The Upper School
The Social Studies
Upper School social studies curriculum focuses on cultural studies. As the interests and needs of older students continue to develop, so does their ability to reason abstractly. This makes possible a more complex study of history, geography, government, economics, and culture. Older students are able to build on the understandings began in Middle School, seriously considering the ways of life, values, and ideas that are different from their own. It is developmentally appropriate to have Upper School students study cultures that are geographically and temporally distant from their own, and to compare and contrast what they learn with their own experiences. Through research, field study, and creative expression, students discover the foundation of the world and begin to develop a better understanding of those who have lived before them.
Sixth Grade - The Study of Beliefs
Sixth Graders embody the questions: Who am I? What do I believe? They are on a crusade to figure out the world around them. Understanding this place in adolescent development leads us to the study of belief systems around the world. Sixth graders will explore the evolution of beliefs into organized religions, the relationship of beliefs to society and culture, as well as explore how religious ideas are infused in current political and cultural issues. After the students explore their own ideas or belief systems, an in-depth study of some of the major religions in historical context will ensue. Some of these regions include: Asia, Middle East, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Medieval Europe. Through the use of technology, our students are able to interact with other adolescents in the countries they are studying about. They create webquests, use multi-media maps, and engage in additional interactive technological activities. The understanding of world geography is an important part of the investigations of each region. Through these investigations, they will begin to develop an understanding of the overriding question: How do these beliefs build, shape, and change peoples' lives, culture, and society?
Seventh Grade - The Study of Civics
Seventh Graders continue to develop into young adults. They are constantly grappling with the ideas of fairness, independence, and freedom. These students investigate the freedom through studying American history. The students will explore the idea of power and government. The study of power naturally leads to questions about gaining power and our country's three branches of government. As the students continue to study the idea of power, they will make connections and build relationships between our government and current events, issues, and concepts each citizen must deal with in the twenty-first century. The overriding questions that will be investigated are: What is power? How is the power of leading a group of people given? What are the responsibilities that go with power?
Eighth Grade - The Study of Power
Our Eighth Grade students are on the brink of high school and are the oldest students at Trinity. These young people are looking to the future wanting to assume control over their lives and decisions made that affect their lives.
The start of their study is an investigation of the War for Independence and continue through current History. However, history shows that our independence did not bring freedom to all Americans. Throughout the rest of the year the students explore the idea of democracy and freedom specifically related to how this circle expanded to include additional groups of Americans. They will make connections between the struggles we went through as Americans and the resulting "freedom". The integration of technology allows students to make connections to our country's history through digital field studies. History is not a story told from one point of view. Our students will build an understanding of the relationship between history and current day issues. They begin to expand their own viewpoint to include the complexity of issues and views brought by the individuals, cultural groups, politics, economics, geography, and technology in our diverse country. Students use technology to express their viewpoints through movies, presentations, music, etc. Through investigation, the students form an understanding of the overriding questions: What is freedom? What responsibilities come with freedom? How does freedom affect us as individuals, as cultural groups, and as a society?