Course Description

    World Civilizations

    World Civilizations (2020) Advanced Social Studies in grade six develops and enhances the students' understanding of world history through the study of trends from prehistory to present day. Students will learn what defines civilizations and how geography played a factor in the exchanges, expansion, and formation among and between them. Students will inquire about the various social hierarchies of world civilizations and the changes and continuities of social systems. Students will learn about ancient and classical civilizations and explore their enduring cultural, intellectual, and technological influences. Students will learn about how increased global interactions led to transformations among and between world civilizations. Students will inquire into the development of world civilizations past and present and the connections between Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Students will continue to explore how these global interactions and exchanges led to cultural, intellectual, and technological advances that have continued to increase societies’ global interconnectedness with one another. Instruction should utilize the historical thinking skills and themes developed for grade six.


    The progression of developmentally appropriate historical thinking skills begins in kindergarten and builds with each year of history instruction. These historical thinking skills are aligned with the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate of world-class knowledge, world-class skills, and life and career characteristics. The indicators of each standard represent the skills utilized by students in each grade level to further explore the content. These skills have been deconstructed to aid in the scaffolding of student thinking and are NOT to be taught in isolation. The Social Studies grade-level standards can be categorized into content- and discipline-specific themes. These themes allow for connections to be made between content when teaching chronologically, the ability to teach thematically rather than chronologically, and to support the project- or problem- based learning.


    Instruction should incorporate critical and creative thinking that requires students to apply their conceptual understanding in a more rigorous manner. This should include opportunities for students to evaluate current research and participate in complex instructional experiences grounded in real-life application of content and skills. Students will think critically to analyze and interpret charts, graphs, tables, maps, and other visual resources. Instructional methods of educators include, but are not limited to the differentiation of instruction, project-based learning, opportunities for collaboration, and direct instruction. Students will be expected to leverage technology resources and articulate learning using multiple modalities for a variety of purposes. At the end of this course, students will be able to make connections between the contributions of ancient world cultures, 21st-century society, and their daily lives. The South Carolina Social Studies College and Career Ready Standards (attached below) must serve as the foundation for the teaching and learning that occurs in the Social Studies classroom.


    To encourage inquiry, the 2020 grade six World Civilizations standards are constructed around the following five themes:

    • Culture and Intellectual Development – The Culture and Intellectual Development theme encourages the study of the development of individual and collective cultures and how these identities shape economic, political, and social systems over time. Social systems of various world civilizations are marked by their cultural, political, religious, and social ideologies and contributions.
    • Global Exchanges – The Global Exchanges theme encourages the study of how world civilizations have interacted with one another culturally, economically, and politically throughout history, and how societies have become increasingly connected over time.
    • Interaction with Environment – The Interaction with Environment theme encourages the study of how humans impact their environment and how environmental factors influence the decision-making of humans.
    • Social Systems and Order – The Social Systems and Order theme encourages the study of various social hierarchies and norms established by political and social institutions within a given civilization. Humans have sustained and challenged through social systems, which includes civic, economic, and social actions.
    • State Formation, Expansion, and Conflict – The State Formation, Expansion, and Conflict theme encourages the study of the foundations of different states (e.g., kingdoms, empires, nation-states, city-states) and how their interactions within and beyond those respective states have emerged, expanded, and collapsed because of these factors.

    Social Studies Literacy Skills for the Twenty-First Century

    Instruction should utilize the social studies literacy skills for the twenty-first century that are enunciated in chart format in Appendix A in the South Carolina Social Studies Academic Standards. These statements represent a continuum of tools, strategies, and perspectives that are necessary for the student’s understanding of social studies material that is taught at each grade level. Beginning at kindergarten and progressing to graduation, each statement is a developmentally appropriate iteration of the same skill as it is being further honed at each grade band (K–3, 4–5, 6–8, and high school). While most of these skills can be utilized in the teaching of every standard, the most appropriate skills for each standard are repeated in a bulleted list at the bottom of the page for that particular standard. (These standards are also listed in each unit of study).


    Literacy Framework — Philosophy


    Aiken County Public School District considers literacy to be the primary element in promoting student growth as thinkers and communicators. Rich experiences in reading, writing, listening and speaking for all students foster self-directed and lifelong learners. We believe:

    • All students should have access to literacy-rich environments.
    • Home-school connections are essential in supporting student growth in literacy.
    • Collaboration among schools, families, and community members is critical to promoting literacy development.

    Literacy Framework Pillars are:

    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Communication
    • Environment

    Literacy opportunities (i.e. communication, reading, writing) are highlighted in goldenrod in the "DO" section within each unit.

    Disciplinary Literacy

    Reading, writing, communicating, thinking critically, and performing in meaningful, relevant ways within and across disciplines are essential practices for accessing and deeply understanding content. Immersion in the language and thinking processes of each discipline guides students to develop and cultivate a deeper understanding of particular disciplines. College- and career-ready students must be able to expertly navigate the curriculum, paying close attention to practices unique to a particular discipline.

    Disciplinary Literacy works in concert with Inquiry-Based Literacy Standards to prepare students for the demands of the 21st century. These practices also offer opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of the content in traditional and non-traditional ways.


    The South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Standards for English Language Arts 2015 include the Disciplinary Literacy practices listed below:

    • Read, write, and communicate using knowledge of a particular discipline.

    • Integrate the Reading, Writing, and Communication Standards and the Inquiry-Based Literacy Standards to communicate and create understanding within content areas.

    • Extend and deepen understanding of content through purposeful, authentic, real-world tasks to show understanding and integration of content within and across disciplines.


    2020 South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards


    Beginning with the 2020 school year, instruction should utilize the historical thinking skills and themes developed for grade six. These historical thinking skills are aligned with the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate of world-class knowledge, world-class skills, and life and career characteristics. The indicators represent the skills utilized by students to further explore the content. These skills have been deconstructed to aid in the scaffolding of student thinking and are not to be taught in isolation.


    Historical Thinking Skills

    • Comparison (CO) - Utilize broad characteristics of historical developments to create a comparative analysis
    • Causation (CE) - Analyze significant turning points in history to assess multiple long-term and short
    • Periodization (P) - Organize a historical narrative into time periods using units of time (e.g., decades, half-centuries, centuries) and significant turning points
    • Context (CX) - Identify historical context by analyzing historical developments using specific references to time, place, and broader circumstances
    • Continuities and Changes (CC) - Identify and explain significant theme-based patterns of continuities and changes within a period of time
    • Evidence (E) - Identify, source, and utilize different forms of evidence, including primary and secondary sources, used in an inquiry-based study of history

    Historical Thinking Skills (i.e. comparison, causation, periodization, context, continuities and change, and evidence) are highlighted in blue in the "DO" section within each unit.


    Overarching Concepts

    The following Overarching Concepts are essential components to all units of instruction in 6th grade Social Studies. These Overarching Concepts should serve as the foundation of success in Social Studies for 6th-grade students. These Overarching Concepts should span and be taught/reinforced during each unit of study throughout the entire school year.

    1. The student will identify the geography, religion, agriculture, politics, economics, and social structure of civilization.
    2. The student will explain how geography, religion, agriculture, politics, economics, and social structure affects the development of civilization.
    3. The student will identify the major contributions of world civilizations that are still evident in modern-day society.