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Social Studies Updates

January 20, 2017
Parents, you may have heard some talk of Mini-Society. Here is a letter explaining what is happening in social studies this quarter. 

Dear Parents,

    The purpose of this letter is to tell you about the social studies program we are beginning this quarter. We will be developing a Mini-Society, an economic education program developed by Dr. Marilyn Kourilsky, a professor at UCLA. Mini-Society is an experience-based unit, which means that economics is taught through the actual experiences of the learners. In order to create an environment where students can experience economic concepts, the students establish their own society, print their own money, open their own businesses, and live with the consequences of their own actions within the society. Your child may keep business records; write advertisements; and become a banker, newspaper writer, or insurance broker. The unit helps children understand economic concepts such as scarcity, opportunity cost, cost-benefit analysis, supply and demand, inflation, competition, and monopoly.

    In addition to the economic learnings involved in the unit there are several side benefits. The children will work actively in problem-solving, trying to find creative and workable solutions to the numerous problems that occur in a society. Each student will have a voice in the decision-making process through the daily debriefings (group discussion meetings). We have found that as a result of this unit, the students are anxious to learn more about government and how it operates both economically and legislatively.

    You can be a great help in this program by not allowing your child to take anything for Mini-Society from home without making some sort of payment. She or he can make a payment through service, their classroom currency, or allowances. A $1000 peso limit may be set for the quarter, although we are not advocating that you spend this money on your child’s class. This is the absolute maximum any child can spend. What we want to foster are creative ideas and entrepreneurial qualities in children. They should be encouraged to think in terms of services they can sell or things they can make for little or no money. Your active interest and involvement will enhance your child’s learning. Hopefully, you can visit your child’s Mini-Society.


                    Grade 5 Social Study Teachers

November, 2016
As we are quickly approaching the break the students have been given their final performance task for the semester. In their SS folders the kids have a performance task sheet, marking rubric, and a note taking template.  Due dates have been different in each class talk to the kids about what the expectations are.    

October 20, 2016
Our final social studies assessment has been assigned and the final due date will be after the October break. The students are required to create a vacation itinerary in Google presentation or Prezi. They need to show everything that they have learned about the 5 Themes of Geography. The task sheet and rubric are in the students' Google Drive folder.   

September 21, 2016
Students will have a social studies quiz the last week of September. They will be expected to be able to locate the continents and major oceans on a map. The students will also need to know the five elements of a good map (key/legend, title, scale, compass rose, and grid). Lastly, they will need to be able to identify the five themes of geography. They can study for the map section of the quiz with this website.

Early Civilizations - Mesopotamia From Nomads to Farmers

posted Nov 14, 2016, 4:34 PM by Eric Bird   [ updated Nov 14, 2016, 4:37 PM ]

In Social Studies, we have been looking at early and ancient civilizations.

We have been asking great questions such as, "What is Culture?" and "What have ancient civilizations contributed to our societies now?"

Feel free to continue these conversations at home with your children 😀

Here is the link to the video we have been watching about the Sumerians entitled, "Mesopotamia From Nomads to Farmers"

End of the Quarter in SS

posted Oct 13, 2016, 10:25 PM by Eric Bird

These final two weeks of classes leading into October break students have been using their Social Studies skills to complete a performance task. This task is in the form of a ‘Vacation Itinerary’; where students choose a destination and create a slideshow that showcases their knowledge and comprehension of the Five Themes of Geography. The task is required to be completed during our lessons this coming week (Oct. 17-21).

We will begin having brief discussions about our upcoming unit on Ancient Civilizations next week. This will be in an effort to get students mentally prepared for the shift in focus from geographical themes and mapping to a focus on how cultures develop and are structured, both past cultures and current.

Welcome to SS

posted Aug 21, 2016, 4:22 PM by Eric Bird   [ updated Sep 21, 2016, 9:05 PM ]

Grade Five Social Studies is off to a great start this year!

We have been getting to know your children and have been establishing organizational procedures which tie into our first unit entitled Organization.

We have been looking at the big idea that organization brings structure to our world and asking the question why do we organize?

Specific to Social Studies, we've been looking at the following ideas:
  • What is Social Studies?
  • Why study History?
  • How is SS about me?
  • How does the study of geography help us to understand our world and our place in it?

 The Five Themes of Geography are at the forefront of how we will approach Social Studies in grade five.  

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