Social Studies

Welcome to Gaithersburg Middle School Social Studies.  We use historical events to teach our students to read and think about history in a new way. Historical thinking skills include examining historical events through various perspectives of different groups of people.




Students will investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students will  evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues and learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence. 

Community and Family Support 

The best way for families to support our students in Social Studies is to help students to make connections of the Past to the Present.  

Current Events Discussion:   Things to consider when discussing historical topics to current events:  

  • What is your current event about? (5 W’s: Who What When Where and Why)
  • What does the current event topic remind me of? 
  • What is one lesson you learned from your new source?
  • What questions do you still have? Where can you get additional Information? 
  • How do you feel after reading or watching the current event topic?
  • How does this connect to another topic we have studied in class? 
  • What are the  multiple perspectives of the current event topic?

7th Grade JA Finance Park Field Trip 

Finance Park Trip


Every 7th Grade student will have an opportunity to take part in a Finance Park field trip that  combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a fully interactive, simulated town. Students are introduced to personal finance and career exploration. They receive family and income scenarios, then visit businesses to purchase things like insurance, clothing, food, transportation and real estate. They create a budget, allocate utility expenses and make personal investments. Students are the sole providers for a family and must accommodate the needs of the family without overspending. Educators assist student learning by preparing students before the day and summarizing the experience through post visit activities.

Students Learn About:

  • Banking
  • Budgeting
  • Credit and debt
  • Opportunity costs
  • Taxes
  • Interest rates
  • Wages
  • Income and expenses
  • Needs and wants
  • Careers
  • Risks and benefits of credit
  • Saving and investing
  • Successful budgeting
  • Personal abilities, career interests, work preferences, and values


  • Real-life, interactive simulation
  • First-rate learning strategies
  • Partnership between schools, parents, and the business community
  • Memorable educational experience
  • Active, rather than passive learning
  • Real, rather than imagined experiences
  • Incorporates classroom learning with a full-day simulation in a state-of-the art immersive learning cent

Additional Resources on Finance Park 

New JA Finance Park The playground that teaches kids about money
This 'playground' teaches kids about money  Finance Park