The Thayer Academy Middle School History Department understands that, as educators, we want our students excited, engaged, and energized when they step into history class. Therefore, we model this energy ourselves, knowing that the love of learning is contagious. While we have a passion for the subject matter, we always emphasize the building of specific social studies skills. We scaffold our entire program to ensure that we are properly developing such abilities as: writing (expository and persuasive), “thinking like a historian” (identifying bias, sourcing, corroborating evidence), identifying and utilizing reliable sources in research, deciphering main ideas (versus details) in readings, backing up claims both orally and in writing, learning how to engage in both deliberations and debates, analyzing and interpreting a variety of geographical maps, and most importantly, learning how to ask thought-provoking historical and social questions and then discovering innovative solutions to them. We strive to include current events in a fluid way, either through conversations that complement existing lessons or through stop-and-pause reflections when appropriate.