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Middle School Social Studies: Seventh & Eighth Grade EcoSocial Justice Emphasis

Middle School Social Studies is taught to National Council for the Social Studies (U.S.) standards, covering systems of government, U.S. government and history, world geography, and economics with an ecosocial justice emphasis.
Beth Foster | M.A. American History
302 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 9 learners
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$11 per class
Meets 2x per week
Over 32 weeks
45 minutes per class
There are no open spots for this class, but you can request another time or scroll down to find more classes like this.


Class Experience

The goals of this class begin with students gaining broader knowledge and deeper understandings of systems of government, U.S. history and government, world geography, and issues of economic, environmental, and social justice. As students grapple with the content, they will analyze history and current events using critical thinking skills to arrive at their own conclusions while more deeply exploring their own cultures and identities and growing appreciation, knowledge, understanding, and empathy with people of different groups and cultures around the world. Students will learn to analyze and contextualize primary and secondary sources, and will practice critical thinking, analytical, writing, and communication skills. Students will also learn and practice research paper writing skills. 
I am currently enrolled in my final course through the Gettysburg College-Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History master of arts in American history program. In addition, I have bachelor of arts degrees in English, journalism, and political science. I was the director of a social justice center for three years during which time I routinely taught about and facilitated conversations about historical and current political events for both teen and adults participants. Before that, I was a newspaper editor and reporter for 15 years. I have been teaching history, social studies, and English Language Arts classes for the past five years. I am currently lead teacher at The Foster Woods Folk School, which focuses on education, storytelling, and the arts within an ecosocial justice framework aimed at celebrating and improving our connections as a global community of human and non-human earthlings. In this role, I work with learners of all ages with a primary focus of working with learners in grades three through 12.  
Learners will have reading assignments following each class as well as two journal writing assignments per week that will be used to assess their comprehension and analysis of lecture and reading content. There are scaffold research writing assignments each week, two worksheet assignments each week in Unit 3, and individual, partner, and small group projects assigned throughout the course. 
 1 file available upon enrollment
Paper of electronic copy of George Orwell's "Animal Farm," paper or electronic copy of Bruce Watson's "Freedom Summer for Young People" adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. All other materials will be provided in the student workbook.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Learners will be assessed on weekly homework, participation in live classes, journal entries, projects, and the research paper. 

The final grade is calculated as follows: 
Unit 3 Worksheets: 10 percent
Speaking and Listening (In-Class Participation and Projects): 10 percent
Journal: 40 percent
Research Paper Scaffold Assignments: 10 percent
Review of Classmates Research Paper: 5 percent
Research Paper Presentation: 5 percent  
Final Research Paper: 20 percent

Students receiving a final grade of C (70 percent) or greater will be issued a letter of completion reflecting the final grade. 
1 hour 30 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
As we study governments, history, and economic, environmental, and social justice issues, students will engage with content about different cultures, religions, and times. Some of this content will contain depictions of colonization, violence, slavery, genocide, war, disease, death, racism, poverty, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression. The historical realities we will study are disturbing to almost all students, but may be especially difficult for some learners. Please consider whether your learner is ready to grapple with this content before enrolling. In addition, this class will address a diversity of  experiences. Students will learn about the experiences of people of different religions, races, genders, sexes, and sexual orientations. Some of the reading assignments may contain depictions of smoking, alcohol usage, and sexuality. All of the content used in this course is recommended for middle school readers and will be discussed in as age-appropriate manner as possible while also allowing learners to make their own connections. These connections will lead to conversations about current political debates and modern controversies. My objective when this happens is to facilitate a civil, thoughtful, leaner-led conversation in which students arrive at connections through their own analysis. 
NewsELA, Zinn Education Project, Learning for Justice,, Amnesty International: Climate Change and Human Rights: A Global Crisis" course,, George Orwell's "Animal Farm," Bruce Watson's "Freedom Summer for Young People" adapted by Rebecca Stefoff,, "To Have Power Over Others" by Francis Duggan, "I Dream a World" by Langston Hughes,, Stanford University's "Climate Change Education" Curriculum, the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Bill of Rights, "The Lorax" 1972 film, World Music Network, Learning to Give, "A People's Curriculum for the Earth" by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart, UNICEF's "World's Largest Lesson," Teaching Tolerance, "Teen Vogue," "Chicago Tribune," RespectAbility, PBS NewsHour, – A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski, A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen, An African American and Latinix History of the United States by Paul Ortiz, A Black Women's History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross, A True History of the United States by Daniel A. Sjursen, We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose


Beth Foster | M.A. American History
Lives in the United States
The Foster Woods Folk School, Teaching the Humanities Within an EcoSocial Justice Framework
302 total reviews
238 completed classes

About Me

From ancient times, humans have used stories to better understand themselves and their place in the universe. Stories explain our past and how we can create a better time and world for ourselves and those who will come after us. This is the heart... 
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