Updated: Oct 21, 2020
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
Who is here to help me?
In this series of lessons, kindergarten social studies students investigate and show appreciation for school helpers. They draft and critique questions, and then conduct an interview to learn more about the people and work that help to make school a great place. Objectives include:
Describe the roles and responsibilities of people in school
Generate interview questions about roles and responsibilities
Gather information by conducting an interview
Make reasoned claims about the importance of a school helper
Lesson 1: Identifying Helpers in the School
Who are the helpers in the school? kindergarten social studies students read a nonfiction text about school helpers to launch an investigation of the helpers in their own school. They begin to practice recognizing and forming questions in preparation for the next lesson, where they will create interview questions to help them learn more about the people in these roles and the work that they do to make school a great place.
As part of their investigation, kindergarten social studies students explore the book: Henry Goes to School: A Book About School Community book by Meg Gaertner. Did you know you can create a free account through EPIC and access this and other books?
Students watch this fun video from Sesame Street to practice recognizing questions.
Lesson 2: Critique of Interview Questions
When kindergarten social studies students are working on a meaningful deliverable, it can be very helpful to facilitate a critique session so that they may improve their work. Here, students are introduced to the basic steps of critique by starting with a low-stakes critique of teacher work. Then, students have an opportunity to look at their own work in light of new learning to see whether they have new ideas to add.
Lesson 3: Interviewing a School Helper
Kindergarten social studies students conduct a whole-class interview of a school helper to learn about that person's role and its importance to the community. Each student asks a question and evaluates the response, determining if a follow-up is needed.
Students can view this helpful video to consider what it means to interview someone.
Lesson 4: Appreciating School Helpers
Why is each school staff member important? Kindergarten social studies students reflect on the work of school helpers and how their contributions help to make school a great place. They write a claim that demonstrates the value of a school helper’s work by showing what the school might be like if they didn’t have someone doing this job.
Constructing a claim, supported by evidence, is an important skill for younger students to begin practicing. Check out this video to learn how to scaffold this skill with younger students.