Social Studies Curriculum

McGraw-Hill Education Networks Elementary Social Studies Program

McGraw-Hill Networks is based on extensive pedagogical research established by the authors, as well as wide-ranging input and feedback from teachers and curriculum specialists. It is designed for 21st century classrooms and students, and it takes into account the specific needs and wish-list items of busy elementary social studies teachers.

Based on market research and feedback from teachers, we found elementary social studies teachers want a streamlined, standards-based program that is easy-to-use. They are also looking for an interactive, engaging, student-friendly program. Research also shows teachers prefer a "one-stop shop," with the activities currently found in common ancillaries integrated into the student and teacher editions.

Multi-Format Content

To move beyond traditional textbooks, the social studies consumable student editions for Grades K-3 take a portfolio approach for students. In Grade 4 students transition to a hard-cover text. Dynamic graphics combined with relevant text allows students to "experience" social studies rather than just reading and answering questions. On each page, students have the opportunity to interact with the text through a variety of activities. Their course of study is guided by Big Ideas at the unit level and Essential Questions at the lesson level, and each unit is anchored around a project that pulls together all of the major unit concepts and requires students to synthesize content, concepts, and skills.

The newly designed Teacher Editions are streamlined as well, providing teachers with a wide variety of succinct, accessible activities and strategies to meet the needs of all students. They were built around the Understanding by Design™ framework, starting from a point of evaluating desired learning results and working backward to build the optimal activities and strategies to achieve those results. The Teacher Editions complement the student consumables, guiding teachers on how best to utilize the content and interactivity of the student editions, extend concepts and instruction, and provide for differentiated activities and intervention as needed.

The Student Editions also feature a strong reading and writing strand. Reading skills are introduced, practiced, and reinforced across grade levels. Opportunities for differentiation are integrated throughout each lesson in order to meet the needs of students at various academic levels. As the school year progresses and students work through their portfolios, these dynamic student editions serve as a record and showcase of what students are learning and experiencing.

All of the content covered in the consumable work text is also covered in the interactive Online Student Center. The Online Teacher Center provides the ability to customize lesson plans and teach through interactive presentations.

Program Descriptions

K–8 Scope and Sequence  [ PDF ]

Complete Scope and Sequence listing for grades K–8 Social Studies.

K–4 Digital Overview  [ DOC ]

Step-by-step walk-through of units for grades K–4 Social Studies program on ConnectED.

5–8 US History Digital Overview  [ PDF ]

Step-by-step walk-through of units for US History on ConnectED.

6 World History Digital Overview  [ DOC ]

Step-by-step walk-through of units for world History on ConnectED.

Textbooks

The following three charts identify the Social Studies texts that teachers will need to purchase for single, combo, or multi-grade classrooms:

Social Studies Textbooks for Single Grade   [ PDF ]

Textbook list for teachers in single-grade classrooms.

Social Studies Textbooks for Combo Grades  [ PDF ]

Textbook list for combo-grade classrooms—grades 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, and 7&8.

Social Studies Textbooks for Multi-grades SoSmart Cycles  [ PDF ]

Textbook list for use in multi-grade classrooms with SoSmart Cycles.

Kindergarten

Living, Learning, and Working Together

Kindergarteners move out into the world and expect good things. They learn to welcome changes, make friends, learn about the United States, care for the Earth, and take care of themselves in it. Civic units emphasize establishing and following rules, as well as behavioral norms (like sharing and voting). Students begin their formal education about American culture and are introduced to historical figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. Each unit focuses on one Big Idea and teaches Reading Skills throughout. The units touch on each of the four Social Studies domains: Civics, History, Economics, and Geography. Children do one hands-on foldables activity in each unit and round out the unit with a Big Idea Project. Find Diagnostic and Formative Assessment in the Teacher Notes, along with Differentiated Teaching suggestions.

Grade One

Our Community and Beyond

Students in Grade 1 deepen their understanding of the world and the people in their communities. Children study history as it applies to major holidays, learn to read simple maps and apply their new skills to their own neighborhoods, learn the basics of our economy and talk about how to make choices, and exercise self-awareness in order to develop into active citizens. Holidays and American heroes are addressed, including Harriet Tubman. Each unit focuses on one Big Idea and teaches Reading Skills throughout. Map work expands to include political and physical maps, as well as globes. Children will experience some beginning work with Primary Sources, as well as read tall tales and fables. Foldables activities are included in each unit. Find Diagnostic and Formative Assessment in the Teacher Notes, along with Differentiated Teaching suggestions.

Grade Two

Who We Are as Americans

Students in Grade 2 learn about our diverse nation and the strength we derive from our diversity. They read introductory lessons about the North American continents’ Native Americans and how their lives changed when settlers came to the continent. Units 4 and 5 introduce the rights and responsibilities of citizens, basic economics concepts of supply and demand, as well as international trade. Each unit focuses on one Big Idea and teaches Reading Skills throughout. Map skills continue to build on concepts of physical and political maps. Foldables activities are included in each unit. Find Diagnostic and Formative Assessment in the Teacher Notes, along with Differentiated Teaching suggestions.

Grade Three

The United States Communities and Neighbors

Students in Grade 3 learn about the geography and culture of North America and the United States’ place on this continent. They celebrate the diversity of culture. Economics lessons expand to discuss human resources, natural resources, and capital resources, and students learn about the currency of other countries in North America. Unit 4 turns to government, including instruction on the three branches of state and federal government, and how local government works.  Students will also consider what it means to be a good citizen. Geography instruction moves toward elevation maps and natural and manmade landmarks. Each unit focuses on one Big Idea and teaches Reading Skills throughout. Foldables activities are included in each unit. Find Diagnostic and Formative Assessment in the Teacher Notes, along with Differentiated Teaching suggestions.

Grade Four

Our County and its Regions

In Grade 4 students transition to hard-cover text.  They are learning about how people, places and events have shaped our Nation. Unit 1 and Unit 2 focus on the development of the United States and its growing government and economy.  Units 3-7 each focus on a specific region of the United States: the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest, the Southwest, and the West, and how the resources and economy of the region affect the growing Nation. Map and globe skills are addressed in grade 4. Students interact with elevation maps, use road maps, and compare maps at different scales. Math connections are built into the grade 4 text with opportunities to interact with timelines, charts, and graphs.

Grades Five–Eight

Discovering Our Past: A History of the United States
Full Edition, Early Years, Modern Times

Discovering the Past: A History of the United States brings the people, issues, and events of yesterday to life for today’s students with the first truly integrated print and digital US history program. This program focuses on the big ideas with an accessible student text built around Essential Questions, enduring ideas, and the NCSS standards. Students are put in the middle of the action with the Story Matters chapter openers, Biography features, Step into Place maps, and Step into Time timelines. Features such as Thinking Like a Historian, It Matters Because, What Do You Think, and Connections to Today helps students build critical thinking and historical analysis skills. The learning experience can be customized with differentiated instruction, leveled reading, customizable assessments and worksheets, and flexible online learning tools. Bring American history to life with high interest, cumulative hands-on chapter projects that provide authentic performance assessment.

Discovering Our Past: US History  [ PDF ]

Networks combines print resources grounded in solid pedagogy with a full suite of teaching and learning tools for a flexible, customized learning experience.

Grade Six–Seven

Discovering Our Past: A History of the World

Discovering Our Past: A History of the World connects today's students to the stories of our past with the first truly integrated print and digital middle school world history curriculum. Networks combines print resources grounded in solid pedagogy with a full suite of teaching and learning tools for a flexible, customized learning experience.

Discovering Our Past: World History  [ PDF ]

Networks combines print resources grounded in solid pedagogy with a full suite of teaching and learning tools for a flexible, customized learning experience.