School District of the Chathams Curriculum Profile



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School District of the Chathams
Curriculum Profile
Program of Study: Social Studies

Course Title: Social Studies

Grade Level: Grade 5


  1. Course Description

The focus of the grade 5 curriculum is the United States including:

  • the migration of Asian peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere;

  • the Age of Discovery;

  • colonization of the United States;

  • the American Revolution;

  • the Constitution; and

  • Westward Expansion.




  1. Course Objectives and Alignment with NJCCCS

6.1: ALL STUDENTS WILL UTILIZE HISTORICAL THINKING, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND RESEARCH SKILLS TO MAXIMIZE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF CIVICS, HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, AND ECONOMICS.

A. Social Studies Skills

1. Analyze how events are related over time.

2. Use critical thinking skills to interpret events, recognize bias, point of view, and context.

3. Assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources.

4. Analyze data in order to see persons and events in context.

5. Examine current issues, events, or themes and relate them to past events.

6. Formulate questions based on information needs.

7. Use effective strategies for locating information.

8. Compare and contrast competing interpretations of current and historical events.

9. Interpret events considering continuity and change, the role of chance, oversight and error, and changing interpretations by historians.

11. Summarize information in written, graphic, and oral formats.

STANDARD 6.2 (CIVICS) ALL STUDENTS WILL KNOW, UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE THE VALUES AND PRINCIPLES OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND THE RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND ROLES OF A CITIZEN IN THE NATION AND THE WORLD.

B. American Values and Principles

1. Analyze how certain values including individual rights, the common good, self-government, justice, equality and free inquiry are fundamental to American public life.



C. The Constitution and American Democracy

1. Discuss the major principles of the Constitution, including shared powers, checks and balances, separation of church and state, and federalism.



STANDARD 6.3 (WORLD HISTORY) ALL STUDENTS WILL DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE OF WORLD HISTORY IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND LIFE AND EVENTS IN THE PAST AND HOW THEY RELATE TO THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE.

D. The Age of Global Encounters (1400-1750)

1. Discuss factors that contributed to oceanic travel and exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, including technological innovations in ship building navigation, naval warfare, navigational inventions such as the compass, and the impact of wind currents on the major trade routes.

3. Compare the social and political elements of Incan and Aztec societies, including the major aspects of government, the role of religion, daily life, economy, and social organization.

STANDARD 6.4 (UNITED STATES AND NEW JERSEY HISTORY) ALL STUDENTS WILL DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE OF UNITED STATES AND NEW JERSEY HISTORY IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND LIFE AND EVENTS IN THE PAST AND HOW THEY RELATE TO THE PRESENT AND FUTURE.

A. Family and Community Life

Reinforce indicators from previous grade levels.



B. State and Nation

Reinforce indicators from previous grade levels.



C. Many Worlds Meet (to 1620)

1. Discuss factors that stimulated European overseas explorations between the 15th and 17th centuries and the impact of that exploration on the modern world.

2. Trace the major land and water routes of the explorers.

3. Compare the political, social, economic, and religious systems of Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans who converged in the western hemisphere after 1492 (e.g., civic values, population levels, family structure, communication, use of natural resources).

4. Discuss the characteristics of the Spanish and Portuguese exploration and conquest of the Americas, including Spanish interaction with the Incan and Aztec empires, expeditions in the American Southwest, and the social composition of early settlers and their motives for exploration and conquest.

5. Describe the migration of the ancestors of the Lenape Indians and their culture at the time of first contact with Europeans.

6. Compare and contrast historic Native American groups of the West, Southwest, Northwest, Arctic and sub-Arctic, Great Plains, and Eastern Woodland regions at the beginning of European exploration.

7. Analyze the cultures and interactions of peoples in the Americas, Western Europe, and Africa after 1450 including the transatlantic slave trade.

8. Discuss how millions of Africans, brought against their will from Central Africa to the Americas, including Brazil, Caribbean nations, North America and other destinations, retained their humanity, their families, and their cultures during enslavement.

D. Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763)

7. Discuss Spanish exploration, settlement, and missions in the American Southwest.



STANDARD 6.5 (ECONOMICS) ALL STUDENTS WILL ACQUIRE AN UNDERSTANDING OF KEY ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES.

A. Economic Literacy

5. Discuss the economic growth of a nation in terms of increasing productivity, investment in physical capital, and investment in human capital.

7. Discuss how innovation, entrepreneurship, competition, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement in productivity are responsible for the rise in the standard of living in the United States and other countries with market economies.

9. Explain what taxes are, how they are collected, and how tax dollars are used by local, state, and national governments to provide goods and services.



B. Economics and Society

1. Discuss how meeting the needs and wants of a growing world population impacts the environment and economic growth.

3. Discuss how societies have been affected by industrialization and by different political and economic philosophies.

4. Describe how inventions and innovations have improved standards of living over the course of history.



STANDARD 6.6 (GEOGRAPHY) ALL STUDENTS WILL APPLY KNOWLEDGE OF SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND OTHER GEOGRAPHIC SKILLS TO UNDERSTAND HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN RELATION TO THE PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT.

A. The World in Spatial Terms

1. Distinguish among the distinct characteristics of maps, globes, graphs, charts, diagrams, and other geographical representations, and the utility of each in solving problems.

2. Translate maps into appropriate spatial graphics to display geographical information.

3. Explain the spatial concepts of relative and absolute location and distance.

5. Use geographic tools and technologies to pose and answer questions about spatial distributions and patterns on Earth.

7. Explain the distribution of major human and physical features at country and global scales.



B. Places and Regions

1. Compare and contrast the physical and human characteristics of places in regions in New Jersey, the United States, and the world.

2. Describe how regions change over time.

3. Compare the natural characteristics used to define a region.



C. Physical Systems

5. Describe how the physical environment affects life in different regions (e.g., population density, architecture, transportation systems, industry, building materials, land use, recreation).



D. Human Systems

2. Analyze demographic characteristics to explain reasons for variations between populations.

3. Compare and contrast the primary geographic causes for world trade.

5. Discuss how and why people cooperate, but also engage in conflict, to control the Earth’s surface.

6. Compare the patterns and processes of past and present human migration.

8. Describe how physical and human characteristics of regions change over time.



E. Environment and Society

2. Analyze the impact of various human activities and social policies on the natural environment and describe how humans have attempted to solve environmental problems through adaptation and modification.




  1. Topical Outline

    • Many Worlds Meet

    • Colonization and Settlement

    • Revolution and the New Nation

    • Westward Expansion




  1. Skills

  • Graphing/charting

  • Timelines

  • Compare & contrast

  • Map Making

  • Interpreting symbols

  • Evaluating

  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data

  • Illustrating

  • Explaining

  • Categorizing

  • Describing

  • Study Skills

  • Cause and Effect

  • Computer literacy

  • Collaborative learning




  1. Methods of Instruction and Sample Activities

  • Whole class, small group, and individual activities

  • Utilization of technology

  • Differentiated activities

  • Role playing



  1. Instructional Materials

  • Textbook

  • Teacher-created materials

  • Multimedia



  1. Student Outcomes and Methods of Assessment

  • Digital Projects

  • Quizzes

  • Tests

  • Projects

  • Homework and in-class assignments



Date of Last Review or Revision: 8/10/06
Members of Review/Revision Committee: Beth Adams, Brian Taylor


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