So here's the plan with this thing I call "studying the standards." It makes much more sense to me to look at each subject throughout the grades, following the strands and getting an overall view of what students are supposed to learn in each grade. I did something like this in my social sciences pedagogy course and, well, let's just say I have a much clearer understanding of what I'm supposed to teach for social studies now.
Which says a lot, considering how social studies is probably my weakest subject, content-wise.
Let's take the social science standards and look at the general idea throughout each grade:
Kinder. The official title is "Learning and Working, Now and Long Ago." In other words, it's about professions, how professions have changed, and what people did in the past as well as what they do now.
First. "A Child’s Place in Time and Space." Thus, community. Specifically, the local community.
Second. "People Who Make a Difference." I see historical figures here. Presidents, inventors, creators, scientists, authors, artists, thinkers, movers, shakers.
Third. "Continuity and Change." This one is probably the most mysterious, if you only look at the title. It's mainly about geography, politics and law, and economics.
Fourth. State history! Pull out your Play-doh and legos students, it's time to build a mission!
Fifth. Extensively studied in my series, starting with this one. The formation of the U.S.A.
Sixth. "World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations." The most straightforward title of them all. My favorite history era. Ancient peoples are pretty awesome.
See the how the holistic factor helps to clarify what an elementary school kid should know before they enter middle school? It basically starts introspectively, personally (i.e. what profession would you like?) and grows outward, globally, from there. I especially appreciate how the standards actually match a child's cognitive growth - from egocentric in kindergarten to a wider world perspective for the pre-teens.