We Focus on Middle School

Hyla Middle School

7th Grade History

Washington State and the Pacific Rim

Jennifer Haase


This course is designed to meet the high school graduation requirement in Washington State history, which is now taught at the middle school level in the public school. Topics we will investigate include: geography, Native American culture, explorers and settlement, the World War II home front, and Washington State government. The course will culminate with a look at how Washington is connected culturally, economically, and politically to the Pacific Rim cultures.

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A prominent focus on the development of study skills is integrated into the historical content. Building on the foundations formed in sixth grade, emphasis will be on the following skills:

Writing effectively for different purposes: essays, research papers, compare/contrast, opinion

Research Skills: organization, using the library, making logical connections

Thinking Skills: critical thinking, creative problem-solving, thinking logically

Classroom Skills: Note-taking, notebook organization, active participation

Study habits: preparing for tests, reviewing notes, time management, listening skills

Study-Reading Skills: taking reading notes, reading for different purposes, annotation

Material will be presented through a variety of methods and students should expect to participate in the following activities: class discussions, projects (individual and group), simulations, research papers, critical analysis, essay writing, debates, games, geographic skill activities, creative writing, museum trips, note-taking, tests, and quizzes.


  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to clearly share their ideas verbally and in writing.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of Washington State geography and important events and concepts in Washington State history.
  3. Students will be able to apply techniques used by archaeologists and anthropologists to excavate and analyze artifacts from other cultures and time periods.
  4. Students will be able to explain how the natural characteristics of places and regions affect culture.
  5. Students will be able to describe how humans have altered the natural environment and explain the effects these changes have had on natural processes, native cultures, population, and the economy of Washington State.
  6. Students will be able to write a properly documented research paper (three to five pages).
  7. Students will be able to explain cause and effect relationships in history (e.g.: the effects the railroad had on Washington’s growth, lumber industry, Native American land, etc…).

Students will understand and be able to apply a variety of study skills.

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