The Middle School Social Studies program provides students with the foundational knowledge and conceptual framework needed to develop a historical and global perspective. Students learn how to think deeply and become active participants in the learning process. The program also teaches and scaffolds core skills in three areas at age-appropriate levels across the curriculum. Social Studies at Kew-Forest teaches students analytical skills, including interpretation, synthesis, comparison, causation, argumentation, contextualization, continuity and change over time, and periodization. Students also strengthen their evaluation skills, such as: critical reading, assessing the validity of opinions, and making informed and reasoned judgments supported by evidence. Finally, Social Studies students learn communication skills: effective written and verbal communication, and collaboration with emphasis on working in pairs and in small groups.
The Social Studies program also seeks to encourage young people to understand and respect cultural diversity including viewpoints and values different from their own, teaching students to view the world from a historical and global perspective. We promote civic competence in our democratic society by encouraging young people to think about how to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good, while preparing young people to become fully engaged global citizens. Our teachers equip students with the core skills and foundational knowledge needed for high school social studies courses.

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  • Sixth Grade: The Eastern and Western Hemispheres up to 1450

    This course introduces students to the emergence of human societies in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres and examines essential challenges and questions relating to the development of these societies up to the time of the first global age. These questions include: How do human societies seek to explain the workings of the natural world? What are the purposes and functions of government in early human societies? Why do human societies trade, and what are its impacts? Students explore the meaning of culture and consider the role of art, literature, and myth in defining a culture. The course emphasizes effective written and oral communication, formulation of a well-reasoned argument based upon reliable sources, map literacy, and collaborative skills. Throughout the year, students are introduced to essential concepts and vocabulary that serve as building blocks for higher-level courses in Social Studies.
  • Seventh Grade: The First Global Age: 1450-1775

    In this course, students explore key aspects of the first global age, beginning with the first interactions between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Students engage in an in-depth study of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, new patterns in global trade, cross-cultural exchange, and the growing calls for rebellion and revolution. The global focus of the course also encompasses colonial America so that students will be prepared for their study of U.S. history in eighth grade. Students read primary sources, participate in debates, develop research skills, engage in group presentations, develop critical thinking skills involving map interpretation and geography, analyze causation, and construct historical arguments.
  • Eighth Grade: History of the United States and Its Place in the Modern World

    This course will explore U.S. history beginning in 1775 with an emphasis on the institutions of government, the legislative process, the changing role of government in U.S. history, and the evolving role of the United States within the global community. Topics include the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression and the New Deal, the two World Wars, and the post-War history of the United States including its growing interactions with the larger world. Students read primary sources, participate in simulations, pursue research projects, and develop critical thinking skills such as comparison, contextualization, interpretation, and historical argumentation. By year’s end, students have gained the foundational skills and knowledge to enter a demanding high school social studies program.

The Kew-Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-4667
The oldest independent school in the borough of Queens, The Kew-Forest School is an independent co-educational, college preparatory school for students in Preschool through Grade 12.