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In history, the 7th grade curriculum is a survey of medieval societies around the world from approximately 400 A.D. through 1800 A.D. Topics include the fall of the Roman Empire, Medieval Europe, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution in Europe, the rise of Islam across the Middle East; northern, western, and eastern Africa, and central Asia. The history of China and India and their belief systems that guided the evolution of these civilizations are studied. We compare and contrast the Japanese medieval society with medieval feudalism in Europe. Lastly, we look at the great civilizations of the Americas including the Maya, the Aztec, and the Inca societies. The text utilized to support instruction is Medieval to Early Modern Times, by Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

The eighth grade curriculum retells the story of the United States, beginning with colonization, the Revolutionary War, our new American government, the Westward movement, and slavery, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the West. A strong emphasis is placed on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the role of democracy in American society, and the Civil War. The main text for eighth grade is United States History, Independence to 1914, Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

At both grade levels, we teach the importance of current events and how they relate to the ongoing shaping of history. Our teachers make extensive use of the recent Common Core strategies and new instructional materials to help make history come alive for our students. These activities include role-playing, debating, creation of art projects, skits and other “hands on” activities which effectively teach the curriculum to the varied learning styles of Los Alisos students. In addition, we will utilize maps, timelines, individual projects, mini-projects, literature books, reader’s theater, and video guides. Students will be given the opportunity to participate in class discussions, simulations, group projects, oral presentations, and PowerPoint computer projects to enhance their learning. We will also engage students in projects that cross into their English classes.

The history department is home to a shared computer lab and Chromebook carts that allow student access to a variety of programs including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Safari, and Google Drive to create interactive projects and allow students to research topics assigned by the history staff.