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Welcome to the Grade 6 Humanities Page

Grade 6: The Eastern Hemisphere

The grade 6 social studies program emphasizes the interdependence of all people, keying on the

Eastern Hemisphere. Many of the lessons and activities for this grade level draw on specific

examples of nations and regions in the Eastern Hemisphere chosen by the district. It is highly

recommended that lessons also compare and contrast this specific information with similar data

from the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

The grade 6 program focuses on a social science perspective emphasizing the interaction of

geography and economics. The core disciplines of geography and economics are used to

develop and draw relationships and understandings about social/cultural, political, and historic

aspects of life in the Eastern Hemisphere. Historical insights are used as a means of developing a

total perspective rather than an organizing framework. The focus should be on major turning

points that seque into the 7th-grade social history of the United States.

Each district has a responsibility for extending the student’s content examples from cultures

other than the student’s own, and from a variety of geographic, socioeconomic, ethnic, and

racial groups.



History of Eastern Hemisphere nations

Time can be measured in years, decades, centuries, and millennia.

Key turning points and events in the histories of Eastern Hemisphere nations can be organized

into different historical time periods. The study of Eastern Hemisphere nations

should include countries from each continent.

Different peoples may view the same event or issue from different perspectives.

The Neolithic Revolution was a technological development that radically changed the

nature of human society.

As the river civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere (Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and the

Indus Valley) turned to agriculture, world populations grew. (Focus on two of these.)

Across time, technological innovations have had both positive and negative effects on people,

places, and regions. For example, the invention of writing made more complex

civilizations and more advanced technologies possible.

Civilizations and cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere (China, India, Greece, and Rome) are

explored through the arts and sciences, key documents, and other important artifacts.

Religions and other belief systems (animism, ancestor worship, Confucianism, Hinduism,

Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have both united and divided the peoples of

the Eastern Hemisphere.

The civilizations and cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere have contributed important ideas,

beliefs, and traditions to the history of humankind.

From earliest times, networks of trade have connected the various civilizations of the

Eastern Hemisphere.

Individuals and groups in the Eastern Hemisphere have played important roles and made

important contributions to world history.

Slavery has existed across eras and regions in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Internal and external factors altered civilizations in the Eastern Hemisphere and eventually

contributed to their decline.

During the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, new long distance trade routes

emerged, linking the peoples of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In Europe, the Renaissance was marked by major achievements in literature, music, painting,

sculpture, and architecture.

The crime of genocide crosses cultures and eras. Jews and other groups experienced devastation

at the hands of Nazi Germany.

Geography of Eastern Hemisphere nations

The use of various grids, symbols, and notations makes it possible to locate specific places

and indicate distance and direction in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Special purpose maps can be used to show various geographic aspects of Earth’s surface as

seen in the Eastern Hemisphere.

The nations and regions of the Eastern Hemisphere can be studied using maps, globes, aerial

and other photographs, satellite-produced images, and models. (Taken from: National

Geography Standards, 1994).

The nations and regions of the Eastern Hemisphere can be analyzed in terms of spatial organization,

places and regions, physical settings (including natural resources), human systems,

and environment and society.

Aregion is an area which is tied together for some identifiable reason, such as physical,

political, economic, or cultural features.

Civilizations developed where geographic conditions were most favorable.

Geographic features and climatic conditions in the Eastern Hemisphere influence land use.

The geographic diversity of the Eastern Hemisphere has significantly influenced physical

mobility and the course of human development.

The migration of groups of people has led to cultural diffusion because people carry their

ideas and ways of life with them when they move from one place to another.

Overpopulation and widespread poverty threaten the political stability of some nations in

the Eastern Hemisphere.

Urbanization has been a characteristic of the civilizations and cultures of the Eastern


The environment is affected by people as they interact with it.

The effects of geographic conditions are moderated by technology.

Economies of Eastern Hemisphere nations

The three basic economic questions that must be addressed by every society are: What

goods and services shall be produced and in what quantities? How shall goods and services

be produced? For whom shall goods and services be produced?

The ways resources are used impact the economic, political, and historic aspects of life

throughout the world.

People have unlimited needs and wants which they must meet with limited resources.

Anation with limited natural resources must interact with other nations to secure its

resource needs.

In many areas of the world, improvement in life expectancy and health care have contributed

to rapid population growth.

Throughout the Eastern Hemisphere, there is great diversity in the standard of living.

Concepts such as scarcity, supply and demand, markets, opportunity costs, resources, productivity,

economic growth, and systems can be used to study the economies and economic

systems of the various nations of the Eastern Hemisphere.

The economic systems of the world have become an interdependent network.

Different economic systems have evolved to deal with economic decision making.

In traditional economies, decision making and problem solving are guided by the past.

In market economies, decisions regarding what is to be produced are based upon patterns of

consumer purchases.

In command economies, decisions regarding the control and use of the means of production

and distribution are planned by the government.

In many countries “mixed” economies have evolved to deal with economic decision


Nations have joined with one another in organizations which promote economic development

and growth. For example, the European Union was formed to promote free trade

and a common economic policy among its members.

As the economic systems of the global community have become more interdependent, decisions

made in one nation or region have implications for all regions.

Some of the nations of the Eastern Hemisphere play leadership roles in the global economy.

Many of the communist nations and former communist nations in the Eastern Hemisphere

are moving toward market economies.

Governments of Eastern Hemisphere nations

Family, clan, and tribal groups act to maintain law and order.

As settlement patterns changed, new forms of political order developed to meet the more

complex needs of societies.

Across time and place, the people of the Eastern Hemisphere have held differing assumptions

regarding power, authority, governance, and law.

Governments change over time and place to meet the changing needs and wants of their


Present systems of government have their origins in the past.

The values of Eastern Hemisphere nations affect the guarantee of human rights and how

human needs are met.

The values of Eastern Hemisphere nations are embodied in their constitutions, statutes, and

important court cases.

In modern political states, formalized governmental structures play a major role in

maintaining social order and control.

Political boundaries change over time and place.

The extent to which human rights are protected becomes a key issue in totalitarian societies.

International organizations were formed to promote peace, economic development, and

cultural understanding. The United Nations was created to prevent war and to fight

hunger, disease, and ignorance.

Citizens of the nations of the Eastern Hemisphere have rights and responsibilities as defined

by their constitutions and by other laws of their nations.


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