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Social Studies in 5th Grade


The 5th Grade Social Studies program at Westerly is designed to students deepen students’ understanding of the world and their geographic, political, social, and historical places in it. Through their participation in the Social Studies scope and sequence, students will delve into the stories of ordinary and extraordinary people, moments, and movements to help them deeply understand the range and continuity of the human experience throughout history. With this understanding, students will be able to thoughtfully evaluate their own worldview and cultivate empathy and desire to understand people who experience the world in a manner that is different from their own.

This program also helps students develop important schema for describing and understanding their own worldview as well as human experiences that may be different from their own. As they identify themes of power and ownership in 5th Grade, the cornerstone of the curriculum is the cultivation of compassion and empathy for the human experience throughout history. 5th Grade teachers utilize an inquiry-driven, project-based approach that enables students of all learning styles to demonstrate their understanding. Students are encouraged to delve into their own passions and interests through research, demonstrating their learning at school-wide events, student showcases, and celebrations of community and diversity. California State Social Studies Standards drive the content for the curriculum scope and sequence.

Concepts we explore include:

  • The Land and People Before Columbus
  • The Age of Exploration
  • A Changing Continent
  • The Road to War
  • The American Revolution
  • Forming a New Government
  • Life in the Young Republic
  • The Westward Expansion