Curriculum Details: Social Studies

For all grade levels, related to all social studies topics, students examine:

· Literature: novels, plays, poetry, essays, and original source material

· Geography: physical and political, and historical changes

· Government: class and school governments, through city wards, state legislature, federal government, and forms of world governments

· Architecture: types of homes throughout the world, Native American and pioneer homes, current and historical U. S. and world landmarks, and styles and schools of architecture reflecting geographic place and historic change

· Philosophy: world philosophies, religions, and mythologies, introductions to ethics, and studies of major world philosophers

· Fine Arts: visual and performing arts, art history, and artists of the United States and the world

· Current events

The primary social studies topics for each grade level are as follows:

Grade 1

o The World Around Us

The first grade social studies curriculum is organized by month.

: Introduction to our multicultural world

· Stories behind our names

· Saying hello in different languages

· Beginning map and globe skills: directions, compass rose

· Naming and locating the continents and oceans

· Our global addresses

: Homes Around the World

· Similarities and differences of homes in different places

· Comparison of own home to others in the world

· Begin Map Champ Atlas activities: types of communities (rural, urban, suburban) and places in a community

· Differences between wants and needs

· How structures like homes are built (materials, influence of environment)

· Columbus Day

North America

· Cultural explorations

· Interdependence of people (in a family and in the world)

· Geography (using physical and political maps)

· Natural features and manmade landmarks

· Animals

· Shelter

· Food

· Clothing

· Languages

· Literature (folk tales)

· Transportation

· Toys, games, and music

· Art forms

· Celebrations

· Thanksgiving

South America

· See North America

· Winter Holidays

: Europe

· See North America

· M.L. King Jr.

: Africa

· See North America

· Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Presidents Day


· See North America

· Inclusion


· See North America

· More Map Champ atlas work

· Memorable events in ones personal life


· See North America (but focus on exploration, geography, and animals)

· Life History Timeline

Our Multicultural World

· Autobiographies

· Immigration

· More connections of world to personal life and personal/family history

· Celebration of our multicultural world

Students in first grade participate in a civics program using Primary Foundations of Democracy materials from the Center for Civic Education. The following concepts form the core of the program: authority, responsibility, justice, and privacy.

· Grade 2

o City of Chicago

o State of Illinois

Novel Ties: Sarah Plain and Tall

Scholastic News

Civics: Students in second grade participate in a civics program using Primary Voice materials from the Chicago Constitutional Rights Foundation. Activities include a yearlong service project to benefit the Common Pantry as well as Lawyer in the Classroom.

· Grade 3

o The United States published by Harcourt

  • Land and Early People
  • Exploration and Settlement
  • The American Revolution
  • Civil War Times

Through Novel Studies (Fair Weather, Mr. Tucket, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, Behind Rebel Lines, Bud, Not Buddy, On the Wings of Heroes, A Wrinkle in Time)

The Worlds Columbian Exposition

Westward Expansion

Polio Epidemic

The Civil War

World War ll- The home front in the United States

Current Events with Scholastic News

· Grade 4 (Western Hemisphere)


  • Western Hemisphere: culture, physical geography, economics
  • Westward Expansion
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  •  Role of Women/Children in Early U.S. History
  • Culminating Project: Civil Responsibilities and Community Outreach
  • Novel Ties: Kira Kira, The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963
  • Current Events with Junior Scholastic



· Grade 5 (Eastern Hemisphere and Introduction to Ancient Civilizations)

  • Eastern Hemisphere: culture, physical geography, economics, history
  • Rise and fall of ancient and great civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Sparta, China, India, and Rome
  • Novel Ties: Number the Stars, Red Scarf Girl, Animal Farm 
  • Current Events with Scholastic Junior

· Grade 6

o Global Interactions, Movements, and Conflicts


  • Cultural Comparisons: Athens and Rome, Classical Greece and China, Fall of Rome
  • Start of Movements: Christianity in the Ancient World, Spread of Islam, Comparing Christian and Muslim responses to the Black Death
  • World Changing Ideas: printing press, Enlightenment philosophers, Renaissance views of the world
  • Exploration and Reformation: sugar trade; Colonialism, Imperialism, and Cultural Superiority; underlying causes of World War II; Gandhi, King, Mandela--nonviolence


· Grade 7

o United States history: Pre-Colonial through the Civil War

- Early Colonies (Jamestown and Salem)

- American Revolution

- Native American Relations

- Constitution

- Louisiana Purchase/American Expansion

- Early democracy and economics

- Mexican American War

- Slavery

- Civil War

· Grade 8

o United States (and related world) history: Reconstruction through the present

- Reconstruction/Western Expansion

- Industrialization/American Imperialism

- Progressivism

- World War I

- Great Depression

- World War II

- Holocaust

- Cold War

- Protest (Civil Rights, Vietnam, immigration and modern issues)