Seventh Grade, MS Social Studies,
Mr. Brian Walsh

“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis

Welcome to Social Studies! My name is Brian Walsh and I am the seventh grade homeroom teacher at Holy Cross Catholic School. I was born and raised in Portland and have spent the majority of my life in the North Portland area. I even attended De La Salle North Catholic in its infancy years and graduated from the University of Portland in 2012 with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education. After finishing my degree, I joined the Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) Program and earned my Masters of Education while working and living with some incredible educators.  I am beyond excited to teach social studies this year and work with our students as they explore the events and people that have shaped our immediate and global communities!

Contact Mr. Walsh

Online Curriculum (6th and 7th Grade):


Username: type in your full school email address

Password: holycrossk8

5th Grade Technology

Explorer's Project Links:


6th Grade Social Studies:

This month, the 6th grade is focusing on their map skills, geography, our government, and the basics of economics.

Students will demonstrate the following understandings:

  1. Understand various ways of measuring the passage of time.
  2. Determine the differences between history and prehistory among various calendar systems.
  3. Know the difference between the value of primary and secondary sources and artifacts.
  4. Properly evaluate historical sources.
  5. Explain how people study human history and development.
  6. Explain the goals of archaeology, anthropology, and oral tradition.
  7. Identify the five themes of geography.
  8. Describe the ways that geographers use location, place, region, movement, and human-environment interaction to study and understand Earth.
  9. Identify the parts of a map (latitude, longitude, locator maps, scale, key, oceans, continents, compass rose, equator, prime meridian)
  10. Explain how to use standard map features to read maps.
  11. Investigate and analyze the purposes of historical maps.
  12. Identify the features of historical maps.
  13. Identify the origin and purposes of government.
  14. Examine the powers and limits of governments.
  15. Identify the differences between sates and nation-states.
  16. Describe the characteristics of various forms of government (monarchy, authoritarian, democracy).
  17. Compare unitary and federal systems of government.
  18. Identify the principals of the U.S. government and the powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
  19. Identify the sources of citizens' rights and the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
  20. Examine how and why citizens' rights may change over time.
  21. Understand supply, demand, and the actions consumers and producers take to meet them
  22. Examine the exchange of goods and services and the various issues affecting profit.
  23. Learn how to track the growth and decline of the economy.
  24. Examine the four types of economies.
  25. Visualize the circular flow of the U.S. missed economy.
  26. Examine the reasons why individuals and countries trade.
  27. Investigate the workings of domestic, international, and free trade.
  28. Learn how to budget and save money.
  29. Compare and contrast investment options.

Important Vocabulary: Geography (Part 1)

  • Absolute Location
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Artifact
  • Bias
  • Chronology
  • Compass rose
  • Historian
  • Historical map
  • Human-environment interaction
  • Key
  • Locator map
  • Oral tradition
  • Movement
  • Period
  • Place
  • Prehistory
  • Primary source
  • Region
  • Relative location
  • Scale bar
  • Secondary source
  • Timeline

Important Vocabulary: Government and Economy

  • government
  • constitution
  • limited government
  • unlimited government
  • tyranny
  • state
  • city-state
  • empire
  • democracy
  • nation-state
  • monarchy
  • authoritarian
  • Communism
  • unitary system
  • federal system
  • citizen
  • political party
  • interest group
  • civic participation
  • economics
  • scarcity
  • opportunity costs
  • demand
  • supply
  • producer
  • consumer
  • incentive market
  • profit
  • revenue
  • specialization
  • competition
  • inflation
  • recession
  • traditional economy
  • market economy
  • command economy
  • mixed economy
  • trade
  • export
  • import
  • tariff
  • trade barrier
  • free trade
  • budget
  • saving
  • interest
  • credit
  • investing
  • stock
  • bond

7th Grade Social Studies:

Seventh grade will begin the year reviewing the fall of the Roman Empire and after this, the Byzantine Empire.

Students will demonstrate the following understandings:

  1. Analyze cause and effect links between geography and Rome's development
  2. Identify main ideas and details about the government of the Roman republic.
  3. Compare and contrast the lives of different groups in Roman society.
  4. Draw conclusions about the daily lives of different groups in Rome.
  5. Summarize the growth and decline of the Roman republic.
  6. Analyze the effects of practical achievements on Rome's prosperity and growth.
  7. Identify main ideas and details about Roman culture and its legacy.
  8. Identify causes of the Roman empire's decline and effects of its collapse.
  9. Categorize geographic features as advantages for trade and defense.
  10. Identify advantages Constantinople had for defense and trade, and apply these in locating an imagined city.
  11. Analyze effects of geography and leadership on the Byzantine empire.
  12. Compare and contrast the structure and function of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.
  13. Compare views reflected in the Great Schism and explain why it occurred.
  14. Physically demonstrate the spread of Byzantine culture.
  15. Summarize important issues about Byzantine civilization.
  16. Identify causes and effects of Byzantine cultural diffusion.

Important Vocabulary (Roman Empire):

  • Republic
  • dictators
  • plebeians
  • patricians
  • Magistrates
  • consuls
  • Roman Senate
  • Veto
  • Latin
  • Checks and Balances
  • Forum
  • Tribune
  • Magistrate
  • Legions
  • Spartacus
  • Cicero
  • Julius Caesar
  • Augustus
  • Currency
  • Pax Romana
  • Aqueduct
  • Romance languages
  • Civil Law
  • Augustus
  • Marc Antony
  • Christianity
  • Constantine
  • Diocletian
  • Attila
  • Corruption
  • Justinian
  • Theodora
  • Byzantine Empire

Important Vocabulary (Byzantine Empire):

  • strait
  • moat
  • creed
  • icon
  • pope
  • missionary
  • unified
  • discriminate
  • Byzantine
  • Greek fire
  • iconoclast
  • Great Schism
  • Justinian's Code
  • Cyrillic alphabet

8th Grade Social Studies:

The beginning of the school year will focus on the Renaissance Era and Age of Exploration as we prepare to understand how and why the United States became a British colony and eventually, an independent country.

Students will demonstrate the following understandings:

  1. How there changes that took place during the Renaissance broke down feudal order.
  2. Why the Renaissance began in the city-states of Italy.
  3. Analyze causes and effects off the Changes that took place during the Renaissance.
  4. Give an effective presentation to persuade a patron to sponsor a civic project.
  5. How classical thought inspired the new learning of the Renaissance.
  6. The changes in subject and style that made Renaissance art differ from medieval art.
  7. Compare and contrast the art and learning of the Renaissance and medieval periods.
  8. Analyze political, economic, military, and cultural methods used to gain power.
  9. The effect that Renaissance ideas had on Northern Europe.
  10. How the invention of the printing press helped spread Renaissance learning.
  11. Identify main ideas and details about the Northern Renaissance.
  12. How Renaissance art and architecture shaped Western ideas of beauty.
  13. The names and works of major Renaissance artists and writers.
  14. Summarize the important artistic and literary achievements of the Renaissance.
  15. Develop an understanding of how linear perspective changed art.

Important Vocabulary:

  • Mercantile
  • Renaissance
  • Patron
  • Medici Family
  • Humanism
  • Secularism
  • Vernacular
  • Individualism
  • School of Athens
  • Raphael
  • Michaelangelo
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Utopia
  • Satire
  • Engraving
  • Censor
  • Gutenberg
  • Proportion
  • Linear Perspective
  • Sonnet
  • Picaresque

Current Events:

Throughout the year, students may be asked to find an article and analyze it in a group.  Below are some potential websites that may be useful. Please contact Mr. Walsh if you have an additional resource you'd like to see added to the list. To log in and read the articles, click on the main menu, select "Sign In" and then "Sign in with Google" and enter your google email account.  Your classroom verification code is V8BU9F

E-OregonianStudent Username: HolyCrossCurrentEvents        Password:knowyourworld!

The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal

NPR News

The Washington Post

The Oregonian


The Economist

BBC News

Time Magazine

Fox News

Catholic Sentinel


5th and 6th Grade Technology

A Note about Technology:

Throughout the year, the students will have access to technology both inside and outside the classroom. In particular, students will receive access to their own private and school monitored gmail accounts for use with Google Docs Applications and Email.  While Mr. Tagorda, our computer teacher, and I will be instructing the class on safe technology use, I highly encourage all parents to visit the following webpages to learn how to support your child in making smart, safe choices online while at home:

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

Enough is Enough organization:

"We are the light of the world."

- Matthew 5:14