Social Studies 6 - World History

Weekly Units in Magazine Format

Audio Support for Struggling Readers

Images, Maps, Multimedia, and Video Activities

Explore Back in Time to Ancient Egypt

Discover the Jewish Connection to World History

Knowledge Checks with Leveled Questions

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Social Studies 6 – World History


Melamed Academy’s Elementary Social Studies curriculum is designed to give students a comprehensive overview of all key concepts in an exciting and experience-based learning environment.

Core curricular standards are covered in weekly installments. Text-based lessons include audio support to support developing readers. As the student reads, he answers quick comprehension-check questions and scores points in his “game” and earns prizes.

Multimedia, pictures, maps, and videos round out the instructional part of the lesson. Next, the students participate in activities and projects related to the units. Virtual field trips zoom the students to the site of the action, as they explore virtual exhibits, museums, and faraway locations.

Units include:

Week 1 – Planet Earth (Geography)

This week will focus on maps, mapmakers and geographic terms. Students will learn about the Continental Drift Theory of Alfred Wegener and the evidence he used to develop his theory. Articles will also discuss some of the historic and modern man-made wonders on our planet.

  • Planet Earth
  • Philanthropy and Values
  • Planet Earth
  • The First New Map of the World
  • Atlas
  • Which is better – a map or a globe?
  • Cartography

Week 2 – Earth (Geography)

This week will focus on Earth’s natural wonders, as well as some amazing geographical facts and records. Students will learn about scientists who study people— archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists.

  • Studying the Earth
  • Discovering Artifacts From Washington’s Boyhood House
  • Studying the Earth
  • Margaret Mead
  • Amazon Rainforest
  • Let’s Write

Week 3 – Earliest Humans

This week will focus on the earliest peoples and earliest weapons. Articles will also discuss major changes such as domestication of animals, formation of settlements and the discovery of farming. Students will learn about how leisure time gave earliest humans time to devote to better weapons, shelter, clothing, pottery and cave paintings.

  • Very Old Cereal
  • Louis Leakey
  • Catalhoyuk
  • Let’s Write

Week 4 – Historic Times Begin

This week will focus on the earliest historic people. Articles will discuss Mesopotamia, Cuneiform writing, laws of Hannibal, and polytheism. Students will learn about the contributions of the Assyrians (first paved roads, postal system, etc.) and the Chaldeans (calendar with seven-day week, astronomy/astrology, etc.).

  • Historic Times Begin
  • Thousands of Artifacts Missing
  • Mesopotamia
  • Iraq
  • Should museums return artifacts?
  • Cuneiform
  • Let’s Write

Week 5 – People of Phoenicia

This week will focus on the ancient Phoenicians who lived in present-day Lebanon. Articles will discuss sea traders of the Mediterranean, their ships and the exploration of Hanna. Students will learn about the first alphabet, purple dye and other cultural advancements of the Phoenicians.

  • Phoenicians Take to the Sea
  • Phoenicians Sail Again
  • The Purple People of Phoenicia
  • Hanno the Navigator
  • How did cedar trees help the Phoenicians?
  • Lebanon
  • Tyrian Purple

Week 6 – Life in Ancient Egypt

This week will focus on the ancient Egyptians and the development of their powerful culture. Articles will discuss the geography of Egypt, the importance of the Nile, religion and hieroglyphics. Students will learn about paper and other inventions and discoveries of the ancient Egyptians.

  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Mummy May Hold Clues to Curing Cancer
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Jean-Francois Champollion
  • Should mummies be on display in museums?
  • A Key Made of Stone
  • Let’s Write

Week 7 – Pyramids

This week will focus on ancient leaders such as Hatshepsut, Ramses XI, and Tutankhamen, the Boy King. Articles will also discuss archaeologists Howard Carter, Dr. Kent Weeks and Jean-François Champollion, the man who cracked hieroglyphics. Students will also read about ancient Egyptian architecture.

  • Build Me a Pyramid
  • Pharaohs of Egypt
  • Suez Canal
  • Howard Carter
  • Was King Tut’s tomb cursed?
  • Abu Simbel and the Aswan High Dam
  • Clarity of Expression: Henry Hudson
  • Hounds and Jackals

Week 8 – African Kingdoms

This week will focus on African kingdoms such as Kush, Ghana, Mali and Songhai. Articles will discuss the geography, architecture, culture and contributions of each kingdom.

  • Good as Gold!
  • Morocco’s 156-Mile Footrace
  • African Kingdoms
  • Emperor Mansa Musa
  • Sahara Desert
  • Why are camels called “ships of the desert?”
  • Salt
  • Language Arts Connection

Week 9 – Ancient Israelites

This week will focus on the history, culture and geography of the Israelites (Jews). Articles will discuss Judaism, the history of the disputed land of Palestine, well-known people and their contributions to the world.

  • Hello and Peace!
  • A Look at the Israel Independence Day Festival
  • Ancient Israelites
  • King Solomon
  • Israel
  • Why was the Dead Sea given this name?
  • David and Goliath
  • Thomas Paine and ‘Common Sense’
  • Let’s Write

Week 10 – Ancient Greeks

This week will focus on the ancient Greeks, including the geography of Greece. Articles will discuss Sparta and Athens, the beginning of democratic government, and the Persian Wars. Students will read about the development of a writing system through culture contact with the Phoenicians and the first Olympic Games.

  • It’s Greek to Me!
  • Ancient Greeks
  • Persephone: a Greek Myth
  • Greece
  • What is the Antikythera mechanism?
  • Greek Alphabet
  • Let’s Write

Week 11 – Greek Civilization

This week will focus on the Golden Age of the Greeks, including the architecture of the time. Articles will discuss famous Greeks in history—philosophers and leaders such as Pericles, Socrates, Aesop, etc. Students will also learn about the Peloponnesian War.

  • The Golden Age
  • Greek Civilization Flourishes
  • Socrates
  • Trojan Horse
  • Can the Parthenon be saved?
  • Meteoras of Greece
  • Let’s Write

Week 12 – Alexander the Great

This week will focus on Alexander the Great and his Macedonian Empire. Articles will discuss architecture and the empire’s contributions to civilization, as well as its collapse. Students will use maps to study the extent and geography of the empire.

  • Conquering the World
  • Discovery in Greece: Oldest Wall on Earth?
  • Alexander the Great
  • Macedonia
  • The Wisdom of the Woodcutter
  • Let’s Write

Week 13 – Ancient India

This week will focus on the geography of India. Articles will discuss the civilizations and archaeological discoveries at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, the Aryans, Sanskrit, Caste System, as well as the Maurya and Gupta Empires. Students will learn about contributions made by these cultures.

  • Ancient India
  • The Questions of Climate Change
  • People of Ancient India
  • Caste System
  • Asoka
  • India

Week 14 – Ancient China

This week will focus on Ancient China and dynastic rule, including the geography of China and how it was isolated from the rest of the world. Articles will discuss the Takla Makan mummies, early writing system, Confucius, Laozi, the Great Wall, the Silk Road and Qin Shi Huangdi. Students will read about the contributions of ancient Chinese cultures to the world.

  • Gifts of Ancient China
  • Can Facebook Save Dying Languages?
  • History of Ancient China
  • Zheng He: Ancient Explorer
  • China
  • How was silk discovered?
  • Paper Making
  • Confucius
  • Let’s Write

Week 15 – Ancient Japan

This issue will focus on the geography of Japan and how geography shaped its opinion of the outside world. Articles will discuss shoguns, samurai, culture and architecture of ancient Japan. Students will read about the contributions of ancient Japanese cultures to the world.

  • Konnichiwa!
  • Move Over, Brothers Grimm – New Fairy Tales Found
  • Ancient Japan
  • Prince Shotoku
  • Japan
  • How did Japan become a leader in automobile manufacturing?
  • Origami

Week 16 – Life in Rome

This week will focus on the early Romans, the Etruscan conquest and the spread of Greek ideas to the Romans. Articles will discuss government, religion, architecture and the geography of Rome and Italy. Students will learn about Punic Wars and the increasing power of Rome.

  • Roaming with the Romans
  • Roman Beach Site Found in Great Britain
  • Life in Rome
  • Julius Caesar
  • Italy
  • Aqueducts
  • Do all roads lead to Rome?

Week 17 – Ancient Rome: Part II

This week will focus on the Golden Age of Rome. Articles will discuss the Pax Romana, famous Romans, the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and everyday life of citizens of the Roman Empire.

  • More Roaming with the Romans
  • From General to Gladiator
  • When in Rome
  • Famous Romans
  • Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii
  • What spectator sports happened in the Colosseum?
  • Did You Know?

Week 18 – Barbarians

This week will focus on the Roman Empire, including Caesar, Constantine and Hadrian’s Wall. Articles will discuss the contributions of the empire to the world. Students will read about the Romans’ clash with the Vikings in the British Isles and the barbarian invasions that led to the fall of Rome.

  • Decline of an Empire
  • What a Piggy Bank!
  • Barbarians Conquer Europe
  • Istanbul
  • What is a mercenary?
  • Constantine

Week 19 – Christianity

This week will focus on the early Christians and the Christian Church. Students will read about monks and their contribution to keeping books alive and the catacombs of Rome.

  • The Origins of Christianity
  • The ‘Irish’ Saint Who Wasn’t Really Irish
  • Foundations of Christianity
  • St. Paul
  • Vatican City
  • ‘The Pieta’

Week 20 – Islamic Empire

This week will focus on the geography of the Middle East, Mohammad and the spread of Islam. Students will learn about the Ottoman Empire and their contributions to science and math.

  • Muhammad and the Islamic Empire
  • A Lesson Learned
  • Foundations of Islam
  • Where is Islam?
  • Islamic Calendar
  • Ibn Battuta – World Traveler
  • Mecca

Week 21 – Middle Ages

This week will focus on the barbarians who came through Europe causing people to huddle for protection under the feudal system. Articles will discuss towns, money, diminishing trade and the fading of the Greek and Roman democratic ideals. Students will also read about life in a castle.

  • To War or Work?
  • Knights Unite!
  • Clothes Told Your Status
  • How did they decide guilt or innocence in the Middle Ages?
  • Europe
  • Francis Hopkinson and the American Flag

Week 22 – Crusades Bring Change

This week will focus on the Catholic Church, the Crusades and how culture contact brought about huge change in medieval Europe. Articles will discuss the end of the feudal system, the renewed interest in Greek and Roman ideas and how the rise of towns and guilds brought back democratic thinking again. Students will also read about the Magna Carta.

  • Changing Times
  • Keeping the Magna Carta
  • Crusades Bring Change
  • Black Death
  • The Trebuchet
  • King Arthur
  • How did the Magna Carta change medieval history?
  • Nine Men’s Morris

Week 23 – Age of Exploration

This week will focus on the brave people who went off to explore the world. Articles will discuss such explorers as Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, whose adventures made Europeans more and more curious about the world.

  • Let’s Explore!
  • Under the Lake and Through the Cave
  • Age of Exploration
  • Henry the Navigator
  • So Many Explorers!
  • A Ship that Changed the World
  • Ethics: President Coolidge Rebuilds Bridge of Broken Trust

Week 24 – Maya, Aztec and Inca

This week’s paper will focus on the Mesoamerican Empire, including the Maya, Aztec and Inca civilizations. Articles will discuss the geography of the region and the end of each civilization.

  • Maya and Aztec and Inca, Oh My!
  • Ancient Temple Discovered in Guatemala
  • Cultures of the Americas
  • Pachacuti (1438 – 1471)
  • Cocoa
  • What are the Nazca lines?
  • Mesoamerica

Week 25 – The Renaissaance

This week will focus on the Renaissance. Articles will discuss famous people of the time and their contributions to the world in art, literature, architecture and knowledge.

  • The Renaissance
  • Rebirth of Learning
  • Ah, Venice!
  • Renaissance Man: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Did You Know?
  • Gutenberg’s Printing Press
  • What was bloodletting?
  • Agility of Mind: Teddy Roosevelt Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Week 26 – Reformation

This week will focus on the change in the Catholic Church known as The Reformation. Articles will discuss Joan of Arc, Martin Luther and the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg.

  • Movers and Shakers Change Religion
  • Galileo on Trial for Heresy!
  • Reformation and Church Reformers
  • Germany
  • William Tyndale
  • Where was tolerance during the Reformation?
  • Actions and Reactions

Week 27 – Oceania

This week will focus on the oceanic peoples of the Pacific. Articles will discuss the contributions of Australian aborigines, Maori of New Zealand, Papuans of New Guinea and ancient Polynesians. Students will learn about contact with European explorers and archeological finds that have increased our knowledge of these cultures.

  • So Many Islands!
  • Research Shows Madagascar Was Founded by Women
  • Oceania
  • Captain James Cook
  • International Date Line
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Mutiny!
  • What are the moai?

Week 28 – Wrapping it Up (Culture, Geography)

This week’s paper will include additional information about the people and places that shaped the history of our world. Students will also have an opportunity to review and reinforce some of the material presented in earlier weeks.

  • That’s A Wrap!
  • Wrapping it Up