Lower School - Social Studies

At our private elementary school, students investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate with a variety of audiences, and take action. As part of our Lower School curriculum, social studies is closely integrated with the language arts, visual arts, and performing arts curricula; this multidisciplinary study enlarges students’ understanding of history, culture, and the contemporary world. Based on Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of development in context, the curriculum guides students to explore the relationships of individuals within communities and the wider society.

  • First graders explore Oakland’s architecture and the foundation of a healthy and happy community.
  • Studying systems thinking and communities, second graders explore the local community and compare and contrast it with studies of Ghana’s communities and culture.
  • Third graders begin to look beyond their community and study the world around them including Pittsburgh and China.
  • Moving from Pittsburgh to the state and beyond, fourth graders study the history, geography, and economy of Pennsylvania. As a global study, students explore the culture and geography of Greece.
  • As a capstone, taking on the persona of an immigrant, fifth graders study immigration and its implication to U.S. history.