In most schools, 5th grade curriculum focuses on American history beginning with the colonization of America and possibly through the 20th century. As 5th graders study social studies they are taught to analyze and think about the reasons behind events and why events occurred as well as make connections and comparisons. As in other grades, since most social studies curricula are specific to a location, consult your child’s teacher or your state’s social studies standards to find out which specific communities and which specific aspects of the community will be covered.
In order to build social studies skills your 5th grader:
- Writes about what he learns through a traditional essay format.
- Uses primary resources and different types of media such as film and art to learn about a historical event.
- Learns about historical events through the context of geography and where the events occurred and how the geography affected different events.
- Researches, organizes and presents his research on various topics, events and figures.
- Discusses topics focusing on explaining his opinion using specific details, facts and reasons to support his opinion.
- Uses technology to research both past and current events and topics.
- Deepens his understanding of government and civic responsibility.
Social Studies Activities
- Learn your Community’s History: Help your child research what the place you lived in used to be like during a time they are studying. Look online and visit the local library to find this information. You may even be able to find old pictures or information on either your house or the land on which you live. Learn the history of where you live. Compare the differences between your past and present community.
- Find Historical Artifacts: Visit museums, libraries or even relatives or friends’ homes to find objects from the early 20th century that may have been used during the time your child studies.
- Interview Historical Figures: Since your 5th grader may study modern history from the 20 century, it is very likely you may know someone who experienced a historical event. Your child can interview this person and then write about or create a TV show about the person she interviews. This can be particularly meaningful for your child if the person she interviews is in your family and shares your family history with her.
- Map it Out: Find a place nearby that has historical significance. Visit that place with a map and trace out the even on the map. If you are unable to go somewhere use an online resource and map out where an important historical event your child learned about occurred. Trace a journey or trip from history.
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