Social Studies

About the Social Studies Department

Social Studies at TSA offers a unique experience that goes beyond just memorization of dates and names. Our students still gain that knowledge, but they partake in many unique projects and experiences that cannot be matched. Our unique approach of arts integration makes for a learning experience that still teaches the facts they need to know while making their time in class more engaging and memorable.

Course Descriptions

Social Studies by Grade

6th Grade Social Studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote effective citizenship. Students will study the Eastern Hemisphere (Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe), its geographic features, early history, cultural development and economic change. Students study the five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism), the four river valley civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River Valley, and China), prehistoric civilizations, arranging dates in order of B.C. and A.D. as well as B.C.E. and C.E., map skills including latitude and longitude, absolute location, physical and political maps, governments (monarchy, democracy, theocracy, dictatorship). The geographic focus includes the study of contemporary regional characteristics, the movement of people, products and ideas, and cultural diversity.

In the seventh grade, students continue their study of the ancient world with their first of four courses covering the historical sequence. This study incorporates each of the core social studies standards into the chronology of early China, Greece, Rome, and Japan. Students will also explore early West African trading kingdoms, as well as Europe through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, to the Age of Exploration. Students learn that each historic event is shaped by its geographic setting, culture of the people, economic conditions, governmental decisions, and citizen action. A connection between past and present is illuminated as students examine ways in which each historical event helped shape the world we live in today. Students also expand their command of social studies skills and methods acquired in their sixth grade Social Studies course.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 6th grade Social Studies

The historical sequence continues in the eighth grade with an in-depth study of the early years of our nation. This study incorporates each of the core social studies standards into the chronology.

After a brief review of Trans-Atlantic exploration and trade, students explore the establishment of the English Colonies, as well as the causes and outcomes of the Revolutionary War (including the creation of our Constitution). They will also observe citizenship, the development of the Republic and of the American Identity, and Expansion. Lastly, students investigate regional tensions, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

While students are studying a particular historic event in the United States they also look at its geographic settings, economic implications, developments in government and the role of citizens.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 7th grade Early World History

This course provides an overview of the humanities, which are academic disciplines that study human culture. Throughout the school year we will use methods that are both critical and speculative with a significant historical theme to guide our studies. The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and visual and performing arts such as music and theatre. To this end, we will focus on the development of human culture, and examine various cultures in order to understand: 1) The Beginnings of Civilization, 2) How Social Values Influence Societal Norms, 3) How the Visual and Performing Arts of then impact us today, and 4) How you can use newly gained knowledge on the humanities in your daily life, to understand where we came from and where we might be going.

This humanities course will serve as a capstone of historical research and study at TSA, in preparation for the workforce or college. It will be challenging and will require you to respect various cultures, their beliefs, and the beliefs and opinions of your fellow classmates and instructor.

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to better understand the development of human civilizations from around the world and their impact on society today. Students will be able to compare advancements made by each society and note any connections between the societies and our society.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of World History, American History, American Government

Additional Courses

This class will provide students with a general introduction to world studies content from 1500 to the present by studying history, geography, government, culture, and economics. The content of the class will integrate art into the topics we cover to enrich our understanding. Overall this course will examine the past to understand our present to assist us in anticipating the future. This course will follow the model curriculum outlined in the Ohio New Learning Standards for Modern World History.


This course examines the history of the United States of America from 1877 to the present. The course is designed to give students a perspective on how past events have shaped the modern world, specifically the United States. Understanding how these events came to pass and their meaning for today’s citizens is the purpose of this course. The concepts of historical thinking introduced in earlier grades continue to build with students locating and analyzing primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives to draw conclusions.

Prerequisite: World History

The American government course is designed to familiarize students with local, state, and national governments in the United States. Emphasis will be given to the basic structure of our system, including an analysis of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Importance will be placed on how these branches operate in unison through the checks and balances system. In addition to discussion on the role and powers of our government and other political systems in the world today, attempts will be made to analyze people’s “control” and influence in our democracy. Development of analytical skills will be an ongoing concern in the class-especially the relation of current news events to our course materials. This is required course geared to make all students active participants in our representative democracy.

Prerequisite: American History