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History-Social Science in First Grade

Parents - here is what your child is expected to learn in first grade

What You Need to Know:  

In first grade, history-social science remains – as in kindergarten – student centered.  With students’ worlds becoming a bit larger and more dynamic, students begin to learn about how their community is structured.  Geography – especially learning about their local context – is essential in building a first-grade understanding of their place in the world.  Students do things like draw maps of their neighborhoods and plot important places in their lives on it.  Schools, markets, libraries, homes, parks, and restaurants, for example, are places that students interact with daily and it helps them build a conceptual understanding of their world if they learn about where places are in relationship to them.  Students also learn about how their communities are able to have the resources they do by investigating how goods like fruits and vegetables get to the market.  They also learn about students who came before them and lived in ways that were similar to and different from their own times.  While making every effort to keep the student at the center of their studies about the communities, students in first grade begin to get an understanding of a world that is slightly larger and more complex than just them, but that they play an essential role in.  A couple of questions that students consider are:

  • What is our community like?
  • How is our life different from those who lived in the past, and how is it the same? 

Between April and June: 

Between April and June, first-grade students might:

  • Look through this set of sources about school rules (1.1)
  • Look through this set of sources about costs and consequences (1.6)
  • Engage in a timeline activity in which students sort photographs from oldest to newest using clues about the photograph to sequence them.
  • Draw a map of their community in which they plot key features in their lives along with roads and methods of transportation.

Lessons and Source Sets:

School Rules (1st grade primary source set)
Life Now Compared to Life Long Ago (1st grade primary source set)
Cost and Consequences (1st grade primary source set)

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