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Social Studies: 7th grade

Units 1-2

Media Specialist/
Teacher Connection

Journeys Text and/or Exemplary

Text Correlation

Web Resources

Unit 1 Africa (4 weeks)

Analyze the growth of Ghana, Mali, and
Songhai kingdoms including trading
centers such as Timbuktu and Jenne,
which would later develop into centers
of culture and learning.

Draw evidence from informational texts
to describe the role of the transSaharan caravan trade in the changing
religious and cultural characteristics of
West Africa and the influence of Islamic
beliefs, ethics, and law.

Using CultreGrams pair

students up to
investigate each country.
After research put pairs
together that represent
each country; have them
discuss their findings and
create a group summary
about how each country
grow over time.

Using information text

article below Enlarge
map and discuss as a
class the caption

Limitless Library
*Cultures of the World: Ghana

PBS site with primary and secondary


Limitless Library
*DVD: Wonders of Africa

Informational Text from Metropolitan

Museum of Art

PBS site with primary and secondary


Next, allow time for

students to read the
article and highlight key

Smithsonian Institute

Post journal question on

board using standard
and re-word) for
students to respond
Have teacher continue
with lesson in library
lab/classroom using the
below source as a
guided web quest
Examine the importance of written and
oral traditions in the transmission of
African history and culture.

Introduce vocabulary
words (griot, proverb)
**Show a video of a
African proverb
Assign students a
reading from site below.
After reading have them
write what the story
taught them about

Limitless Library
*African American Folktales for young

PBS site with primary and secondary

Smithsonian Institute

African Culture.
Create a Venn-Diagram
as a class that discusses
similarities/differences in
written word and oral.
africa/ explore
Choose one of the
regions in this section,
click on people, and then
go to folklore.
Analyze the importance of family, labor
specialization, and regional commerce
in the development of states and cities
in West Africa.

Have students view the

following slideshow
and answer the
discussion questions (see
exemplar text link)

Explain the importance of Mansa Musa
and locate his pilgrimage to Mecca in

Using Encyclopedia
Britannica Online have
students research Mansa
Musa; as they are
researching have
students list each place
Mansa visited and its

Compare the indigenous religious
practices observed by early Africans
before and after contact with Islam and

Have students view the

slide show
O9 as they view have
them take notes of each
religion practice. Have
students pair up and
discuss their findings.

Create a visual or multimedia display to
identify the physical location and major
geographical features of China including
the Yangtze River, Yellow River,
Himalayas, Plateau of Tibet, and the
Gobi Desert.

Describe the reunification of China
under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for
the cultural diffusion of Buddhism.

PBS site with primary and secondary

Teacher Guide
Article from Encyclopedia Britannica

PBS Explore Africa

Unit 2 China (4 weeks)

Have students label the
map online to review
Lead students in a
tutorial on how to
construct their map
using a : poster board,
google map maker,
National Geographic
Pair students up to read
article about Tang
While reading have
students take notes on

EDSitement Teacher extension activities

Textbook Article

National Geographic

Quiz let: use to help students learn

important information

Analyze the role of kinship and
Confucianism in maintaining order and

the reasons for the

spread of Buddhism.
**Consider creating a
blog entry where
students post their
beliefs and other
students respond.
Have students define
kinship and
Confucianism using
Encyclopedia Britannica


Next have students view

the slideshow below
After reading give
students about 30
minutes to create a 2
minute presentation on
how order is maintained
within the system
(podcast, slides show)
Summarize the significance of the rapid
agricultural, commercial, and
technological development during the
Song Dynasties.

Using or
Educanon upload Video
and comprehension
questions about Song
**Make sure to include a
text response where
students create a
summary paragraph
about the significance of

Trace the spread of Chinese technology
to other parts of Asia, the Islamic world,
and Europe including papermaking,
wood-block printing, the compass and

Have students play the

Quizlet game to learn
about some top
inventions in China
Have a pre-created
sheeted with all the
inventions you want
students to know about;
include a column for the
time period. Have
students use Sweet
Search or any other
approved research site
to learn the dates of
Place students in groups
of 4 to create a timeline

Historical Text

You Tube Video: Song Dynasty

More information
Example Lesson Plan/ Hands-on Project

Describe and locate the Mongol
conquest of China including Genghis
Khan, Kublai Khan.

Break students into

quads assign each a
dynasty to research
After locating facts and
location information
about their dynasty.
Have them create a
group poster that
outlines what they

Informational Text

Teacher Background:

Go on a gallery walk as a
class and note
Engage effectively in a collaborative
discussion describing the development
of the imperial state and the scholarofficial class (Neo-Confucianism).

Using or
Educanon upload Video
about Neo-Confucianism,
while watching have
students takes notes
about pertinent

Teacher Guide!chin

Lead students in a whole

group discussion where
they responds to
questions of teachers
and peers
*look into Seminar
Draw evidence from informational
texts to analyze the contributions made
during the Ming Dynasty such as
building projects, including the
Forbidden City and the reconstruction
of the Great Wall, isolationism, and sea

Have a pre-created
sheeted with all the
information you want
students to know about
the Ming Dynasty.
Using an online database
(World Book,
Encyclopedia Britannia,
American History, etc.)
have students complete
research guide.
**Include a question
that ask students to
Summarize in
chronological order the
contributions made by
the Ming Dynasty.

Brain Pop Video
Example Lesson

Additional Notes/Explanations:
Please check links before completion of a lesson. Also remember that these are idea starters and to modify to the needs of your population.
Also remember to check the MNPS Guides that have links to Informational Text and Primary Source Documents.