Planning for a Year of Study - 6th Grade


This is not "the course" so much as one suggestion for teaching the ancient world to 6th grade students in a manner that recommends the use of case studies to reinforce key concepts about how people lived in relationship to each other and the natural world in the distant past. The course outlined here begins with reinforcing geographical awareness and an understanding of evidence. It also grounds study of the ancient world in an understanding of the people who are ancestral to the land we live and work on today. This point of entry can be reinforced through the study of key concepts and further illustrated through case studies from our understanding of how ancient people lived in different parts of the world. The penultimate suggested unit invites students to explore a part of the world and an ancient people not studied with the whole class. The outline concludes with consideration of what constitutes a just society and reflection on the world students live in today.

During the 2018-2019 school year, six teachers and two graduate students joined UCBHSSP in reinvisioning a year of study for sixth graders, informed by the California H-SS Framework's recommendations and the real world considerations of sixth grade classrooms.  This page represents a synthesis of our collective learning and collaboration.

Possible Course Map to Direct Student Learning

Click on the map to explore the course outline in greater detail, make a copy, and make it your own!

6th grade course map

How to Use

This suggested course model reinforces key concepts with regard to how people lived in the ancient world and what people need to live today. We recognize that many sixth grade teachers are thinking not just about the historical content and concepts, but also introducing their students to the discipline of history, teaching English as well as history, and working to support the development of young people. Teachers, based on context, should decide to what depth they would like to explore the concepts identified in the units of study and then identify useful case studies from the ancient world. 

Key Skills and Concepts

Concept: What it means to live in relationship to other people and the natural world, in the past and today

Skills: Use of Evidence, Geographic Awareness, Chronology and Change over Time

Grad Student Talking

Graduate Student Advisors: Sophia Warshall and Sam Stubblefield 

Teacher Leaders: Daniel Cabrales, Candice Fukumoto-Dunham, Rachel Gonsalves, Lindsay Heule, Sydney Morgan, Alison Waterman

This project was supported by the campus International Area Studies Centers and their Title VI funding.