Sipsey Valley Middle School Civics - 7th Grade Social Studies

Teacher: Mr. Shumate
Room: 1619

Phone (205) 342-2870
Fax (205) 342-2871


Welcome to the blog!

Welcome to the 7th grade Social Studies blog for Sipsey Valley Middle School! My goal is to update this blog daily, but realistically I expect this blog to be updated 2-3 times weekly. This helps both parents and students. Most handouts I give will be available in the download section and information for days missed will be posted here. You can either get the information from the teacher or print directly from this site. I am very excited we have yet another way to communicate with each other!

11/30 - Click following link: House of Representatives


Link 1:

Link 2:

Link 3 (if you finish the first two - not needed for the packet) - Read about the hurricanes and tropical storms of 2017

9/18 -
Click on this link to complete thewebquest:

8/24 - Today the students are completing their compare and contrast essays on a pure republic and pure democracy. After this, the students are doing a short textbook scavenger hunt so they know how to correctly use the book on days when there is a substitute. Today students should be turnining in: graphic oranizer from the gallery walk, the answers from the reading questions and their short essay. All of this will be graded by next Tuesday.

8/23 - Students will be comparing and contrasting the ideas behind a pure Republic government and a pure Democracy. They will do this by actively read a short passage and then answering questions. This will be followed up by a short compare and contrast essay using the information they gathered yesterday during the gallery walk and in their reading today.

8/22 - Students were put in small groups, and will be for the rest of the week. They did a gallery walk and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of 9 different forms of government.

8/21 - Solar Eclipse 2017! Today we will complete a webquest about this historic event and then return back to government tomorrow.
Students use the following links:
Link 1:

Link 2:

Link 3:

Link 4:

Link 5:

Link 6:

8/18 - Today the students turned in their weekly bellringers and took notes on 10 different forms of government using a website we will use on a frequent basis called Socrative. This site is fantastic for anticipation guides, pre-tests, quizzes, note-taking as well as formative assessments. It is by far the easiest site we use when it comes to the students navigating it and working at their own pace. I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!

8/17 - The students will continue to work on their worksheets concerning the ideas of Hobbes and Locke. If a student does not complete their work today, it needs to be completed for homework. It should take no more than 15 minutes at home if they worked throughout class.

8/16 - Today the students will begin learning about the formation of government. In order to start this unit, we will be having entire class discussions, individual readings and individual work on Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.

8/15 - Today we learned about active reading. Throughout the year, Social Studies works with English in order to make sure the students' reading and writing advances as much as possible. In Social Studies will do this through passages. We also use a site called Newsela, which the students registered for today.

8/14 - We created our accounts on iCivics today. The students will use this site to compliment what is being taught in the classroom. Then, they were allowed to explore the site and make their account unique.

8/11 - Compassion
The first Friday of the new school year! Today we went over the rules and guidelines for the final time. Students were reminded this is the last day they may have backpacks in the classrooms and that they will have new seating arrangments on Monday. Today's character education (the final one) was one compassion. I hope everyone has a great and very relaxing weekend. We have a fun week planned coming up!

8/10 - Respect and Responsibility
Once again we went over the rules, expectations and how the students should move around the classroom. Especially while we are in groupwork settings. Today's character education mini-lesson was on respect and responsbility.

8/9 - Perserverance

The main focus of this week will be getting the students acclimated to a room where they have more freedoms than most. In order to do this, the teacher must recite rules, guidelines and expectations each day. This gives the students time to understand how a group work centered classroom operates and results in much better classroom management - which helps both the teacher and the students. The other part of today's lesson was how to perserve. We all have tough times in our lives and as the students become middle schoolers in the 7th grade, things begin to move faster. Each day this week is aligned with a smart amount of character education. This will not only help them at school, but if they embrace what is being taught this will help them in their lives on a daily basis.

8/8 - Welcome Back, Kiddos!
Today we will be reviewing class expectations, rules and guidelines.