Elementary Social Studies Curriculum
An elementary social studies curriculum should provide students with the basic elements of geography, history, civics and economics, and introduce the three branches of the U.S. government. It should also highlight past civilizations and reflect on how those societies have impacted our modern culture, politics, social norms and institutions.
The National Council for the Social Studies states that: “Skills that enhance critical thinking, socio-emotional development, prosocial skills, interpersonal interactions, and information literacy are more meaningful and useful when developed within the context of social studies.” And it’s important to begin the development of those essential skills early on in elementary social studies.
The following information will provide a summary for each grade level of elementary school social studies, and feature the benefits of choosing Time4Learning as your curriculum of choice.
Teaching Social Studies in 2nd Grade
Time4Learning immediately begins the process of building a strong foundation in elementary school social studies by introducing concepts such as identifying basic human needs for survival. Students learn how needs such as food, clothing and shelter can be attained and why they’re important for all societies.
Critical thinking skills are sharpened as students compare and contrast locations on a map and identify map symbols. They also practice using cardinal and intermediate directions to pinpoint specific places such as states, continents, countries and oceans. When teaching social studies in elementary school with Time4Learning, you’ll also complete additional activities such as:
- Recognizing and naming prominent buildings, statues and monuments such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the American flag.
- Identifying and describing the reasons for various national holidays such as Independence Day.
- Identifying and explaining the reasons for cultural holidays that people celebrate within the United States such as Cinco de Mayo.
- Researching the different jobs that exist in our communities and explaining how these jobs contribute to our society as a whole.
Learn more about our 2nd-grade elementary social studies curriculum.
Teaching Social Studies in 3rd Grade
In third grade, social studies builds off the previous year by using geographic tools such as maps and atlases to collect data about the earth’s surface. You’ll also introduce your students to geographic terminology such as peninsula and island, and have your children point out examples on a map.
Economics is also introduced in elementary social studies during third grade. Concepts such as the role of banking in our society, how supply and demand affects prices, and the relationship between natural resources and the products they produce will be covered amongst other topics. Your children will also learn about:
- Earth’s climate and its physical features
- The different regions of the United States
- The events that led to the birth of our nation
- The reasons for and various forms of government
- Local, state, and federal laws
- The role consumers and producers play in the economy
Learn more about the 3rd-grade social studies curriculum.
Teaching Social Studies in 4th Grade
In 4th-grade social studies, your children will embark on a virtual road trip around the United States. Students join characters Mom, Dad, Olivia, Austin, and Gabby in exploring topics such as the geography of North America, First Cultures of the Americas, European Exploration, and additional concepts connected to geographic locations, such as unique cultural characteristics of regions and the factors that have led to population distribution, to name a few.
Fourth-grade students will learn to use tools such as maps, historical images, historic letters, and other primary sources to find information. Content is taught through guided instruction and modeling, allowing students to gradually build skills they will use throughout their lives.
Time4Learning’s 4th-Grade Social Studies content:
- is structured through an inquiry-based instructional model, with questions to spark curiosity.
- provides engaging, student-centered, standards-aligned activities.
- incorporates guided instruction and modeling, allowing students to gradually build skills they will use throughout their lives.
- encourages critical thinking through interactive practice to allow students to participate directly in their learning.
- facilitates geography instruction through the use of a variety of interactive maps.
- provides engaging and thought-provoking primary sources and corresponding questions to help guide thinking.
- includes enriching texts connected to the topics.
Learn more about the 4th-grade social studies curriculum.
Teaching Social Studies in 5th Grade
As your children progress through their education, they should have an elementary social studies curriculum that is preparing them for the rigors of middle school. By concentrating on the four key elements of social studies, geography, history, civics and economics, Time4Learning will have your children up-to-speed and ready to take on the next stage of their education.
In 5th grade your students will focus on topics such as ancient Greece, U.S. history, politics and economics. They’ll also take part in entertaining and informative activities that cover the economic role of government, entrepreneurship, world geography and political science. Additional subjects in 5th-grade social studies include:
- China’s first dynasty, the Shang/Zhou dynasty.
- The struggle for power in the Egyptian and Nubian region.
- The movement to end slavery during the 1800’s.
- Women’s rights and the significance of the Seneca Falls convention.
- How groups of people help create a government’s public policy .
- The outside influences that impact how consumers choose different products.
Learn more about the 5th-grade social studies curriculum.
Why Choose Time4Learning’s Elementary Social Studies Curriculum?
Time4Learning helps motivate elementary school students to learn more about the different cultures and history of places around the world. Our aim is to enable parents and students to understand past and current events, participate in the community and make informed decisions about the world around them.
Many parents agree that providing a curriculum that is interactive, entertaining and flexible is more likely to keep their children motivated and focused on learning. Time4Learning offers hundreds of dynamic lessons that combine videos, worksheets, online activities and one-on-one classroom-style instruction, which keep your kids happily engaged.