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Jackson Area Catholic Schools


      Social Studies Curriculum Grades K-8

Curriculum Committee

Ron Niedzwiecki, Chairperson
Winnie Tomshack
Mary Tarrier
Lacey Brake
Kristi Wasick
Kaitlyn Dickerman
Carrie Fodo

Jackson Area Catholic Schools
Jackson Catholic Middle School
Jackson Catholic Middle School
Queen of the Miraculous Medal Elementary
St. John the Evangelist Elementary
St. John the Evangelist Elementary
Our Lady of Fatima Elementary


Guiding Documents

Social Studies Curriculum Guidelines, Grades K-8, Diocese of Lansing, 2002

Social Studies Grade Level Content Expectations, v.12.07, Michigan Department of Education.

Social Studies Curriculum, Grades K-8, Jackson Area Catholic Schools, 2002.

Vision Statement

That the Jackson Area Catholic Schools provide a coordinated, sequential curriculum, and expanded learning opportunities ensuring mastery of social studies standards for all students.

As Catholic Schools, we believe in building the values of awareness, understanding, analysis, and appreciation for: a diversity of world cultures throughout history; the political and philosophical differences of our global community;  our national identity; and the economic and environmental challenges that exist in the world today.  We believe that the ethical and moral participation in the public sphere of our society is a necessary task for all Christians.

Our goal as educators is to teach the skills that enable these Christian values to be experienced by our students and integrated into their daily lives.

Program Standards

The Social Studies academic standards provide a set of clear, rigorous expectations for all students.  The program is based on local and national standards and standards from the State of Michigan and the Diocese of Lansing. 

Social Studies is the integrated study of the social sciences to prepare young people to face new challenges in an ever-changing world, and provide them with the knowledge and skills needed for future success and to be productive and responsible citizens.

Students will be prepared to:

  • Gather information
  • Understand information
  • Analyze issues
  • Draw and justify conclusions
  • Organize and communicate information
  • Think and communicate critically
  • Learn and consider issues collaboratively
  • Learn independently
  • Create knowledge
  • Act ethically

The social studies curriculum prepares students to participate in political activities, to serve their communities, and to regulate themselves responsibly.

A responsible citizen:

  • Uses knowledge of the past to construct meaningful understanding of our diverse cultural heritage and inform his/her civic judgments. (Historical Perspective)
  • Uses knowledge of spatial patterns on earth to understand processes that shape both the natural environments and the diverse societies that inhabit them. (Geographic Perspective)
  • Uses knowledge of American government and politics to make decisions about governing his/her community. (Civic Perspective)
  • Uses knowledge of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services to make personal, career, and societal decisions about the use of scarce resource. (Economic Perspective)
  • Uses methods of social science investigation to answer question about society. (Inquiry)
  • Knows how, when, and where to construct and express reasoned positions on a public issues. (Public Discourse and Decision Making)
  • Acts constructively to further the public good. (Citizen Involvement)
Organizational Structure



The student will develop a historical perspective for making decisions and planning future courses of action by analyzing causes and effect and verbally and visually communicating the continuities and correlation among past and present United States and world events.


The student will utilize geographic skills, tools, and technology; analyze and interpret data to identify and characterize world locations; make generalizations regarding spatial patterns and environmental practices affecting worldwide interdependence; and evaluate the causes and effect of movement upon world political, social, and economic systems.

Civics and Government                       

The student will analyze, interpret, evaluate, and practice the rules, rights, responsibilities, and roles of an informed and contribution member within a democratic society and to differentiate among a variety of political systems, processes, documents, and policies throughout the world.


The student will make informed economic choices to manage and conserve resources, prioritize personal and societal wants and needs, and adapt to role changes as consumers, producers, and citizens in a global community having a variety of economic systems.

Public Discourse, Decision Making, and Citizen Involvement           

The student will develop an understanding of public issues and the importance of citizen action in a democratic republic. The student will make and communicate decisions reflecting consideration of diverse resources and viewpoints.  The student will evaluate and/or contribute to interactions among institutions, groups, and individuals based on Christian values and beliefs and the analysis and interpretation of self and community behaviors within an ever-changing world.

Social Studies Curriculum Coding          

Each Social Studies grade level expectation is made up of four parts:

  • the grade
  • the standard category
  • the standard
  • the expectation
K-4 Expectations are organized by discipline and standard category, standard, and expectation.
Example:        4-C5.0.3

4       –     C5      .        0      .      1
^                       ^                         ^                    ^
Grade     Standard Category   Standard    Expectation
4th Grade Example:
Grade 4, 5th Civics Standard Category, 3rd Expectation

(The “0” is used as a place holder and indicates that K-4 expectations are organized using the standards categories, and do not use the standard codes listed in the K-8 organizational chart.)

5th and 8th Grade focus on an integrated study of United States History.  The expectations are organized by U.S. History and Geography (USHG) Era.  The code indicates the era, the standard, and the expectation.

            5th Grade Example: 5-U3.2.1 = Grade 5, 3rd USHG Era, 2nd Standard, 1st Expectation

6th Grade focuses on an integrated study of the world.  The expectations are organized by discipline and standard category, standard, and expectation.

            6th Grade Example:  6-W1.2.1= Grade 6, 1st World History Era, 2nd Standard,
                                               1st Expectation

7th Grade focuses on world geography.  The expectations are organized by discipline and standard category, standard, and expectation. 

            7th Grade Example:  7-G1.2.6 – Grade 7, 1st Geography Standard Category,
                                                2nd Standard, 6th Expectation

Organizational Model for Grades 6 & 7

The Jackson Area Catholic Schools has divided the content for the sixth and seventh grades by discipline with one year of ancient world history and one year of world geography.

Sixth Grade

Ancient World Studies of the Eastern and Western Hemisphere

 Number of Weeks of Study
 The World in Temporal Terms   2 weeks
 Ancient History of Eastern Hemisphere    15 weeks
 Ancient History of Western Hemisphere  9 weeks
 Contemporary Civics/Government and Economics 4 weeks
 Global Issues Past and Present   6 weeks

Seventh Grade

World Geography

  Number of Weeks of Study
 The World in Spatial Terms    2 weeks
 Geography of the Eastern Hemisphere    19 weeks
 Geography of the Western Hemisphere   9 weeks
 Global Issues Past and Present      6 weeks