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Social Studies in Kindergarten

In the earliest years of school, the social studies curriculum is oriented toward the family and the neighborhood, social relationships, and what might be called civic responsibilities. The social studies curriculum is also intended to give children the basis for interacting with and understanding people of other cultures, as well as the foundation for later studies in history and geography.

The teacher's goals for the children are that they:

  • Recognize their names in print;
  • Know their telephone numbers and how to use the telephone;
  • Know their street addresses;
  • Name all the people in their families and extended families and know what each family member does and enjoys;
  • Describe how they get to school and map the route; describe their favorite things, friends, and activities;
  • Understand and appreciate the different kinds of families that exist (two parents, a single parent, stepparents, and the like);
  • Begin to know something about families in other cultures;
  • Begin to know the significance of civic and religious holidays, both their own and those of other people;
  • Begin to learn about such national historical figures as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington Carver, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Chief Joseph, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Martin Luther King, Jr.;
  • Become familiar with such principles of citizenship as being responsible for their own actions, helping to make group decisions, sharing and respecting others; and
  • Start studying geography through such subjects as weather, seasons, and maps.

    Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your Kindergartner -- 1st Grader by Vito Perrone, published by published by Chelsea House Publishers.
    Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.

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