Social Studies

Updated 9/12    --This week we continue our study of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations in class. 

5th Grade Social Studies YAG (Year at a Glance

  • Q1:  The First Americans, MesoAmericans and European Exploration
  • Q2:  American Colonization and Settlement
  • Q3:  American Revolution
  • Q4:  Documents of Democracy


Unit 1: The First Americans
This first unit includes the study of civilizations in Mesoamerica and North America before 1500 to the exploration of the Americas by Europeans. We will learn about Native American communities; European explorers; the effects of exploration on the Native people; and motives for exploration. 

Projects and learning activities include: A  tri-fold brochure on one Mesoamerican (Maya, Aztec or Inca -students choose!) civilization. A Paideia debate on whether Columbus and other European explorers were villains or heroes, their motives and their effect on the civilizations in the Americas.

Q1 Social Studies Learning Targets 

  1. I can describe the complex urban societies that existed in Mesoamerica and North America before 1500.
  2. I can identify various motives of the Europeans for exploring and settling in the Americas from the 15th Century to the early 17th Century. 
  3. I can describe early interactions between indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Africans, and then describe the consequences of those interactions on all of the groups.