Lower School

Social Studies Curriculum by Grade Level

Student looking at globe


First Grade

Community and citizenship are a focus of first grade social studies. Basic mapping skills are introduced and students will examine and contrast the characteristics of St. Louis Park with their home communities.

  • The Classroom as a Community: Community building (Responsive Classroom), core values, student responsibilities
  • Mapping (compass rose, legend, key)
  • St. Louis Park: Meeting people’s basic needs; services offered by a community
  • Minneapolis and surrounding communities: Compare and contrast with home community

Second Grade

Second graders examine family heritage and traditions. They discover information about the countries and cultures of their family members and will compare and contrast daily life of the past with the present.

  • Family heritage
  • Seven continents: Different land forms; family origins
  • Traditions: Celebrating secular and Jewish holidays
  • Pioneer Days: Contrast and comparison of American life 100 years ago and today: food, shelter, clothing, transportation, jobs, school, and responsibilities

Third Grade

Third graders study how the Mississippi River has influenced the rise of cities and towns, industry, and lifestyle of the people of Minnesota. Through interaction with Good Shepherd Catholic School, students have an opportunity to gain an understanding cultural and religious diversity. Third graders learn about:

  • Mississippi River and its impact on life in Minnesota
  • Mapping: Students create a map doing coding (computer program called Scratch)
  • Diversity: compare and contrast basic beliefs of other religions with our own as it relates to exchanging visits to a local Catholic school.

Fourth Grade

Major topics include regional geography of the United States, natural resources, topography and indigenous peoples. Students conduct research from from books and the Internet to gain knowledge about different Native American tribes. Among the units of study are:

  • Minnesota
  • Midwest Region
  • Northeast Region
  • Southeast Region
  • Southwest Region
  • Western Region

Fifth Grade

While learning about American history, fifth grade students are challenged to make connections between historic events. In order to do so, students are expected to formulate hypotheses related to cause and effect. Much of the fifth grade history is connected to current events and simulation-based learning.

Units of study include:

  • American history: colonial settlement through the signing of the Declaration of Independence
  • Revolutionary War
  • Simulation of British vs. Colonial Militia
  • American Government