History

History in 7th Grade
The seventh grade history curriculum focuses on world history from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Students study the Scientific Revolution, the Reformation, the French Revolution, the Spanish colonization of the Americas, including the Atlantic slave trade, the cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and Eastern Asia. Much of the focus is on the growth and perpetuations of empires, as well as important artistic achievements of these cultures. Students review global geography terms, examine primary source materials and engage in various assessments, such as tests, essays, group work, and oral presentations.

The curriculum utilizes a variety of methodologies that exercise critical thinking, problem-solving, and fundamental skills. These include reading primary and secondary sources, structured and student-driven class discussion, lectures, simulation activities, individual and group projects, cultural awareness events, hands-on geography activities, and field trips.

History in 8th Grade
Eighth grade students learn about United States history from English settlement through the Great Depression. They explore the essential question of how to assert individual responsibility in a democratic society. Students re-create a famous trial in U.S. history, analyze primary sources, and learn about crucial legal ideas, terms, and procedures. A key assignment is a research project in which students look closely at a great speech in context and deliver it to their classmates.

Students spend eighth grade working on a capstone project: a step-by-step approach to investigating a topic and writing a research paper. Students learn how to differentiate primary and secondary sources, evaluate sources, conduct research, and cite sources. They develop clear thesis statements and outline each section before embarking on the writing and revisions. They participate in workshops with peers’ essays and prepare digital reflections for presentation to classmates.

The Bentley Story

Founded in 1920, Bentley School has fostered an environment that challenges the mind, striving to bring out the best in every one of its students. Bentley School is committed to academic excellence as well as the development of character and spirit in each of its students. (Read more in the Head of School's Message.)

Where We Are

K-8 Campus
1 Hiller Drive
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 843-2512
9-12 Campus
1000 Upper Happy Valley Road
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-2101

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