Social Studies Curriculum at P.S. 51


P.S. 51 follows the New York State Social Studies Standards. Units are developed using Grant Wiggins and Jay McTigue’s Understanding by Design framework. Units are integrated, project-based, and incorporate art, music, technology, and science. At the end of every study, each class has a celebration in which students demonstrate their learning through student-developed culminating projects.

Kindergarten-Grade 2

Kindergarten to Grade 2 implement standards-based inquiry studies in social studies. Choice time experiences will support these inquiry studies.

Inquiry Units of Study
Kindergarten- school bus study and a supermarket study. Grade 1- park study and a restaurant study.
Grade 2- architecture study and a subway study.

Grades 3-5

In Grades 3-5, teachers are expected to implement at least two project-based social studies units this year.

Grade 3 social studies units:

• Introduction to world geography and world communities – What are the important features of communities throughout the world?
• Case studies of a community in Asia: China, Europe: Italy, Africa: Nigeria – How do culture, history, geography, people and government shape the development of a community?

Grade 4 units:

• Native Americans: First inhabitants of New York State – How did Native Americans influence the development of New York?
• Three worlds meet – How did three diverse cultures interact and affect each other?
• Colonial and revolutionary periods – How did the American Revolution affect lives in New York? • The new nation – What does it mean to be free?

• Growth and expansion – What was the effect of industrial growth and increased immigration on New York?
• Local and state government – What is the relationship between governments and individuals?

Grade 5 units:

• Geography and early peoples of the Western Hemisphere – How did geography influence the development of the Western Hemisphere?
• The United States – How do geography, economics, people, and key events connect to shape a nation? • Latin America - How do geography, economics, people, and key events connect to shape a region?
• Canada - How do geography, economics, people, and key events connect to shape a nation?
• Western hemisphere today – How do nations meet the challenges of modern living?