Students within The Cranbury School District receive social studies instruction from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The social studies program utilizes TCi’s Social Studies Alive! program, which is an inquiry-based, student-centered curriculum that integrates literacy at all grade levels. The social studies program utilizes the New Jersey state learning standards (NJSLS) and focuses on applying content knowledge to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills surrounding concepts such as local, regional, national, and global issues. The 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards are informed by national and state standards and other documents such as the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards, as well as those published by the National Center for History Education, National Council for Social Studies, National Council for Geographic Education, Center for Civic Education, National Council on Economic Education, National Assessment of Educational Progress, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
The primary goal of the social studies program at The Cranbury School is to prepare students for success in college and everyday life as productive citizens and members of the community. Technology and additional core content subjects are integrated throughout each unit, which allows students to view social studies as a subject with interdisciplinary connections. A strong education in social studies allows students to become socially responsible, globally aware, and civic-minded. Students are provided with opportunities to experience historical events through both primary and secondary lenses and build upon their knowledge throughout the program. Topics including history, economics, geography, and civics increase in complexity in order to foster rich discussions and student collaboration.
Grades K-8 Social Studies Practices
- Developing questions and planning inquiry
- Gathering and evaluating sources
- Seeking diverse perspectives
- Developing Claims and Using Evidence
- Presenting Arguments and Information
- Engaging in Civil Discourse and Critiquing Conclusions
- Taking Informed Action
Kindergarten Through 5th Grade
At the elementary level, students participate in activities that help them understand their role in their community and the world around them. Students learn about the foundational concepts of our government and economics at a local, state, and federal level. The Cranbury School curriculum at the elementary level allows students to work on collaboration skills, gain an understanding of our nation’s development, and develop geographical knowledge. In accordance with The Commission on Holocaust Education in New Jersey, the social studies curriculum includes lessons focused on anti-bullying and understanding diverse perspectives.
6th Grade Through 8th Grade
At the middle school level, students build upon what they have previously learned about the world around them to dive deeper into the development of ancient civilizations and world history as well as their impact on modern society. Students participate in activities relating to cultural geography, examining the western and non-western world, and identifying patterns throughout history. In accordance with The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, the social studies curriculum fulfills the New Jersey state mandate through a multi-year scaffolded approach to Holocaust and genocide education. Our social studies teachers partner with the Holocaust commission to bring speakers and other educational opportunities to The Cranbury School.