• MYP Syllabus

    Course: Individuals and Societies

    MYP Level: Year 2 (7th grade)


    Teacher Contact: 


    1. Course Description:

    MYP individuals and societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. It encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider local and global contexts. MYP individuals and societies incorporates disciplines traditionally studied under the general term “the humanities” (such as history and philosophy), as well as disciplines in the social sciences (such as economics, business management, geography, sociology and political science).


    Students will incorporate strategies from the International Baccalaureate program.  Students will aspire to reflect those characteristics of the IB Learner Profile.  As a result of the high standards, success in the class will depend on the motivation of the student.  Students must keep up with their assignments to practice the skills, be inquisitive by asking questions, follow expectations, and be balanced by balancing all aspects of their lives between home, extra-curricular, and school to be successful.


    1. IB Aims and Objectives:

    A: Knowing and understanding

    B: Investigating

    C: Communicating

    D: Thinking critically

    Key Concepts:


    Related Concepts: 


    As a part of the Middle Years Program (MYP), of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the aim of the teaching of this course is to encourage and enable the student to:

    • appreciate human and environmental commonalities and diversity
    • understand the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment
    • understand how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve
    • identify and develop concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment
    • act as responsible citizens of local and global communities
    • develop inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between individuals, societies and the environments in which they live.

    III.  Topics:



    Unit/Essential Question/ Enduring Understanding

    Quarter 1:



    Unit One: Early Global Societies

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • Geographers divide the world into regions shaped by shared physical and human processes. 
    • Geography influences needs, culture, opportunities, choices, interests, and skills.
    • Progress is defined by cultural interpretation.
    • Knowledge of the past helps us understand the present and make decisions about the future.
    • The study of political, social and economic patterns reveals continuity and change over time.
    • People are affected by environmental, economic, social, and cultural concerns.
    • The Age of Exploration brought a mixing of cultures and an exchange of resources.  

    Unit Two: The Impact of Imperial Expansion  

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • Effects on Indigenous people and early societies as Europeans began colonizing 
    • Geographic, cultural and economic impacts of imperialism 
    • The change in population due to slave trade, oppression and discrimination. 

    Quarter 2:


    Unit Three: Revolutions and Independence

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • When the fundamental needs of a society are not met, conflict and/or change will result.
    • The causes of revolution are rooted in political instability, economic inequalities, and social disparities 
    • Belief systems have both united and divided peoples of the world. 
    • Across time and place, people have had different ideas about power, authority, government, law, and the rights of citizens. 
    • Examining social and civic issues helps to expand one’s understanding of the world, its people, and themselves.

    Unit Four: Rise of Industry

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • Contributing factors to the waves of immigration. 
    • Causes and effects of industrialization and its impact on society
    •  Society’s response to change.
    • Government responses to societal needs and interests.

    Unit Five: Nationalism, Spheres of Influence, and WWI

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • Collaboration and diplomacy are necessary among countries to solve shared problems. 
    • Global competition demands the development of political and economic diplomacy. 
    • The need for political and economic change led to the development of new political systems around the world. 
    • Authoritative political figures and imperialist desires contributed to conflict and destruction during World War I.   

    Quarter 3:

    Unit Six: Global Depression 

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • The impact that WWI had on power and political boundaries post war. 
    • Contributing factors to global depression and its impact on societies across the world.

    Unit Seven:  Authoritarianism and Revolutions 

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • Economic and political instability led to the rise of authoritarian governments. 
    • Revolutions can bring progress and democracy to the citizens.   

    Unit Eight: WWII and Postwar World (continued in quarter 4)

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • The role and impact of alliance systems in world events.
    • The evolution of governmental roles and imperial powers throughout the world. 
    • The social, political, and economic impacts of WWII throughout the world.
    • The oppression of people, atrocities, and use of diplomacy in post war society.

    Quarter 4:

    Unit Nine: The Cold War Era

    Enduring Understandings:

    • The Cold War was a war of ideologies and superiority between Western democracies and Eastern communist countries.
    • Military confrontations took place in Korea and Vietnam dividing the countries in half. 
    • The Vietnam War did not stop the communist party in the north from taking over South Vietnam.  
    • The Korean War stopped the spread of communism to South Korea, but the country remains divided today.

    Unit Ten: 21st Century Global Issues 

    Enduring Understandings: 

    • Global conflicts in the 21st century.
    • Role of global citizenship.
    • Changing environment and global response.
    • Modern immigration and its economic impact today.
    • How has globalization affected the modern world?


    Enduring Understandings:

    • To understand present day conflict, it is often necessary to revisit past conflict. There are connections between history and current realities.
    • Globalization has an impact locally, regionally, and globally.

    1. Service Learning:

     At KMS, MYP students will engage in Service Learning activities.  A community in need will be chosen, students will research the needs and how to help, write an action plan, take action on the plan and complete the service, and then create a presentation of their work. They will demonstrate Learner Profile attributes and will reflect on the Approaches to Learning skills that they are strengthening. The service learning activities are semester-long. Students use a self-paced guide and process journal to complete these activities. In addition, teachers act as facilitators as students work through their projects rather than direct instructors. The work for these service learning activities take place during our IB Projects period.


    1. Internationalism

    Throughout the year in MYP 2 Individuals and Societies, students will be learning about their global communities. 

    All IB programmes share common beliefs and values about teaching and learning individuals and societies.  There is an International dimension: Students develop an appreciation that this course requires open-mindedness and freedom of thought transcending gender, political, cultural, linguistic, national and religious boundaries.

    Students may be presented with individual, community, or global challenges that require diverse understanding.


    1. Teaching Methods

    Teaching methods include Inquiry, Investigation, and Collaboration.

    Much instruction will be directly led by the teacher, but will also be inquiry-based and student lead as much as  possible.  

    • Inquiry, in the broadest sense, is the process that is used to move to deeper levels of understanding. Inquiry involves speculating, exploring, questioning and connecting. The MYP structures sustain inquiry in individuals and societies by developing conceptual understanding in global contexts. Teachers and students develop a statement of inquiry and use inquiry questions to explore various cultures. Through their inquiry, students develop specific interdisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to learning skills.
    • Learning through investigation.  Students construct meaning by designing, conducting and

    reflecting on historical investigations. 

    • Collaboration - Students are provided opportunities to work individually and with their peers to learn

    about individuals and societies within and beyond the classroom. 


    VII.  Assessment

    Assessment tasks for MYP individuals and societies courses often involve tests or examinations, investigations or research that leads to an extended piece of writing, and a variety of other oral, written and multimedia assignments.

    Informal assessment may include bell work, “ticket out the door”, student self-reflection and/or teacher observations.

    Criterion for assessment:

    At the end of year 2, students should be able to:

    • use vocabulary in context
    • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of subject-specific content and concepts, using descriptions, explanations and examples
    • explain the choice of a research question
    • follow an action plan to explore a research question
    • collect and record relevant information consistent with the research question
    • reflect on the process and results of the investigation.
    • communicate information and ideas with clarity
    • organize information and ideas effectively for the task
    • list sources of information in a way that follows the task instructions
    • identify the main points of ideas, events, visual representation or arguments
    • use information to justify an opinion
    • identify and analyse a range of sources/data in terms of origin and purpose
    • identify different views and their implications.


     VIII.  Resources

    “Individuals and Societies.” Edited by IBO, International Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, 2014, IBO.org.


    Carnine, Douglas. US History. McDougal Littell, 2006