Social Studies 2020

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Colonial School District’s social studies program is designed to prepare students to participate as constructive citizens in a democratic society.

Student mastery of Delaware’s Social Studies Standards are achieved through an authentic K-12 approach integrating discipline-based content in history, civics, economics, and geography with interpretative skills focused on information processing, social participation, and problem solving. Students develop a strong understanding of themselves and their role and responsibility in society by discovering United States history at the local, state, and national level and place it within a global context. Opportunities are provided for students to relate the past to the present and to build an awareness of the similarities and differences that exist between the nations and cultures of the world.  

Colonial’s K-12 social studies curriculum adheres to the Delaware Recommended Curriculum (DRC) (LINK TO DOE).  The DRC is an ongoing curriculum, meaning that as new learning objectives are introduced, the curriculum adapts, responds, and reflects current practice and instruction.  Our comprehensive K-12 program includes instruction in civics, geography, history, and economics. Instruction is also designed to prepare students to successfully complete the DeSSA assessment for social studies in grades 4, 7, and 11.  Each content area’s goals are outlined by the Delaware Department of Education through the Delaware State Social Studies Standards

Civics Curriculum

Colonial’s civics curriculum encourages students to comprehend their role in our democractic society and to empower them to translate their beliefs into actions and their ideas into policies.
The primary goal of Civics encourages students to identify the purpose and means of authority and freedom and the relationship between them. Students study the assumptions upon which governments are founded, and the organizations and strategies governments employ to achieve their goals. With specific respect to the United States, students learn the underlying principles of representative democracy, the constitutional separation of powers, and the rule of law. They need to comprehend that an essential premise of representative democracy is the willingness of citizens to place a high premium on their own personal responsibility for participation in social decision-making. Students develop the skills which citizens must possess in order to discharge those responsibilities while protecting their rights and the rights of others. The study of civics prepares students to translate their beliefs into actions and their ideas into policies.

Economics Curriculum

Colonial’s economics curriculum focuses on students learning how individuals and societies produce, allocate, distribute, and expend resources.
Students learn to examine the relationship between costs and benefits, and the values associated with them. An understanding of economic principles and the interactions between different types of economies helps students comprehend the movement and exchange of information, capital, and products across the globe. Students learn how to assess the impact of market influences and governmental actions on the economy in which they live. The study of economics equips them to make personal economic choices, and to participate responsibly and effectively in social decision-making as citizens in an increasingly competitive and interdependent global economy.


History Curriculum

Colonial’s history curriculum includes students learning to organize events and phenomena in terms of when they occur. 
Students study the ways in which individuals and societies have changed and interacted over time.  They practice the skills of gathering historical data, and examining, analyzing, and interpreting these data.  They learn to organize events through chronologies, and to suggest and evaluate cause-and-effect relationships among those events.  Before choosing a position or acting, students learn that they need to be able to research issues in order to understand the effect of historical developments and trends on contemporary events.  The study of history empowers them to form reasonable conclusions about the potential consequences of available options.


Geography Curriculum

Colonial’s geography curriculum includes students identifying the relationships of people, places, and environments from the perspective of where they occur, why they are there, and what meaning those locations have for us. 
Students gain knowledge and perspectives of geography to understand the environmental and human processes that shape the Earth’s surface, and recognize the culturally distinctive ways people interact with the natural world to produce unique places.  Students develop an appreciation of the nature of their world and their place in it to become informed global citizens.


An overview of Colonial’s Social Studies Program

Kindergarten - Topics:

Social Studies in Kindergarten prepares the students to understand the importance of cooperating in a group, making economic decisions based on money, understanding how time works, and basic mapping skills. Students will build the basic foundational skills that they will need, in order to master Social Studies. 

  • Learning about Self
  • Participation in Groups
  • Economics for Kids (literacy and economic concepts such as learning to distinguish between goods and services, satisfying wants, natural resources, making economic decisions, and spending and saving)
  • Chronology
  • Maps and Geo-Graphics
Grade 1 - Topics:
  • Positions of Authority, Rules, and Order

  • Economics for Kids (literacy and economic concepts such as scarcity, short term/long term savings, opportunity cost, economic choices, and consumers and producers)

  • Reading schedules and other written records

  • Maps and globes and geo-graphics

Grade 2 - Topics:
  • Respect in a Civil Society

    Understanding our environment (through landforms and climate)

    Writing the story of the past using historical artifacts

    Economics for Kids (literacy and economic concepts such as saving to satisfy wants, costs and benefits, borrowing to satisfy wants, human capital, starting/running a business, and international trade)

Grade 3 - Topics:
  • Rights and Responsibilities and Privileges of Citizenship
  • Using Maps and Globes
  • Places and Regions
  • Economics for Kids (literacy and economic concepts such a economic exchange, barter, the three functions of money, and the six characteristics of money)
  • Resources and Production
Grade 4 - Topics:
  • Developing Mental Maps of Delaware and the United States
  • Analyzing and Identifying patterns of cause, effect, and change over time in United States and Delaware History
  • Structure and Purpose of Government
  • Production, Distribution, and Exchange
  • Civic Responsibility
  • How Democratic Groups Function
  • Creating Geographic Profiles
Grade 5 - Topics:
  • Analyzing and Identifying patterns of cause, effect, and change over time in United States and Delaware History

    • Bill of Rights and Due Process

    • Human Alterations to the Environment

    • Economic Concepts of a market economy (Supply and Demand)

    • Interdependence and International Trade

    • Role of Financial Institutions in our society

Grade 6 - Topics:
  • Using global history and cultures to highlight instruction in:

    • Developing Global Mental Maps

    • Processes that Shape our Environment and Economic Activity

    • Economic Systems

    • Purpose and Powers of different political systems

    • Cultural patterns and diffusion

Grade 7 - Topics:
  • Using global history and cultures to highlight instruction in:

    • Tools and strategies for conducting effective research in social sciences

    • Majority rule and expansion of freedom (individual rights, economic freedoms)

    • Project Citizen (Public policy, citizenship, social decision-making)

    • What Makes Places Unique?

    • Partnerships and partitions

    • Trade and interdependence

Grade 8 - Topics:
  • The 8th grade United States History course has a broad chronological scope. Students are expected to develop an understanding of pre-industrial United States history and its connections to Delaware history through Civil War and Reconstruction. Students engage in inquiry to develop historical thinking skills such as crafting and examining questions that drive research and interpretations, analyzing and corroborating evidence, weighing evidence, and explaining competing interpretations.  Units of study include:

    •  How to think and write like a historian 
    • The American Market System 
    • Using historical thinking skills to critically examine chronological topics such as:
    • When Three Worlds Meet
    • Colonization and Settlement
    • Revolution and Creating a New Government
    • The Constitution and Civic Responsibility
    • Western Expansion
    • Industrialization, Antebellum, and the Civil War
Grade 9 - Topics:


  • Comparing Structures of Government
  • Political Parties
  • Dynamic Functioning of Government
  • Responsibilities of Citizenship
  • Participating in the Civic Process to Shape Public Policy


  • Using mapped geographic data to identify patterns and solve problems
  • Environment interdependence
  • Places and perceptions 
  • Regions
Grade 10 - Topics:
  • Economics:

    • Microeconomics (How Markets Operate, Economic Equilibrium, Market Structures, Government in the Market)

    • Macroeconomics (Interdependence, Business Cycles, Economic Indicators)
      Fiscal and Monetary Policies

    • Economic Systems (Social goals, economic systems, public policies, historic economic systems)

  • Personal Finance:

    • Financial decision making skills

    • Money Management

    • Types and management of credit

    • Investments

    • Risk Protection

    • Budgeting

Grade 11 - Topics:
  • This course continues chronologically from the foundational course completed in 8th grade.  Colonial students apply foundational concepts within the United States History course that require them to use historical arguments and interpretation as a foundation, learn history through analysis and questioning sources, and also enhance literacy skills through reading, thinking, and writing through interconnected activities. The historical context for this course include:

    •  Industrialization, Urbanization, and Imperialism (1877-1925)
    • Great Depression, New Deal, and Second World War (1925-1945)
    • Cold War, Social and Demographic Change (1945-1970)
    • Overseas Conflict, Global Interdependence, and Social Change (1970-2000)
Electives - Topics:
  • Colonial students are required to complete 3 high school credits for graduation in Civics/Geography, Economics, and United States History. Additional electives available to students as part of college admission requirements and William Penn pathway programs (please see William Penn Course Catalog for a description and guidelines (LINK)).

    • African American History

    • World History

    • Legal Studies Courses (Introduction to Legal Studies, Criminal Justice, Applied Legal Studies,Forensics and Evidence)

    • Contemporary World Views

    • Psychology

    • Sociology

    • World Cultures

    • World Religions

    • Military History

Advanced Placement - Topics:
  • AP Human Geography

  • AP Macroeconomics

  • AP Microeconomics

  • AP Psychology

  • AP United States History

  • AP World History

  • AP United States Government

Distance Learning Opportunities
  • Half-credit high school electives available include:

    • Anthropology I/II
    • Archaeology
    • Art in World Cultures
    • History of the Holocaust
    • Philosophy I/II
    • Social Problems I/II
Dual Enrollment Opportunities
  • Wilmington University:

    • CRJ205: Principles of Criminology

Our Team

Sherrie Clark

Sherrie Clark

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Crystal Lancour

Dr. Crystal Lancour

Supervisor of K-12 Mathematics

Dr. Nicholas Baker

Dr. Nicholas Baker

Supervisor of k-12 Science and Social Studies

Katie Gutowski

Katie Gutowski

Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction: K-12 English Language Arts

Schalea Sanders

Schalea Sanders

ELL Specialist: ELL, World Languages, Immersion Program

Tom Gavin

Tom Gavin

Supervisor, Instructional Technology & Libraries