History / CivicsThe goal of the Social Studies department is to teach students about the history of the United States and how the government and economy operate. Students need to know about our past so they can understand the present and plan for the future. With this knowledge they can become active members of the community. The Social Studies teachers at Eagle Ridge try to reach this goal by engaging their students in fun and exciting activities to enhance their learning.
In the sixth grade, students learn about the very beginning of our country. They study the cultures of the First Americans, the explorers that discovered the land, and the settlers that started developing our country. They learn about our fight for independence and how our country grew with a unified government while acquiring new territory. The year is wrapped up with the Civil War.The seventh grade picks up where the sixth grade leaves off in history. The students learn about the Industrial Revolution and the expanding economy of the United States. These two events lead to a wave of immigrants coming to the country to enjoy new opportunities. They celebrate Immigration Day where the students have the opportunity to research and display their own heritage. The students get the chance to see how our country developed in the 20th century to become what it is today. They study all the wars that changed not only the United States but also the world. They also learn about society and how it reacted to the changes in the United States.With this background students enter eighth grade ready to learn about the government and the economy. In eighth grade students learn what it takes to be a good citizen. This leads to a study of the different types of governments that exist. Students learn about the powers and procedures followed by the various branches of government through participating in activities such as mock trials. Next, through a study of important documents leading to the Constitution, students learn about the development of present day democracy in the United States. Then they learn about the powers and limitations of the Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court and they learn how the people in these positions are elected. Once they know about the government of the United States, they learn about Virginia's government. The year ends with Economics and the basics of the business cycle and how the economy of the United States works. During this unit, they have the chance to see how the Stock Market operates.