Social Studies

This unit provides students with an opportunity to review essential civics and government concepts learned in previous grades. It also establishes a common foundation that sets the stage for deeper discussions about government throughout the year as students explore the question:

Why is the federal government organized to give and to limit power?


Students begin by examining what life would be like in the absence of government and hypothesize about the reasons people form governments. Next, we will review core democratic values and principles upon which our government is based and investigate how they are rooted in the organization of the federal government. In doing so, concepts such as limited government, popular sovereignty, rule of law, and individual rights are stressed. We will analyze and explain how the Preamble to the Constitution reflects the purposes of government and explore other parts of the Constitution for evidence of federalism, limited government, and individual rights. 

Contemporary examples of government in action are used throughout the unit. Moreover, this unit provides us with the opportunity to connect classroom rules with ideas about government, including why people form governments, what happens without rules or laws, and the importance of the rule of law. Finally, this unit allows for a seamless connection to Constitution Day, which is September 17. 

After we establish why the Constitution was written and its function, we will then begin thinking like historians. First, we will learn about the Native Americans who were here before the European settlement, or invasion, depending on the point of view.  From there we learn about the French, English, and Spanish colonization of North America, and we spend a lot of time learning about the 13 colonies and what life was like for colonists, indentured servants, enslaved people, women, and children. Then we move to the Road to Revolution as tensions between the colonists and English rule lead to the American Revolution, and finally to the building of a new nation. It's not always pretty or nice, and we will discuss some unpleasant truths about our young country. We will also learn that history isn't always written in stone, we are learning new things every day and history does change as we uncover more of our past through primary sources, artifacts, and science.


5th Grade history is the best!
I love it, and I hope your child will too! 

Here is the link to the online textbook that we will read together in class. It's helpful for days when you may be absent or before a unit test.
Open Book online Textbook