K - 8 Grades
Elementary school courses in history should emphasize historical narrative, highlight the roles of significant individuals throughout history, and convey the rights and obligations of citizenship even from the earliest grades. In that spirit, courses in history proceed chronologically and call attention to the Story of America as a noble experiment in a constitutional republic. But history is not only about knowing the facts; students should also explore and discuss the common and complex themes throughout history, making connections among their own lives, the lives of the people who came before them, and the lives of those to come. Teaching history as a story, still unfolding, is the best way to engage your student. He or she is participating in “history” every day. Much of what we know about our forefathers' everyday experiences comes from reading their journals and diaries. This might be a way to incorporate more writing into your child’s daily activities!
Kindergarten: Learning and Working Now and Long Ago - Students understand that history relates to events, people, and places of other times.
Grade One: A Child's Place in Time and Space - Students know and understand the symbols, icons, and traditions of the United States that provide continuity and a sense of community across time and compare and contrast everyday life in different times and places around the world. They recognize that some aspects of people, places, and things change over time while others stay the same.
Grade Two: People Who Make Difference - Students differentiate between things that happened long ago and things that happened yesterday. Students understand the importance of individual action and character and explain how heroes from long ago and the recent past have made a difference in others' lives (e.g., from biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Louis Pasteur, Sitting Bull, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Jackie Robinson, Sally Ride).
Grade Three: Continuity and Change - Students describe the physical and human geography and use maps, tables, graphs, photographs, and charts to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context. Students draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land.
Grade Four: California: A Changing State - Fourth grade is devoted to understanding how California developed and became a state and our place in the country and the world today. This is the only grade that specifically focuses on our state.
Grade Five: United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation – US history through the Civil War. Fifth grade covers topics in United States history that are not repeated at later grades. Beginning with Native American cultures and progressing through the Revolutionary War, students are introduced to the ideals and founding fathers of our nation.
Grade Six: World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations and Grade Seven: World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times. Grades six and seven divide the history of the world between the ancient and the medieval periods. This course establishes the foundation of knowledge students need for 10th grade World History.
Grade Eight: United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict – US History from the Civil War through World War I. In eighth grade, students briefly review the Civil War and then move forward in American history through WWI. Most of this material is not repeated in high school, so it is important for students to understand the basic concepts and ideas to have a firm foundation for 11th grade.