At the elementary level, social studies instruction takes place during 2-3 hour-long blocks per week taught within students’ regular classrooms.  The units of study are aligned with the grade-level content prescribed in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks and follow a developmentally appropriate progression that first examines oneself in relation to family, then local community, and then the larger world.  While engaging with the content, the curriculum focuses on developing in students the critical skills necessary to become engage, informed, responsible citizens. Major topics addressed at each grade include:


Grade Major Topics/Themes


  • All about me

  • Family

  • Class and community rules

  • School community

  • Map of classroom/school

  • Town community - Westwood community (helpers, jobs, and services)

  • Introduction to money, buying and selling


  • U.S. national holidays

  • Patriotic symbols and songs

  • Famous Americans

  • Neighborhood and town mapping

  • World political map features

  • Location of town, state, and country on a world map

  • Jobs and products


  • Personal history timeline

  • World geography with an emphasis on continents, oceans, and countries

  • World map/geography in context of family origins

  • Native Americans - Major tribes of North America


  • Columbus and Vikings

  • World geography

  • Colonization:  Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth, and the Pilgrims

  • Colonial Massachusetts history to 1776 (The Puritans, colonial life, Westwood history, pre-revolution)

  • Massachusetts geography

  • Economics (barter and trade, natural resources of Massachusetts


  • Geography and natural resources of North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico)

  • Regions of the United States

  • Building a nation - in context of regions, economics, immigration, westward expansion      


  • Compare maps of the modern world with historical maps Age of Discovery/exploration and encounters

  • Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans

  • European settlements in North America:  colonization and encounters

  • American Revolution

  • The Constitution and the formation of the U.S. federal government

  • Economics:  entrepreneur, profit, supply and demand, import/export, taxation



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