By GreatSchools Staff
Who recalls the dates of the Byzantine Empire? Or that the Ohlone Indians spoke one of the Utian languages? Details from social studies are easy to forget once we graduate to the real world. Still, such primers in history, geography, politics, and anthropology are crucial to our children's education.
How do you know if your child’s social studies curriculum stacks up? Check out our grade-by-grade milestones to understand your state and national standards.
Civic lessons are central to social studies, and, according to award-winning teacher Jane Ann Robertson, decision-making skills should be part of all second-graders' education. "The primary purpose of social studies in the elementary classroom," she says, "is to help young students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public as citizens of a democratic society."
Second-graders learn to compare their own lives with the lives of parents, grandparents, and famous historical figures. Students might also learn about their ancestors' immigration to the United States and the countries they left behind.
Second-graders might be asked to:
Social studies covers history, geography, economics, and civics, and your second-grader's curriculum will likely focus on a theme that integrates these disparate subject areas and allows your child to develop critical thinking, research, and writing skills. One example: the study of farming. By looking at the workings of a farm, second-graders can learn about managing natural resources, how individuals and businesses contribute to a community, how farmers shaped U.S. history and culture, and the geography of different regions, among other topics.
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