Welcome to SGM Middle School Social Studies!

EMAIL THE TEACHER: dmcvey@sgmschool.org

Distance Learning:

SGM will continue learning via the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, Mrs. McVey would encourage parents to talk to their students in an age-approprate way about not only what a "global pandemic" means for now and for history, but also the way community and government is responding. There are great examples of Federalism and Social Contract at work right now.

Social Studies Online:

  • In addition to posting in Google Classroom, remember the textbook is online at pearson.com and student's SGM login (email and password) are the login credetials needed for this site. Please email the teacher if parents need student access info.

The Middle School Social Studies classes had been structured to provide a solid sequence of chronological events while building and improving upon a solid foundation of skills and themes. We build on the lessons of Intermediate while bridhing to high school. The Middle School years begin with Ancient History, starting with the development of civilization and following the first major civilizations of Mesopotamia/Fertile Crescent, Egypt & Nubia, Indus Valley/India, and China. During these studies we refresh and build on geography skills from the lower grades. After the early civilizations we then step into the Classical World of Greece, Rome, and Islam. At this point the focus begins a shift from global development to a more Western point of view with the fascinating story of the European Middle Ages: the Dark Ages, Feudalism, 100 Years' War, Plague, The Crusades, Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration, Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment, French Revolution, and Colonization. We are able to use this time to discuss and debate ideas of government and follow the story of colonization into United States History by the end of 7th grade. Starting in 7th grade and culminating at the end of 8th grade the course of study follows the path of American History, the development of the US government, and introduces economics to the context of the modernization of America.

2019-2020 Theme:

“Virtues are the Gateway to Joy at SGM”

Why structure St. Gerard Majella's Middle School social studies classes in this way?

  • preparation for chronology-based high school classes, as all AP History classes are
  • provide historical context for familiar events
  • anchor the development of major ideas to the world events that inspired them
  • expose students to a broad range of themes throughout history
  • link big picture concepts
  • to be armed with the information necessary to try to take over the world!

Looking for fun school supplies? Want to know where I get mine? Check this out, but know that most of it is "buy in bulk."

WORK-IN CASES ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL CHROMEBOOKS! This is to guarantee the warranty, protect the machine, and allow ease of transportation. Soft wallet cases are not acceptable. See Chromebook policy from the Technology Department. If students cannot fit Chromebooks in lockers at lunch they are to be secured in the homeroom, not left in the hallway. And, when in doubt, ASK! We're all here to help!!! =)

St. Gerard Majella Middle School uses Pearson's myWorld Interactive text books for World History and American History. Each student has online access which goes well beyond a simple online textbook. Physical textbooks are available in the classroom. Requests for a home copy of the physical textbook must be made through principal@sgmschool.org and will be met as decided by Ms. Guthrie.


Google Classroom is a communication tool and does NOT replace a student planner or assignment notebook.

Parents should also have access to their students' login and password. Please look at each class feed and do no rely solely on the due dates posted in the quick-view calendar or app notifications. Google Classroom includes descriptions of what happened in class on any given day, homework, project instructions, web links, and so much more. Google Classroom is to be checked daily either through the web or through the app.


Using Cartographer's Tools

Interpreting a Map

Analyzing Graphic Data

Analyzing Images

Identifying Main Ideas

Sequencing Events

Identifying Cause and Effect

Drawing Inferences and Conclusions

Making Generalization

Logical Reasoning

Distinguishing Fact from Opinion

Comparing and Contrasting

Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources

Recognizing Bias

Identifying Point of View

Problem Solving

Identifying Credible Sources

Supporting a Historical Argument


1. Interaction Between Humans and the Environment

2. Development and Interaction of Cultures

3. State Building, Expansion, and Conflict

4. Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

5. Development and Transformation of Social Structures


1. American and National Identity

2. Politics and Power

3. Work, Exchanges, and Technology

4. Culture and Society

5. Migration and Settlement

6. Geography and the Environment

7. America in the World


  • Assess Credibility of a Source
  • Being an Informed Citizen
  • Compare Different Points of View
  • Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Detect Historical Points of View
  • Distinguish Essential from Incidental Information
  • Distinguish Real News from "Fake News"
  • Distinguish Relevant from Irrelevant Information
  • Distinguish Verifiable from Unverifiable Information
  • Distinguishing Fact from Opinion

  • Draw Sound Conclusions from Sources
  • Frame Questions
  • Identify Central Issues and Problems
  • Identify Physical and Cultural Features
  • Identify Sources of Continuity
  • Interpret Economic Performance
  • Interpret Thematic Maps
  • Making a Difference
  • Political Participation
  • Recognize the Role of Chance, Error, and Oversight
  • Relate Events in Time
  • Update an Interpretation


This is a good list for all Social Studies students. For a list of what a member of 7A needs for all classes, see 7A HOMEROOM INFORMATION

FOR ALL CLASSES: While we are a 1-to-1 Chromebook school, my class is not 100% paperless.

WORK-IN CASES ARE REQUIRED! This is to guarantee the warranty, protect the machine, and allow ease of transportation. Soft wallet cases are not acceptable. See Chromebook policy from the Technology Department.

HEADPHONES/EARBUDS are needed as there are many self-guided vides within our online text book and other classroom lessons.

A bluetooth or wired mouse is recommended as the signals with the USB wireless are not unique and cause frustrations when one student controls the cursor of other students accidentally.

Materials: black/blue ink pens, correcting pens (any color), highlighter, pencils, earbuds, one 1 ½” or 2” 3 ring binder, 8 count binder dividers, wide-rule filler paper (1 package), one single subject wide-rule spiral (if note taking choice is on paper), one package colored pencils, one ruler, 3”x5” white index cards (optional: pencil sharpener, erasers, pencil grip, scissors, etc)

Course Binder (or Accordion Folder): My philosophy on school supplies is that folders are to be used for protecting papers while transporting them from school to home (or home to school), spiral notebooks are used for taking notes (and NOT for loose leaf paper!), and binders are used to organize and store papers (documents, assignments, notes, etc).

If kept in good condition, this binder can be reused each year (I'm a fan of not creating waste if we don't need to - reuse!)

COVER PAGE - if you binder or accordion folder has a space to insert a page into the binder, then it will slide in there otherwise it is the first sheet once opened. This has the name of the class, the student's name, grade level, calendar year, and an image related to the class subjects.

TABS - optional, students have two main ways they find tabs can be used to organize papers:


  • Tabs are the TOPICS, labeled at least with the Topic number ("TOPIC 1") - see class webpage for numbers specific to your grade
  • One tab is to be titled REFERENCE, were you will keep handout information on discussion, writing, Socratic Seminar, DQBs, etc...
  • the last tab is for the loose paper and doesn't require a label


  • Tabs are for "types" of assignments: Study Guides, Vocabulary Crosswords, Maps, Tests, Documents, Supplementals
  • the last tab is for the loose paper and doesn't require a label

The binder is expected in class every day along with all other schools supplies, textbook, and student planner.