Social Studies & World Geography
The social studies program at MTS gives students an opportunity to discover the historic, geographic, and cultural richness of our world while promoting values of personal and social responsibility. By celebrating differences and recognizing similarities, students learn to look outside themselves and value the contributions and perspectives of others.
In the younger grades we begin with a focus on the individual, family, and local community and then gradually expand to a study of California, America, and world history and geography. As students mature, the curriculum encourages a broader view of global culture and more nuanced historical perspective. Critical thinking and study skills are emphasized, as well as connections between ideas and action, and the past, present, and future.
Across the grade levels a variety of methods are used to introduce, explore, enhance, and reinforce content. These include discussion, role-play, the reading of source material and related literature, debate, lecture, art and music activities, and field trips. Through individual and small group work students are encouraged to take initiative and responsibility for their own learning. Opportunities are also provided to pursue topics of personal interest.
Many projects have become valued school traditions. These include the trolley car adventure in San Francisco’s neighborhoods in the third grade, an overnight on one of California’s historic ships in the fourth grade, a science and nature trip to the Marin Headlands in the fifth grade, the "Big Dig" archeology project and "Greek Festival" in the sixth grade, the “Race to Mecca” in the seventh grade, and the great “Geography Bee” contest, for all sixth through eighth grade students.