Core Curriculum Content Standards

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NJ World Class Standards
Content Area: Social Studies
Content Area Social Studies
Standard 6.2 World History/Global Studies All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically and systematically about how past interactions of people, cultures, and the environment affect issues across time and cultures. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions as socially and ethically responsible world citizens in the 21st century.
Era The Beginnings of Human Society
Grade Level By the end of grade 8
Content Statement Strand CPI# Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)
1. The Beginnings of Human Society: Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages

Hunter/gatherers adapted to their physical environments using resources, the natural world, and technological advancements.

The agricultural revolution led to an increase in population, specialization of labor, new forms of social organization, and the beginning of societies.

Archaeology provides historical and scientific explanations for how ancient people lived.
A. Civics, Government, and Human Rights
6.2.8.A.1.a Compare and contrast the social organization of early hunters/gatherers and those who lived in early agrarian societies.                                                                                                                          
B. Geography, People, and the Environment
6.2.8.B.1.a Explain the various migratory patterns of hunters/gatherers who moved from Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas, and describe the impact of migration on their lives and on the shaping of societies.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.1.b Compare and contrast how nomadic and agrarian societies used land and natural resources.                                                                                                                          
C. Economics, Innovation, and Technology
6.2.8.C.1.a Relate the agricultural revolution (including the impact of food surplus from farming) to population growth and the subsequent development of civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.1.b Determine the impact of technological advancements on hunter/gatherer and agrarian societies.                                                                                                                          
D. History, Culture, and Perspectives
6.2.8.D.1.a Demonstrate an understanding of pre-agricultural and post-agricultural periods in terms of relative length of time.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.1.b Relate the development of language and forms of writing to the expression of ideas, creation of cultural identity, and development of more complex social structures.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.1.c Explain how archaeological discoveries are used to develop and enhance understanding of life prior to written records.                                                                                                                          

Content Area Social Studies
Standard 6.2 World History/Global Studies All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically and systematically about how past interactions of people, cultures, and the environment affect issues across time and cultures. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions as socially and ethically responsible world citizens in the 21st century.
Era Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples (4000-1000 BCE)
Grade Level By the end of grade 8
Content Statement Strand CPI# Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)
2. Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples: Ancient River Valley Civilizations

Ancient river valley civilizations (e.g., Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River [modern Pakistan and northwestern India], and, later, Yellow River Valley in China) developed due to favorable geographic conditions. They created centralized systems of government and advanced societies.
A. Civics, Government, and Human Rights
6.2.8.A.2.a Explain why different ancient river valley civilizations developed similar forms of government.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.2.b Explain how codifying laws met the needs of ancient river valley societies.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.2.c Determine the role of slavery in the economic and social structures of ancient river valley civilizations.                                                                                                                          
B. Geography, People, and the Environment
6.2.8.B.2.a Determine the extent to which geography influenced settlement, the development of trade networks, technological innovations, and the sustainability of ancient river valley civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.2.b Compare and contrast physical and political maps of ancient river valley civilizations and their modern counterparts (i.e., Mesopotamia and Iraq; Ancient Egypt and Modern Egypt; Indus River Valley and Modern Pakistan/India; Ancient China and Modern China), and determine the geopolitical impact of these civilizations, then and now.                                                                                                                          
C. Economics, Innovation, and Technology
6.2.8.C.2.a Explain how technological advancements led to greater economic specialization, improved weaponry, trade, and the development of a class system in ancient river valley civilizations.                                                                                                                          
D. History, Culture, and Perspectives
6.2.8.D.2.a Analyze the impact of religion on daily life, government, and culture in various ancient river valley civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.2.b Explain how the development of written language transformed all aspects of life in ancient river valley civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.2.c Analyze the factors that led to the rise and fall of various ancient river valley civilizations and determine whether there was a common pattern of growth and decline.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.2.d Justify which of the major achievements of the ancient river valley civilizations represent the most enduring legacies.                                                                                                                          

Content Area Social Studies
Standard 6.2 World History/Global Studies All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically and systematically about how past interactions of people, cultures, and the environment affect issues across time and cultures. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions as socially and ethically responsible world citizens in the 21st century.
Era The Classical Civilizations of the Mediterranean World, India, and China (1000 BCE-600 CE)
Grade Level By the end of grade 8
Content Statement Strand CPI# Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)
3. The Classical Civilizations of the Mediterranean World, India, and China

Classical civilizations (i.e., Greece, Rome, India and China) developed and expanded into empires of unprecedented size and diversity by creating centralized governments and promoting commerce, a common culture, and social values.

Cultural exchange and diffusion dramatically increased, and enduring world religions emerged, during the era of classical civilizations.

Classical civilizations declined as a result of internal weaknesses and external invasions, but they left lasting legacies for future civilizations.
A. Civics, Government, and Human Rights
6.2.8.A.3.a Compare and contrast the methods (i.e., autocratic rule, philosophies, and bureaucratic structures; communication and transportation systems) used by the rulers of Rome, China, and India to control and unify their expanding empires.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.3.b Compare and contrast the rights and responsibilities of free men, women, slaves, and foreigners in the political, economic, and social structures of classical civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.3.c Determine the foundational concepts and principles of Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic that later influenced the development of the United States Constitution.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.3.d Compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of citizens in Athens and Sparta to those of United States citizens today, and evaluate how citizens perceived the principles of liberty and equality then and now.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.3.e Compare and contrast the American legal system and the legal systems of classical civilizations, and determine the extent to which the early systems influenced the current legal system.                                                                                                                          
B. Geography, People, and the Environment
6.2.8.B.3.a Determine how geography and the availability of natural resources influenced the development of the political, economic, and cultural systems of each of the classical civilizations and provided motivation for expansion.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.3.b Explain how geography and the availability of natural resources led to both the development of Greek city-states and to their demise.                                                                                                                          
C. Economics, Innovation, and Technology
6.2.8.C.3.a Analyze the impact of expanding land and sea trade routes through the Mediterranean Basin, India, and China.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.3.b Explain how the development of a uniform system of exchange facilitated trade in classical civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.3.c Explain how classical civilizations used technology and innovation to enhance agricultural/manufacturing output and commerce, to expand military capabilities, to improve life in urban areas, and to allow for greater division of labor.                                                                                                                          
D. History, Culture, and Perspectives
6.2.8.D.3.a Compare and contrast social hierarchies in classical civilizations as they relate to power, wealth, and equality.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.3.b Relate the Chinese dynastic system to the longevity of authoritarian rule in China.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.3.c Determine common factors that contributed to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, Gupta India, and Han China.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.3.d Compare the golden ages of Greece, Rome, India, and China, and justify major achievements that represent world legacies.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.3.e Compare and contrast the tenets of various world religions that developed in or around this time period (i.e., Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and Taoism), their patterns of expansion, and their responses to the current challenges of globalization.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.3.f Determine the extent to which religions, mythologies, and other belief systems shaped the values of classical societies.                                                                                                                          

Content Area Social Studies
Standard 6.2 World History/Global Studies All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically and systematically about how past interactions of people, cultures, and the environment affect issues across time and cultures. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions as socially and ethically responsible world citizens in the 21st century.
Era Expanding Exchanges and Encounters (500 CE-1450 CE)
Grade Level By the end of grade 8
Content Statement Strand CPI# Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)
4. Expanding Exchanges and Encounters

The emergence of empires (i.e., Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas) resulted from the promotion of interregional trade, cultural exchanges, new technologies, urbanization, and centralized political organization.

The rise and spread of new belief systems unified societies, but they also became a major source of tension and conflict.

While commercial and agricultural improvements created new wealth and opportunities for the empires, most people’s daily lives remained unchanged.
A. Civics, Government, and Human Rights
6.2.8.A.4.a Analyze the role of religion and other means rulers used to unify and centrally govern expanding territories with diverse populations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.4.b Compare and contrast the Japanese and European systems of feudalism and the effectiveness of each in promoting social, economic, and political order.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.A.4.c Determine the influence of medieval English legal and constitutional practices (i.e., the Magna Carta, parliament, and the development of habeas corpus and an independent judiciary) on modern democratic thought and institutions.                                                                                                                          
B. Geography, People, and the Environment
6.2.8.B.4.a Explain how geography influenced the development of the political, economic, and cultural centers of each empire and well as the empires’ relationships with other parts of the world.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.b Assess how maritime and overland trade routes (i.e., the African caravan and Silk Road) impacted urbanization, transportation, communication, and the development of international trade centers.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.c Determine how Africa’s physical geography and natural resources posed challenges and opportunities for trade and development.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.d Explain why the Arabian Peninsula’s physical features and location made it the epicenter of Afro-Eurasian trade and fostered the spread of Islam into Africa, Europe, and Asia.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.e Analyze the motivations for civilizations to modify the environment, determine the positive and negative consequences of environmental changes made during this time period, and relate these changes to current environmental challenges.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.f Explain how the geographies of China and Japan influenced their development and their relationship with one another.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.g Explain why the strategic location and economic importance of Constantinople and the Mediterranean Sea were a source of conflict between civilizations.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.B.4.h Explain how the locations, land forms, and climates of Mexico, Central America, and South America affected the development of Mayan, Aztec, and Incan societies, cultures, and economies.                                                                                                                          
C. Economics, Innovation, and Technology
6.2.8.C.4.a Explain the interrelationships among improved agricultural production, population growth, urbanization, and commercialization.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.4.b Analyze how trade, technology, the availability of natural resources, and contact with other civilizations affected the development of empires in Eurasia and the Americas.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.4.c Explain how the development of new business practices and banking systems impacted global trade and the development of a merchant class.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.4.d Analyze the relationship between trade routes and the development of powerful city-states and kingdoms in Africa.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.C.4.e Determine the extent to which interaction between the Islamic world and medieval Europe increased trade, enhanced technology innovation, and impacted scientific thought and the arts.                                                                                                                          
D. History, Culture, and Perspectives
6.2.8.D.4.a Explain how contact between nomadic peoples and sedentary populations had both positive and negative political, economic, and cultural consequences.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.b Analyze how religion both unified and divided people.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.c Analyze the role of religion and economics in shaping each empire’s social hierarchy, and evaluate the impact these hierarchical structures had on the lives of various groups of people.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.d Analyze the causes and outcomes of the Crusades from different perspectives, including the perspectives of European political and religious leaders, the crusaders, Jews, Muslims, and traders.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.e Assess the demographic, economic, and religious impact of the plague on Europe.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.f Determine which events led to the rise and eventual decline of European feudalism.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.g Analyze the immediate and long-term impact on China and Europe of the open exchange between Europe and the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.h Determine the extent to which the Byzantine Empire influenced the Islamic world and western Europe.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.i Explain how and why Islam spread in Africa, the significance of Timbuktu to the development and spread of learning, and the impact Islam continues to have on African society.                                                                                                                          
6.2.8.D.4.j Compare the major technological innovations and cultural contributions of the civilizations of this period and justify which represent enduring legacies.

Social Studies Skills Table

Essential Question: What are effective strategies for accessing various sources of information and historical evidence, determining their validity, and using them to solve a problem or find a solution to a public policy question?
Social Studies Skill K-4 5-8 9-12
Chronological Thinking
  • Place key historical events and people in historical eras using timelines.
  • Construct timelines of the events occurring during major eras.
  • Compare present and past events to evaluate the consequences of past decisions and to apply lessons learned.
  • Explain how the present is connected to the past.
  • Explain how major events are related to one another in time.
  • Analyze how change occurs through time due to shifting values and beliefs as well as technological advancements and changes in the political and economic landscape.
Spatial Thinking
  • Determine locations of places and interpret information available on maps and globes.
  • Select and use various geographic representations to compare information about people, places, regions, and environments.
  • Construct various forms of geographic representations to show the spatial patterns of physical and human phenomena.
  • Use thematic maps and other geographic representations to obtain, describe, and compare spatial patterns and information about people, places, regions, and environments.
  • Use maps and other documents to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and growth of economic and political systems.
  • Relate current events to the physical and human characteristics of places and regions.
Critical Thinking
  • Distinguish fact from fiction.
  • Compare and contrast differing interpretations of current and historical events.
  • Distinguish valid arguments from false arguments when interpreting current and historical events.
  • Identify and use a variety of primary and secondary sources for reconstructing the past (i.e., documents, letters, diaries, maps, photos, etc.).
  • Assess the credibility of sources by identifying bias and prejudice in documents, media, and computer-generated information.
  • Evaluate sources for validity and credibility and to detect propaganda, censorship, and bias.
Presentational Skills
  • Use evidence to support an idea in a written and/or oral format.
  • Select and analyze information from a variety of sources to present a reasoned argument or position in a written and/or oral format.
  • Take a position on a current public policy issue and support it with historical evidence, reasoning, and constitutional analysis in a written and/or oral format.