Social Studies Curriculum

Social studies, as defined by the National Council for Social Studies, is the interdisciplinary integration of social science and humanities concepts for the purpose of practicing problem solving and decision making for developing citizenship skills on critical social issues. At Kodiak Island Borough School District the disciplines of geography, history, government and citizenship are incorporated into the curriculum. The primary purpose of social studies is to provide students with the tools and strategies to make informed decisions for the public good, as global citizens in a culturally diverse and interdependent world.

Awareness of and acceptance for all cultures begins with developing an understanding of the diversity within families, the school setting, and local community. This understanding is deepened at the secondary level through the study of the history of Alaska, the United States and its government as well as the world. Instructional practices are encouraged to incorporate art, song, technology, reading, writing, and oral speaking. The integration of the social studies content and reading standards is essential in allowing teachers to effectively streamline teaching and learning in order to meet the rigor of the Alaska state standards. The essential learnings for each grade level are designed around the Alaska State content and cultural standards in Social Studies in the areas of: geography, government and citizenship, history, and world langauges.

Educators are encouraged to connect with the rich variety of available resources on Kodiak Island to support the social studies curriculum. KIBSD values its relationships within the community and recognizes the wealth of information and resources available to enhance learning experiences for all students.

The social studies curriculum document contains the essential learnings for each grade level with vertical alignment from grade to grade. Online and text resources are noted, along with activities that correspond to each essential learning. Effective instructional practices paired with community resources and educator collaboration will enhance student learning experiences in social studies.

Kindergarten: Families, Learning and Working

Essential Learnings:

  1. Recognize that families are unique and special. Individuals within families have specific roles.
  2. Recognize we are all different but special. It is important to respect and accept the diversity of families.
  3. Practice appropriate social interactions and skills and take responsibility for good citizenship within a family.
  4. Exposure to important national and local figures, holidays, and their significance.
  5. Demonstrate that maps and globes are tools for locating places on Earth.

Grade 1: The Classroom and School Communities

Essential Learnings:

  1. Describe how individuals in classrooms and school communities have specific roles.
  2. Respect and accept the importance of diversity within the classroom.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate social interactions and skills, and take responsibility for good citizenship within a school community.
  4. Exposure to important national and local figures, holidays, and their significance.
  5. Demonstrate that maps and globes are tools for locating places on Earth.

Grade 2: Neighborhoods

Essential Learnings:

  1. Recognize that individuals in neighborhood communities have specific roles.
  2. Begin to understand that diversity is a unique aspect of community by exploring family and cultural traditions.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate social interactions and skills, and take responsibility for good citizenship within our local neighborhoods.
  4. Recognize important national and local figures, holidays, and their significance.
  5. Begin to develop a worldview through exposure to maps and globes.

Grade 3: Local History, Culture and Community

Essential Learnings:

  1. Recognize how communities and people are dependent on others and their environment.
  2. Understand that our island communities have unique historical and cultural aspects.
  3. Explain how members of our island communities have personal, social, and civic responsibilities.
  4. Understand important national and local figures, holidays, and their significance.
  5. Understand that Kodiak Island’s location and geography influences its climate and natural resources.

Grade 4: Alaska, The Changing State

Essential Learnings:

  1. Understand how people, events and the environment continue to shape Alaska’s history.
  2. Compare Alaska’s unique regions and their diverse cultures.
  3. Identify the personal, social and civic responsibilities members of Alaska share.
  4. Understand how Alaska’s differing geographic regions and natural resources influence Alaska’s economy.
  5. Explore the government of Alaska, its structure, and its impact on the lives of Alaskans.

Grade 5: United States History and Geography

Essential Learnings:

  1. Understand how people and historical events have impacted our nation’s development.
  2. Describe the unique cultures of the US and their role in American history.
  3. Explain United State’s citizen’s basic rights and responsibilities.
  4. Describe the regions of the US, their distinct features and the impact on American settlement.
  5. Understand the development of the US government and its structure.

Grade 6: Western Hemisphere

Overview:

Understand that the geography of a place or region influences the culture there. Apply this understanding to the following regions:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Mexico and Central America
  4. West Indies
  5. South America

Essential Learnings:

  1. Use and make maps & geographic tools to determine and report information
  2. Understand the physical characteristics of a place/region
  3. Understand the cultural characteristics of a place/region
  4. Understand how humans and physical environments interact

Grade 7: Eastern Hemisphere 

Overview:

Understand that the geography of a place or region influences the culture there. Apply this understanding to the following regions:

  1. Asia
  2. Europe
  3. Africa
  4. Antarctica
  5. Australia

Essential Learnings:

  1. Use and make maps & geographic tools to determine and report information
  2. Understand the physical characteristics of a place/region
  3. Understand the cultural characteristics of a place/region
  4. Understand how humans and physical environments interact

Grade 8: US History: Development of a Nation 

Overview:

Eighth grade Social Studies provides a study of the development of the United States from its historic developments to 1865. Emphasis is placed on the developing American Identity, effects of geographic regionalism, fundamentals of government and cultural influence across time periods.

Essential Learnings:

  1. Individuals and Events-Understand how the characteristics of key people, relationships between groups and significant events contributed to the development of the American Identity.
  2. Geography-Understand the effects of location and geographic features of a place/region on the development of society and culture (geographic regionalism).
  3. Culture-Understand the components of culture within groups and how different cultural groups effected the time period.
  4. Government-Understand the development, structure and evolution of government.

Grade 9: Civics

Overview:

Civics and Government is a semester-long course that encompasses the fundamental parts of the U.S. Government. This includes the branches of government, the Bill of Rights, the election process, and the foundations of our government. Students will also study current events as part of the course.

Essential Learnings:

  1. Current Issues: Students summarize national and international current issues
  2. Foundations of the United States Government: Students understand the history and development of the US government.
  3. The Bill of Rights: Students will analyze the Bill of Rights and its importance in the development of our nation.
  4. The Three Branches of Government: Students identify and describe the branches of government and government processes.

Grades 10-12: U.S. History

Overview:

The study of U.S. History begins with a look at the political implications of westward expansion in the Civil War, then continue with reconstruction through the present day. Students will use primary documents, biographies, art and music, documentaries, and projects to enhance their understanding of the social, economic, and political changes that have occurred. Ongoing discussion of current events will be a part of this course.

Essential Learnings:

  1. Students will be able to explain the North’s attempts to reconstruct the South between 1865 and 1877.
  2. Students will be able to understand various perspectives on federal Indian policy, westward expansion, and the resulting struggles.
  3. The U.S. became an empire when it acquired territory outside the continent and when its international influence increased.
  4. The U.S. chose not to maintain neutrally during WWI; as a result of participation in the war in Europe the U.S. continues to be involved in European affairs.
  5. The 1920’s was a decade of rapid social change that triggered disagreements based on values and region. Prosperity quickly turned to economic depression due to overproduction, rampant speculation, corruption and agricultural problems.
  6. The U.S. played a major role in WWII and political changes as a result of the war continues to impact our lives today.
  7. Differing political and economic systems caused a rivalry, the Cold War, between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, which led to weapons buildup, involvement in Asia, and the space race.
  8. The civil rights movement brought issues of segregation and discrimination to the attention of the public and was the driving force in changing the political and economic status of ethnic groups in the U.S.
  9. U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War created division that is evident in the nation’s view of military and monetary support for foreign entities.
  10. Economic recession of the late 1970s ultimately led to increased involvement in the Middle East and acts of terrorism at home.
  11. The transition from the Cold War ushered in a new era of terrorism.

Grades 10-12: World History

Overview:

The World History course at KHS is a yearlong course that encompasses history from prehistoric times through 1945. Students will read from several history sources, complete projects, participate in hands-on activities, analyze primary sources, and learn to take notes.

Essential Learnings:

  1. Students will understand that ancient civilizations laid the foundation for the development of complex societies of today.
  2. Students will understand that major religions arose in the Mediterranean basin and India.
  3. Students will understand that the Roman Catholic Church, a revival of trade, and feudalism were catalysts in the development of nation states in Europe.
  4. Students will understand that economic strife and religious and political persecution under Europe’s monarchs set the stage for revolutions.
  5. Students will understand that industrialization brought social problems as well as changing societies from an agricultural base to a strong commercial base in Europe and the United States.
  6. Students will understand causes, effects, and new technologies utilized during World War I and World War II.
  7. Students will understand the issues faced after WWII

Grades 9-12: Alaska History and Cultural Studies

Overview:

Alaska history and cultural studies is a semester-long course that examines the people, ideas, and events of Alaska’s past and present. The course will explore the historical, geographical, political, cultural, social, and economic characteristics of Alaska.

Essential Learnings:

  1. Alaska Geography: Students describe and identify the geographic features of Alaska.
  2. Alaskan Cultures: Students will understand cultural attributes of each of Alaska’s diverse native cultures.
  3. Russia’s Colony: Students will understand the causes and effects of Russian colonization of Alaska.
  4. The American Territory: Students will describe the events and process that led to Alaska statehood.
  5. Governing Alaska: Students understand the connection between resource management and the need for government.
  6. Modern Alaska: Students examine and evaluate current issues affecting Alaska, its people and resources.

Grades 10-12: General Psychology

Overview:

Psychology is a yearlong course designed to introduce students to the systematic study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students will learn about the field of psychology through a variety of educational activities. They will be exposed to psychological principles and will be able to analyze a general problem in psychology by applying their understanding of theoretical psychology frameworks.

Essential Learnings:

  1. Students will be able to explain psychology is a field of continuing study and research.
  2. Students will be able to explain human development physically, cognitively and socially.
  3. Students will be able to explain the physiological function of the human body that influences behavior.
  4. Students will be able to explain how the mind functions in terms of learning, emotions, altered states of consciousness and processing physical sensation demonstrates the integration of the physical world and the mind.
  5. Students will be able to explain how psychologists measure intelligence to compare abilities and have developed methods of measuring personality concepts.
  6. Students will analyze a variety of stressors and how they impact daily life and how there are different ways of coping.
  7. Students will be able to identify the major types of psychological disorders exist and different intervention methods are employed as treatment.
  8. Students will be able to explain how human interaction as individuals and in groups influences the behavior exhibited by a culture and society.

AP Courses Descriptions

AP World

AP World History will help students develop a greater understanding of the evolution of human interactions in a historical global perspective. Students will learn to analyze primary sources, text and visual, through four historical thinking skills: crafting historical arguments from historical evidence, chronological reasoning, comparison and contextualization, and historical interpretation and synthesis. These skills will be applied to writing a well-defined comparative essay, a change over time essay, and a document-based essay in preparation for the AP® Exam. Students will participate in Socratic discussion of their interpretation of the source’s point of view; discuss the historical context of ideas, address commonalities and differences within each of the five themes of AP World History.

AP US

AP U.S. History will examine the evolution of the United States from Pre-Columbian days to the present. Topics will address U.S. History through chronological and thematic approaches. In preparation for the AP exam, students will participate in a variety of activities including critical reading of primary sources and secondary sources, and the use of analytical skills to write a variety of forms of communication.

AP Psychology

AP Psychology is a yearlong course designed to introduce students to the systematic study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and to prepare students to take the AP exam. Students will learn about the field of psychology through a variety of educational activities. They will be exposed to psychological principles and will be able to analyze a general problem in psychology by applying their understanding of theoretical psychology frameworks.