Like many other districts across the United States, the social studies curriculum in the Sheboygan Area School District uses an “expanding world” model in its elementary and middle school curriculum. Early elementary students study their family, neighborhood and city. Late elementary students study their state, region and nation. Middle school students study our Western Hemisphere neighbors and nations of the Eastern Hemisphere. As they mature socially and intellectually in the eighth grade and high school years, students return to earlier areas of study and explore the same topics with more depth of understanding. High school students also explore a particular field of social studies in greater depth by taking at least one elective. The Department also currently offers a wide choice of Advanced Placement and college courses for those seeking accelerated programming. The course descriptions found on here will give you a more specific idea of what our students study as they progress through the grades.
Kindergarten - Social Living
Early Childhood/Kindergarten students bring to school varied experiences as foundations for their intellectual growth. Learning about the physical, social, and emotional dimensions of oneself and others is the major focus for the kindergarten social studies program.
Grade 1 - Family, School, and Neighborhood
The first grade Social Studies program assists children to move from a largely egocentric view of the world and develop an understanding of their membership in institutions such as family, church, and school. Throughout the year, students study the needs that all human must satisfy if they are to live safe and productive lives. They learn how groups of individuals work together to meet common needs. Students learn that rules and laws exist to enable individuals to live together harmoniously, and that examples of government can be found at the most fundamental levels of social organizations.
Grade 2 - Communities
The emphasis of second grade Social Studies is on people living in communities. Students learn about the different social functions that contribute to community life. These include how goods and services are produced, the importance of rules in helping people live together, and how the actions of individuals and groups shape our rules and laws. The study of various communities in our own past and present as well as in other cultures aids students in understanding that people have always lived in communities and that all communities change over time. Celebration and pride in our past will be developed by attention to our state, national and ethnic holidays. Geographic concepts and skills will also be highlighted including having students use the globe; understanding map symbols; using cardinal directions, drawing simple school, neighborhood, or community maps; and understanding the earth’s physical features.
Grade 3 - Communities Around the World
The concept of community and the rich diversity of community life serve as the organizers for third grade. By selecting communities from a variety of geographic and cultural regions of the nation and world, students are introduced to a variety of environments and global perspectives. By understanding the cultural components that are common to all communities, students build upon the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned in earlier grades to realize that we are all citizens of the earth. The city of Sheboygan serves as a focal point in students applying their learning about communities. The third grade completes the first cycle of the expanding world curriculum and sets the stage for the learning that follows.
Grade 4 - Wisconsin and the Region
With its focus upon Wisconsin, the fourth grade provides an opportunity for an interdisciplinary study of our state culture, environment, economy and our historical successes and future challenges. The study of Wisconsin provides a “close-to-home” opportunity to learn about our state heritage through the exploration of cultural, geographical, economic, political, and historical resources.
Grade 5 - Our American Heritage
The Social Studies program in the fifth grade provides students with an understanding of our American heritage focusing on the land, its diverse people, and the dynamics of change. Careful attention is given to the many individuals and groups who have shaped American political, economic, social, cultural, and religious life. This rich heritage allows student to understand the nature of both national and global citizenship.