• Social Studies in Fifth Grade:



    Constitution and Government

    Major Understandings

    • A government is the organization people set up to protect their community and enforce its rules. There are constitutional governments, monarchies and dictatorial governments
    • A constitution is a written plan for organizing the functions of government and safeguarding individual liberties
    • Citizens have rights and responsibilities in a democracy
    • Compromise played an important role in the formation of our government
    • There are basic fundamental values of American democracy including: individual rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, the common good, justice, equality of opportunity, diversity, truth and patriotism


    Major Understandings

    • America is an immigrant nation.
    • People emigrate for various reasons such as war, overpopulation, hunger, poverty, religious persecution or tyrannical government.
People immigrate to the United States of America because of land, jobs, and opportunity for social advancement, democratic government, and religious freedom.
    • Immigrants, past and present, need to make decisions prior to emigrating and some of these decisions are based on misinformation from immigrant letters, advertisements and hearsay
    • Ellis Island and Angel Island were two of the major ports of entry for most immigrants
    • There were dangers, anxieties and difficulties facing immigrants on the voyage to Ellis Island and when trying to enter the United States.
    • Immigrants past and present are compelled to make decisions regarding the extent to which they should and could assimilate and/or preserve their culture and traditions.

    Capstone Inquiry Research

    The capstone experience is an inquiry research project based upon the students' interests and curiosity. It is an independent research project whereby children demonstrate the research process, technology, reading and writing skills that they have learned during their elementary school experience, K-5.

    During this project, the children choose a topic to investigate, ask meaningful questions, conduct all the steps of the research process, synthesize the information, and create a product for an audience. The students reflect on the question, research process and conclusions he/she has made. The teacher facilitates and guides the students' research and product.

    Objectives for students:

    • To focus on the process used to accomplish research
    • To feel comfortable doing research
    • To demonstrate the ability to formulate meaningful questions
    • To demonstrate the ability to choose a topic, focus and narrow that topic or abandon the topic when appropriate
    • To take ownership of one's learning and demonstrate independence
    • To be self-motivated and engaged in learning
    • To understand the long term effect of research skills and to appreciate and value these skills as authentic tools for the real world
    • To learn how to reflect, assess and evaluate the research process and product
    • To demonstrate perseverance
    • To become more connected to the community
    • To learn project management, time management and planning for long term projects
    • To utilize their critical and multi-literacy skills
    • To learn about different presentation mediums and discover multiple intelligences