Social Studies

A curriculum describes what students should be learning through the grades. It should give clear statements of goals and objectives and should leave to teachers the decisions about how to realize them. Our faculty is high professional, knowledgeable, caring and committed to the individualized development of the whole child, therefore each teacher must decide how best to deliver the academic concepts in his/her curriculum.

A good curriculum should be organized clearly and structured logically within and between subjects and from grade to grade. It must be standards based, student focused, and goal oriented to build the foundation for future learning. It should gradually become more complex and difficult in terms of skills and objectives.

While IAS is structured to assure that all students who attend can, go on to higher education, its primary aim is to develop all aspects of the individual student. We want our students to know and respect themselves and others, and to develop their individual strengths. IAS seeks to stimulate and develop intellectual curiosity, critical and analytical thinking, as well as develop a foundation for information processing at higher levels. It is our goal that our students would be life long learners and constructively question the world around them. We want them gain the ability to analyze critically and objectively. We encourage them to seek to change, to challenge themselves to make a difference

IAS expects its students to work hard and to meet these challenges. It is only through continued maintenance of its standards and of the full partnership of the IIAS expects its students to work hard and to meet these challenges. It is only through continued maintenance of its standards and of the full partnership of the IAS learning community that our students can fulfill these goals.

The social studies program includes the study of man’s relationships, both past and present, and draws its subject matter from geography, history, anthropology, economics, political science, and social psychology. As the program is developed through the grades, the student is made aware of the larger world. The social studies program is based upon the assumption that a democratic society depends upon sensitive and responsive citizens who can make rational decisions consistent with basic democratic values. The classroom provides the environment in which students can inquire into and evaluate questions which deal with man’s social behavior through a wide variety of historical and social events.


In Kindergarten, Social Studies begins with a unit on families. The students learn about each other and get to know each other. They learn that there are all types of families. Students read books about different kinds of families and create their own class family book. They expand their study of families to animal families, learning collective nouns of animal groups, names of animal young, and their parents. They culminate this study with a trip to Turtleback Zoo. Students learn about the various cultures, cultural celebrations, and holidays within the classroom, with active participation of their parents. They also cover a variety of other topics such as famous people, historical events, geography, current events, and maps. They broaden their understanding of their place in the world through the use of creative dramatics, celebrations, art projects, poetry, books, films, videos, and field trips. The students are introduced to sign language through music and poetry. Particular emphasis is placed on fostering self-awareness, a positive self-image, and socialization skills.


In Grade One, the children learn about different communities, starting with the school community, then branching out locally and finally globally. Social Studies is integrated into the total curriculum as well as in several special classes such as art, music, computer science, and science. The children learn about communities in North America, Latin America, and Australia. They research an animal from Australia and one from the rain forest, using books and technology. Basic geography skills are taught, beginning with simple maps of the school and expanding to a basic world map. Character education is taught and reinforced through the teaching of tolerance and acceptance of the different communities. A culminating trip to Giza in Cairo to visit the Pyramids, and also to visit local museums in Alexandria. 


In Grade Two, the social studies concepts, beginning with dinosaurs, are integrated into the language arts, science, and math programs through the use of relevant literature. Students study geography and practice map skills. The concepts of diversity, compassion, and friendship are emphasized throughout the study of traditional Native Alaskan ways of life, African-Americans, women in history, people with disabilities, and the elderly. 


In Grade Three the program focuses on the geography of the United States. Emphasis is placed on the link between the geography of each of the six regions of our nation and their historical, economic, and social development. Literature, both fiction and nonfiction, provides a rich source of material for this program, while traditional textbooks, maps, globes, and atlases are used as reference tools. Films, slide and video presentations, and field trips provide additional opportunities for enrichment of basic course material. Assessment, formal and informal, is an ongoing part of the program, carried out through tests and quizzes as well as through original map work, group projects, and reports. 


Grade Four Social Studies focuses on all aspects of North America, specifically the United States. The landforms and geological development are studied, as well as cultural, economical, and diversity factors. Students develop a hands on approach through construction of dioramas, timelines, travel brochures, map making, weather reporting . There is a literature component that covers the early frontier and the challenges the pioneers faced in moving west. There is a vocabulary and comprehension section that stresses reading as well. Assessment, formal and informal, is an ongoing part of the program, carried out through tests and quizzes as well as through original map work, group projects, and reports. 


The course builds upon concepts and skills developed through earlier years. Students begin with the study of ancient Egypt. They delve into the treasures of the ancient tombs, the personalities and reigns of the pharaohs, the architectural feats of the pyramids, the advances in science and medicine, the roles of religion and myth, and the artistic accomplishments of the Egyptians. Continuing into the Greek and Roman empires, the students develop insights into the daily lives of these peoples, their governments, their wars, and their legacy. Close attention is paid to the art, literature, philosophy, music, and government of the periods. Technology is integrated through research, use of the Internet, and tours of historic sites and museums. A two-week course on the Metropolitan Museum of Art is followed by a field trip to the museum. A variety of media and primary source material is used as well as a study of current events to connect today’s world with the study of ancient cultures. 


The Sixth Grade program is a study of American history from European colonization of North America through the Civil War as well as the geography and political and socioeconomic conditions of the time. Emphasis is placed on the important people and vocabulary relating to that period. A research paper and creative writing assignments add to the students’ developing ability to communicate their ideas effectively.