In most schools, 5th grade curriculum focuses on United States history, beginning with the colonization of America and possibly continuing through the 20th century. As 5th graders study social studies, they are taught to analyze the reasons behind events, make connections, and compare. 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 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 sources and different types of media (such as film and art) to learn about historical events.
- Learns about historical events through the context of geography and how it affected different events.
- Researches, organizes, and presents her research on various topics, events, and figures.
- Discusses topics, focusing on 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 was like during a time she is studying. Look online or visit the local library to find this information. You may even be able to find old pictures or other information about either your house or the land on which you live. Learn the history of where you live. Compare the differences between your community, past and present.
- 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, you may know someone who experienced a historical event covered in school. Your child can interview this person and then create a project (such as a written piece or a TV show) about the person he interviews. This can be particularly meaningful for your child if the person he interviews is in your family and shares your family history with him.
- Map it Out: Find a place nearby that has historical significance. Visit that place with a map and trace out the event. 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.