Massachusetts Social Science and History Curriculum Frameworks
The excerpts below offer an introduction to U.S. History in the Frameworks. Download a complete copy of the Frameworks from the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Download a copy of a Massachusetts Department of Education guide to the History and Social Science MCAS, published Feb. 26, 2007 from the Massachusetts Department of Education. The guide offers sample multiple-choice and open-response items for the grade 5, grade 7, and high school history and social science tests as well as sample scoring rubrics and student work for each grade level tested. The guide also presents an overview of the test’s structure and reporting categories by grade level and highlights its major features. Several appendices update information about the geography terms used in constructing the test, the primary source documents to be included in the high school assessment, and learning standards that will not be assessed.
Download a PowerPoint from a DOE presentation on narrative in history.
Drawing on information from local historic sites, historical societies, and museums, third graders learn about the history of Massachusetts from the time of the arrival of the Pilgrims. They also learn the history of their own cities and towns and about famous people and events in Massachusetts history. Download a PowerPoint from an Oct. 30, 2007 presentation on elementary History and Social Science Curriculum Frameworks and MCAS.
Students study the major pre-Columbian civilizations in the New World; the 15th and 16th century European explorations around the world, in the western hemisphere, and in North America in particular; the earliest settlements in North America; and the political, economic, and social development of the English colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries. They also study the early development of democratic institutions and ideas, including the ideas and events that led to the independence of the original 13 colonies and the formation of a national government under the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of the grade 5 curriculum is to give students their first concentrated study of the formative years of U.S. history.
U.S. History I and II: 1763-2001
In U.S. History I, students examine the historical and intellectual origins of the United States during the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras. Students study the basic framework of American democracy and the basic concepts of America government, as well as America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, economic and social change, sectional conflict, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
In U.S. History II, students analyze the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution and America’s growing role in international relations. Students study the goals and accomplishments of the Progressive movement and the New Deal. Students also learn about the various factors that led to America’s entry into World War I and World War II as well as the consequences of World War II for American life. Finally, students study the causes and course of the Cold War, important economic and political changes during the Cold War, such as the Civil Rights movement, and recent events and trends that have shaped modern-day America.
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests in history and social science will be administered in grades 5 and 7. At the high school level, students will take an end-of-course assessment addressing the standards, concepts, and skills for U.S. History I and II at the end of either grade 10 or 11, depending on when they complete the coursework for both courses. Students in the class of 2014 must pass the History and Social Science MCAS in order to graduate.
Download items from previous MCAS tests. http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/2007/release/
MCAS History and Social Science Test Content
|Grade 5||History, geography, economics, and civics standards, concepts, and skills for grades 4 and 5||U.S. history and geography, early settlements through the War of 1812|
|Grade 7||History, geography, economics, and civics standards, concepts, and skills for grades 6 and 7||World geography and history of ancient and classical civilizations|
|Grade 10 or 11||Standards, concepts, and skills contained in U.S. History I and II||U.S. history, Constitutional Period through 2001|