The Social Studies Intermediate curriculum is dedicated to foster independence, promote higher order thinking, and build grit based on educating the whole person in a fun, interesting manner. This plan is designed to create a social science curriculum for 3rd – 5th grade students that promotes creative, analytical, independent students who can problem solve and work collaboratively.
This curriculum is based on themes not content as students typically read and learn about history in order to recall it later for an assessment or transfer it in an assignment. This method is usually driven by a textbook and based on memorization. With information literally at the tips of everyone’s fingers, I have to ask what’s the point? Why memorize and regurgitate anything when you can look it up in seconds?
Creating a curriculum from a thematic approach fosters student thinking because the emphasis becomes “Why does it matter?”, How did this happen?”, “How is this similar to what you already know?”, and “How does this affect your life?”. It brings meaning and purpose to the curriculum and removes the dependency on textbooks for both teachers and students.
Themes and concepts are taught and students then create something that explains the information using the themes and concepts via any method they choose (i.e., movie, photos, notes, word webs, storyboard, or graphic organizers). The 10 themes that are review are: Agriculture, Government, Achievements, Trade, Social Class, Technology, Disease, Imperialism, Geography, and Religion.