7th Grade Social Studies

7th Grade Social Studies

Ms. Scanlon & Ms. Heller

Guiding Questions:

Is America a land of opportunity?

Have all Americans always had the same opportunities?

Topics of Study:

September - October

First Contact: The Native Americas & European Explorers

What did the Americas look like before European colonization? What led to the Age of Exploration? Why were small groups of poorly prepared European colonists able to defeat much bigger native societies?

November - December

The British Colonies and Slavery

Why did people migrate to colonial America? Could the 13 colonies have succeeded without enslaved Africans? Was colonial America a land of opportunity, freedom, or oppression?  

January - February

The American Revolution

Was the American Revolution truly a revolution for all people in the U.S.? Would you have been a revolutionary in 1776?

February - March

The Development of an American Identity and Nation

What kind of government did the new leaders of the U.S. create? Why did the Founding Fathers keep slavery in the Constitution? What are your rights as Americans and as young people?

March - April

Western Expansion & “A More Perfect” Union

Why is Andrew Jackson’s face on the $20 bill? Should the states have the right to ignore the laws of the national government? Should resistance to oppression be violent or peaceful?

May - June

The Civil War and Reconstruction

What were the causes of the Civil War? What was the experience of the Civil War like for different groups of Americans? Was the Civil War inevitable? Was Reconstruction a step forward or step backward for African-Americans?



  1. A composition notebook.  

  2. A folder to keep all of your handouts and articles.

2. Blue and black pens and pencils.

Gradin7th Grade Grading Policy

Major assessments - 40% (tests, projects, lab reports, independent reading, etc.)

Minor assessments  - 25% (quizzes, notebook quizzes, etc.)

Classwork - 15% (including student discourse)

Homework - 15%

Engagement and preparedness - 5% (Engagement will be defined as coming prepared to class each day to learn. This will be shown by arriving to class on time with your notebook and a writing utensil. This is a 1 point grade each day - you either have everything you’re supposed to have or you don’t.)


Daily Classroom Procedures

  1. Come to class prepared and on time.

  2. When you enter the room, quietly take your assigned seat and immediately begin working on the Do Now in your social studies notebook.

  3. Treat all classroom supplies with care.

  4. You may drink water in class and eat healthy snacks that don’t leave crumbs.

  5. You may go to the bathroom during independent work time. You may not leave the room during teacher-led instruction.

  6. When you leave the classroom, make sure there is no trash around you, that all supplies are put away, and that your chair is pushed in.

How Students Can Succeed

  • Participate in class! Ask questions and debate ideas with your classmates and your teachers.

  • Keep up your notebook up to date and organized.

  • Write the homework down in your planner every day.

  • Check the MHII 7th grade calendar every day: all assignments and materials will be posted there.

  • Check Engrade once a week.

  • Clean out your folder/backpack after we finish a unit.

How Parents Can Help

  • Actively check Engrade, your Mott Hall II email, and your child’s planner.

  • Discuss local, national, and international current events with your child.

  • Look at a map with your child.