Seventh grade students will review the tools and mental constructs used by historians and geographers. They will develop an understanding of Ancient World History, Eras 1 – 4. Geography, civics/government, and economics content is integrated throughout the year. As a capstone, the students will conduct investigations about past and present global issues. Using significant content knowledge, research, and inquiry, they will analyze the issue and propose a plan for the future. As part of the inquiry, they compose civic, persuasive essays using reasoned arguments.
Ultimately, why something happened in the past is the question that history is all about. And here’s the fun part (or the hard part!). It’s up to you to answer the why question. You will read about many things that happened in the past and some reasons why people think they happened. People who look at the same facts sometimes come to different conclusions. Answering the other “W” questions will help you answer the question, why: Why did this happen? Answering Why -- that’s what thinking like a historian is about.
Before we can begin to study the first peoples, it is important to establish the concept of time. Historians use timelines to help aid in the understanding of the time frame in which the topic under study has taken place. The first step is to establish how the past is organized into sections of time. The organization of time into Eras is a choice made by historians. The sections of time that are being used in this book are divided by major turning points (big events that change humans forever) in history. This book is organizing the major Eras into the following four categories: Prehistory, Ancient History, Middle Ages, and Modern History.
Location, location, location. You may have heard this phrase before. It is used by realtors to explain that the most important thing in selling a house is its location. With the civilizations you are about to study, location might be the most important thing that determined the success of those civilizations.
What is an empire? How did they grow? What did they do? How did they work? Why do they decline and fall? These are some of the questions that historians have studied and tried to figure out for centuries. In this chapter you will learn about the difference between a civilization and an empire, the characteristics of empires, the impact of geography on civilizations and empires, how trade developed, and how empires were governed. Finally you will look at some examples of empires from this age.
In this chapter you will learn about religion. What is religion? Simply put, religion is the belief in a god or set of gods. Unfortunately, the study of religion is not simply put. Religion is very complex; it is one of the most interesting parts of human existence. Religion is a belief in a god or set of gods and so much more. It is part of a cultural system that includes practice, world views, ethics, and a social organization that connects humans to each other and to a source of existence. A religious belief system is also a way of explaining the mysteries of life.
War, poverty, environmental disasters, lack of resources, the struggle for power, and the quest for freedom and rights have been the common threads throughout history. These issues are still the core of the modern world’s agenda in hopes of improving the lives of all humans. In this unit you are going to identify a significant issue that is still plaguing the world today, research the issue, write a persuasive essay that presents your solution to the problem you investigated, and, finally create a campaign to put your solution into action. Basically, you are going to witness what a positive difference you can make in the world!
Using an inquiry based approach, Michigan high school students will learn about the foundations of American government by studying the Constitution and exploring how it works today.
The Founders did not create our system of government out of thin air. They were well-read and lived at a time when many new ideas about government were being developed. They took their inspiration from the ideas of a variety of thinkers, but each of the following had a distinct influence on what government in the United States would become: Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
The Declaration of Independence is key to understanding American government. Written in June and July of 1776, by the Committee of Five (Thomas Jefferson of Virgina, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York), the document was forged in a time of crisis. American colonists were engaged in a war on their own soil against their mother country, England , who possessed the most disciplined military in the world. This document was like none previously seen.
In Democracy in America. Alexis de Tocqueville referred to America as “The Great Experiment.” But what did he mean by saying that America’s constitutional democracy was an experiment? America was founded on key principles which, are the same principles that govern our nation today. America’s Founders initiated the experiment in democracy by trying out a new form of government, including the ideas that power should ultimately come from the people, that government power should be limited, and that individual liberties of all peoples should be protected.
A citizen is someone who is entitled to the legal rights granted by a state, and who is obligated to obey its laws and to fulfill certain duties. Living in the United States does not mean that someone is automatically a citizen. Permanent residents, people who have been lawfully admitted to the United States, are also granted certain legal rights and protections even if they are not citizens. For example, residents can live and work anywhere in the United States, attend public schools, join our armed forces and can also qualify for some Social Security benefits as well. Typically, people who are granted permanent resident status are immigrants who are related by birth or marriage to U.S. citizens or possess important job skills needed in the United States. Unlike citizens, permanent residents may not be able to hold public office or vote in elections. Why should someone consider becoming a citizen if they are not? Check out a list of all of the privileges of citizenship in the United States.
Have you ever stopped to think about why we have certain policies, laws and regulations? For instance, why is the driving age 16 or the drinking age 21? Why are there nutrition labels on all food packages? Why in Michigan, do you have to go to school until you are 18? Do you believe the United States should spend $601 billion dollars in 2016 on our national defense? Do you agree with how the United States handles issues with immigration? Do you even know how immigration issues and situations are handled? These are all examples of public policy.
In a letter written to James Madison in 1797, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The principle of the Constitution is that of a separation of legislative, Executive and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified. If this principle be not expressed in direct terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution…” The separation of powers was one of the fundamental principles of the Constitution’s Framers. The Legislative Branch is sometimes referred as the “people’s branch” since the Founders believed and intended the legislative branch to closely reflect the will of the citizens.
Second grade students in Michigan continue their integrative approach to social studies by focusing in on the local community. Students are introduced to a social environment larger than their immediate surroundings.
If you’ve taken time to glance at the Kindergarten “Myself and Others” book, or its sequel First Grade “Families and Schools”, you’ll know that the authors of those books envisioned them being “big books” which were meant to be experienced with the teacher projecting the materials on a big screen. This book begins the transition from “big book” to an individualized tool. It doesn’t mean that the book is meant to be read without teacher interaction, but this resource was designed to be in the hands of students in conjunction with daily classroom instruction.
This second chapter covers the geography standards for second grade. Now that students have a firm understanding of what a community is, we move into the study of communities by getting students into exploring maps. In Kindergarten and First grade we had teachers construct a classroom box. This activity was designed by Dr. Phil Gersmehl and his wife Carol and is based upon some of the work they did in Harlem New York. In this chapter we once again revisit the idea of a classroom in a box, and present to you here instructions for making your own.
Now that we’ve spent time talking about what a community is and then exploring them, the conversation of this chapter is focused around the compelling question “How do people work together in a community?” On the one hand, this question appears rooted in civics, but the content we cover is rooted in economics. Students have already learned about needs and wants, and consumers and producers in earlier grades, and now we introduce an economic term “scarcity”. You may choose to review the concepts of needs vs wants before introducing this term.
Chapter 4 is all about civics. While many teachers may be tempted to do this chapter first, it is placed here for a reason. Many of the concepts introduced in Chapters 1-3 are revisited here. Some of the content from 1st grade may serve as a great review at the start of the year.
Our final chapter in 2nd grade is all about history - how we study it and how we learn about places - especially our community. The authors recognized early on that it would be impossible for us to write a community history for every community in Michigan, so we continue with our study of two - a small town and a larger town. Our hope is that you’ll have students make connections between these two featured communities and their own. How are they alike? How are they different?
Understanding economics, what some people call "economic literacy," is becoming essential for citizens in our national and increasingly interconnected world economy. Increasingly, productive members of society must be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate the causes and consequences of individual economic decisions and public policy including issues raised by constraints imposed by scarcity, how economies and markets work, and the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence. Such literacy includes analysis, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making that helps people function as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and responsible citizens. - From the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations
Understanding economics will help to make you a more successful person. Economics is a broad subject, just like any academic topic, that can be pursued from undergraduate programs at the university level, all the way to doctoral programs that require upwards of seven years of research to complete. However, our goal is to give you the most important basics of economic thinking so that you can not only earn an “A” in your high school economics class, but also learn how to be a more effective earner, saver, spender, and citizen.
In this economics unit you will explore how buyers and sellers meet together in markets to trade. Also you will look at the process of how prices are determined. Next, you will take a special look at what equilibrium is in economics as well as how it responds to a change in certain factors that affect supply or demand. Finally you will be asked to judge the fairness and efficacy of how equilibrium is reached in current American markets.
Berkeley is opening a new retail business selling local products to tourists in the summer. She is an entrepreneur, someone who identifies a need and takes a risk by starting a business to fill that need. Entrepreneurs often have similar traits. They are self-starters, independent minded, hard working, and willing to take risks. What form of business structure should Berkeley choose for her new business? She has a number of business structures to choose from.
Over time, many tools have been developed by economists to monitor a nation’s economic performance. And while many of these tools can seem too large in scale and too overwhelming to apply to your daily life, looking at some of the same indicators that economists do can actually help you as an individual make decisions on how to make the most of your income.
Markets fail. That is to say free markets do not always offer all of the goods and services that people might want. In addition, free market economies suffer from that difficulties caused by the business cycle. Periods of growth that are too rapid are followed by periods of decline, recession, or even depression. Because of these factors, governments act or intervene in free market systems.
Scarcity means that individuals as well as entire countries have to make choices about what to do with their resources. How a country answers the three fundamental economic questions (What to produce? How to produce? Who receives what is produced?) determines what type of economy it possesses. These decisions are also made on a global level, meaning the coordination of the planet’s resources involves making decisions on what should be made, how it should be made, and to whom it will be distributed. Thanks to improved transportation and communication, demand in one country may be easily met by a country in the opposite hemisphere. Of course, this give-and-take has been going on for centuries, but international trade over the past half-century has reached new heights, resulting in globalization, or the growing interdependence of countries upon one another.
How do circumstances influence individuals in making sound and purposeful financial decisions ensuring personal economic success in both a national and global economy? Why is it important to create a budget and set goals?
Using both families and schools as a lens for study, 1st grade students learn about geography, history, economics, and civics with strong connections to the literacy block!
The First Grade text is meant to be explored visually by students like a traditional “big book”. Some teachers may also want their students to have a copy of the book as a digital text on an iPad, Chromebook, or other digital device. Either way, the way students interact with this book is different from other MI Open Book materials.
This chapter is all about history. In future grades students begin to learn about the history of our state, our country, and our world. In the early grades however, students learn about history through a much smaller lens. In first grade it’s about families.
The First Grade text is meant to be explored visually by students like a traditional “big book”. Some teachers may also want their students to have a copy of the book as a digital text on an iPad, Chromebook, or other digital device. Either way, the way students interact with this book is different from other MI Open Book materials. Each short reading is meant to have some teacher interaction go along with it. We tell you what those are in each section. This chapter also requires construction of a small box. You may use the lid of a ream of paper for creation of this box, or have a sturdier one built for you. This same box will be used across all K-2 books. You may want to have one sturdy one built and shared between teachers.
Students further study the concepts outlined in the geography content expectations by discussing now how they are part of their environment. In this chapter important foundational concepts such as natural and human characteristics are discussed and explored.
This chapter examines the important distinction between wants and needs.
When people live and work together, problems can occur. Classrooms and schools can have problems. A problem
is something difficult that needs to be solved. It can be hard to solve a problem because not everyone will agree on how to solve it.
Michigan. The Mitten State. Surrounded by the Great Lakes, filled with many natural wonders and a rich history. Learn about Michigan in our third grade offering from the Michigan Open Book Project.
What do you think makes Michigan special? You might be thinking that Michigan is special because it is your home. Maybe it is special because the people you care about live in Michigan. These are wonderful reasons. This resource will help you learn about many other ways that Michigan is special.
In the first chapter you learned about geography, one of the important areas of social studies. You explored the geography of Michigan and its many special natural characteristics. What do people do with the natural characteristics of Michigan? They put them to use! They plant crops in the soil. They use wood from trees to build houses. What do they do with water??? Lots and lots of things! There is a special name for things in nature that people find useful: natural resources. In this section you will learn how natural resources are important in another area of social studies: economics.
You have learned that there are different areas of social studies. You have learned about geography. You have also learned about economics. In this chapter you will learn about civics. You will discover that civics is the study of government. It is also the study of the role people play in government. But, wait! What is government?
You have learned that there are different areas of social studies. You have learned about geography. You have also learned about economics. In this chapter you will learn about history. You will discover that history is what happened in the past.