Kindergarten students will begin to develop critical thinking skills as they learn about American history through stories depicting historic figures. Children will learn about national holidays and develop an understanding of why U.S. citizens celebrate them. Students also begin to develop an understanding of how historic changes continue to affect the country today. For instance, an introduction to the history of Martin Luther King Jr. will teach children about a historic person who sparked major changes.
Geography and Environment
Children investigate globes and learn that different parts of the world are covered in land or water. Map-reading activities help students recognize their state and country. Kindergartners learn that people use environmental resources for many purposes. Students learn how to identify their surroundings, including mountains, lakes, deserts and rivers. Kindergartners learn about different cultures and groups of people throughout the world. Teachers can teach cultural diversity by showing children pictures of different types of people or letting children sample food from around the world. For example, students can taste tortillas during a lesson on Mexican cultures and traditions. Swiss chocolate samples can be incorporated into a lesson on Switzerland. Children might sample crepes to learn about common French foods.
Students will learn about concepts that contribute to a global economy, such as the production and distribution of goods and services that meet the needs and wants of people around the world. Teachers explain that needs are things that people cannot live without, such as water, clothing and shelter. Children learn that wants are things that people would like to have but do not need to survive, such as toys or candy. Teachers might ask community workers to speak to the class, such as firefighters or police officers.
Children learn about the duties of citizenship and the patriotic symbols that define the country. Interactive lessons allow students to get a taste for traditions of democracy, such as staging a mock election or voting for class pet. Teachers might make a list of potential class pets and then ask children to write their choice on a paper ballot. Once all students have cast a vote, teachers could read each ballot and place a tally mark next to the pet that corresponds with each vote. Children could help tally total votes to determine the new class pet.