Middle School Social Studies

Students learn about U.S. history and civics as part of the middle school social studies curriculum.

United States History: 1865 to the Present (Grade7)

Students in grade 7 will use skills for historical and geographical analysis as they examine American history since 1865. The standards for this course relate to the history of the United States from the Reconstruction era to the present. Students continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography within the context of United States history. Political, economic, and social challenges facing the nation reunited after the Civil War will be examined chronologically as students develop an understanding of how the American experience shaped the world’s political and economic landscapes.
The study of history emphasizes the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship. Students will practice these skills as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science.

Civics and Economics (Grade 8)

Standards for Civics and Economics examine the roles citizens play in the political, governmental, and economic systems in the United States. Students in grade 8 will examine the constitutions of Virginia and the United States, will identify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens, and will describe the structure and operation of government at the local, state, and national levels. Students will investigate the process by which decisions are made in the American market economy and explain the government’s role in it.

Civic education also emphasizes the intellectual and practical skills required for responsible citizenship. Students will practice these skills both inside and outside the classroom through a service learning project as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by the standards for Civics and Economics.

In preparation for world history and geography in grade 9, students also will participate in a geography unit designed to provide a foundation of geographic skills that will be required.

Finance Park

All students in grade 8 participate in a financial literacy curriculum, titled Finance Park. Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Junior Achievement to bring this program to our students. The curriculum is delivered through mathematics and civics classes. The culminating experience is a trip to the Finance Park facility, located adjacent to Frost Middle School. At Finance Park, students immerse themselves in a reality-based decision-making process addressing aspects of individual and family budgeting, including housing, transportation, food, utilities, health care, investments, philanthropy, and banking. 


In the social studies classroom, students use technology to:

  • Access, retrieve, organize, analyze, and evaluate electronic information from a variety of sources, documenting sources appropriately.
  • Communicate understanding of social studies concepts, skills, and processes.
  • Present social studies information in a variety of graphical forms.
  • Create multimedia presentations of social studies topics of student interest.
  • Acquire understanding of abstract social studies concepts through simulation and visual displays.
  • Access online textbooks.