The K-5 social studies curriculum in Chittenango begins by helping children develop an understanding of the characteristics of a responsible citizen in the community and progresses through to the study of the Western Hemisphere.
Emphasis in the primary grades is on the self in relationship to friends and community. This relationship is connected to the study of current events and holidays. The intermediate grades focus on the study of geography, government, economics, and history at both the local and global levels. Throughout the curriculum there is an emphasis on developing skills associated with the study of history and society. Typical examples include researching, information gathering, organizing information, and conveying thoughts and information through writing and speaking.
Our overarching goal is for students to develop awareness of self in relationship to the world they live in and will influence by their actions.
Melissa Machan, K-5 Chairperson
All grade levels teach and assess using a variety of means. One way is the Document Based Question or DBQ. It is a way for students to first examine actual historical documents (maps, quotes, newspaper articles, etc.) about a given theme. Rather than read another's view of history, students are encouraged to analyze it themselves. The DBQ requires short answer questions and an essay. Other methods used include group activities, reading, essay writing, multiple choice questions, short written answers, discussion, and research.
Sixth grade social studies focuses on the Eastern Hemisphere. We often compare and contrast it with earlier study of the Western Hemisphere in fifth grade. The key concepts examined, as in all levels of social studies, are history, geography, economics, culture, and citizenship and government. The content covered includes early humans, river valley civilizations (like China, India, or ancient Egypt), the cultures of Greece and Rome, and the Middle Ages. Pertinent current events also drive our teaching choices, so we have focused on the Middle East, and other timely topics, as well.
This course is the first year of a two-year American History course with emphasis on New York State as appropriate. It is taught chronologically, covering Native Americans through Reconstruction following the Civil War. The content is taught through the use of a textbook, Why We Remember, teacher-made materials, and activities, including constructed response questions and document based questions to develop the skills needed as students progress through social studies.
In eighth grade, study of American history continues from 1870 to the present. Topics examined include industrialization, immigration, unionization, the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II and the Holocaust, and the Cold War. Interdisciplinary projects are coordinated with the English/Language Arts department, giving students the opportunity to research and study topics in depth. These projects require student to use independent research skills and allow students to create unique products using abilities and talents not normally displayed in a traditional classroom setting. Interdisciplinary projects are used in the units covering immigration, World War II, and the decades 1950 - 1990.
Link to the NYS Education Department information on curriculum and state testing:
Erica Martin, 6-8 Chairperson
Chittenango Middle School
The goals and curriculum of the Chittenango High School Social Studies Department are designed to foster mastery of the five New York State Standards for Social Studies at the commencement level. The five standards, the history of the United States and New York State, World History, Geography, Economics , and Civics, Citizenship and Government are at the core of required courses taught in grades 9 through 12. Students must complete 1 unit each in Global History and Geography in grades 9 and 10 and 1 unit in United States History and Government in grade 11. In order to graduate, students must also exhibit mastery of the standards by scoring 65 or better on regents exams in Global History and United States History. Students are provided with extensive preparation for these tests. An honors class in Global History 10 and a college credit Advanced Placement course in United States History are offered to selected students.
Students must also successfully complete 1/2 unit courses in Economics and Participation in Government their senior year. In addition to the required core courses, Chittenango High School also offers 1/2 unit electives in Sociology and Psychology to seniors.
Concurrent with learning the core content of the five standards, students are expected to develop their writing and research skills through a variety of interdisciplinary activities. More extensive descriptions of courses and requirements can be found on the guidance department page of this web site. Information about state standards and core curriculum can be found at the NYSED web site listed below.
Dan Kelly, 9-12 Chairperson
Chittenango High School