At its heart, social studies explores the relationship between individuals and society, from friends and family to global networks. In a school setting, the disciplines of civics, economics, geography, and history are central to our students’ preparation for college, career, and civic life.
AHSD25 provides students with social studies instruction beginning in first grade and continuing through their 8th grade year. Elementary students experience social studies through thematic units and textbooks, nonfiction readers, primary sources, and maps through the textbook curriculum resources. In middle school, students work individually and collaboratively, using nonfiction and fiction, to engage in inquiry within the disciplines about important public issues, trends, and events. Middle school students cover World History in sixth grade and American History in seventh and eighth grade.
In January 2016, Illinois adopted Illinois Learning Standards for Social Science, based on the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. The purpose of these new, more rigorous standards is to better prepare students to be college and career ready. These standards are designed to ensure that students across Illinois focus on a common set of standards and have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, dispositions, and skills necessary for success in college, career, and civic life in the 21st century. The vision supporting this design is to produce students who are civically engaged, socially responsible, culturally aware, and financially literate (National Council for the Social Studies, 2016)
The Illinois Social Science Standards fall into two complementary categories: inquiry skills and disciplinary concepts. Inquiry skills involve questioning, investigating, reasoning, and responsible action while disciplinary concepts make use of social science ideas, principles, and content to pursue answers to the questions generated by student inquiries.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL | TCI HISTORY ALIVE!
In social studies, disciplinary concepts are divided among the major disciplines of social science: civics, history, economics, and geography. These standards are taught in conjunction with inquiry skills. Standards on themes are aligned to the disciplinary concepts for our 1-5 learners.
Elementary uses TCI History Alive! aligning our social studies through middle school. TCI’s History Alive! programs transform social studies into a multi-faceted learning experience. TCI lessons start with an essential question and incorporate graphic notetaking, group work, and hands on discovery. Students are the center of instruction that taps a variety of learning styles allowing students of all abilities to learn and succeed.
MIDDLE SCHOOL | HISTORY ALIVE!
The middle grades provide a bridge between the elementary and high school experiences. Reflecting the unique nature of our students and the schools in which they learn, the structure of the middle grade social science standards is unique. Unlike the elementary and high school standards, the middle grade standards do not assign particular content to each grade level. Rather, these standards focus on the developmental need of middle grade students: to cultivate the critical thinking skills used by social scientists through the inquiry process. The disciplinary concepts of civics, economics, geography, and history are integrated within the curriculum (Illinois State Board of Education, 2016).
Students should be able to utilize the inquiry process to analyze foundational knowledge, develop questions (about the past, present, and future), apply tools to research, weigh evidence, and develop conclusions. Below are the topics and chapters that are covered each year in middle school.