The Social Studies Program is designed to prepare each student for college, career, and civic life. Students will participate in courses that address content standards in the areas of civics and government, economics, geography, and history. Courses are rigorous and aligned to New York State Standards. Our students will develop the ability to apply 21st century skills, use critical thinking for problem solving, make authentic real world connections, and use technology to collect information, show creativity, and innovation. Through the exploration of enduring issues, students will be provided opportunities to develop higher level thinking skills, integrate concepts across curricula, and become aware of cultural diversity. The goal of the social studies curriculum in the Gates Chili School District, is to help create historically literate and well informed citizens who actively participate in a culturally diverse, democratic, and global society.
Grades PreK - 5
The primary purpose of the Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade Social Studies curriculum is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasonable decisions as global citizens of a culturally diverse and democratic society. Students will develop an understanding of concepts and key ideas through inquiry, analysis of primary and secondary source documents, and interdisciplinary skills and practices. Students will be instructed across the Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade spectrum by using a common set of themes, key ideas, and concepts.
The units of study for each grade level are as follows:
Pre-Kindergarten - Self and Others
Kindergarten - Self and Others
Grade 1 - My Family and Other Families, Now and Long Ago
Grade 2 - My Community and Other United States Communities
Grade 3 - Communities around the World
Grade 4 - Local History and Local Government
Grade 5 - The Western Hemisphere
Grades 6 - 8
Grade 6 Social Studies is based on the geography and history of the Eastern Hemisphere, including the development of cultures, civilizations, and empires; interactions between societies; and the comparison of trends in government and economics. It also incorporates some elements of other social sciences.
The course begins with an examination of the Eastern Hemisphere today, using geographic skills. This provides the foundation for making connections between the past and the present throughout the course. The remainder of the course is divided into seven Key Ideas that cover a time span from pre-history into the 1300s. Students are provided the opportunity to explore belief systems across time and to examine the foundations of democracy.
In Grades 7 and 8, students will examine the United States and New York State through a historical lens. The two-year sequence is arranged chronologically, beginning with the settlement of North America by Native Americans and ending with an examination of the United States in the 21st century. Although the courses emphasize the skill of chronological reasoning and causation, the courses also integrate the skills and content from geography, politics, economy, and culture into the study of history.
Grades 9 - 12
New York State requires a minimum of 4 social studies credits towards graduation. Upon commencement, Gates Chili students will have successfully completed the three required full credit courses of Global History I and II and United States History & Government, as well as half credit courses in Dynamics of Citizenship and Economics. In addition, the high school social studies department offers a wide-range of elective and several advanced placement courses dedicated to the social sciences which provides 21st century learning, college and career readiness, and civic participation.