History can be a very abstract concept for primary children to understand. Knowing this, our history curriculum exposes history concepts in the form of a story. We use the Story of the World series, which allows students to learn about history in an age appropriate way. When history is presented in the form of a story, important concepts tend to stick with the child. Using that resource, history is taught in a three year cycle:
Year 1: Ancient Times (From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Empire)
Year 2: The Middle Ages (From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance)
Year 3: Early Modern Times (From Elizabeth the First to the Forty-Niners)
- Students will compare and contrast different cultures, historical events, and people
- Students will make connections between history, their lives, and the world
- Students will use maps and geography concepts to enhance their understanding of history
- Students will enhance their abilities to comprehend and retain facts from stories
Story- When introducing a new concept, children listen to or read the chapter from story. During the Story of the World. As the story continues, students are prompted to reflect and discuss new concepts and ideas. Discussions occur frequently throughout the chapter.
Note Taking- Note taking is modeled and introduced during these mini-lectures, but students are given notes based on independent skill level. Varying levels of fill in the blank notes are given to students. These notes include fill in a word, fill in a phrase, fill in a definition, and short response questions. This helps prepare students to take notes upon entering the elementary program.
Extension Activities: - After completing a chapter, children have the opportunity to do an activity which enhances the content of the chapter, allowing the child to develop a deeper understanding of the material. Students demonstrate understanding of material by re-creating artifacts, coloring scenes from the time period or events, or completing an reinforcement worksheet.
Video- Students occasionally watch video clips to reinforce chapter concepts and to better visualize the past.
Map Work- Students identify landmarks and locations of major events by tracing, coloring, and drawing symbols.
Review- Students review chapter concepts by discussing major events and people. Review questions are asked to the students to spark in-class discussions of a particular topic. These discussions reinforce concepts and introduce good study practices.
Assessments are given at the end of every chapter (typically every 2-3 days). Two types of assessments are given in the primary program.
Verbal Assessments- Verbal assessments allow students to express their knowledge and understanding beyond their writing ability. This allows for the child to state what they have learned without the pressure of a writing component. These conversations also allow the teacher and students to dive deeper into more complex ideas that arise in relation to history material.
Written Assessments- Written assessments are given to students who are able to write without great difficulty. These assessments allow students to practice their writing skills in the context of history content. This is important preparation for the demands set for history studies in subsequent academic programs. Written assessments include fill in the blank (students are given a word bank), true/false questions, as well as short answer questions.
Term Assessments- In order to prepare the primary students for cumulative tests, term assessments are given at the end of every term. Questions from all chapters are covered in the term assessment. Term assessments include the following questions: fill in the blank, true/false, and short responses.