State Standard - Social Studies

Grade 6
Standard 5.0 History: Students will examine significant ideas, beliefs, and themes; organize patterns and events; and analyze how individuals and societies have changed over time in Maryland and the United States.
A. Individuals and Societies Change Over Time
1. Analyze how the rise of the earliest communities led to the emergence of agricultural societies
a. Describe characteristics and innovations of hunting and gathering societies, such as nomadic lifestyles, inventors of tools, adaptation to animal migration and vegetation cycles and the shift from food gathering to food-producing activities
b. Explain how and why towns and cities grew from early human settlements, including the need for security and government
2. Examine the emergence, growth and decline of empires in the Americas
a. Describe and trace the development of political and social structures of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs
B. Emergence, Expansion and Changes in Nations and Empires
1. Analyze how civilizations emerged in the river valley areas
a. Describe the characteristics of a civilization, such as social hierarchy, government, writing system, specialization in an area of trade and the establishment of cities
b. Compare major cultural, political and economic achievements of river valley civilizations, such as the Tigris and Euphrates River Valley, the Huang River Valley, the Indus River Valley and the Nile River Valley including Egypt, Nubia and Kush
2. Analyze the emergence and enduring influence of Aegean civilizations
a. Describe the major cultural achievements of the Greek civilization, such as art, science, political systems, and philosophy across time
b. Explain the emergence, rise and decline of the Greek city-states
3. Analyze the emergence, expansion and decline of the Roman Empire
a. Describe the major achievements of the Roman Era, such as legal, artistic, architectural, technological, and literary
b. Explain the transition from Roman Republic to Roman Empire including the social structure, significance of citizenship and the development of political institutions
c. Summarize the factors that led to the decline of the Roman Empire
4. Compare the dynasties and empires in ancient China
a. Describe the causes and consequences of the unification of China under early imperial dynasties, such as the Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang
b. Explain the major traditions, customs and beliefs of Confucianism and Taoism in the context of early Chinese imperial dynasties
c. Analyze China's cultural, political and economic influence on Japan, Korea, and countries in Southeast Asia
5. Analyze the emergence, growth and decline of African Empires
a. Describe the contributions of major African monarchies, cities, and trade networks, such as Ghana, Mali and Songhai
b. Analyze the cultural and economic impact of African regional and worldwide trade routes
c. Summarize the factors that led to the decline of the African empires
C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions
1. Analyze the effect of interactions between civilizations in early world history
a. Describe how interactions promoted or failed to promote development, such as the Fertile Crescent Empire, Greek city-states, and Latin Empires
b. Analyze the causes of the rise and fall, expansion and contraction of political entities and nation-states
2. Analyze the major traditions, customs, and beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism and their expansion throughout Asia
a. Describe the major traditions, customs and beliefs of Buddhism
b. Explain the major traditions, customs and beliefs of Hinduism and its political and social impact on India
3. Analyze the emergence and expansion of Islamic civilization
a. Analyze the major traditions, customs, and beliefs of Islam
b. Describe causes and consequences of the expansion of Islam into other regions, such as Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, Europe and India
4. Analyze the changes in the European society during the Middle Ages
a. Analyze the major traditions, customs, and beliefs of Christianity
b. Explain the origins and consequences of the Black Death during the 14th century, such as a population decrease, a decline in trade, the elimination of the social order and the decline of religious power
c. Analyze the characteristics of the development and decline of feudalism and the emergence of monarchies
d. Describe the causes, consequences and cultural diffusion that resulted from the Crusades, such as the increase in Mediterranean trade and the exchange of knowledge and ideas


MSDE has developed a toolkit for these standards which can be found online at:


Date: 1/27/2015