Grade 3 Concept: Cultural Environments
In third grade, we learn that culture is a unifying set of values, beliefs, and customs – as well as artistic expressions, such as art, literature, music and architecture – which define a distinct group of people. We explore how culture constantly evolves by focusing on Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages and the European Explorers to the New World. Additionally, students grow to appreciate the many ways humans have responded to God’s revelation through cultural expressions throughout history.
- Great civilizations are characterized by (a) urban development, (b) social classes, (c) forms of government, and (d) symbolic language.
- Great civilizations expanded their territories through exploration and conquest.
- Great civilizations improved themselves through social and technological advancement.
- Great civilizations were exemplary in literature, music, art, and architecture.
- Great civilizations are identified with great leaders.
- God reveals himself in the context of great civilizations (The Fall, Redemption).
Grade 4 Concept: Environments in Progress
Fourth grade continues the study of cultures with its units on Environments in Progress. The class studies four units: Navajo culture, Jewish culture, Ancient Rome, and Rhode Island history. Within each unit, the class studies how each culture began and changed over time; how commerce and trade affected each culture; how each culture created innovations that helped its progress; and how greatness in each culture is not always the way God determines greatness. Each unit consists of readings, projects, and activities which connect language arts, science, and history. The students develop a rich sense of where these cultures come from and how they affect our world today.
- Cultures have distinct family and social structures.
- People of a culture share in a set of beliefs about religions and values.
- People of a culture depend on language to: a. remain distinctive, b. express feelings, c. establish fellowship, and d.carry on their heritage.
- Cultures change when one people group comes in contact with another people group.
- The Gospel often generates, transcends, and critiques culture (Redemption).
Grade 5 Concept: Emergence of Nations
Fifth grade focuses on Nationhood. The curriculum is based on six statements that allow students to explore the founding and development of the United States of America from the early explorers through the Civil War. These conceptual statements are also integrated into all other subject areas, particularly Reading, Writing, Language, and Bible. In this way, students are encouraged to go deeper and broader in making connections to historical, present day, and future events. These lessons prepare students for the transition from elementary school to middle school.
1. Nations usually develop as a people of common culture (ideology, language, tradition, heritage, etc.), joined together for the common good (protection, order, economic strength, power, etc.).
2. Leadership unites a nation by providing an organized system of government and a plan to perpetuate leadership.
3. Nationalism is developed and evidenced by songs, heroes, flags, celebrations.
4. Nationalism can flourish in times of crisis (common threat) eg., (war, economic difficulties).
5. A nation’s strength depends on: a. its institutions, b. the supply and use of natural resources, c. commitment to shared ideology, d. its military, e. its leadership, and e. its innovation.
6. Nations have a moral responsibility before God to: a. be just, b. be good stewards, c. protect human rights, d. recognize the sacredness of life, and e. recognize and honor God’s sovereignty.