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Unit Overview Template

Content Area: Social Studies

Unit Title: Unit 4: Medieval Europe Through The Renaissance

Target Course/Grade Level: 6th

Unit Summary

This unit examines the development of European society during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  Is asks students to examine the effects of the decline of the Roman Empire on Europe during the middle of the first millennium.  The exploration will lead the student to examine society, culture, religion, politics and economics during the High Middle Ages, a period from approximately 1000-1300AD.  It finishes by examining the forces of change that paved the way for the Renaissance and Enlightenment.  These include: the Magna Carta, the Hundred Years War, and the Black Death. In the second half of the unit, students will examine the political structure of city-states, the existence of a merchant class, and the presence of literary and artistic artifacts from the pre-Christian era. This humanistic view looks closely at important figures all over Europe in art, politics, letters, and science. In the final section, students learn about the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. This will allow them to differentiate among the major Protestant sects that emerged as a result of this movement, and learn about the ways that Roman Catholic leaders reformed many of the abuses and corruption of the Medieval Period. The unit concludes with a look at the scientific revolution of the Renaissance period, including the work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton.

Unit Rationale

The purpose of the following outline is to provide a synopsis of the essential content for students and teachers. Our curriculum is based and aligned with the new changes in the NJCCCS in social studies. In addition, a list of student centered Driving Questions has been provided, including objectives, content subject matter, basic questions, suggested time line, and suggested activities. Each part includes a list of student-centered driving questions, as well as objectives, subject matter, a suggested time line, and suggested activities. The curriculum is not a traditional textbook-driven one, but a standards-driven one that utilizes a variety of teaching techniques and strategies to meet the various learning styles of our students. Moreover, activities are in alignment with language arts target writing tasks and, where possible, content. Teachers are to use a variety of assessments techniques such as: tests, quizzes, book reports, oral reports, group work, Power Point Presentations, role playing, portfolio assessments, and writing tasks. Teachers should, whenever possible, develop an interdisciplinary approach to their teaching. Cross-content planning and cooperation are essential in developing our students to succeed at the state mandated tests that await them. A mandatory culminating activity is to be included in each unit as well to serve as an overall assessment of the content learned based on a collaborative art effort between the Social Studies Teacher and the Language Arts Teacher. All students in grade eight will take a midterm and final assessment both that is diagnostic and content knowledge driven.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading in History/Social Studies
Reading is critical to building knowledge in history/social studies as well as in science and technical subjects. College and Career ready reading in social studies requires an appreciation of the norms and conventions of each discipline, such as the kinds of evidence used in history; an understanding of domain-specific words and phrases; an attention to precise details; and the capacity to evaluate intricate arguments, synthesize complex information, and follow detailed descriptions of events and concepts. In history, students need to be able to analyze, evaluate, and differentiate primary and secondary sources. The goal is for students to be able to read complex informational texts n these fields with confidence and in a sophisticated manner.
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing in History/Social Studies

Writing in Social Studies/History is a key means of asserting and defending claims, by showing what students know about a subject, and conveying what they have experienced, imagined, thought, and felt. Students, who are College and Career ready writers, must take task, purpose, and audience into careful consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats deliberately. Students should use technology strategically when creating, refining, and collaborating on writing in history. Students should be adept at gathering information, evaluating sources, and citing materials, including figures and tables, accurately using APA and MLA formats.

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