• Real World Experiences in Social Studies Curriculum in a Kindergarten Classroom

      Walczak, Christina (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-12)
      Kindergarten curriculum has vastly changed in the United States since Elizabeth Peabody started the first English speaking kindergarten started in 1860 (Fromberg, 2006). The curriculum has changed from play-based, exploratory learning to a more academic learning process focusing on meeting standards, instruction, and assessment (McLennan, 2011). For teachers, it is extremely difficult to balance the required curriculum/assessments and to implement more developmentally appropriate practices such as play for kindergarten aged children in social studies. The main purpose of my project is to incorporate more exploratory social studies curriculum into my kindergarten classroom. By including more social studies in an elementary classroom, it helps to create a deeper community of thinkers, learners, and civilians that can work together to understand and solve problems in society. I reviewed the C3 Framework, Inquiry Design Model (IDM), National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, and the New York State social studies resource toolkit, including all their resources in order to generate ideas for my curriculum project. The curriculum allotted three to five days for this curriculum. It can be modified to take longer than 5 days depending on the classroom and community. Therefore, through reading this curriculum, teacher can get clear guidance in implementing hands on social studies in a meaningful way. This curriculum project was made as a tool of reference to guide the findings of a single way to use hands on experiences in social studies in a kindergarten classroom.