NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies: Grade 5, United States case study
This is a sample case study of the United States relating to the grade five scope and sequence, titled United States Case Study. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as: paintings, photographs and maps.
This guide offers a multitude of perspectives on the geography, history and cultural practices of the world’s oldest democracy and its most culturally diverse country, the land of E pluribus unum. Topics and historical concepts of representative lessons in this unit include: using a variety of specialized maps to analyze and evaluate how the physical environment of the United States influences human population distribution, land use, and economic activity, analyzing important people in the growth and development of the United States of America in the 19th century, learning to corroborate or challenge historical claims about Westward Expansion, and exploring how the political and economic systems of the United States meet the needs of its diverse population in different ways.
To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and a performance-based assessment activity, which has students using the documents and notes from the case study to write an opinion essay examining the question: What were the pros and cons of American Westward Expansion?
Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessments plans.
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