7th Grade Content Standards

  • Student Guide to the Grade 7 California Standards

    This guide explains the California History–Social Science Standards for Grade 7. Think of standards as your learning targets. Listed below each standard are the key events and ideas for you to understand.

    As you begin a unit of instruction, look at the standards to see what your learning targets are. Before a test, review this guide as an outline of what you will be expected to know. Keeping the learning targets in mind will help you focus on the most important information.


    7.1 The Roman Empire

    Analyze the causes and effects of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

    • The empire’s strengths and weaknesses

    • Lasting contributions of Rome

    • Extent of the empire and threats to its unity

    • The Byzantine Empire and the split in the

    Christian church

    7.2 Islamic Civilizations of the Middle Ages

    Analyze the geography, governments, economy, religious ideas, and social relationships of early Islamic civilizations.

    • Geography of the Arabian Peninsula and its influence on Arabic life

    • Life and teachings of Muhammad and beginnings of Islam

    • Importance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, key books of Islam

    • Expansion of Muslim rule and the spread of Islam

    • Growth of cities and trade between Asia, Africa, and Europe

    • Lasting influence of Muslim science, geography, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, art, and literature

    7.3 China in the Middle Ages

    Analyze the geography, governments, economy, religious ideas, and social relationships of China during the Middle Ages.

    • Reunification by Tang rulers

    • Buddhism’s spread to China, Korea, and Japan

    • Improvements in technology and trade during Tang and Song rule

    • Changes in Confucianism and its influence

    • China’s expansion of trade under Mongol and Ming rulers

    • Influence of Chinese discoveries and inventions such as tea and gunpowder

    • Power of the emperor and the class of educated civil servants

    7.4 Sub-Saharan Civilizations in the Middle Ages

    Analyze the geography, governments, economy, religious ideas, and social relationships of Ghana and Mali in the Middle Ages.

    • Connections between land, trade, and the rise of Ghana and Mali

    • Development of cities in West Africa

    • Trans-Saharan trade and its role in the spread of Islam

    • Spread of the Arabic language

    • Ways Africans handed down their history and culture

    7.5. Japan in the Middle Ages

    Analyze the geography, governments, environment, religious ideas, and social relationships of Japan in the Middle Ages.

    • Influence of neighboring China and Korea on Japan

    • Reign of Prince Shotoku

    • Feudal way of life and the influence of its warrior code

    • Distinctive Japanese forms of Buddhism

    • Early Japanese literature, art, and drama and their lasting influence

    • Rise of a military society in the 1100s

    7.6 Europe in the Middle Ages

    Analyze the geography, governments, economy, religious ideas, and social relationships of Europe in the Middle Ages.

    • The land and its connection to European ways of life

    • Movement of Christianity into Europe and the role of the early church

    • Feudal way of life

    • Conflict and cooperation between the pope and European rulers

    • Developments in the English legal system and government that would influence the rise of modern democratic thought and practices

    • Christian crusades and their effect on Europe and the eastern Mediterranean

    • Spread of the bubonic plague

    • Role of the Catholic Church in European life

    • Defeat of Muslim rule in Spain and Portugal, known as the Reconquista

    7.7 Mesoamerican and Andean Civilizations

    Analyze the geography, governments, economy, religious ideas, and social relationships of Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations.

    • Geography of Central and South America and its effect on the growth of Mayan, Aztec, and Inca societies

    • Roles people played in Mayan, Aztec, and Inca societies

    • Aztec and Inca Empires and their conquest by Spain

    • Art, architecture, and oral traditions

    • Mesoamerican achievements in astronomy and mathematics

    7.8 The Renaissance Period in Europe

    Analyze the beginnings, achievements, and spread of Renaissance ideas.

    • Revival of classical learning and the beginnings and meaning of the philosophy known as humanism

    • Italian trading cities and the spread of Renaissance ideas

    • Importance of reopening the Silk Road

    • New ways to spread information

    • Accomplishments of Renaissance learning in art, science, mathematics, mapmaking, engineering, anatomy, and astronomy

    7.9 The Reformation in Europe

    Analyze the causes, characteristics, and effects of the movement known as the Reformation.

    • Turmoil in the Catholic Church

    • Ideas of Reformation leaders such as Martin Luther

    • Protestant church practices and their influence on ideas about government

    • Europe’s division into Catholic and Protestant areas

    • Causes and effects of the Counter-Reformation

    • Work of European missionaries in spreading Christianity

    • Golden age of cooperation between Jews and Muslims in Spain

    7.10 The Scientific Revolution

    Analyze the Scientific Revolution and its lasting effect on Western civilization.

    • Roots of the Scientific Revolution

    • New scientific theories and inventions

    • Ideas of Bacon and Descartes, their influence on the growth of democracy, and how they allowed science and religion to coexist

    7.11 Changes in the 16th to 18th Centuries

    Analyze the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason.

    • Explorers, their routes, and influence of maps on new world view

    • Trade in plants, animals, technology, culture, and ideas among Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas

    • Origins of modern capitalism

    • Main ideas of the Enlightenment and their roots in history

    • Influence of Enlightenment thinkers on democratic ideas

    • Influence of Magna Carta on Declaration of Independence