Office of Elementary Social Studies

Grade 2 Social Studies: Expanding Horizons

The second grade social studies course, Global Communities, focuses on elements of community around the world. These elements include a spiraling focus on geography, economics, civics, culture and history. During the Global Communities course, students will explore geographic, economic, civic, cultural and historic questions and ideas in the United States, North America and Africa. These three units build upon the foundation provided in Grade 1 when students studies Baltimore County, Maryland, and basic geography of the United States.

Unit 1: Geography of Neighborhoods and Communities

Unit 1 focuses exclusively on the basic geographic and cultural make-up of the United States. Students work to explore the foundational principles of democracy and how citizens can participate in their community and government. Students also explore how geography impacts life in different regions of the United States. Students complete the unit by focusing on American culture and the different people that make up the United States.

Unit 2: North America

In Unit 2, students begin to analyze the geography of the North American continent. Based on their analysis of geography students then analyze how geography impact the individuals that live in each area of the continent. Once students recognize the role geography plays, students move to analyze and compare the various cultures and countries prevalent in North America. Lastly, students analyze the economic choices each country can make given their geographic location.

Unit 3: Africa

In Unit 3, students explore the exciting and diverse continent of Africa. Students again analyze the geographic landscape of the continent in addition to looking at the fundamental history of different African regions. Students explore African culture and build on their Unit 2 knowledge of scarcity and opportunity cost. Lastly, students begin to look at African culture as it pertains to life in different regions and cities culminating with a comparison of culture and predicting how people adapt to their environment.

Unit 4: History in Action

In the final Unit of second grade students inquire and analyze the tools of historians. Students will have the opportunity to analyze an ancient civilization and use inquiry and research in order to gain a fuller understanding of the jobs of a historian. The unit culminates with an analysis of historical jobs such as an archaeologist.


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