Skip to main content

Elementary School Social Studies


The goal of social studies is to help create literate and well-informed citizens who actively participate in a democratic society. Students learn how to become effective citizens through:

  • active engagement in the learning processes and skills of the social sciences and history; development of a useful knowledge base in culture, economics, geography, history, and politics;
  • learning the fundamental structures of human systems of interaction and how these systems have developed over time;
  • application of concepts and knowledge of the past to problem-solving real-world issues of the present;
  • application and evaluation of the role of an effective citizen, including putting citizen participation theory into practice;
  • effective use of multiple sources of investigation for research and learning, including technology, primary and secondary source materials, the arts, film, and oral history; and
  • development and communication of social studies concepts and knowledge using a variety of formats, with a special emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing.

Grades 4 and 5 Curricula Overview

The grades 4 and 5 curricula are designed to align with the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) curriculum frameworks and the way students learn and apply social studies skills in Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) middle school courses to help prepare them for the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) Social Studies 8 assessment.  In grades 4 and 5, social studies includes learning about United States history, including national, state, and local history.  The content includes the experiences of groups that reflect the diversity of Montgomery County.  Additionally, learning is aligned to Learning for Justice’s Social Justice Standards and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.  Grades 4 and 5 students learn how to take informed action in their communities using their content knowledge and social studies skills application.

During the 2024-2025 school year, new grades 2 and 3 social studies curricula will be implemented in schools. New kindergarten and grade 1 social studies curricula will be implemented during the 2025-2026 school year. 

Curriculum Overviews