III. SOCIAL STUDIES/ SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTAL DOMAIN

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The social studies/social domain at the preschool leveldevelops preschool children’s understanding of their heritage and their family, as well as belonging to a school group.  Activities and themes related to social studies and personal social behavior are especially significant to children as they develop friendships and become part of a social environment that promotes respect for others.  As preschoolers entering the school setting, teachers focus on recognition of each child’s unique personality, his or her strengths, and the interrelationship of self, home, and school.

 

The study of social studies and history at the preschool level introduces children to the development of early America, Columbus as a navigator and mapmaker, native American Indians, Pilgrims, and celebrations associated with early U.S. history. 

 

Social studies and history are used as reference points for celebrating traditions.  Children respond to the sharing of ethnic and personal customs, and learn the mutual benefits of altruism and kindness. 

 

  • Children demonstrate turn taking and helping in the classroom.

 

  • Children use simple manners such as, “please” and “thank you”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Children explain and demonstrate safety rules and drills.

 

    
A. The study of “Who Am I?” and “Our School” at the preschool levelacknowledges that there are children at the preschool level who are experiencing school for the first time, and there are preschoolers who have entered the school environment previously.  Teachers make them feel welcome in school, as a place to play, learn, and feel safe in a home-like atmosphere.  Children are valued and respected for their unique personalities, their strengths, and their family backgrounds.  Teachers recognize children need structure and security, and therefore, focus on establishing a comfortable learning environment and developing a healthy relationship with each child.

 

  1. Study children’s personal family life and encourage them to share personal stories.
    a. The elements of belonging to a social group.
    b. Grandparent Celebration – design a book (cutting, gluing, coloring, and writing), sing a song, and recite a poem.
    c. Making and giving a gift to grandparents – frame drawing.
    d. Serving homemade cookies to grandparents.
  2. Acknowledge children as uniquely different and special in the classroom.
    a.Talk about making friends, belonging to and taking care of each other.
    b.Model how to share and take turns.
    c.Demonstrate the Golden Rule, kindness, and read story “Please”.
    d.Take children on a tour of classrooms and playground.
    e.Explore the school; provide an orientation tour to meet other teachers.
    f. Explore each area and space in the classroom as important to the school environment.
  3. Arrange with the children (and routinely change) types of learning areas and centers.
  4. Introduce and practice important personal safety and routine procedures.  
  5. Create classroom rules with the children, post the rules, and review daily.
  6. Introduce special class times with special teachers, and meet teachers, staff and other students, including a meeting with the Head of School.
  7. Introduce and model what it means to be responsible at cleanup time. 
  8. Inform children of procedures, which are followed, related to transportation to and from school, including family cars, buses, seat belts, traffic signs, and lights.
  • Children prepare for visits.
  • Children explain their visits to others.
  • Children observe and talk to community workers.
  • Children practice safety drills.
  • Children explain what workers do as a profession, in the community.
  • Children invite family into the classroom.
  • Children role-play and pretend they are workers who help other people.

 

 

  • Children talk about weather and begin to identify days, weeks, etc.

 

  • Children hold flags, set tables, choose grace, initiate Show and Tell, and use magic tapper at naptime.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Children draw and write daily.
  • Children speak and share freely.
  • Children arrange play theme areas, such as housekeeping.
  • Children engage in multi-sensory social activities.
  • Children make “me” posters.
  • Children draw outlines of themselves.
B. The study of children’s past lives at home and at daycare or preschool at the preschool level develops children’s ability to talk about their family, their home, and their early experiences.   An awareness of what life has been like before starting preschool, promotes children’s cognitive recall and memory skills.  Field trips and visits to community workers assist children in learning the processes of self-discovery, oral communication, and physical exploration of the environment. 
  1. Visit fire and police stations after preparing children for each visit.
  2. Provide children with the opportunity to talk to police, firemen, and other community workers.
  3. Practice fire drill at school and other safety procedures, such as “Stop, drop, and roll”.
  4. Make frequent field trips in order to define community workers and others that will form relationships to children.
  5. Present Mother Goose and Parent’s Day Programs to encourage family participation and get parents involved in the classroom.
  6. Dramatize events, trips, and pretend play situations that occur in the home, school, and community, such as dressing up like police, fireman, etc.
  • Children make family maps.
  • Children dictate likes and dislikes.
  • Children identify their address and telephone number.

 

 

 

  • Children make books and write about birthdays.
  • Children participate in customs of different religions and cultures.
  • Children make models of the White House and the Capitol Building.
C. Introduce Circle Time at the preschool level as a time to gather, share, and meet to go over each day’s routine.
  1. Prepare children to refer to the weather, temperature, date, time, and other procedures.
  2. Participate with children in planning events of the day.
  3. Involve children in the meaning of friendship and leadership by having a “Child of the Day”.
  4. Explain the child holds flag, sets table, chooses grace, line leader, initiates Show and Tell, and uses magic tapper at naptime.

 
D. Present reading as a personal and social activity at the preschool level by reading stories and engage children in the repetition of nursery rhymes.  Expose children to a rich literacy environment, which promotes children’s feelings of self-worth and confidence necessary for future success in reading.
  1. Provide table tasks and fine motor play so children learn relationships, such as size, shape, and numbers, in a social setting. 
  2. Prepare the classroom so children are free to discover other properties of objects, through classification, grouping, sorting, and identification tasks.
  3. Arranging play areas such as outdoor settings, blocks on shelves, and sand and water table area.
  4. Arrange artistic forms of self-expression for children.
  5. Present family information, such as address and telephone number.
  6. Draw picture of family, including pets, and identify members.
  7. Create own placemats for snacks, draw plate, cup, fork, and spoon, write name on mat, and help laminate the mats.
  8. Dictate a “How-am-I Feeling?” chart for each child to keep.
  9. Identify namecards and object card banks for children.
  • Children practice counting beans, etc. and writing numerals.

 

 

  • Children write letters of the alphabet.

 

 

  • Children draw designs of rainbows and other “green” designs.
  • Children paint and draw footprints.

 

  • Children dance, sing, and perform Irish traditional dances.
E. Prepare interdisciplinary materials for religious and cultural groups at the preschool level.
  1. Celebrate Christmas, Kwanza, and Hanukkah at the preschool level.
  2. Celebrate birthdays and other historical places and celebrations at the preschool level:
    a. George Washington
    b. Abraham Lincoln
    c. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    d. White House
    e. Capitol
    f. Language – If I were President, I would? – trace silhouette.
    g. Book Center – Presidents
    h. Art – cherry tree, counting
    i. Manipulatives - “Cherri-O” game3.The study of Valentine’s Day at the preschool levelallows children to engage in interdisciplinary activities.
    1. Create kindness charts.
    2. Helping, sharing, listening, and playing together.
    3. Send notes and cards to sick children.
    4. Art – Valentine Holder – color, easel, play dough
    5. Social – Party
    6. Language Arts - mail notes to friends - mailboxes on lockers
    7. Feelings
    8. Shadows – Groundhog Day, Shadow dancing
    9. Write recipe and favorite food for a friend.
    10. Letter recognition -“V”
    11. Book Center – Valentine books
       

    4.The study of Saint Patrick’s Day at the preschool level allows children to engage in interdisciplinary activities:

    1. Cognitive – numerals 1-10 numbers recognition and sense of           one-to-one correspondence
    2. Cook green pasta
    3. Shamrock stickers, gold coins
    4. Present the letters of the alphabet
    5. Art:  Leprechaun Trap
    6. Sewing
    7. Manners – earn gold coins for pot of gold, Golden Rule.
    8. Art:  Paint giant rainbow for bulletin board, easel – green paint and green play dough.
    9. Create giant story “Once Upon A Time there was a leprechaun and....”, each child adds to and illustrates.
    10. Shamrock Journals - better recognition -S, shamrock potato prints, lace the cover and write wishes.
    11. Creative movement - Irish dances.
  • Children simulate growing corn.

 

  • Children explain life in the colonies.

 

  • Children draw Indian houses, etc.

 

  • Children dramatize events.

 

  • Children read and act out stories.

 

  • Children make art projects from food, such as corn.
    Children examine concrete objects that symbolize the Pilgrims’ life.
F. The study of native American Indians at the preschool level develops a sense of past history for children, recognizing that they think in the “here and now”.
  1. Present information in picture language.
  2. Dramatize hunting, gathering food, planting, and harvesting.
  3. Tell stories of how Indians taught Pilgrims to plant and grow.
  4. Discuss family life in the days of colonization, including the teepee, wigwam, and log house.
  5. Demonstrate modes of transportation, such as canoes and trading practices.
  6. Make coloring out of fruits and plants.
  7. Illustrate and model roles of people who lived in colonial times, such as chief, squaws, and braves.
  8. Create art projects out of corn, with corn as a brush.
  9. Draw graphs of “what do you like best?” including popcorn, tortillas, corn flakes, corn bread, etc.
  10. Tell legend stories and make up songs.
  11. Read books and create totem poles, easel paint – brown and yellow, weaving.
  12. Perform creative movements – Indian dances (rain, thanks, and prayers).
  13. Measure corn kernels on scales.
  14. Make letter “I” for Indian.
 

G. The study of Pilgrims at the preschool level focuses children’s attention on the voyage to America, peacemaking, and feasting.

  1. Feast – invitation to Indians.  Discuss foods eaten at first Thanksgiving.  Cook own food for the feast.
  2. Costumes - hats, coats, aprons, Indian headbands and vests (paper bag) - decorate with Indian symbols.
  3. Voyage/Transportation/History – Mayflower, difficulty and many hardships
  4. Letter recognition – Block Center – Lincoln Logs – building houses, etc.
  5. Ocean and Land 
  6. Turkeys as a member of the bird family – its adaptation for survival.  Art – pine cone turkey.  Bulletin Board – giant turkey, earn feathers for acts of kindness.
  7. Book Center – Thanksgiving, Mayflower, Pilgrims
  8. Math - counting corn kernels.
  9. Dramatic play – Pilgrim costumes
  10. Science – use scientific tools, microscope and magnifying glass, to examine and study structure of feathers.  Birds have feathers for flight and warmth. 
 

H.The study of the American presidents at the preschool level develops children’s emerging sense of time and location, such as past and present tense.

  1. Washington – history
  2. Lincoln - determination – history
  3. Currency and coins – math
  4. White House – history
  5. Capitol – history
  6. Language - If I were President, I would? - trace silhouette.
  7. Book Center – Presidents
  8. Art - cherry tree, counting
  9. Manipulatives - “Cherri-O” game
 
Ask Dr. Susan