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Surviving and Thriving in the Agricultural Revolution

Student agriculture diagram
Student works on diagram
Student diagram

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School: DeWitt Middle School

Class: Social Studies, English

Grade: 6

Subjects: Geography, History, Art

Project: Students in the sixth grade at DeWitt Middle School studied the Agricultural Revolution in a new way this fall. Using a project-based learning approach, they examined the relationship between humans and their physical environment, and worked to share how the characteristics of regions in the Eastern Hemisphere affected the history of societies in that place. Their challenging problem was: "How have humans made use of their environment to survive and thrive?" Students used the tools of social studies, integrating mapping and content skills to examine the river valleys of the Eastern Hemisphere, and research the natural resources and life of Paleolithic and Neolithic people. Social Studies and English teachers collaborated to help teach students the major themes (how humans depend on and modify their environment for survival) that arc across subjects in human history. This project also embedded student voice and choice in their final projects, as students worked in groups to research and decide how to demonstrate their new understanding. Creating a model, designing a poster, creating a slideshow, and cooking a Neolithic meal are some of the ways students chose to show how humans in the Neolithic Era used their environment to survive. Students will exhibit their learning to the DeWitt community at International Night on November 16. 

Standards: Multiple New York State Social Studies Standards, as well as Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. 

Service Learning: Students will share their learning publically through teaching others at the DeWitt International Night.