies (social class divisions, slavery, divisions of labor between men and women)
In studying this earliest history of humankind, students will have the opportunity to explore different kinds of source documents, such as the Hebrew Bible, Mesopotamian laws, the Homeric epics, Greek drama, the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects of Confucianism, the New Testament, and a range of visual images.