Middle School Courses

Middle School History & Social Sciences

In Middle School, students are introduced to the study of history and the social sciences. One of the primary missions of the department is to expose students to the diverse world in which they live. Promoting the understanding of human kind’s connections with place, environment, and one another is emphasized throughout the curriculum.

Through a variety of challenging, age-appropriate texts, students learn how to read critically and identify an author’s bias. Students learn how to develop an arguable assertion and defend it with relevant evidence. Technology plays a critical part in the curriculum, including instruction in the use of sophisticated mapping software and the Internet as a research tool.

List of 3 items.

  • Global Connections - Grade 6

    Focusing on troubled spots in our world, students go on a journey.  Through the eyes of young people in struggling countries, they explore causes of famine and examine the importance of water and education.  Next, they tackle the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, grapple with child labor in Pakistan and conclude by studying solutions of Gandhi and Mandela. Current events play a signifi­cant role in the curriculum during class discussions with attention to identifying perspective and bias through assignments in the New York Times’ Upfront magazine for students. While reading the varied texts, students focus on note-taking skills and literary analysis. A major focus of the course is teaching students to develop a thesis and to defend it with well-chosen evidence. Each student completes an individual research project on a selected country, produces a monument with a hands-on and digital component, and celebrates at the Night of Nations dinner.
  • American Studies - Grade 7

    This course examines the interaction of Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans in the American South and Southwest.  Students study the experience of Native Americans, the westward migration of Americans and the struggle over Texas, as well as the African-American experience during the 19th century.  A major goal of the course is to provide students some context to understand the interaction of disparate peoples in American history and the knowledge required to see connections from the past to the present.
  • Cultures and Governance - Grade 8

    Students explore the impact of social structures and political governance in societies. Through readings, discussions, and expository essay writing, students have daily opportunities to apply fact-based analysis to contemporary global issues. Units focus on topics such as urbanism, immigration, challenges to the rule of law, and the persistence of social inequality. Texts utilized in the course include, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler. Among the goals for the course is to deepen students’ appreciation for perspectives, context and nuance when interpreting events our increasingly interconnected world.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213