Guiding Principles

Aligned with the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework, Hingham’s social studies curriculum is designed to prepare students to be active and contributing citizens in the local, regional, national, and international communities. Basic to this goal is the acquisition and processing of knowledge through the development of critical thinking and citizen- ship skills. The curriculum emphasizes, through the use of various teaching strategies, the application of factual knowledge to major themes that are essential for all students. Among these themes are those designed to foster an appreciation and respect for human dignity and diversity. Finally, we hope to foster in students the enthusiasm to become lifetime readers and learners in the social sciences in order to enrich their lives.

Massachusetts History & Social Science Curriculum Framework

Curriculum Summaries:  Elementary, Middle School, High School

Social Studies Program Review Presentation (starts at 39:10)

Social Studies Program Review Report

High School Social Studies

The secondary social studies program provides six required, full-year courses plus several high school elective courses and three A.P. offerings. Three years of social studies are required in grades 9-12, but approximately 85% of all 12th graders take at least one social studies elective during their senior year. Fifteen credits in social studies is a graduation requirement, and U.S. History is a state mandate.

The high school course sequence reflects a long-standing philosophy of the department, as well as Hingham High School’s emphasis on 21st century goals and initiatives: It is vital for students in the 21st century to have a firm understanding of the world in which they live. HHS offers two years of world history in Grades 9 and 10. U.S. History is integrated into world history where pertinent; the required U.S. History course is then offered in Grade 11. Elective courses afford students opportunities to pursue further study in history and the social sciences.

High School Curriculum Summaries

Social Studies DBQ Sequence

Social Studies Research Paper Sequence

Grade 11 US History Levels

Guidelines for Recommendations in Social Studies – Parents

Social Studies Summer Assignments

Internship at Hingham Historical Society Application

Contests, Awards & Opportunities for Students

Middle School Social Studies

Grades 6-12 provide six required, full-year courses plus several high school elective courses and three A.P. offerings. Grades 6 and 7 form a two-year World Geography & Cultures sequence in which students study regions of the world by examining physical geography, nations in the region today, and selected ancient and classical societies before 1000 CE.  The curriculum places a major emphasis on the diversity and multicultural contributions and connections of the development of early civilizations, as well as the interrelationships between geography and the historical, economic, political, and cultural development of the various regions. Grade 8 U.S. History & Civics focuses on the development of the United States and its democratic government and institutions. In addition to studying the political, economic, and social themes of early America, a major emphasis is placed on the Constitution, citizenship, and the American political system.

Middle School Curriculum Summaries

Social Studies DBQ Sequence

Social Studies Research Paper Sequence

Guidelines for Recommendations in Social Studies – Parents

Grade 8 Student-Led Action Civics Project

Contests, Awards & Opportunities for Students

Elementary Social Studies

The elementary social studies program begins at the personal level and gradually looks outward. The K-2 curriculum fosters students’ understanding of home, neighborhood, and community. Exposure to folk tales, holidays, and national symbols develops a student’s early “civic identity.” Social studies in Grades 3-5 becomes increasingly academic. The 3rd grade focuses on Massachusetts geography and early history. The 4th grade curriculum involves North American geography. The 5th grade culminates with an exploration of early American history and government.

Elementary Curriculum Summaries

Social Studies Department in the News

“Hingham Juniors Bring History To Life At 2023 HHS History Day Contest”

“Hingham Public Schools Awarded Two DESE Grants to Advance Social Studies Civics Teaching and Learning”

“Christina O’Connor Named 2021 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year”

“Hingham Teacher Part of National History Day Team Creating Library of Congress Student Guides”

“Celebrating ‘Kirk’ and his 48-year Hingham Public Schools Legacy”

“Hingham Students Excel in National History Day Contest; Three Students Qualify for National Competition”

“Hingham students excel in national history contest”

“Hingham teen heading to National History Day competition in DC”

“Family History Day at Hingham Historical Society”

“Hingham student wins Geographic Bee”

“Anna Calame receives Hingham Historical Society history award”

“Hingham seventh-grader wins school geography bee”

“Boys Nation was life-changing experience for Hingham teen”

“Hingham High students earn national honors”

“Hingham student, teacher research life of silent WWII hero”

“Brendan Downey wins Hingham Middle School Geographic Bee”

“Hingham student chosen to become Normandy Scholar”

“For Hingham High student, teacher, D-Day about to get more real”

“Hingham Middle School holds mock election”

“Hingham High history teacher earns top honors”

“Hingham High student headed to History Day nationals”

“Hingham junior’s love of history takes her to D.C.”

“Hingham high school junior to compete in Washington D.C. history competition”

“Hingham sophomores visit the GAR Hall”

“Hingham eighth-graders hold mock primary”

“Hingham Middle School seventh-grader wins Geographic Bee”

“Hingham teacher chosen again to research a US soldier buried in Europe”

“Hingham history teacher given prestigious study opportunity”

“Superintendent Spotlight” Episode #17: HPS Veteran Programs

“Superintendent Spotlight” Episode #18: Understanding Sacrifice


Andrew Hoey

Director of Social Studies, K-12

17 Union Street, Hingham, MA 02043

781-741-1560 x2004