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An inquirED Blog

Kindergarten Social Studies Curriculum: What does it mean to navigate school?

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.

This blog post is one in a series that breaks down one unit from each grade level of Inquiry Journeys, inquirED's core elementary social studies curriculum. For a trial account containing all lessons for the unit, click below.


Kindergarten Social Studies Curriculum Essential Question

What does it mean to navigate school?

In this series of lessons, Kindergarten social studies students unpack what it means to navigate school physically and socially by exploring the locations, activities, and behavioral norms of different areas of the school. They explore basic mapping skills and work with peers to begin a concept map of their school that serves as a visual reference throughout the unit. Objectives include:

  • Use evidence from a source to gather information about school locations, activities, and norms

  • Create representations of important features of school locations 

  • Describe and model the behavioral norms for different spaces 

  • Explain how norms can help people to be safe, happy, and productive throughout the school

Lesson 1: Identifying Important School Places

Students plan a tour of the school to observe the important locations and norms they encounter throughout their school day. They revisit illustrations from the book School’s First Day of School through a Picture Walk activity to consider the activities in various learning spaces and think about how and why behavior norms might differ in different locations.

Lesson 2: Walking the School

Students explore important locations in their school to observe people working, playing, and learning in these spaces. They see school helpers at work and look for evidence of the norms that are needed in each of these different school locations.

Lesson 3: Reflecting on Norms Around the School

Students reflect upon the learning spaces they observed on their school walk and work with peers to brainstorm the importance of norms in various locations. Then, they create a drawing to show a learning activity and norm related to a school location, and they attach these illustrations to a "Our Class Unit-Long Display," creating a visual reference of important school locations and norms. Lastly, they consider how knowing these norms will help them better navigate school.


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