Wednesday, June 10, 2009

District: 5th Grade Social Studies Pilots

Today John Bayers, principal of Greens Farms Elementary, led a small group to discuss a summer writing workshop to look at some possible changes in the 5th grade social studies curriculum. The group consisted of Michael Brownstein, technology teacher at LLS; Joe Pullia, 5th grade teacher, CES; Anne Nesbitt, assistant principal, KHS; Nancy Giglio, 5th grade teacher, KHS; Melanie Carroll, 5th grade teacher, LLS; Calla Constantine, 5th grade teacher, GFS; and Dianne Connolly, 5th grade teacher, SES.

The goal of the writing group this summer will be to make some minor changes to the 5th grade study of culture through the exploration of these essential questions:
  • How do the cultural universals help us compare and contrast various communities?
  • How does human interaction with natural resources influence the development and survival of a culture?
  • How do technology and trade affect the growth of a culture?
  • What contributed to the development and “cultural diffusion” of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome?
The group will look at:
  • how the four big ideas from the recent social studies curriculum review process are integrated into the social studies units (Global Understanding, Multiple Perspectives, Effective Citizenship, and Historical Thinking)
  • the possiblity of including "Big Think" activities that provide students with the opportunity to apply their learning to a "real" problem
  • the inclusion of other ancient civilizations that broaden the understanding of "culture."
  • the possibility of one or more schools piloting the proposed changes during the 2009-1010 school year.

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