Why study History?

”History helps us understand change and how the society we live in came to be. The past causes the present, and so the future.”      –The American Historical Association



Old Colony’s History Department offers a program for grades nine through twelve. The Department aligns with the Massachusetts Social Studies Curriculum Frameworks. The purpose and design of the history curriculum is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and judgment to make responsible and just decisions as citizens of this nation and to understand world issues from learning about the past and the present. The department utilizes a variety of instructional methods to develop these skills, including an emphasis on reading, research, writing, discussion and oral presentations. Technology is utilized throughout the year on a variety of assignments, such as student created and presented projects. In addition, the department often invites guest speakers into class to offer students first-hand accounts and real-world perspective.

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Grades 9 & 10 – US History
Grade 11 & 12 – Modern World History

Social Studies: Scope and Sequence


In U.S. History I, students examine the historical and intellectual origins of the United States during the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras. They learn about the important political and economic factors that contributed to the outbreak of the Revolution, as well as the consequences of the Revolution, including the writing and key ideas of the U.S. Constitution. Students also study the basic framework of American democracy and the basic concepts of America government such as popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights. Students study America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, and economic and social change. Finally, students will learn about the growth of sectional conflict, how sectional conflict led to the Civil War, and the consequences of the Civil War, including 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.


In Modern World History Part I, students study the rise of the nation state in Europe and the economic and political roots of the modern world, including the Industrial Revolution, 19th-century political reform in Western Europe, and European imperialism in Africa, Asia, and South America. They also examine the causes and consequences of the great military and economic events of the past century, including World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Russian and Chinese revolutions, the rise of nationalism, and the continuing persistence of political, ethnic, and religious conflict in many parts of the world.


In Modern World History Part II, students will study a blend of current world events along with a focus on governments. Students will also understand the economic impact of decisions of their own and the global economy. In addition, students will learn about their civic responsibilities and duties. There will be a strong emphasis on oral communication and presentations.



Themes found in the Massachusetts Curriculum Standards for Social Studies:

*The evolution of the concepts of personal freedom, individual responsibility, and respect for human dignity.

*The growth and impact of centralized state power.

*The influence of economic, political, religious, and cultural ideas as human societies move beyond regional, national, or geographic boundaries.

*The effects of geography on the history of civilizations and nations.

*The growth and spread of free markets and industrial economies.

*The development of scientific reasoning, technology, and formal education over time and their effects on people’s health, standards of living, economic growth, government, religious beliefs, communal life, and the environment.

*The birth, growth, and decline of civilizations.