South Carolina Learning Standards for Social Studies — Grade 6

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The student will demonstrate an understanding of the development of the cradles of civilization as people moved from a nomadic existence to a settled life.


Explain the characteristics of hunter-gatherer groups and their relationship to the natural environment.


Explain the emergence of agriculture and its effect on early human communities, including the domestication of plants and animals, the impact of irrigation techniques, and subsequent food surpluses.


Compare the river valley civilizations of the Tigris and Euphrates (Mesopotamia), the Nile (Egypt), the Indus (India), and the Huang He (China), including the evolution of written language, government, trade systems, architecture, and forms of social order.


Explain the origins, fundamental beliefs, and spread of Eastern religions, including Hinduism (India), Judaism (Mesopotamia), Buddhism (India), and Confucianism and Taoism (China).


The student will demonstrate an understanding of life in ancient civilizations and their contributions to the modern world.


Describe the development of ancient Greek culture (the Hellenic period), including the concept of citizenship and the early forms of democracy in Athens.


Analyze the role of Alexander the Great (Hellenistic period), Socrates, Plato, Archimedes, Aristotle, and others in the creation and spread of Greek governance, literature, philosophy, the arts, math, and science.


Describe the development of Roman civilization, including language, government, architecture, and engineering


Describe the expansion and transition of the Roman government from monarchy to republic to empire, including the roles of Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar (Octavius).


Explain the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire and the impact of the Byzantine Empire, including the Justinian Code and the preservation of ancient Greek and Roman learning, architecture, and government.


Compare the polytheistic belief systems of the Greeks and the Romans with the origins, foundational beliefs, and spread of Christianity.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of changing political, social, and economic cultures in Asia.


Summarize the major contributions of the Chinese civilization from the Qing dynasty through the Ming dynasty, including the golden age of art and literature, the invention of gunpowder and woodblock printing, and the rise of trade via the Silk Road.


Summarize the major contributions of the Japanese civilization, including the Japanese feudal system, the Shinto traditions, and works of art and literature.


Summarize the major contributions of India, including those of the Gupta dynasty in mathematics, literature, religion, and science.


Explain the origin and fundamental beliefs of Islam and the geographic and economic aspects of its expansion.


Describe the influence of geography on trade in the African kingdoms, including the salt and gold trades.


Compare the contributions and the decline of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations in Central and South America, including their forms of government and their contributions in mathematics, astronomy, and architecture.


Explain the contributions, features, and rise and fall of the North American ancestors of the numerous Native American tribes, including the Adena, Hopewell, Pueblo, and Mississippian cultures.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the Middle Ages and the emergence of nation-states in Europe.


Explain feudalism and its relationship to the development of European monarchies and nation-states, including feudal relationships, the daily lives of peasants and serfs, and the economy under the manorial system.


Explain the effects of the Magna Carta on European society, its effect on the feudal system, and its contribution to the development of representative government in England.


Summarize the course of the Crusades and explain their effects on feudalism and their role in spreading Christianity.


Explain the role and influence of the Roman Catholic Church in medieval Europe.


Summarize the origins and impact of the bubonic plague (Black Death) on feudalism.


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Age of Exploration on Europe and the rest of the world.


Summarize the contributions of the Italian Renaissance, including the importance of Florence, the influence of humanism and the accomplishments of the Italians in art, music, literature, and architecture.


Identify key figures of the Renaissance and the Reformation and their contributions (e.g., Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Johannes Gutenberg, John Calvin, and Martin Luther).


Explain the causes, events, and points of contention and denominational affiliations (of nations) of the Reformation and the Catholic Reformation (Counter Reformation).


Compare the economic, political, and religious incentives of the various European countries to explore and settle new lands.


Identify the origin and destinations of the voyages of major European explorers


Explain the effects of the exchange of plants, animals, diseases, and technology throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas (known as the Columbian Exchange).


The student will demonstrate an understanding of the changing political, social, and economic cultures in Africa and the Americas.


Compare the major contributions of the African civilizations of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, including the impact of Islam on the cultures of these kingdoms.