The course of study in the Social Studies program is geared to increasing students’ understanding of the world, both past and present, and to instill the desire to become involved citizens in our republic. Students in grades Kindergarten through 4th use a textbook supplemented with seasonal units such as a Columbus Day celebration, a Veterans’ Day memorial service and a Thanksgiving pageant and feast. Field trips to the Cabildo, a working farm and a fire station provide historical background and a sense of community. Middle School students study American History and World History. All grade levels study geography to enhance student understanding of material encountered in Social Studies. Classroom maps, software and globes supplement the program.
American History is taught in 5th and 7th grades with emphasis on the period up to the Reconstruction in 5th grade and from Reconstruction to the present in 7th grade. In 6th grade, the course of study is World History. Hands-on activities and research projects in Middle School foster learning through mock elections, hieroglyphics printing, creating a nation complete with government, geographic location and flag, fable writing and role playing. Learning is further increased through the development of note-taking skills, vocabulary study and the use of newspapers and computers for research. A number of videos relating to Social Studies are available in the library for use by all grade levels. Copies of primary source documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Louisiana Purchase and diaries of early colonists make history come alive for students. Class discussions allow for opinions to be expressed in an atmosphere of respect for differences.
7th grade students travel to Washington, D.C. to enhance their knowledge of American History and government. This is an invaluable tool in the education of our students. They visit the White House, the Capital, the Supreme Court Building, the Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, FBI Academy, all national war monuments and spend time at both Jamestown and Williamsburg, VA. The seventh grade also visits the D-Day Museum in their study of World War II.