Grades 5-6 Social Studies Curriculum Framework
Course Focus and Content
Grades 5-6 Social Studies builds on the foundational knowledge of civics/government, economics, geography, and history, gained in Grades K-4. The course strands, content standards, and the student learning expectations (SLEs) are meant to be taught in an integrated manner, not in isolation. Social studies skills move from basic to more sophisticated and are used in combination to access and comprehend social studies content. Students develop foundational knowledge regarding patterns of change over time and ways people view, construct, and interpret history. The Grade 5 history strand focuses on U.S. History from the beginnings through the Revolutionary Period; whereas, the Grade 6 history strand focuses on World History from the beginnings through the middle of the first millennium. The history strand in Grades 5-6 is organized chronologically using the Eras and time periods from The National Center for History in the Schools (NCHS). The civics/government, economics, and geography strands correlate to the historic eras.
Skills and Application
In Grades 5-6, students will develop and apply disciplinary literacy skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. As students seek answers to compelling and supporting questions, they will examine a variety of primary and secondary sources and communicate responses in multiple ways, including oral, visual, and written forms. Students must be able to select and evaluate sources of information, draw and build upon ideas, explore issues, examine data, and analyze events from the full range of human experience to develop critical thinking skills essential for productive citizens. Grades 5-6 Social Studies is required by the Standards for Accreditation.
The acquisition of content knowledge and skills is paramount in a robust social studies program rooted in inquiry. The chart below summarizes social studies practices in Dimensions 1, 3, and 4 of The College, Career, & Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards. These practices should be addressed throughout Grades K-12, building as students acquire the skills. Dimension 2 sets forth the conceptual content, and the alignment to this dimension is embedded in the SLEs.
Dimension 1 – Questions
Dimension 3 – Sources and Evidence
Dimension 4 – Communicating Ideas
1. Construct compelling questions that promote inquiry around key ideas and issues
4. Gather relevant information from multiple perspectives and a variety of sources; evaluate the credibility of the source by determining its relevance and intended use
6. Construct arguments and explanations that convey ideas and perspectives to appropriate audiences using print, oral, and digital technologies
2. Develop supporting questions that contribute to inquiry: identifying facts, concepts, and interpretations
5. Use evidence from multiple sources to answer compelling and supporting questions by developing arguments with claims and counterclaims and providing explanations
7. Critique the credibility, relevance, and use of evidence in arguments and explanations proposed by self and others
3. Answer compelling and supporting questions using appropriate and available sources that consider multiple points of view
8. Use disciplinary lenses within the social sciences to understand local, regional, and global problems, proposing solutions or assessing strategies and options for action while applying deliberative processes
Engage in disciplinary thinking across the social sciences in Grades K-12
Grades 5-6 Social Studies Curriculum Framework
Strand Content Standard
1. Civic and Political Institutions - Students will analyze the impact of origins, structures, and functions of institutions on society and citizens.
3. Processes, Rules, and Laws - Students will analyze the sources and functions of laws as well as the process of making and amending laws.
4. Economic Decision Making - Students will analyze economic decision making.
5. Exchange and Markets - Students will analyze the exchange of goods and services and the role of producers, consumers, and government in the market place.
6. Growth and stability - Students will evaluate economic growth and stability.
7. Global Economy - Students will analyze economic interdependence within a global economy.
8. Geographic Representations - Students will use geographic representations and skills to become geographically informed citizens.
9. Human Environment Interaction - Students will analyze the interaction between humans and the environment.
10. Spatial Patterns and Movement - Students will interpret the spatial characteristics and patterns of human settlement.
11. Global Interconnections - Students will compare global places and regions and the connections between them.
*Grade 5 United States Beginnings Through 1820s Content Standard 12 begins on page 15
12. United States Beginnings Through 1820s - Students will analyze key historical periods; patterns of change over time; and ways people view, construct, and interpret the history of the United States.
* Grade 6 World History Content Standard 13 begins on page 19
13. World History Beginnings of Civilization Through 1500 C.E. - Students will analyze key historical periods; patterns of change over time; and ways people view, construct, and interpret the history of nations and cultures of the world.
Words that appear in italics within this document are defined in the glossary.
All items in a bulleted list are required to be taught.
The examples given (e.g.,) are suggestions to guide the instructor.
Common Core State Standards (CCSS ELA-Literacy alignment) key, CCRA.R.1 = College and Career Ready Anchor Standard.Reading.1
College, Career, & Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards (C3 alignment) key, D2.His.1.3-5 = Dimension 2.History. 1st K-12 Pathway.Grades 3-5.
Each grade level continues to address earlier SLEs as needed and as they apply to more difficult text.
The K-6 strands, content standards, and SLEs are meant to be taught in an integrated manner, not in isolation.
The ADE course curriculum framework is intended to assist in district curriculum development, unit design, and to provide a uniform, comprehensive guide for instruction. It is not intended to be a state-mandated curriculum for how and when content is taught; these decisions are left to local districts.
This icon indicates Student Learning Expectations that focus on topics in Grades K-6, which relate to Arkansas and may be used to fulfill the requirements of the Arkansas History unit for Grades K-6 as defined in Act 787 of 1997. This framework does not meet the Grades 7-12 Arkansas History requirement as defined in Act 787 of 1997. Refer to the Arkansas History Curriculum Framework written for the course in Grades 7-8 or the Arkansas History Curriculum Framework for the course in Grades 9-12 to fulfill the one-semester Arkansas History requirement as defined in Act 787 of 1997.
Content Standard 1: Civic and Political Institutions - Students will analyze the impact of origins, structures, and functions of institutions on society and citizens.
THE GOAL FOR EACH STUDENT IS PROFICIENCY IN ALL REQUIREMENTS AT CURRENT AND PREVIOUS GRADES.
Content Standard 12: United States Beginnings Through 1820s - Students will analyze key historical periods; patterns of change over time; and ways people view, construct, and interpret the history of the United States.
Grade 5 *
Era 1 - Beginnings to Era 3- 1820s
CCSS ELA-Literacy Alignment
Era 1: Beginnings to 1620
Develop claims about pre-Columbian societies in North America by analyzing artifacts, artwork, charts, graphs, digital, and print sources
D2.His.1, 4, 9, 10, 16.3-5
Compare characteristics (e.g., dwellings, culture, beliefs, land use, food, clothing) of major pre-Columbian people groups within North America using a variety of sources (e.g., mound builders, cliff dwellers, Southwest, Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, Woodland peoples)
Examine reasons for European exploration in the Americas from multiple perspectives
(e.g., trade, religion, colonies, spheres of influence, wealth)
D2.His.4, 10, 14.3-5
Evaluate short- and long-term effects of European exploration and settlement in the Americas and Arkansas from multiple perspectives