First Grade Social Studies Curriculum

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(Click on any photo to be taken to the resource)

You are going to LOVE this unit. It’s easy to implement, it’s comprehensive, #representation, and your students are going to walk away with a great foundation of important social studies skills. We lay the foundation in literally every other academic area, social studies shouldn’t be an exception!

LaNesha and I wanted to put together a curriculum that would give students the basics and kick start their love of history, civics, economics, geography, decision making, and sociology. We wanted to present these foundational and important topics paired with images that we generally don’t see in social studies lessons. Close your eyes and picture images from your elementary school social studies lessons….who do you see represented? Think about the curriculum your school purchased a few years ago. Who’s centered? Who’s missing?

We wanted to make sure to cover the basics, but cover them in a way where more than one group of people might see themselves represented for various reasons.

In our teacher guides (that accompany each lesson in all 6 units), we added our notes and gave teachers our quick tips and considerations for the lessons.

We sought to include lessons that pushed teachers to move beyond “just the facts” that asked them to consider different perspectives and the truths of others. Yes, students need to learn about goods, services, and money, but we can cover those topics in a way that gets them thinking about how the world works for different groups of people and to consider how those groups are affected.

We also encourage teachers to add in perspectives we may have missed. Use each lesson as an opportunity to bring truth and real conversations into your classroom.

In this curriculum you will find everything you need to hit the ground running and lay a foundation that will help you and your students dive deeper into other topics during your social studies time.

There are 6 units:

Each unit consists of 8 lessons:

Student workbooks, projectable lessons, a detailed teaching guide, checks for understanding, feelings checks, unit reviews, vocabulary, and unit quizzes are also included in this curriculum!

There is so much included to help you and your students do social studies right!

Print the essential question posters and post them in the room for the duration of each unit and refer back to them throughout the unit. Or show them to students virtually before each lesson and remind them that this question will be able to be answered confidently at the end of your unit.

Student workbooks and assignments can be printed and bound into one large workbook and kept in a folder, or made into 6 mini workbooks. Each unit has its own cover page. Or workbooks can be assigned digitally. PNGs have been included for your convenience so they can be added to Google Slides or Seesaw. Directions are included in your download for both. Pages can also be printed or virtually assigned as needed.

Student Checks for Understanding are built in to take place after each lesson. Students will use a 1-4 rating system to assess their own understanding.

We set this up in a way that students will have an open book quiz at the end of the unit. Allow students to use all of lesson assignments and Unit Review Note catcher to assist while they take their end of unit quiz.

Unit Lesson Slides are included. Each lesson has its own slide to help teach the lessons and engage your learners. A Turn and Talk question is included on each slide to encourage student discussion. Virtual learners can enjoy these discussions whole group or in breakout rooms!

Feeling lost? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! A Daily Lesson Guide for each and every lesson exists to guide you along the way. We added objectives, teaching suggestions, questions, and show you which slide corresponds with which workbook page you’ll need for that lesson.

It’s easy! One lesson = One teacher guide page, one teaching slide to project (or share), and one student workbook page.

Parent and Caregiver Notes have been included to send home or attach the image and email it so that parents and caregivers are aware of all of the lessons in an upcoming unit!

Unit Pacing:

So, you’re probably asking yourself how long does all of this take? We designed each lesson to last for 30 minutes or less. We know many of us have to use the “Get in where you fit in” model when it comes to social studies.

There are 8 lessons in each unit that are meant to last for 8 days. There’s a day to review for the quiz, and then a day for the quiz. Each unit has 5 vocabulary words that should be taught one day at a time. So an entire unit would last for15 days if you did one lesson each day of the school week. (If you need to reteach a lesson or two, based on checks for understanding, go for it! Do what works for you.)

We also understand that holidays, breaks, themes, and other things come up and interrupt lessons. You might skip a day here and there to fit in an accurate Thanksgiving lesson, or teach about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That’s fine! This curriculum can be stretched out longer if you decide to visit other themes in between units. It can be completed quickly if you power through.

We added a pacing guide that also includes resources we’ve created that will help you further explore more social studies topics with your students.

Who are these lessons for?:

These lessons are geared towards 6-7 year-olds. They will be asked to explore topics that build off of what they learned in kindergarten. The majority of their workbook response sheets require them to use high order thinking, reasoning, and to explain themselves through drawing and writing.

What standards did we follow?:

We took a look at several different states across the U.S.A. and combined the elements, themes, and standards that we saw repeated over and over again for students at the first-grade level.

What’s included in the entire student workbook?

What is the vocabulary format?:

We understand that schedules and curriculum needs may vary from teacher to teacher. Because of this, we included a vocabulary portion that can be covered at your discretion. Introduce the vocabulary word (cards have been included that may be printed and displayed in a pocket chart). Ask students to draw a picture, write the definition, and then use it in a sentence for context. Projectable vocabulary slides are included in each unit for each word.

What do Student Workbook Pages look like?:

What are the themes of each unit?:

What do unit review flashcards look like?:

What do unit quizzes look like?:

What does a daily lesson slide look like?:

We understand how important social studies is. When done right, it can be used to lay a foundation for young learners that will grow up to be citizens in a diverse world. Citizens that are culturally intelligent, empathetic, and knowledgeable about the world around them.

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Love,

LaNesha and Naomi

(Tabb + O’Brien)

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LaNesha Tabb

LaNesha Tabb

Wife, Mama of 2, and apron wearing primary educator from Indianapolis.

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