Social Studies in DC Public Schools cultivates learning experiences for students to be inquisitive, informed, and engaged participants in civic life by nurturing their lived experiences and identities and preparing them to recognize and disrupt systems of inequity. Social Studies is a core subject composed of civics, economics, geography, history and other social sciences taught in every grade from K-12 using methods that align to the best practices of each discipline.
All DCPS students participate in Social Studies instruction throughout their academic career, focusing on civics, economics, geography and history according to the following themes:
Grade K: Living, Learning, and Working Together
Grade 1: True Stories and Folktales from America and around the World
Grade 2: Living, Learning, and Working Now and Long Ago
Grade 3: Geography and History of the District of Columbia
Grade 4: US History and Geography: Making a New Nation
Grade 5: US History and Geography: Westward Expansion to the Present
Grade 6: World Geography and Cultures
Grade 7: World History and Geography: Ancient World
Grade 8: US History and Geography I: Growth and Conflict
Grade 9: World History and Geography I: Middle Ages to the Age of Revolutions
Grade 10: World History and Geography II: The Industrial Revolution to the Modern World
Grade 11: US History and Geography II: Industrial America to the Present
Grade 12: Principles of US Government; District of Columbia History and Government
More than 100 Deal MS students and teachers organized and lead a group demonstration in the #Heart4theHomeless rally at Freedom Plaza.
The SAGE (Social Studies Assessment of Growth and Excellence) measures growth in student performance on social studies content, literacy and historical/geographic inquiry skills. Students in 6th through 9th grade take an online pretest and posttest to measure growth through a mixture of multiple choice and short constructed response items that use excerpts of text, images, etc. Social studies teachers use SAGE data to inform inquiry-based instruction that is rich in primary source analysis and promotes literacy practices.
DCPS social studies teacher Alysha Butler from McKinley Technology High School was chosen as the 2019 National History Teacher of the Year.
Visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History for more information.
We the People: “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" is an educational program developed by the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in California. The program instructs students on the history and principles of American constitutional democracy, culminating in a simulated Congressional hearing competition.
Street Law: Georgetown law students teach a semester-long elective course in practical law to DCPS high school students. In the summer, secondary-level social studies teachers and supervisors can spend six stimulating days on Capitol Hill and inside the Supreme Court learning about the Court, its past and current cases, and how to teach about them from top Supreme Court litigators and educators.
Discovery Ed Techbook: This digital social studies textbook brings historical events, concepts, and phenomena to life for today's students with engaging multimedia resources including interactive text, maps, and timelines, plus videos, photos, audio, and hundreds of primary sources.
The 2017 Mikva Challenge Project Soapbox finalists pose with their topics. The winning speeches highlighted topics such as gentrification, colorism, poverty and African American role models.
National History Day: Students choose historical topics related to a theme, conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites, analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, and then present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries.
Mikva DC Challenge: Students explore their communities from an asset-based perspective, identify issues that are important to them and their community, research the issues, analyze power, and ultimately develop an action plan and take action. Students showcase their year-long activism efforts at Mikva Challenge DC’s annual Action Civics Showcase.
Manager, Social Studies
Dr. Tiffany Mitchell Patterson
Manager, Social Studies