The three-year social studies course sequence at Explorer West explores many aspects of human and geographic history through time and in the present. The curriculum was designed to enrich students’ historical understanding and establish connections between their own lives, the past, current events, and the future. Students also are given the opportunity to grasp their own emerging United States and global citizenship while taking action to make their communities and the world better places.


Watch an overview of the 8th grade "Change The World" project:


History and social studies are the lenses through which students hone their skills that will help them be successful in high school and beyond. Below is a snapshot of the focus and skills that students at each grade are expected to achieve.

The curriculum has been fashioned with these three themes and associated essential questions running throughout the three-year sequence:

Students are guided through the acquisition of these skills using a scaffolded approach, especially when it comes to writing. For example, students are repeatedly walked through the writing process when working on essays. This allows students to see improvement regardless of their starting skill level. Additionally, using the feedback given to them on a rubric, students can focus on areas of need in order to continually improve the quality and scope of their writing. By the time they leave Explorer West, each student will have writing skills that match or exceed those of their peers from other schools.

The curriculum and skills taught in history and social studies will help students emerge as leaders or ambassadors who understand the reality of our world today and have a grasp on ways in which to sustainably address some of the challenges we face. It is the ultimate goal of the department for students to see themselves as emerging and responsible citizens, locally, nationally, and globally.


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