At I.S. 318 the social studies department lives by the motto, “Make history come alive!” With this at the forefront of our minds we strive to develop lessons and assessments that will make history exciting and relevant to students. In the 6th grade students learn about world history and cover topics such as, ancient civilizations, early man, and world religions. In the 7th grade students learn about American history and focus on the topics Native American civilizations to the American Civil War. In the 8th grade students also learn about American history and focus on the topics from Post Civil War to current events. Each week students participate in either a debate or Socratic Seminar in their social studies classes. The debates and seminars are focused around the Word Generation topic of the week. Topics in the past have included: “Should colleges use affirmative action?”, “Should English be the official language of the United States?”, and “Are rating systems necessary in the media?” In the 8th grade many advanced students have the opportunity to take the U.S. Government and History Regents. Students who decide to embark on this challenging course of study generally come to school slightly earlier than the rest of the student body to prepare them for the exam. Students who pass the exam in 8th grade are not required to take it in high school.