The Wellesley Public Schools K-5 social studies curriculum seeks to awaken in students a sense of curiosity about the world and its people. We believe students are better citizens when they have both a body of useful knowledge and strong social studies skills.

Active Engagement in the Learning Process

A core feature of a Wellesley Public Schools social studies classroom is the active engagement of students in their own learning. Students will generate, investigate and discuss questions of interest, create authentic products, use simulation and role-play, engage in service-learning projects, and grapple with current events and social justice issues.

Teaching of Skills

Teaching skills explicitly is a critical part of the social studies curriculum. By applying skills learned at the elementary level, students will be able to engage in higher-level thinking.  They will construct understanding, analyze and synthesize information, recognize and build well-founded explanations, navigate the complexity of multiple perspectives, and communicate their thinking regarding various social, historical, political, and cultural perspectives.

Making the Case for History

The study of history has intrinsic worth.  Students consider how ideas, values, time, place, and resources shape historical outcomes.  In so doing, they develop empathy, a more complicated understanding of the past, and an appreciation of individual efficacy.

The Value of Civic Participation

The K-5 social studies program guides students in becoming informed, principled, and engaged citizens of the world, of their nation, and of their local communities.  In order to contribute meaningfully in an interconnected world, it is essential for students to learn about the structures, processes, and limits of government.  It is also essential for students to understand the power of the individual to effect change.

The Importance of Culture

In addition to learning about the geography and historical events of various countries around the world including the United States, students will explore the aspects of the human experience that are shared across cultures and those aspects that make them unique.  As students learn about their own and others’ histories and cultures, they are encouraged to consider the perspectives and biases that may affect viewpoints, including their own.