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DC: Seventh Grade Standards

(Note: In 2011, DC public schools began transitioning to the Common Core State Standards.)

  • Era I: Early Humankind and the Development of Human Societies

    • 7.1. Broad Concept: Students describe current understanding of the origins of modern humans from the Paleolithic Age to the agricultural revolution.
      1. Trace the great climatic and environmental changes that shaped the earth and eventually permitted the growth of human life. (G)
      2. Locate human communities that populated the major regions of the world, and identify how humans adapted to a variety of environments. (G)
      3. Explain the evidence supporting hominid origin in East Africa. (G)
      4. Articulate the theoretical basis for modern human evolution that led to migration out of Africa, first to Europe and Asia, and later to the Americas and Australia. (G)
      5. Describe the characteristics of hunter-gatherer societies of the Paleolithic Age (e.g., use of tools and fire, hunting weapons, and typical division of labor by gender). (S, E)

      Examples

      • Students examine cave paintings and hypothesize what the drawings tell us about the cultures from which they originated (7.1.5).
    • 7.2. Broad Concept: Describe how the development of agriculture related to village settlement, popula- tion growth, and the emergence of civilization (e.g., prehistoric art of the cave of Lascaux, the megalithic ruin of Stonehenge, the Stone City of Great Zimbabwe). (G)

      Examples

      • Students simulate the transition from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural society. One group of students “hunts” for hidden objects in the classroom that provide their academic sustenance (e.g., pencils, notebook paper, or chalk). Students then brainstorm ways in which they can provide for their academic livelihood without having to hunt or move around the room, explaining that organization promotes growth and advancement (7.2).
  • Era II: Early River Civilizations to 1000B.C./B.C.E.

    • 7.3. Broad Concept: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush.

      Students:

      1. Locate and describe the major river systems and the physical settings that supported permanent settlement and early civilizations. (G)
      2. Trace the development of agricultural techniques (e.g., plant cultivation, domestication of animals) that permitted the production of economic surplus and the emergence of cities as centers of culture and power. (G, E)
      3. Identify the location of the Kush civilization and its political, commercial, and cultural relations with Egypt. (G, P, E)
      4. Understand the significance of Hammurabi’s Code and the basic principle of justice contained within the code. (P)
      5. Describe the relationship between religion (polytheism) and the social and political order in Mesopotamia and Egypt. (P, R, S)
      6. Understand the significance of Egyptian rulers Amenemhat, Queen Hatshepsut, and Ramses the Great. (P)
      7. Understand the contribution of Egyptian intellectual thought, including the moral teachings of Ptahotep (the Wisdom Texts), contributions in mathematics (Rhind Mathematical Papyrus), and religion (Pyramid texts). (I, R)
      8. Explain the relationship of pharaohs to peasants as a primary form of labor in Egypt. (S, E)
      9. Describe the main features of Egyptian art and monumental architecture, particularly sculptures, such as the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. (S, I)
      10. Trace the evolution of language, its written forms (for record keeping, tax collection, and more permanent preservation of ideas), and the invention of papyrus in the early river civilizations. (S, E, I)
      11. Describe the role of Egyptian trade in the eastern Mediterranean and Nile Valley. (E)

      Examples

      • On a blank map, students find and identify modern country boundaries and major natural landmarks in the fertile crescent (7.3.1).
      • Students answer the question “What are the most important rules that a society can have?” Students then compare their responses to actual rules of Hammurabi’s Code and list similarities and differences. Students hypothesize what these rules tell us about Hammurabi’s culture (7.3.4).
      • Students examine a map of the Nile region and brainstorm what the advantages and disadvantages would be of building an empire around the Nile (7.3.6).
      • After reading theories written by historians and engineers, students hypothesize how the Egyptians were able to build the pyramids. As follow-up, students write a brief essay explaining what the Egyptians’ dedication to building the pyramids says about their civilization (7.3.9).
  • 7.4. Broad Concept: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures of the Indus Valley Civilization.

    Students:

    1. Locate the early civilization of the Indus Valley. (G)
    2. Identify the origins of Indus or Harappan civilization in the Indus Valley, and describe how the major river system and the physical setting supported the rise of the civilization. (G)
    3. Describe the Vedic hymns and the beginnings of what would later become Hinduism. (R)
    4. Describe the development of Sanskrit literature and its relationship to the development of the caste system. (R, I, S)
    5. Identify the causes of the decline and collapse of this civilization (the first successive waves of Aryans invade portions of the subcontinent). (G, P, M)

    Examples

      • On a blank map, students locate modern country boundaries and major physical and topographical features of the Indus Valley (7.4.1).
      • Students read Vedic hymns that describe creation and the beginning of the world, and they compare those to western creation stories (resource: The Holy Bible, revised standard version. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1952) (7.4.3).
      • Based on their reading, students create a reasonable hypothesis as to why the Harrappan civilization ended so suddenly, and they write a brief essay backing up their hypothesis (7.4.5).
    • 7.5. Broad Concept: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures in Northern China.

      Students:

      1. Identify the location of the early Chinese agrarian societies that emerged. (G)
      2. Describe the importance of the fertile valleys of the Huang He River to the location of early Chinese agricultural societies. (G)
      3. Identify the uses and significance of bronze-making technology. (I, E)
      4. Describe the government in the Shang Dynasty, the development of social hierarchy and religious institutions, and Zhou political expansion. (P, S, R)
      5. Describe the development of a writing system based on ideographs of characters that symbolize conceptual ideas. (I)

      Examples

      • On a blank map, students identify modern China and its key natural and topographical features (7.5.1).
      • Students brainstorm all the ways they use metal today and compare those with the ways that bronze was used in ancient China. Students then explain why this would have given the Chinese civilization technological and military superiority over their rivals (7.5.3).
      • Students consider the Mandate from Heaven and hypothesize about how believing that one’s rule is ordained by heaven or God might affect how one rules (7.5.4).
      • Students read excerpts from The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, and explain what the text reveals about China during that period (7.5.4).
    • 7.6. Broad Concept: Discuss the origins and characteristics of the Olmecs, the Mother Culture of Mesoamerica.

      Students:

      1. Describe the Olmecs’ highly developed agricultural system. (G, E)
      2. Explain its complex society that is governed by kings and priests with impressive ceremonial centers and artworks. (P, I)
      3. Describe the creation of syllabic and hieroglyphic writing systems and an accurate calendar. (I)
      4. 4. Explain the religious traditions, including the worship of gods, goddesses, and Shamanistic rituals. (R)
      5. Describe characteristics of the Olmec architecture, sculpture, and stone carvings, such as the colossal heads. (I)

      Examples

      • Students write a journal entry on what it would be like to live a day in the life in the Olmec civilization (7.6.2).
      • After reviewing Olmec literature, art, and architecture, students hypothesize about what these artifacts tell us about the Olmec civilization (7.6.4 and 7.6.5).
    • Era III: Ancient and Classical Civilizations to 700 C.E.

      • 7.7. Broad Concept: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures of the Ancient Hebrews.
        1. Identify the location of ancient Israel. (G)
        2. Describe the settlements and movements of Hebrew peoples, including the exodus and their movement to and from Egypt, and the significance of the exodus to the Jewish and other peoples. (G)
        3. Identify the sources of the ethical teachings and central beliefs of Judaism (the Hebrew Bible, the Commentaries): belief in God; emphasis on individual worth; personal responsibility; the rule of law; observance of law; practice of the concepts of righteousness and justice; and importance of study. (P, R)
        4. Describe how the ideas of the Hebrew traditions are reflected in the moral and ethical traditions of Western civilization. (P, S)
        5. Describe the origins and significance of Judaism as the first monotheistic religion based on the concept of one God who sets down moral laws for humanity. (R)
        6. Explain how Judaism survived and developed despite the continuing dispersion of much of the Jewish population from Jerusalem and the rest of Israel after the destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70. (G, R)

        Examples

        • On a blank map, students locate modern country boundaries, as well as key natural and topographical landmarks, of ancient Palestine (7.7.1).
        • Students divide into two groups: One group of students reads the biblical account of the Exodus, and the other reads archaeological accounts of the Exodus. Students compare and contrast the two accounts (7.7.2).
        • Students compare and contrast excerpts from the Code of Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments, and they identify commonalities and differences (7.7.3).
        • Students brainstorm all the ways that living in a monotheistic society would be different than living in a polytheistic society (7.7.3).
        • Students examine the Ten Commandments and identify ways that these concepts are still followed in American law and society (7.7.4).
      • 7.8. Broad Concept: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures of the early civilization of Ancient Greece.
        1. Identify the location of Ancient Greece. (G)
        2. Describe the connections between geography and the development of city-states in the region of the Aegean Sea, including patterns of trade and commerce among Greek city-states and within the wider Mediterranean region. (G, E)
        3. Trace the transition from tyranny and oligarchy to early democratic forms of government and back to dictatorship in ancient Greece, including the significance of the invention of the idea of citizenship (e.g., from Pericles’ Funeral Oration). (P)
        4. Explain the democratic political concepts developed in ancient Greece (i.e., the polis, or city-state; civic participation and voting rights; legislative bodies; constitution writing; and rule of law). (P)
        5. State the key differences between Athenian, or direct democracy, and representative democracy. (P)
        6. Outline the founding, expansion, and political organization of the Persian Empire. (G, P)
        7. Explain the significance of Greek mythology to the everyday life of people in the region and how Greek literature continues to permeate our literature and language today, drawing from Greek mythology and epics, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and from Aesop’s Fables. (S, I)
        8. Compare and contrast life in Athens to Sparta, with emphasis on the daily life of women and children, the games and sports of the Olympiad, the education of youths, the trial of Socrates, and their roles in the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. (S, M)
        9. Trace the rise of Alexander the Great and the spread of Greek culture eastward and into Egypt. (P, S)
        10. Identify key Greek figures in the arts and sciences (e.g., Hypatia, Hippocrates, Homer, Socrates, Sophocles, Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Euclid, Euripedes, and Thucydides). (I)

        Examples

        • On a blank map, students identify modern country boundaries, ancient city-states, and natural and topographical landmarks (7.8.1).
        • Students plan a trip around the Mediterranean Sea, and they brainstorm what they would need and how they will travel from region to region (7.8.2).
        • Students read Pericles’ Funeral Oration and complete an observation, interpretation, and application chart (7.8.3).
        • Students read excerpts from The Iliad and The Odyssey, and they draw conclusions about Greek life and values from the text (7.8.7).
        • Working in two groups, half the class completes a diary entry of what it would be like to live a day in the life of a Spartan, while the other half completes a diary entry of what it would be like to live a day in the life of an Athenian. After writing, students pair up to compare their reflections (one Spartan and one Athenian) (7.8.8).
        • In small teams, students research one key Greek figure. They prepare for a debate competition about who they feel was the most influential Greek (7.8.10).
      • 7.9. Broad Concept: Students analyze the geographic, political, religious, social, and economic structures during the development of Rome.
        1. Identify the location of Ancient Greece. (G)
        2. Locate and describe the major river system and the physical setting that supported the rise of this civilization and the expansion of its political power in the Mediterranean region and beyond through the use of currency and trade routes. (G, E)
        3. Explain the government of the Roman Republic and its significance (e.g., written constitution, separation of powers, rule of law, representative government, the notion of civic duty, and checks and balances) and why it was inadequate to administer Roman affairs by the end of the second century B.C. (B.C.E.). (P)
        4. Describe the influence of Julius Caesar and Augustus in Rome’s transition from republic to empire. (P)
        5. Trace the migration of Jews around the Mediterranean region and the effects of their conflict with the Romans, including the Romans’ restrictions on their right to live in Jerusalem. (G, P)
        6. Explain the origins of Christianity in the Jewish Messianic prophecies, the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament, and the contribution of St. Paul the Apostle to the definition and spread of Christian beliefs (e.g., belief in the Trinity, Resurrection, and Salvation). (R)
        7. Describe the circumstances that led to the spread of Christianity in Europe and other Roman territories. (G, R)
        8. Describe the legacies of Roman art and architecture, technology and science (e.g., roads, bridges, arenas, baths, aqueducts, central heating, plumbing, and sanitation), literature and poetry, language, and law. (I)
        9. Explain the spread and influence of the Roman alphabet and the Latin language, the use of Latin as the language of education for more than 1,000 years, and the role of Latin and Greek in scientific and academic vocabulary. (I)
        10. Describe how inner forces (including the rise of autonomous military powers, political corruption, unemployment, and economic and political instability) and external forces (shrinking trade, external attacks, and barbarian invasions) led to the disintegration of the Roman Empire. (P, E)

        Examples

        • Students describe and then draw their vision of a perfect city, including what the city needs in terms of resources, defenses, natural landmarks, etc. Students compare their maps/ideas with a map of Rome, identifying similarities and differences and the rationale for their choices (7.9.1).
        • Students plan a trip around the Mediterranean Sea, and they brainstorm what they would need and how they will travel from region to region (7.8.2).
        • Students match causes and effects to the following events: (1) reform of Gracchi brothers, (2) Sulla as dictator, (3) First Triumvirate, (4) Caesar crossing the Rubicon, and (5) Octavius becoming emperor (7.9.3).
        • Students read the Sermon on the Mount and write a brief essay on what it would be like to hear the sermon if you were a Palestinian, Jewish leader, or Roman citizen (7.9.6).
        • Students identify ways that Christianity would have been appealing to those living in the Roman Empire and ways that Christianity would not have been appealing, based on a list of core beliefs of the early Christian church (7.9.7).
        • Students write a brief essay defending a theory that they feel best explains the decline of Rome (7.9.10).
      • 7.10. Broad Concept: Explain the religious and cultural developments on the Indian Subcontinent during the Gangetic states and the Mauryan Dynasty.
        1. Identify the location of Ancient Greece. (G)
        2. Identify the major beliefs and practices of Brahmanism and how they evolved into early Hinduism. (G)
        3. Explain the growth of the Mauryan Empire in the context of rivalries among Indian states. (G, P)
        4. Describe the story and teachings of the Buddha.
        5. Describe the achievements of the emperor Ashoka and his contribution to the expansion of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. (G, P, R)
        6. Describe the growth of trade and commerce in the ancient civilization. (G, E)

        Examples

        • Students brainstorm the characteristics of what makes a religion unique, such as its ethics and core beliefs. Students then research what Hinduism says about each of those factors (7.10.1).
        • Using a list of factors that make a religion unique (e.g., beliefs about God, ethics, beliefs about an afterlife), students fill out a chart for the tenets of Buddhism (7.10.3).
      • 7.11. Broad Concept: Summarize the development of Chinese cultural, economic, political, and social institutions and China’s influence on other developing civilizations.
        1. Explain China’s reunification under the Qin Dynasty after the disunification of the warring states period. (P, M)
        2. Detail the political contributions of the Han Dynasty to the development of the imperial bureaucratic state, internal political stability, and its influence outside of China. (P)
        3. Understand the life of Confucius; the fundamental teachings of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism; and how Confucius sought to solve the political and cultural problems prevalent in the time. (R, S, I)
        4. Explain the adoption of Buddhism and its diffusion northward to China during the Han Dynasty. (G, R)
        5. Describe the foreign trade through the Silk Roads and the sea. (G, E)

        Examples

        • Students read accounts of Qin Shi Huangdi written by Han historian Sima Qian, and they write the main aspects of Qin’s life and Sima Qian’s thoughts of Qin (7.11.1).
        • Students hypothesize why Emperor Qin would have buried himself alive with 6,000 terra cotta soldiers. Students then check their theories against those of other historians (7.11.1).
        • Using the list of factors that make religions and beliefs unique (e.g., beliefs about God, ethics, beliefs about an afterlife), students fill in a chart explaining the tenets of Confucianism (7.11.3).
        • Students write a brief essay about whether Confucianism is a religion or a philosophy (7.11.3).
     
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