Social Studies

As the middle school aged student becomes increasing aware and connected to a world outside of themselves, Loyal Academy Social Studies curriculum provides the information and frame of reference for them to become contributing members of society.

Grade six students are taught geography and skills that will help them navigate the world. They will study the ancient and contemporary cultures of Africa, Asia and Europe.

Grade seven students will study early american cultures and the early history of the United States as it grew from the colonial period until the middle 19th century.

Grade eight students will study United States history form the Civil War until modern day times. Emphasis is placed on 20th  century social movements that developed and shaped our nation.

Social Studies:


The Social Studies curriculum follows the Massachusetts Frameworks. Textbooks are used to support the curriculum in grades three through eight. During academic year 2011-2012, the social studies curriculum was mapped. A school-wide goal for academic year 2013-2014 will be to examine the curriculum maps to determine areas of overlap and omission. Experts from Boston College will assist the school in finding necessary assets to support the curriculum and professional development time and resources will be allocated. The ELA curriculum Voices in Reading was chosen to reinforce the Social Studies curriculum. For example, there is a great emphasis on multiculturalism and civic responsibility. The table below gives an overview of the scope of the social studies curriculum:


Grade Topics
6 World History, Geography and Culture; Ancient Civilizations
7 The Age of Exploration; Early American History through 1860
8 American History; Civil War through Civil Rights Movement


The purpose of the Loyola Academy Social Studies curriculum is to create a bridge between Elementary Social Studies, which is more concrete, and High School Social Studies, which is more abstract. A big emphasis is placed not on the “where”, “the who”, or the “what”, but rather on the “how” and “why”. Students analyze cause and effect relationships, glean point of view from primary source documents, and are taught the connection between geography and human history. St. Columbkille students will have three years of history that are chronologically interconnected. As sixth graders they begin at the dawn of civilization, focus on major civilization centers in Asia, Africa, and Europe, and understand the reasons for the European Age of Explorations. As seventh graders, they analyze Europe’s Age of Exploration’s impact on the Americas and focus on British settlement of North America. They then shift their focus on the causes of both the American War for Independence and the American Civil War. Finally, as eighth graders, the students look at the Civil War and the subsequent experiment of Reconstruction and will end their time at our school with an analysis of the Civil Rights Movement, especially using the themes of Catholic social justice.



Grade Six explores early civilization and begin with a survey of the River Civilizations (Sumer, Egypt, India, and China). Next, students study the Empires of Greece, Rome, Africa, and the Ancient North American. Students gain an understanding of major contributions from the Arab and European Renaissances, as well as Dynastic China and the impact of European exploration on the rest of the world. Attention is given to geography and mapping skills.


Grade Seven students learn about the many individuals responsible for North American exploration, as well as the reasons for English settlement and the causes of the French and Indian War. Students explore the causes and effects of the American colonies’ separation from Great Britain. Students are introduced to the structure of our government, and are given opportunities to practice civic engagement. Toward the end of the year, the students will study the Louisiana Purchase and will begin to understand the emerging differences between the North and South.


In grade Eight, students focus on the causes and consequences of the Civil War. They then follow the Facing History curriculum highlighting the desegregation of public schools in Little Rock and in Boston. The 8th Grade integrate their learning about the enduring theme of Social Justice and complete a culminating project, which is a digital history project.