Social Studies - fifth grade s.s.

  • City Honors

    Grade 5 MYP Social Studies

    Course Syllabus



    Teacher: Kim Switalski                                           

    Phone: 816-3350


    City Honors

    Grade 5 MYP Social Studies

    Course Syllabus



    Teacher: Kim Switalski                                                                   

    Phone: 816-4230


    Course Description

    Grade 5: The Western Hemisphere Grade 5 Social Studies is based on the history and geography of the Western Hemisphere, including the development of cultures, civilizations, and empires; interaction between societies; and the comparison of the government and economic systems of modern nations. It also incorporates elements of archaeology. The course is divided into Key Ideas that cover a time span from prehistory into modern times. (NYS SS Framework)

    MYP/Global Perspectives:


    Students will explore how languages, literature, arts, beliefs, and behaviors of diverse groups have influenced culture in the U.S. Through careful thought and reflection of the humanities content students will begin:


    ·   To develop an understanding of how local changes may affect human lives globally

    ·   To promote self-awareness, knowledge, empathy for, and understanding of the world’s people

    ·   To encourage students to adopt a proactive role in addressing community and global issues

    ·   To appreciate their own and other people's pasts and traditions

    ·   To develop an awareness of the world as a set of interdependent systems

    ·   To develop an understanding of the ways in which environments change through         physical as well as human action

    ·   To become aware of the wider world and have a sense of their own role as a world citizen

    ·   To respect and value diversity

    ·   To be willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place

    ·   To be willing to take responsibility for their actions






    Major Units of Study

    September – October: Geography and Early Societies of the Western Hemisphere


    Essential Questions

    To what degree does geography determine culture?

    Why were settlements established near water sources?

    What theories explain early people's possible migration routes to the Western Hemisphere?


    November-December: The Western Hemisphere


    Essential Questions


    How do issues of power, wealth and morality influence exploration and colonization?

    How did the geography and climate of the Americas affect Native Americans?

    How did civilization develop in the Americas?

    Why was living near the Atlantic Ocean important for the Algonquian people?

    Why did the Iroquois form the Iroquois League?

    What historical experiences have the Native Americans shared with other nations exploring the Western Hemisphere?


    January: The Western Hemisphere – Mexico


    Essential Questions

    How do key forces and events shape nations?

    Why did some trading companies send explorers to North America?

    What were Europeans searching for when they began exploring the America?

    Why did the Spanish explore and conquer large areas of the Americas?

    How did European exploration affect existing civilizations in the Western Hemisphere?

    How did the European economic system influence the barter system of the Native Americans?


    February-March: The Western Hemisphere - United States


    Essential Questions

    How do key forces and events shape nations?

    What changes in the governments of the Western Hemisphere nations have taken place across time and place, and what has been the effect of these changes?

    How did the makers of the U.S. Constitution try to fix some of the problems that existed under the Articles of Confederation?

    What are the powers of the three branches of government in the United States?


    April: The Western Hemisphere – Canada


    Essential Questions


    How do key forces and events shape nations?



    May – June: The Western Hemisphere – Brazil and Cuba


    Main Idea or Essential Questions


    How do key forces and events shape nations?



    NYS Grade 5 Key Ideas


    EARLY PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS: 5.1 The first humans in the Western Hemisphere modified their physical environment as well as adapted to their environment. Their interactions with their environment led to various innovations and to the development of unique cultures. (Standards: 1, 2, 3; Themes: ID, MOV, TCC, GEO)


    COMPLEX SOCIETIES AND CIVILIZATIONS: 5.2 Between 1100 B.C.E. and 1500 C.E, complex societies and civilizations developed in the Western Hemisphere. Although these complex societies and civilizations have certain defining characteristics in common, each is also known for unique cultural achievements and contributions. (Standards: 2, 3; Themes: ID, TCC, GEO, GOV)


    EUROPEAN EXPLORATION AND ITS EFFECTS: 5.3 Various European powers explored and eventually colonized the Western Hemisphere. This had a profound effect on Native Americans and led to the transatlantic slave trade. (Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4; Themes: MOV, TCC, GEO, ECO, EXCH)


    GEOGRAPHY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE: 5.4 The diverse geography of the Western Hemisphere has influenced human culture and settlement in distinct ways. Human communities in the Western Hemisphere have modified the physical environment. (Standard: 3, Theme: GEO)


    COMPARATIVE CULTURES: 5.5 The countries of the Western Hemisphere are diverse and the cultures of these countries are rich and varied. Due to their proximity to each other, the countries of the Western Hemisphere share some of the same concerns and issues. (Standards: 1, 2; Themes: ID, MOV, SOC)


    GOVERNMENT: 5.6 The political systems of the Western Hemisphere vary in structure and organization across time and place. (Standards: 5; Themes: GOV, CIV) ECONOMICS: 5.7 The peoples of the Western Hemisphere have developed various ways to meet their needs and wants. Many of the countries of the Western Hemisphere trade with each other, as well as with other countries around the world. (Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4; Themes: TCC, GEO, ECO, EXCH)



    New York State Standards


    1.       History of the United States and New York: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.


    2.       World History - Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.


    3.       Geography- Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.


    4.       Economics - Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies

    develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the United States and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and nonmarket mechanisms.


    5.       Civics, Citizenship, and Government - Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental system of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.






    Text - Scott Foresman Social Studies / The United States

    Supplement: Rand McNally Classroom Atlas, We the People





    Grading Practices


    Grades will be based upon the student’s performance on a variety of assessments, writing assignments, projects, presentations, positive participation, classwork, MYP reflections, homework, and tests.


    Homework Policy: Homework will be assigned on a regular basis and will be checked for completion on the day it is due during the scheduled class. LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL RESULT IN LOWER GRADES. Weekends should be used for long term projects and review of previously learned materials. Assignments missed due to illness are to be turned in the day following the absence.


    Written Work Requirements      

    All labs require a lab write up. Research projects require a written portion that will be explained further at the time of the project. Tests will contain short answer and essays. All assignments are to be written legibly using grade appropriate language and usage. Step up to writing standards will be followed.


    SUTW Strategies

    2-Column Notes

    Content Vocabulary

    Breaking Down Definition

    IVF Summary Sentences

    Four Step Summary Paragraph

    Color-Coding the Elements of Informative

    Explanatory Writing Informal Outlines


    Method of Communication

    Please feel free to call me during the school day to leave a message, write a note, or e-mail at and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Extra Help Opportunities: If it becomes necessary for any extra academic intervention I will make special accommodations during the school day.