- July 3, 2019 at 11:01 AM #73356
Our school is changing our social studies curriculum in grades 1–4. In these grades we only have social studies class two days a week for half the year, i.e. on about 20% of the days of school. (This schedule allows more time for reading and language, and is unlikely to change anytime soon.) Our social studies priorities for these grades are building basic geography knowledge and skills.
Grades 1 and 2 are in separate classrooms. In these grades we’ll be using 2 out of the 5 available CLE LightUnits—LightUnit 103 “North American and Its People” and LightUnit 105 “The World and You” in grade 1, and LightUnit 204 “Travel” and LightUnit 205 “Children from Different Communities” in grade 2.
Grades 3 and 4 are combined. In these grades we’ll be using the second half of BJU’s grade 4 text, which covers US geography (the first half covers late 19th and early 20th century US history), going through half of this section each year.
I’d be interested in any feedback on this plan. Are we crazy? Have any of you done something similar in these grades?
- July 3, 2019 at 10:51 PM #73359
If you’re going to switch, buy Living History Threads from Faith Builders. My students absolutely love it. You will get all the geography you want plus incredible life-changing stories. And I’m going to predict you may end up squeezing in more time than you thought. I’ve sometimes read the assigned stories for story time or used extra stories for devotions. My children cheer. We use it in Grades 1-4, also combining two grades. I suggest you starting by buying first and third grade, then you could do half of each one year and the other half the next. Your students will grow from any time spent in this course.
- July 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM #73360
Living History Threads is actually what we have been using. It just doesn’t seem to work well with the minimal time we schedule for social studies. 🙁 It’s disappointing to me that LHT hasn’t worked out for us because I really like the idea behind it, and I’m glad to hear that it works well for you.
- July 15, 2019 at 7:10 PM #73426
…in grades 1–4… we only have social studies class two days a week for half the year, i.e. on about 20% of the days of school. (This schedule allows more time for reading and language, and is unlikely to change anytime soon.) Our social studies priorities for these grades are building basic geography knowledge and skills.
Peter, I recommend that your school reconsider the implications of what the sentences quoted above from your post imply. I read in them that the importance of reading and language classes and the time they take trump lesser subjects like social studies. And that geography knowledge and skills are the primary social studies elements for lower elementary. And that reading/language is not part of social studies.
I think you should consider how to hatch two or birds from one egg: The better option may well be to expand the time on social studies to do it right, providing a breadth of hi(story) and geography while at the same time achieving many of the goals of both reading and language arts. The Living History curriculum is language intensive, providing rich opportunity for developing listening skills, oral skills such as discussion and narration, and writing assignments of all types. Its subjects can enrich the student’s world in foundational ways while achieving many of the goals of stand-alone reading and language arts classes. I suggest you consider reducing time spent on classes “named” reading/language arts and achieve those same goals as well or better by including them in the class that is named social studies.
- July 17, 2019 at 4:55 PM #73430
- July 16, 2019 at 9:19 PM #73427
I was going to echo Karen Yoder and then I saw your reply. Are you looking for something students can do as “busy work” with little teacher input? If so, using the Christian Light material in grades 1 and 2 will fill that role. (I can’t speak for the BJU.) However, if your teachers are going to be involved anyway I’d continue with Living History. Just pick and choose areas you’d like to study if you can’t cover all the material. I also endorse what Jonas wrote above.
But back to the Christian Light material, it’s been a while since I taught these but you’ve picked out the LU’s that I would have if I were choosing just a few.
- July 17, 2019 at 4:57 PM #73432
Thanks for the input, Jonas and Carolyn. I’m certainly open to reconsidering our approach.
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