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Social Studies

Conant's Social Studies Program

Kindergarten Myself and Others
Students explore the similarities and differences between themselves and others, including physical attributes such as hair, eye, and skin color. This study stresses the humanness of everyone and our desire to respect and care for each other.

Community, Roles and Responsibilities
Students study the components of a community and the various communities we have around us (i.e., class, school, and town). They how to be better members of their community by becoming involved in many of the community service learning projects sponsored by Conant.
Grade 1 Some Ways the Same, Some Ways Different
Students expand their understanding of individual differences and physical challenges, such as hearing and vision impairments. In the study about Children Around the World/Japan, the first graders learn about the similarities and differences between our culture and non-English speaking cultures. Also, they are introduced to maps and globes and our national symbols.
Grade 2 Acton Long Ago and Somewhere Far Away Students compare the economic and social life in Acton today with Acton long ago, specifically in the early 1900's. They also compare the lives of children and families "then" and "now." A second study is done which shows a recent time period in the African country of Kenya.

While engaged in this study, students learn about bartering and the difference between wants and needs and goods and services. Geography is an integral part of both studies, as children are introduced to the concepts related to globes, maps, and mapping information (i.e., continents, oceans, map keys). As they compare the geography of a far-away place to Acton's geography, the concepts of climate, rainfall, and transportation are developed.
Grade 3 The Study of Massachusetts
At the third grade level the History/Social Studies curriculum is focused on the history and geography of Massachusetts. Students begin the year with a focus on mapping and geography skills. As the year progresses, a chronological approach to learning is used and begins with the Wampanoag Indians, the first settlers in Massachusetts. Students then study the arrival of the Pilgrims and a few selected periods of Massachusetts's history. These include the events in Boston, Lexington, and Concord that led to the American Revolution, the development of the Lowell mills, and immigration in the 1800s. Finally, students explore concepts in economics and civics while learning about the culture, industry, and economy of our state in the millennium and beyond.
Grade 4 People Come to North America
The fourth grade Social Studies curriculum introduces students to

- The physical and political geography of the United States, Canada, and Mexico
- The cultures of indigenous peoples in various regions of North America
- Early European exploration and its impact on these cultures

The curriculum is tied together by the five themes of Geography (Location, Place, Regions, Movement, and Human and Environmental Interaction).
Grade 5 American History
The fifth grade social studies curriculum focuses on American history from approximately 1500 through 1865. The major units are intended to provide in-depth opportunities for students to understand key concepts and information regarding the three regions of Colonial America in the 1700s, the Revolutionary era and forming our new nation, and the Civil War. These major units are linked through briefer units on the Pre-Revolutionary Era and Westward Expansion. A short unit introducing Acton town government in the context of the American democratic tradition is also included.
Grade 6 Ancient Civilizations
The sixth grade social studies curriculum encompasses the study of the Neolithic Revolution and several major ancient civilizations (i.e., Egypt, India, Greece, and Rome). A geography review and archaeological techniques are included in each unit as children investigate how people learn about ancient civilizations. Students learn about the government, trade, philosophies, art, and relations of these classical civilizations, as well as the powerful ideas that arose in the ancient world and profoundly shaped the course of world history. Throughout the year, the students compare and contrast these civilizations, and then they select one other ancient civilization to research. After their research, they complete an intensive research project and present it to their class.

Updated: May 2010