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NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies - grade 6, unit 2

This is the second unit of the grade six scope and sequence, titled: First Humans, Neolithic Revolution, and the Early River Valley Civilizations. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as paintings and photographs, maps, and political cartoons.

The shift from hunting and gathering to a sedentary farming and a permanent settlement life style, known as the Neolithic Revolution, led to the establishment of social classes, and the eventual rise of civilizations. In encompassing social and cultural as well as political and economic history, this guide examines key civilizations in world history. It emphasizes the major stages in the interactions among different peoples and societies, and describes how early human communities in the Eastern Hemisphere adapted to and modified their physical environment. Topics and historical concepts of representative lessons in this unit include: Analyze and discuss the development of tools and technology by hominids; Recognize and explain how characteristics (cultural, economic, and physical-environment) of regions affect the history and culture of societies in the Eastern Hemisphere; Identify how the relationship among geography, economics, and history helps to define a context for events in the study of the Eastern Hemisphere. Lessons also focus on having students conduct mock archaeological digs to examine and interpret artifacts, fossil records, and art, such as cave paintings, to better understand the sharing of culture and ideas among human beings.

To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and a two-part performance-based assessment activity, which has students analyze documents and artifacts and answer short response questions using evidence from a variety of documents to support their claims.

Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessment plans.

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Quality Review Indicators 1.3 Leveraging ResourcesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1a: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and PedagogyDanielson Framework for Teaching 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of StudentsDanielson Framework for Teaching 1c: Setting Instructional OutcomesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1d: Demonstrating Knowledge of ResourcesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1e: Designing Coherent InstructionDanielson Framework for Teaching 1f: Designing Student Assessments
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