Social studies systematically combines multiple fields of social science (i.e., history, government, economics, sociology, geography, and anthropology). Integrated thematic lessons expose students to all aspects of human society and demonstrate the interconnectedness of social relationships.
The geographic and historical connections between past and current events are explored, ranging from the Big Bang Theory to imagining future societies based on modern developments. Beginning in first grade, students participate in debate, research, analysis, perspective-taking, cause and effect, and citizenship in the following domains, which become progressively complex over the years:
● History - create chronological sequence of events; explore significant change; compare past and present life; compare differing perspectives of an event; analyze sources and documented evidence; and generate argument for causes of various events.
● Civics - discuss roles and responsibilities of leadership, the application of values and principles, and the process of making rules and laws.
● Economics - consider decision-making in dividing resources; exchange of goods and services in the marketplace; and national and global economy.
● Geography - understand models and representations, human-environment interaction, human population patterns and movement; and global interconnectedness and exchange.
● Culture - reflect on personal identity through patterns of behavior and traditions in family, social groups, and institutions as well as appreciate differing world-views and belief systems.
● Research and Presentation - report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts, relevant details, and clear speech at a fluent pace while drawing evidence from reliable sources to support analysis and reflection. Service learning is also an integral part of social studies to promote civic responsibility and empower students to spark positive change linked to learning goals.
Service learning is also an integral part of social studies to promote civic responsibility and empower students to spark positive change linked to learning goals. For example, first grade students visit the local elder care facility once a month to read and play games with their older friends. Fourth grade students volunteer at a local homeless shelter. Students are encouraged to take initiative, persevere, and realize their vision during service projects. Partnerships with other organizations are formed locally, nationally, and even globally to create meaningful opportunities for students to recognize their potential for contribution and making a difference.