Elementary Social Studies
At the preschool and Kindergarten level, learning in history and social science is built on children's experiences in their families, school, community, state, and country. The picture books chosen for reading aloud, the stories told, and the songs they hear or learn are basic components of the curriculum. Children listen to stories about the people and events we celebrate in our national holidays and learn why we celebrate them. They also become familiar with our national symbols to help them develop a civic identify.
In first grade, children listen to and read folk tales and true stories from America and around the world. They learn about major historical events, figures, and symbols related to the United States of America and its national holidays and why they are important to Americans. As students study concepts in geography, civics, economics, and history, they also learn about each other's families and about the achievements of different people in different times and places.
Second graders study world and United States history, geography, economics, and government by learning more about who Americans are and where they came from. They explore their own family's history and listen to or read a variety of teacher-or student-selected stories about: distinctive individuals, peoples, achievements, customs, events, places, or landmarks from long ago and around the world. Students learn .more economic concepts by identifying producers, consumers, buyers, and sellers in their own communities.
Drawing on information from local historic sites, historical societies, and museums, third graders learn about the history of Massachusetts from the time of the arrival of the Pilgrims. They also learn the history of their own cities and towns and about famous people and events in Massachusetts’ history. In addition, they read biographies of prominent Massachusetts people in science, technology, the arts, business, education or political leadership in order to learn how they contributed to Massachusetts history.
In grade 4, students study the geography and people of the United States today. Students learn geography by addressing standards that embed five major concepts: location, place, human interaction with the environment, movement, and regions. In addition, they may learn about the geography and the people of contemporary Mexico and Canada.
Students study major pre-Columbian civilizations in the New World; the 15th and the 16th century European explorations around the world, in the Western Hemisphere, and in North America in particular; the earliest settlements in North America; and the political, economic, and social development of the English colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries. They also study the early development of democratic institutions and ideas, including the ideas and events that led to the independence of the original thirteen colonies and the formation of a national government under the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of the grade 5 curriculum is to give students their first concentrated study of the formative years of the U.S.