Social Studies

OVERVIEW

Elmhurst School District 205 Social Studies curriculum provides a multi- dimensional approach to Social Studies instruction. Students become informed, responsible, and contributing citizens in a diverse, global society so that they understand the values of a democratic society. They learn the importance of citizen participation. Students analyze influences of political, geographic, and social implications of the past upon the present and the future in order to understand and to develop respect for diversity and nurture the ability to work cooperatively with others. Students’ knowledge and awareness of society’s cultural heritage and global issues help them understand the environment that surrounds them locally, nationally, and internationally. Students develop skills needed to access information, analyze and interpret new data, apply data to new issues, and to reach and defend logical conclusions through authentic learning experiences that connect to the real world.

Social Studies Curriculum

Elementary

Kindergarten

Students gain awareness of themselves and their role in the family and community. They also study holidays throughout the school year. Skills that students practice: 

  • Demonstrate of an awareness of citizenship and its responsibilities
  • Knows address and phone number
  • Understands why we celebrate various holidays throughout the year
  • Explores maps and globes
  • Understands that people, families, and communities grow, change, and work together

Units of study:
Families
Citizenship
Holidays 
Our Community

First Grade

Students explore leadership within communities, as well as begin learning map skills.

  • Develops an awareness of citizenship and its responsibilities
  • Identifies and explains significance of national symbols
  • Identifies and compares historical figures
  • Demonstrates knowledge of maps and globe skills
  • Introduction to comparing rural and urban communities

Units of study:

  1. Rules and Laws
  2. Continents and countries
  3. Illinois and bordering states
  4. Compass Rose

Second Grade

Students learn about what comprises a community, learning about people living in their communities and different kinds of communities.

  • Understands what a community is and the responsibility of a citizen
  • Introduction to government concepts
  • Understands geography concepts
  • Identifies cultural concepts
  • Understands communities change over time
  • Understands economic concepts

Units of study:

  1. Basic Concepts of Democracy
  2. Supply and Demand
  3. Geography Skills
  4. Communities Change Over Time/Elmhurst Local History   

Third Grade

Students explore local and regional communities. Students study how geography impacts community with a focus on the region of Chicago and the State of Illinois.

  • Understands geography and its impact on community development
  • Understands Historical figures and events figures (Chicago and Immigration)
  • Understands the influences of cultures on the city of Chicago
  • Understands the role of economics
  • Describes functions of government
  • Understands various cultures (Immigration)
  • Understands basic structure of our national Government

Units of study:

  1. Chicago History
  2. Development of a Community/City
  3. Geography Skills
  4. Culture

Fourth Grade

The regions of North America and diversity of states is studied in Grade 4. Students investigate the American landscape and study more deeply the geographic regions of the United States.

  • Explores regions of the United States and Illinois using the five themes of geography (which include: physical geography, history, culture, economy, and government) and makes global comparisons
  • Explores political science foundations

Units of study:

  1. Illinois History
  2. Regions of the United States: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, West

Fifth Grade

United States History through the Civil War is primarily the focus of Social Studies in Grade 5.

  • Applies research skills to investigate the social sciences
  • Uses maps, graphs, tables and other visual tools effectively
  • Explores regions of the United States and Illinois using the five themes of geography (which include: physical geography, history, culture, economy, and government) and makes global comparisons
  • Explores political science foundations

Units of study:

  1. Geography & Native Peoples
  2. Early Exploration and Settlements
  3. Colonial Times leading to Revolution

Middle School

Sixth Grade

Students explore ancient civilizations and learn to understand the political, physical and cultural geography of the Eastern hemisphere.

  • Application of five themes of geography: Location, Place, Movement, Regions, Relationships within Places
  • Further develop research skills
  • Further develop skills in use of visual tools (maps, charts, graphs, etc.)

Units of study:

  1. Ancient civilizations

Seventh Grade

Students begin study of United States History in depth.

  • Application of five themes of geography: Location, Place, Movement, Regions, and Relationships within Places
  • Utilize research skills to make connections with text material and other periods of history
  • Develop and use higher order thinking (including: cause and effect, differentiating fact and opinion, and evaluating primary sources)

Units of study:

  1. Causes of the American Revolution
  2. Revolutionary War
  3. The New Nation
  4. Power of the President
  5. Westward Movement
  6. Causes of the Civil War
  7. Civil War

Eighth Grade

Students continue their study of United States history, looking at more modern times.

  • Application of five themes of geography: Location, Place, Movement, Regions, Relationships within Places
  • Utilize research skills to make connections with text material and other periods of history
  • Develop and use higher order thinking including: cause and effect, differentiating fact and opinion, and evaluating primary sources
  • Applies research skills to investigate the social sciences
  • Uses maps, graphs, tables and other visual tools effectively

Units of study:

  1. Review of the Civil War
  2. Reconstruction
  3. Immigration
  4. Industrialization
  5. The United States Becomes a World Power
  6. Imperialism
  7. World War I
  8. The Roaring 20’s
  9. The Great Depression
  10. World War II
  11. Illinois and United States Government
  12. The Cold War
  13. Korean War
  14. Vietnam War

High School