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Opinions Needed: By Region or Time Period?
Old 08-14-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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I'm struggling trying to decide how to order my year this year. I teach 6th grade social studies, where the focus is on selected world regions (North America, South America, Western Europe and the Middle East). My state objectives have me dealing with basically ancient civilizations through present day.

I keep going back and forth about how I want to teach things --- basically trying to decide which of two options might work best:

Option 1: Focus on one region at a time, i.e. 1st quarter on North America, 2nd quarter on W. Europe, and so on, where we'd study that part of the world in depth, going from early days to more recent history, and then the next quarter (9 wks), immerse ourselves in the next continent.

OR

Option 2: Organize my units by time period -- i.e. Ancient Civilizations, the Reformation, Age of Exploration, Industrial Revolution, Great Depression, WWI, WWII, etc. and discuss the happenings in all 4 parts of the world at the same time.

So, I'm curious: if you were teaching this, which way would you choose?
I'm hoping maybe hearing some opinions from others, will help me make a decision.


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Option #2
Old 08-14-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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I think it would help them create a timeline in their minds which would help in future history classes.
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Option 2
Old 08-15-2008, 02:36 AM
 
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I'm thinking you could really get at compare/contrast and cause/effect for how events around the world impact others. This would be a true world history focus.

And if you happen to fall short and don't get to the end , at least you've covered the world up to a certain time
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Yikes
Old 08-15-2008, 06:44 AM
 
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Every World History course I ever took was regionally based (middle school through college) with some rough chronology used when appropriate. I know this isn't much help but I can't imagine covering that much material in one year with any grade, let alone 6th graders!

How are your standards organized? The problem I see with a time period focus is you will likely end up covering topics simply for completions sake (the Middle East during the Industrial Age for example) which will take up more of the time which you will be so short of as is.

For what it is worth I've changed my organization 4 times in 5 years and I'm sticking finally with one this year. I have a similar set of standards but mine stop with the American Revolution.

Semester 1 we do all of European history (Rome to Enlightenment) chronologically. Second semester we do the other world civilizations regionally.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Yea, I don't like the way our standards are organized in social studies at all. I feel the same way: it's a huge amount of material to cover in one year.

In terms of the exact standards I must cover, a really rough summary is as follows:

- Major climates, bodies of water, waterways, resources & landforms of N.America, S.America, Europe & the Middle East
- Purposes government should serve; types of government & political divisions of nations
- The rights, responsibilities, privileges & duties of U.S. citizens (and how they compare to other nations)
- Contributions of past civilizations & reasons for their rise and fall.
- The defining characteristics of monotheistic religions & the impact of Arab/Islamic society on western civilizations
- Causes & consequences of the Protestant Reformation
- How Europeans benefited by expansion in the New World, in terms of economics, culture, trade & products
- Development of slavery & its impact throughout the world
- The Industrial Revolution & its effects on people throughout the world.
- The development of democracy
- Trade cartels & development of trade treaties & organizations
- Causes & effects of the Great Depression & the responses of world governments
- The tensions that led to the outbreak of WW I & II and the impact each war had on the world
- Civil Rights Movements (minority rights & rights of women)
- Impact of nuclear power & issue of atomic weapons

No matter how much I play with it -- I still have a hard time figuring out how to order things so that my unit plan doesn't feel jumpy or just plain hurried. I don't feel like there's time to get in depth into anything, but many of the objectives almost require some in depth study to be able to really understand what is/was going on. So, I don't know -- any other great suggestions??


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