The Day School at Baltimore Hebrew stresses an interactive, experiential approach to learning about Social Studies. The sequential curriculum develops concepts, skills, and their applications, building from year to year on prior knowledge and experience. Throughout the grades, students utilize research skills and reasoning skills. Opportunities are provided at each grade level to utilize classroom learning to solve real-world problems and discuss real-world situations. Students are encouraged to use both print and non-print materials as well as primary sources to reinforce in-class learning. Students also become active participants in communications about and actions regarding current local and world issues. Whenever possible, Judaic Studies is integrated into the Social Studies curriculum in all grade levels throughout the year. The listings below indicate topics and activities that are covered at all grade levels, although topics may shift to other grade levels depending on grade groupings required by enrolment at some grade levels.
(When grades are combined, all themes are taught in a 2 year cycle)
The PreK/K Social Studies program utilizes historic and current events, holidays, and seasons as the basis for units throughout the school year. The program involves students in many interactive activities which relate to their daily lives in their homes, their community, and their religious lives. Opportunities are provided for reading, art, and mathematics integration in various areas as the year progresses.
The Social Studies Program in Grade 1 begins by focusing on each child as an individual and then expands the studentsí understandings of their place in a community. First grade students become more aware of places around the globe and their relationships to other countries in the global neighborhood during the course of study. In addition to developing skills as citizens of the world, students develop their own sense of belonging to the Jewish community. When studying life in other countries, they also compare life in each country to our lives in the United States and the lives of children in Israel. They are able to compare their lives with those of people in other parts of the world, as well as the Native American groups of the United States both in the past and present.
Second grade social studies focuses on communities. Throughout the year, students use globes, atlases, and maps, as well as teacher created materials to study the globe as a community, nations of the world as communities, and our country as a community. Second graders have many opportunities for hands-on activities during their studies. In addition, math skills, language skills, and writing skills are integrated into the Social Studies themes.
As part of the third grade curriculum, students learn about communities: ancient and modern, and nearby and far away. They discover how and why communities developed and study the city of Baltimore, both historically and as a modern metropolitan area. Third graders also learn about Jewish communities, both in Baltimore and in Israel.
Fourth grade Social Studies provides students with an in depth study of the beginnings of our nation. The growth of the United States is explored through historical events, cultural influences, and the effects of geography. Students are able to use textbooks and other print materials to gather information. Through class discussion, hands on activities, and role play, fourth graders develop an understanding of the forces that helped to shape the very beginnings of our country. They also look at the state of Maryland and its growth.
The fifth grade Social Studies program extends studentsí understandings of geography and the history of the United States. Students explore, construct, and gather data from various maps, globes, charts and graphs. They study the regions of the United States, looking for details related to physical geography and study the states individually. The story of the United States continues in the fifth grade as students study events leading up to the Revolutionary War and the establishment of the new government. Along with current events topics, throughout the year, Judaic concepts are integrated in the Social Studies curriculum as often as possible. Using Interact simulation activities helps bring history to life for fifth grade students.