Fort Dodge Community School District

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First Grade Social Studies Overview

The Social Studies Curriculum in First Grade acquaints students with their school and family. Resources for the Social Studies Curriculum are varied, but the basic curriculum is the Social Studies Alive Curriculum developed by Teachers Curriculum Institute.

Social Studies Alive:  The first grade level of Social Studies Alive!  offers a full-year program with 14 lessons that help children explore social studies concepts through teacher-led activities while they are learning to read.  A colorful, considerate text contains companion readings for each learning activity.

  • Lesson 1:  How Do We Get Along in School?  Children play a game in which they work together to draw a picture, discovering the value of cooperating.

  • Lesson 2: Why is it Important to Learn from Each Other?  Children share their preferences, interests, and special skills as they discover the importance of learning from and accepting each other.

  • Lesson 3:  Why Do Schools Have Rules?  By playing a game without rules, children learn why rules are needed, both in games and in school.

  • Lesson 4:  Who Helps Us at School?  Children act out the roles of school teacher, principal, secretary and custodian,  learning how each contributes to the school community.

  • Lesson 5:  How Are We Good Helpers at School?  Children discover they can make valuable contributions at school by helping others, respecting property, being positive and solving problems.

  • Lesson 6: What Is a Map? Children learn about a map and its basic elements by creating maps of their own.

  • Lesson 7:  What Was School Like Long Ago?  By viewing pictured objects from the past, children discover what schools were like and compare them to schools today.

  • Lesson 8:  What Groups Do We Belong To? Children identify common groups to which they belong, including school, family, and community groups.

  • Lesson 9:  How Are Families Special?  Children learn, through reading and creating their own books, that all families are special in different ways.

  • Lesson 10:  What Do Families Need and Want?  Children explore the economic concept of needs and wants in the context of what families might need and want on a camping trip.

  • Lesson 11:  How Do Family Members Care for Each Other?  Children categorize different types of caring and helping behavior in families

  • Lesson 12:  How Do Families Change?  By viewing images, children discover what happens when people grow older and families change in size.

  • Lesson 13:  What are Family Traditions?  Children explore their own family traditions and learn about traditions and celebrations of people from different cultures.

  • Lesson 14:  What Do Good Neighbors Do?  Children illustrate and assemble puzzles that help them explore what it means to be a good neighbor.

Through the study of the lessons above, as well as units integrated with reading, students in first grade will continue their study of the following Iowa Core Social Studies Standards:


·         Understand all people have individual traits.

·         Understand that changes in technology impact individuals and society.

·         Understand the universal economic concept of needs and wants.

·         Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.

·         Understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions

·         Understand people construct knowledge of the past from multiple and various types of sources.

·         Understand how and why people create and participate in governance.

·         Understand culture and cultural diffusion affects the development and maintenance of societies.

·         Understand individuals and groups within a society may promote change or the status quo.

·         Understand economic needs and wants affect individual and group decisions.

·         Understand relationships between geography and historical events.

·         Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.

·         Understand how government affects citizens and how citizens affect government.

·         Understand the United States has a role in current world affairs.



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