HI5 - Ancient Greece and Rome
This course focuses on the history of the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome.  It serves as an introduction to Western Civilization and is followed in sixth grade by the study of Medieval Europe and the Renaissance.  Throughout the course we strive to make connections between the accomplishments of ancient Greece and Rome and the contemporary western world.  We use many different primary and secondary sources, but the majority of informational reading comes from the book Greek and Roman Civilizations by Mark Twain Media.  For our studies of Ancient Greece, the course covers topics from the early Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations to the end of the empire of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.)  Our exploration of Ancient Rome begins with the influence of the Etruscans (753 C.E.) and ends with the Fall of Rome (476 C.E.)

HI6 - Medieval Western Europe and the Renaissance
This course follows our fifth grade studies of ancient Greece and Rome and serves as the second half of our two-year study of early Western Civilization. Just as in fifth grade, we strive to make connections between the rapid growth and rebirth of the classical age in Renaissance Europe and our contemporary western world. We use many different primary and secondary sources, but the majority of informational reading comes from the books Medieval Times and The Renaissance by Mark Twain Media.  For our studies of Medieval Europe, the course covers topics from the Fall of Rome (476 C.E.) and the Rise of Christianity as stabilizing force in Europe to the the feudal period and the signing of the Magna Carta (1215 C.E.).  Our exploration of the Renaissance begins in Italy (1350 C.E.) with the rise of humanism and the renewed interest in the classical period of Greece and Rome, and it ends with the Age of Exploration and the beginnings of the Enlightenment (1650 C.E.).

HI7 - Global Awareness & World Geography
Students in seventh grade Global Awareness establish a goal to work towards developing the skills and attributes necessary to be informed global citizens and realize a broader understanding of the world. The initial focus of the course is to cultivate an understanding of how geographers view the world and the tools they use to study and analyze it.  We eventually take these skills we have learned and apply them to real-world problems, such as the challenges of population growth, the unequal distribution of raw materials, the rise of nationalism, and the impact of climate and geography on a country’s development. Two-thirds of the year is spent travelling around the globe where students learn about different cultures to appreciate the richness of the human response to living in communities, with exposure to art, literature, drama, music and belief systems. Specifically, students focus on statistical analysis, research skills, analytical writing skills, and the exploration of topics that encourage students to face challenging questions that may not have an easy answer.   

8th Grade Social Studies - US History
Students in eighth grade examine the history of the United States from the pre-colonial era through modern day, with a particular emphasis on the evolving definitions of liberty and justice. The curriculum relies heavily on primary source materials, encouraging students to explore the nation’s history through the voices of its people. To support the document-based focus of the course, United States History utilizes a thematic approach that calls for meaningful critical analysis, interpretative thinking and inclusive class discussion. United States History is a writing-intensive course where students develop their skills through a variety of assignments including quizzes, in-class essays, document-based questions, an in-depth research unit and a variety of individual and collaborative projects. Students will also participate in debates, oral presentations and group projects.

Photograph of Geoffrey Chamberlain
Geoffrey Chamberlain
8th Grade Homeroom | Upper School History