Grades 6-8

Democratic freedom is a complex concept that means different things in different contexts.  In the context of the United States government, democratic freedoms are those values that are afforded all citizens as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Democratic ideals are those values by which a democratic society hopes to achieve and those qualities or expectations by which citizens and governmental entities are expected to exhibit in order to maintain a democratic way of life.

Democratic rights are those entitlements that citizens enjoy and that are fundamental to the continuation of a democratic society.

Demographic trends are historical patterns of changes in the population statistics for a place.

Economic indicators are statistics about the economy that allow one to analyze the economic performance of an area and predict future performance.

Environmental condition is the state of the natural environment of a place at a given time such as:  pollution, erosion, deforestation, depopulation, climate, glaciation, and desertification.

Environmental issue is a matter relating to the natural world that is in dispute or unsettled between two or more parties.

Geographic phenomena are the features of the Earth’s surface as well as the activities that take place on the Earth’s surface.

Global interaction refers to the development of international systems of exchange that result in networks of trade and communications and cultural and political exchange.

Historical context is the “setting” for events or the conditions in which the events occurred.

Historical evidence is primary artifacts used to support a historical point of view or perspective.

Historical figure is a person from the past who has made a significant and lasting impact on society both during his/her time and/or in the present

Historical inquiry is a cyclical process of historical thinking that begins with the asking of a set of guiding historical questions. The answers to these questions are explored by locating and analyzing primary and secondary historical sources.  Evidence of the past trough this process of analyzing historical sources using the guiding questions.  This historical evidence is, in turn, used to construct historical narratives/interpretations about the past that seek to provide answers to the guiding historical questions.  The process begins again because these interpretations often lead to the development of other historical questions that need to be explored.  

Historical narrative is an account, report or story of events or experiences that is based on factual evidence from the past.

Historical perspective is the ability to describe the past from the point of view of those who lived during the particular time period under study.

Historical thinking is a complex set of processes that historians use in order to analyze events in the past.  These processes include the reading, analysis, and writing that is necessary to develop an accurate understanding of historical events and situations so that historians can construct narratives that are as accurate as possible.  Engaging in this complex process is known as historical inquiry.

Innovation refers to the creation and implementation of new ideas, methods, or devices.

Literal meaning refers to the meaning of a passage, text, etc. as the original author would have intended and what the original hearers/readers would have understood.

Political thought is defined as the ideas that shaped the development of governmental systems.

Primary sources provide a first-hand account or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who actually experienced the events or conditions being documented. While these sources are often created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, primary sources may also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later.

Push/Pull factors are those forces or conditions that serve to drive people either towards or away from place i.e. environmental conditions and demographic trends.  Push factors are those that drive people away and pull factors are those that draw people to a place.

Quality of life (QOL) can be broadly defined as socio-economic wellbeing and life satisfaction and is a subjective measure, but can be quantified, to some extent, by using a quality-of-life index or other tool.

Secondary sources provide interpretations of primary sources.  Examples include:  text books, magazine and journal articles, etc.

Technology is defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.

Unemployment, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is persons who do not have a job; but, have been actively looking for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.

Urbanization is the massive and rapid growth of the population of a city or town as a result of increased migration.  The migration is usually from a rural, non industrialized area. 

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