Social Studies


Families and Homes

In Kindergarten, children begin to think about cultural diversity and to develop a global perspective that will be further enhanced throughout the elementary curriculum. An exploration of families and homes will allow students to make personal connections while learning about the world around them.

First Grade


In first grade, students will expand their understanding of families, homes, and the world to include the communities in which they live and other communities around the world. First graders will learn what a community is and consider the similarities and differences that communities exhibit. They will investigate the roles people play in communities and their own roles as responsible citizens within a larger community.

Second Grade


In second grade, students will learn that people understand their place in the world by analyzing maps.  Students will examine the major ways in which the world is currently organized (continents, oceans, latitudinal lines, hemispheres, poles…) as well as the major landforms that our world is made up of (mountains, rivers, oceans, deserts…).  Students will use different kinds of maps efficiently to understand the world and their place in it.

Timelines and Traditions

In second grade, students will learn about major U.S. historical events, figures, holidays. They will explore their own family’s history, recognize where it fits on the timeline, and examine how it relates to U.S. history. Students will consider that families have a past, and that some family beliefs, customs, and traditions are based on family histories. Students will understand that people of diverse racial, religious, national, and ethnic groups transmit their beliefs, customs, and traditions.

Third Grade

The Land and People of Massachusetts and Boston

By third grade students are ready to delve into a study of the state in which they live and discover its riches and importance within the context of the larger world. This unit will draw on mapping and geography skills learned in grade two as they learn about Massachusetts’ geographic features. A major focus of this unit is on developing cultural curiosity, historical inquiry skills, and the ability to examine cultural representations such as artifacts, language, and traditions in order to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the various cultures that exist in Boston, a city where some of our students live and many often visit.

Massachusetts History

This unit is an overview of two important time periods in the history of Massachusetts:  the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620 and their establishment of the Plimoth Colony, and the events leading up to the American Revolution in Boston.  Students will have the opportunity to explore the rich culture and history of the Wampanoag people.  They will understand that the Wampanoag people lived on this land before the Pilgrims arrived, and that the tribe still exists today.  Through the study of Massachusetts, students also will explore topics related to governance, and how early governance in this state impacted the development of the original United States government.

Fourth Grade

The United States: Geography, People, & Economy

Fourth graders see themselves as part of a larger community, their nation, and it is critical that they develop a strong knowledge base and are able to think critically about the country in which they live. In third grade, they study their own state in depth and in fourth grade, following similar themes, they expand their understanding to the nation as a whole. Similarly to the third grade curriculum, students will become knowledgeable about places, people and history. They will see the impact of historical events, geography and diversity on our nation and be introduced to basic concepts of the economy. For comparative purposes, the study of the United States will focus on 5 distinct regions – the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest, the Southwest, and the West.

Fifth Grade

Ancient Cultures: China

Ancient Chinese history can be traced back to 2000 BCE. We will examine how geography affected people in the ancient world, how governing power and beliefs influenced people’s lives and changed over time. Through this study, students will discover how aspects of modern life reflect ancient Chinese customs and beliefs.

While change occurs over time, certain facets of Chinese history continue to influence its population and the modern world. With one fifth of the world’s population, and one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies, China is an important world influence.  China and Egypt are the first half of a two-year sequence bridging elementary school and middle school social studies.

Ancient Cultures: Egypt

Egypt is ideal for beginning the formal study of early history that will continue for students in grade six. There are a variety of age appropriate resources, books, museum collections and other reference material, making the unit ideal for integration of reading, writing and research skills.

This unit focuses on the geography, culture, and beliefs of ancient Egypt. It also emphasizes an understanding of the different time periods of Egyptian society from 4,500 BC to the 18th Dynasty. At the end of this unit on Egypt, the students will demonstrate knowledge of the geography and culture of Egypt by creating a travel brochure to guide time traveling fifth graders through the major geographic and historical sites of ancient Egypt.


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