Social Studies

Fifth Grade

In fifth grade social studies, there is a balance between history, geography and the study of cultures.  The students will build a foundation of knowledge about physical and cultural regions of the world, and they will learn how historians and archaeologists work to discover the past.  Map skills will be incorporated into each unit, as the children study land and water features.  Throughout the year, there will be many activities and projects that will provide the students with hands-on involvement.  Students will also use resources other than the textbook when individual reports and group projects are written.

Sixth through Eighth Grade

The need for an enlightened citizenry for our pluralistic society and shrinking world has never been greater than it is in the twenty-first century.  Therefore, it is the primary goal of Chapin’s Upper School Social Studies Program to promote the intellectual and social growth of our students to meet that need.

Intellectually, students are presented with the opportunity to study a wide variety of topics, including the growth of Islam, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asian civilizations in sixth grade.  This is followed in seventh grade by studies of Medieval Europe, Europe 1300-1600, pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas, and the effects of European arrival in the New World.  Students conclude the program by studying U.S. history in the context of modern world history in eighth grade. Based upon the knowledge that children both want and need to know as much as they can about their own world, the study of current events is a major part of the curriculum in all three grades.  Whenever possible, the recognition of connections between events of the past and the present is stressed.

In addition to the content to be covered, skill development is emphasized in all classes.  Good speaking, writing and listening skills are of the utmost importance.  These are developed by several means, including note taking, class participation and essay writing.  The required keeping of a social studies notebook helps the students to acquire needed organizational and study skills.  The regular assigning of homework fosters these skills while at the same time reinforces learning.