• Seventh Grade Advanced Civics

    Howard Middle School

    Course Outline: Individuals and Societies Year 2

    Mr. William Talbert


    COURSE DESCRIPTION with Aims and Objectives 

    Seventh Grade Individuals and Societies studies Civics with some enrichment on Economics and Geography.  The course implements the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies.  Students grow through the following learning experiences:


    • appreciating human and environmental commonalities and diversity

    • understanding the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment

    • understanding how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve

    • identifying and developing concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment

    • thinking and acting as responsible citizens of local and global communities

    • developing inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between individuals, societies and the environments in which they live.


    The course employs units of inquiry to encourage students to seek answers while completing textbook studies, reading, writing and completing various individual and group projects.  The teacher engages students with an assortment of tasks to meet differentiated learning styles to master the Florida Department of Education’s Civics Items Specifications as the students are required to demonstrate on the Florida’s Civics End of Course Exam in May.

    Year Two students develop an appreciation for the subject as they learn to become lifelong learners with a capacity to adapt to the rapidly changing realities of our world.  This course emphasizes Civics and provides unique opportunities to help students grow to recognize relationships between school subjects and the world with a renewed emphasis on essay writing during each grading term through Document Based Questions (DBQ).  Objective assessments occur through Marion County’s Comprehensive Standards Mastery Assessments (CSMA) and Marion County's Quarterly Mastery Assessments (QSMA).


    Fundamental Concepts and Learner Profiles

    Units about Civics/Government, Economics and Geography are developed holistically through the use of reading various resources, writing about the development of the respective subject, and incorporating outside core subjects from the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme Model.  Where Florida and Marion County curriculum standards align, interdisciplinary units are written with other team teachers.

    Math concepts arise through mapping, flow charts, data assessment and chronology.  Science arises through resource analysis.  Students have several opportunities to practice and master different communication methods including oral, written and visual communications for English Language Development with and without computers or other technology.

    Individuals and Societies naturally centers on intercultural awareness and students will grow to realize how the learner profile traits in themselves also exist in others at the local, regional, national and global scale.


    International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme 

    Individuals and Societies studies at Howard Middle School incorporate the six Global Contexts where learning through inquiry focuses on the conceptual understanding of the following key concepts:  Change, Global Interactions, Time-Place-and-Space, and Systems.  Assessments follow a progression of four specific learning objectives: Knowing and Understanding, Investigating, Communicating and Thinking Critically.


    Texts and Resources 

    Holt-McDougal, Civics in Practice, Integrated: Civics, Economics and Geography for Florida, 2013.

    Jarret & Yahng, Gateway to American Government

    Howard Middle School Media Center and Computer Laboratories,

    Outside/Guest Speakers, Field Trips, CCC Video on Demand Library, http://icivics.com and http://ecsd-fl.schoolloop.com/civics


    Methods of Assessment 

    Formative Assessment – Homework (10%), Class work (30%), and Quizzes (20%); all of which can include, but not be limited to, various entry tasks (warm-ups or bell-ringers), discussions, collaborative work, record-keeping, reading analyses, presentations, peer evaluations, observation, note-taking, and/or interpretation of maps, charts, and graphs.

    Summative Assessments— tests and projects (40%) including essays, notebooks, DBQ, RWA, research projects (posters, dioramas, student publications, presentations), and an end of year classroom Civics portfolio for each student.  All Level Two Individuals and Societies classes will administer various Standardized Benchmark Assessments, Progress Monitoring Exams, and an End-of-Course Exam.  Pursuant to Florida law, the end of Course Exam constitutes 30% of the final end of year grade.


    Grading Policy including MYP Criteria 

    Assessments are graded according to the scale prescribed by the Marion County School Board:

                    A             --             100-90%

                    B             --             89-80%

                    C             --             79-70%

                    D             --             69-60%

                    F              --             59% and below.


    As part of Howard Middle School MYP, summative assessments will be graded with the appropriate Humanities Assessment Criteria: Criteria A— Knowing and Understanding, Criteria B—Investigating, Criteria C—Communicating, and Criteria D— and Thinking Critically.  IB Assessment Criteria for Individuals and Societies (Social Studies) can be found at: