Overview

Social studies provides children with rich and varied opportunities to study the human and physical world in order to make meaning out of knowledge and experience.  Social studies at St. Thomas has a well-defined scope and sequence and curriculum, which spirals and builds on concepts and skills throughout the elementary years:  people and their physical and social environment, including the classroom environment; communities near and far; the ways people lived in past generations and places; the ways their experiences changed and evolved into the present; and geography and its impact on how people live and solve problems.
 
Each classroom is equipped with appropriate and current maps, globes, print material, and technology tools.  Map skill workbooks are used by many grade levels to help students learn geography skills.  Important events and people are also studied as they relate to the thematic focus of what is being studied.  The curriculum emphasizes the research and the project approach, using content material and technology, rather than a single textbook.  
 

Special events

Special events and research projects are planned as activities for specific grades, grade-appropriate field trips are planned to enhance the study of social studies, and guest speakers from the community are frequently used as resources.  These experiences are designed to help children learn to think analytically, to make generalizations out of details and facts, to ask questions and answer them through research, to build vocabulary, and to integrate the skills learned from other academic areas.