Kids standing around a table


The Social Studies curriculum at Summit is comprised of three core courses: Eastern Hemisphere: Origins, taken in 6th grade; Western Hemisphere: Adventures, taken in 7th grade; and U.S. History, taken in 8th grade. Courses are designed to integrate and build on content and skills from one year to the next. The first course in the sequence, Eastern Hemisphere: Origins, allows students to explore how the world's major civilizations rose and fell from prehistory through the Renaissance. By studying a variety of historical societies and governments, students are well prepared in their second year to study the development of ancient civilizations in the Western Hemisphere and the creation of the United States; 7th grade students also learn to appreciate the unique nature of both our society and government.  This second course in the sequence picks up where Eastern Hemisphere: Origins leaves off, with the European exploration of the Americas.  Students follow the development of our nation from the initial contact between Europeans and Native Americans, up to the development of Colonial America. This course sets the stage for the final course in the sequence, U.S. in the 20th Century World. Armed with an understanding of both World and American History, students can now begin to analyze the complex relationships that exist between their own nation and the many other peoples of the world.


The Eastern Hemisphere: Origins course is designed to give students some continuity in both time and space as they begin to explore many civilizations in history which have provided a basis for their own. After a brief overview of prehistoric societies, students zoom in on the Mediterranean and Middle East to follow the development of the region for the first 3,000 years of civilization from agriculture forward. Beginning with Sumer and the early civilizations of the Fertile Crescent, they follow the rise and fall of the civilizations of  Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  Students travel the Silk Road to India, China, Japan and Korea, and study the development of these civilizations over the same time period. 


Western Hemisphere: Adventures begins with prehistory and moves into studying the development of south, central and north American civilizations, including the Aztec, Inca, Maya and Puebloan and many other native tribes.  The course continues through the Age of Exploration, as students trace the early history of our nation back to the clash of three continents:  Europe, North America and Africa. From this point, students analyze the creation of a nation through examination of such topics as the early colonies, the development of a governing framework and the dynamics of conflict in development of social structures.   During the first semester through January, students develop and present a long-term research project in a culminating event known as History Day.  In the second semester, students analyze the development of Colonial America and the roots of our governing system, as well as diving into critical perspectives on resources distribution and geographic luck.  Throughout the course, students develop a strong foundation of historical knowledge that may provide insight to contemporary issues in the United States.

u.s. history

Last in the social studies series, U.S. History seeks to apply the skills learned in Eastern and Western Hemisphere classes to an exploration of American history from the Revolutionary period through the early 20th century. This course provides students with a framework for understanding the rights and responsibilities of citizens through an examination of our nation's founding ideals and documents.  Through analysis of Supreme Court decisions, primary sources, reform movements, and conflicts, students gain an appreciation for individuals and groups who worked to expand the meaning and rights of citizenship in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Students explore the relationship between past and present by analyzing contemporary issues such as immigration policy, government regulation, and First Amendment protections.  The course culminates with a powerful examination of human rights and student responsibility.  Throughout the year, students apply frameworks from the themes of geography and elements of cultural studies from the first two social studies classes to their in-depth explorations of past and present issues and events.