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Oak: Social Studies

Woodbury Grade 7 Team Site

Team Oak Social Studies!

Welcome to Team Oak Social Studies!

My name is Ms. Genova and I am SUPER excited to be your Social Studies teacher this year!  This page will serve as a place where you can find electronic copies of what we do in class, upcoming events, and fun extras that relate to what we are learning.  If you ever need to get into contact with me, just send me an email at

For frequent updates, announcements, and other fun things, be sure to follow me on Instagram @msgenovasclass or on Twitter @msgenovasclass

We are going to have an awesome year!

About Me

Hello! My name is Jennifer Genova and I am super excited to be teaching Social Studies on Team Oak this year.  This is my 9th year at Woodbury Middle School and my fourth year in 7th grade.  My favorite color is purple, I love cats, and I am pretty sure I survive solely off of pumpkin spice coffee and spaghetti squash.  

Connections to 6th and 7th Grade

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Connections to History and Social Science in Grade 6 and Grade 9.


In Grade 6 students learned about how where people live determines how they live. Students also study the development of complex societies with a focus on geography and government.  Grade 7 connects to this both thematically and chronologically as we begin our historical study with the development of Religions in the Middle East and the end of the Roman Empire.  We continue the focus on cultural developments in the Post-Roman world with our study of Barbarians and the Middle Ages. In grade 8, students focus on American History, taking the foundations laid in the Grade 7 study of Renaissance and Reformation Europe and connecting how European Imperialism grew out of ideas and conflicts developed in those eras.

What We Study

Grade 7 World Religions and European History Through 1700


In Grade 7, students focus on the development of Western Culture and history beginning with an overview of the Abrahamic Religions, the growth and development of the Islamic World, a study of Europe after the Fall of Rome and into the Middle Ages, and culminating with a study of the Cultural, Political, and Religious shifts of the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation.  Students contend with questions such as the following: “How do belief systems influence the behavior of individuals?”, “What happens when Empires collapse or collide?”, “What causes the establishment and destruction of social/political systems?”, and “How does material culture demonstrate the values/understandings of a culture or society?”.

Quarter 1 Topics

  • Why is Jerusalem the center of so much global conflict?
  • What is Jerusalem?
  • Describe the city of Jerusalem in terms of geography [G]
  • Explain how the geography of Jerusalem impacts the lifestyle of the people who live there. [G]
  • Who lives in Jerusalem today?
  • Describe the various religious groups living in Jerusalem [H]
  • Compare and contrast the beliefs and practices of the groups living in Jerusalem [H]
  • What factors have driven conflict and inspired cooperation throughout the history of Jerusalem?
  • Explain how differences in beliefs and practices can drive conflict and inspire cooperation [H]
  • Explain the connection between various events in Jerusalem’s history in terms of causing or preventing conflict. [H]

  • Why was Islam so successful in terms of expansion and empire building
  • Why was Islam attractive to the people of Western Asia and Northern Africa?
  • Describe the factors that led to the rapid rise and growth of Islam. [H, E, , G]
  • Explain the lasting contributions and developments made possible by the spread of Islam [H, C]
  • (Science, Math, Literature, Art, Bathing, Writing, Reading)
  • How does Islam go from a small fringe group to a major world power in less than 100 years?
  • Construct a map to show the patterns of the growth of Islam from the early days of Muhammad to the establishment of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. [G, E]
  • Trade routes = new converts
  • How did economics and trade promote the spread of the Islamic Empires?
  • Describe the barriers to trade in the region and how the Islamic Empires over came those barriers [E]
  • Mansa Musa, Persians, etc.
  • Explain the costs and benefits of trading with the Muslims for non-Muslim groups in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula [E]


Topic 1: World Religion

Topic 2: Growth of the Islamic World    

Topic 3: Middle Ages

Topic 4: Renaissance

Topic 5: Reformation