Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Standards for History and Social Science Practice – Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12
1 Demonstrate civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
Civic knowledge includes the core knowledge in the Content Standards relating to civics and government, economics, geography, and history.
Literacy Standards for History and Social Science
Grades 6-8 Reading Standards for Literacy in the Content Areas: History/Social Science
Craft and Structure
4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
5 Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally), including how written texts incorporate features such as headings.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
10 Independently and proficiently read and comprehend history/social studies texts exhibiting complexity appropriate for the grade/course.
Grade 6 – World Geography and Ancient Civilizations I
Topic 2. Human origins, the Neolithic and Paleolithic Eras – Supporting Question: How did life on Earth begin and why did humans form complex societies?
10 Explain the ways in which complex societies interact and spread from one region to another (e.g., by trade, cultural or linguistic exchanges, migration, religious conversion, conquest, or colonization).
Topic 3. Western Asia, the Middle East and North Africa
Western Asia, the Middle East and North Africa - Mesopotamia, c. 3500-1200 BCE – Supporting Question: What are the best explanations for why writing developed in Mesopotamia?
15 Explain how the presence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers contributed to the development of agriculture and ancient complex societies; explain why historians have called the region that surrounds these rivers “the Fertile Crescent.”
17 Describe how irrigation, mining and metalsmithing, agriculture, the domestication of animals, and inventions such as the wheel, the sail, and the plow contributed to settlement and the growth of Mesopotamian civilizations.
18 Analyze the important characteristics and achievements of early Mesopotamia:
a. a complex society with rulers, priests, soldiers, craftspeople, farmers, and slaves
c. monumental architecture (the ziggurat) and developed art (including large relief sculptures, mosaics, carved cylinder seals)