Elementary School History & Social Studies Courses
Kindergarten Social Studies Course
(Full Year Course) Kindergarten Social Studies introduces young learners to the social sciences. The course starts with an invitation to learners to investigate how people use jobs to meet basic needs and wants. Next, students will discover how traditions, kinship, and religion shape each family’s culture. An introduction to basic map skills is followed by a survey of basic landforms and bodies of water. The course then transitions into a study of the role of leaders, the relationship between government and rules, and an introduction to national symbols including the U.S. flag. Students will discover the meaning behind selected patriotic holidays before concluding the course with a look at how technology affects our lives.
First Grade Social Studies Course
(Full Year Course) This course builds on basic concepts introduced in kindergarten. The first two Units will teach students to use geography tools to interpret maps and globes. The focus then shifts to government. Learners will investigate how the United States was formed, survey the structure of our government, and identify and analyze the meaning of national symbols. Students will next study the role of states before learning about citizenship. Unit 8 will introduce learners to patriotic, community, and family customs and traditions. Students will then investigate basic economic concepts including goods, services, choices, spending, and savings before concluding the course with an examination of how technology changes the way humans work and play.
Second Grade Social Studies Course
(Full Year Course) 2nd Grade Social Studies introduces students to basic government, citizenship, history, economic, cultural, and geographic concepts. This is accomplished as they investigate communities, neighborhoods, holidays, symbols, monuments, the continents and oceans, and the virtues of the free enterprise system. The course begins with a look at rural, suburban, and urban communities. Students then learn about local neighborhoods and the people who live and work in them. The concept of neighborhood expands as the course progresses to include the state, nation, and world. Along the way, students will meet good citizens who helped their communities, including John Hancock, Sojourner Truth, and the Navajo Code Talkers.
Third Grade Social Studies Course
(Full Year Course) The theme of 3rd Grade Social Studies is community. Students will compare and contrast different types of communities and discover how cultural diversity adds richness and meaning to life in communities. As the course progresses, students will be introduced to the concept of living in a larger world community. They will learn about heroic men and women who overcame adversity and made their communities better places to live. Students will apply map-reading skills and examine source documents that will help them place communities and events in geographical and historical context. Students will learn that they have a responsibility to improve their communities and will identify ways to participate through nonprofit groups, government, and the free enterprise system.
Third Grade Oklahoma State History Course
(Full Year Course) 3rd Grade Oklahoma Studies introduces the student to the amazing history and culture of Oklahoma. The course begins with a primer on social studies skills such as reading maps. Students then explore the diverse geographic regions of Oklahoma. Civics and government are the focus of module 2. This is followed by Oklahoma history, beginning with the state’s prehistory and early contact between Native Americans and Europeans. Students will learn how the Trail of Tears brought the Five Tribes to Oklahoma and then survey the rapid chain of events that transformed Oklahoma from frontier to statehood. After covering recent historical events, the course concludes with a look at Oklahoma’s economic industries and cultural contributions.
Fourth Grade Texas State History Course
(Full Year Course) In 4th Grade, students will study the history of Texas. Students will investigate the origins of the first peoples to populate Texas and analyze the effects that European explorers imposed on their way of life. Students will discover facts about the six flags of Texas, beginning with the establishment of Spanish missions in the 17th century to the present-day State of Texas. Students will learn about the spirit of Texas independence and the importance of resisting tyranny during an in-depth examination of the Texas Revolution. The many colorful and resourceful figures in Texas history will entertain and inform students. Students will compare and contrast Texas government with the federal government as established by the U.S. Constitution. Students will learn about the Texas economy and revered holidays.
Fourth Grade California State History Course (Digital Only)
(Full Year Course) California State History is a social science adventure guiding the student through the history of the Golden State. The course begins with a primer on social studies skills, such as reading maps. Students then explore the diverse geographic regions of California. Module 2 begins an extended look at California history with an investigation into the culture of Native Americans. Students will then analyze the effect of the arrival of European explorers and Spanish rule. Next, they will follow the transition to Mexican rule and subsequent rapid colonization and statehood driven by the 1849 Gold Rush. After surveying history to the present day, the course concludes with in-depth investigations into California’s government, economic structure and industries, and cultural contributions.
Fourth Grade United States Geography Course
(Full Year Course) This course is a geographical survey of the United States and its territories. While emphasizing geography, the course is presented within the context of the other strands of social studies, including history, culture, and economics. This approach allows students to apply their new knowledge of U.S. geography to interpret and understand how geography affects the lives of all Americans. Unit 1 introduces students to the study of geography, including basic map skills. Units 2 through 8 employ a topical approach to study the regions of the continental United States. The course ends with a survey of the unique American jewels of Alaska, Hawaii, and the five organized U.S. territories.
Fifth Grade Social Studies Course
(Full Year Course) The 5th Grade Social Studies students will engage in a broad survey of U.S. history. Beginning with the discovery of the Western Hemisphere during the Age of Discovery, students will follow the transformation of the United States from a wilderness in the 17th century to a world power during the 20th century. Students will examine founding documents and analyze how government, political parties, and the free enterprise system have shaped the development of the United States. Geographical skills will be tested as students memorize the location of all 50 states and the names of their capitals. In addition, students will examine their rights and duties as citizens and analyze the impact of technology and culture on the lives of Americans.
Middle School History & Social Studies Courses
Sixth Grade World Cultures Course
(Full Year Course) The World Cultures course seeks to expand the knowledge of students beyond their local community to appreciate the diversity of the world at large. The course begins with a survey of ancient civilizations and the development of the Middle East’s three major religions. In unit 2, students will study the classical foundations of Western civilization and survey European nations. Unit 3 surveys American history, culture, and the role of citizens. The remainder of the course takes students on a whirlwind tour of dozens of many nations around the world, exploring the history, geography, governmental systems, customs, and cuisine of each.
Seventh Grade Texas History Course
(Full Year Course) Students will appreciate their Texas heritage by exploring the state’s fascinating history. The course begins with an investigation of Native American culture. Students will discover how three centuries under Spanish control continues to influence the state today. In unit 4, the action kicks into high gear with the arrival of Anglo colonists led by Stephen F. Austin and other empresarios. Students will analyze the causes of conflict with Mexico and survey events including the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto that led to Texas Independence. Next, the events of the Republic of Texas lead to annexation and a critical role as part of the Confederate States during the Civil War. The course concludes by surveying the growth of Texas through the 20th century and into the 21st century.
Seventh Grade Ancient World History Course (Digital Only)
(Full Year Course) This course introduces students to basic geography of the continents, including boundaries, rivers, and landforms. Students are introduced to the early history of people groups, including civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China, and the foundations of western civilization: ancient Greece and Rome. The languages, art, literature, societies, and way of life of these cultures are covered. The rise and fall of world kingdoms is discussed, ending with the fall of Rome in 476. Further studies into subsequent civilizations include the Byzantine Empire, rise of nations, and events in the world through the Renaissance and Reformation. Information is presented concerning the rise of many different world cultures.
Eighth Grade US History Course
(Full Year Course) This course employs an integrative approach to the teaching of U.S. history with an emphasis on geography, government, economics, culture, science, and technology. Students will learn how early explorations and development of the first colonies led to the union of 13 states as one nation. Students will examine and analyze important founding documents including the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. A survey of the events will reveal how Americans embraced the idea of Manifest Destiny and expanded the nation across North America. Students will follow and analyze the complex issues leading up to the American Civil War. The course concludes with a look at post-war issues.
Eighth Grade US History STAAR® Study Guide (Texas Standards)
In the 8th Grade United States History STAAR® Study Guide, students review U.S. History (Up to 1877) content TEKS in the STAAR®-tested reporting categories. The Study Guide also includes a STAAR®-like Practice Test. The Test is the same length as the STAAR® Test with the corresponding number of questions for each category. When scoring the Test, each question is associated with a category. Students and teachers can determine if they are struggling or excelling in certain categories and redo the questions in the Study Guide for a particular category.
High School History & Social Studies Courses
United States History since 1877 Course
(Full Year Course) U.S. History Since 1877 details the American story from Reconstruction to the present day. Beginning with western expansion, students will analyze the impact of events including the rise of cities and capitalism, the Alaska Purchase, and the Spanish-American War. Students will understand how technological advances including the assembly line and harnessing electricity, as well as the Progressive agenda of societal reform, influenced American prosperity. Students will consider America’s rise to a world power during World War I before probing events leading up to World War II, including the Great Depression. Students will examine the momentous war and its consequences, including the Cold War and the Korean War, and investigate later 20th-century events, including the Reagan era and the Persian Gulf War. The course concludes with a look at recent events, including the War on Terrorists.
High School Geography Course
(Full Year Course) In World Geography, students will learn the six essentials of geography: spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and uses of geography. After a broad survey of Earth’s structure, hydrosphere, and climates, the focus of each unit narrows to a particular region of the world. By examining the physical geography of each region, including water resources, climate, vegetation, and natural resources, students will understand the influence of geography on economic activities, human culture, and history. In addition, students will investigate the impact of human activity on the environment, including pollution and development, and consider the implications.
High School United States History STAAR® Study Guide (Texas Standards)
In the STAAR® United States History Study Guide, students review all U.S. History (since 1877) content TEKS in the STAAR®-tested reporting categories. The Study Guide also includes a STAAR®-like practice test. The test is the same length as the STAAR® test with the corresponding number of questions for each category. When scoring the test, each question is associated with a category. Students and teachers can determine if they are struggling or excelling in certain categories and redo the questions in the Study Guide for a particular category.
High School World History Course
(Full Year Course) World History is a survey of the development of civilizations from prehistoric times to the present. The journey begins with ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China, and the foundations of western civilization: ancient Greece and Rome. Students will analyze developments in Africa, Asia, and Europe during the Middle Ages, including the Crusades. Students will understand how the Renaissance and Reformation provided a springboard for the Age of Reason and the Scientific Revolution. An inquiry into events such as the American War of Independence and the French Revolution will prepare students to consider the great advances and social upheaval sparked by the Industrial Revolution. Students will probe the causes, events, and consequences of the two world wars and the rise and fall of Communism. The course concludes with a look at developments shaping current events.
High School Economics Course
(Half Year Course) The Economics course begins with a survey of the basic principles concerning production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services within the free enterprise system. Students will examine the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses, analyze the interaction of supply, demand, and price, and study the role of financial institutions. Types of business ownership, market structures, and basic concepts of consumer economics will be surveyed. The impact of a variety of factors including geography, government intervention, economic philosophies, historic documents, societal values, scientific discoveries and technological innovations on the national economy, and economic policy will be an integral part of the course. Students will apply critical- thinking skills to create economic models and to evaluate economic activity patterns. Students will also examine the knowledge and skills necessary as self-supporting adults to make critical decisions relating to personal financial matters such as seeking college financial aid, using credit wisely, and balancing financial accounts.
High School United States Government Course
(Half Year Course) U.S. Government commences its examination of American democracy with a general overview of the purpose, types, origin, and formation of governments. Students will explore how colonial self-rule, English law, and weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation influenced the formation of the U.S. Constitution. Students will investigate the principles of the Constitution and the federal system. The purpose, powers, and relationships among the American institutions of self-government—Congress, Presidency, and the Judiciary—will be examined as well as federal, state, and local governments. Students will become aware of their civic responsibility to vote and participate in the governmental process as they gain understanding of the functions and organization of political parties, the evolution of the two-party system, and the influence of public opinion and political ideology on government decisions.
Bright Thinker’s curriculum can promote learning in every type of learning environment.