US elementary school teachers, two history questions.
February 27, 2014 11:18 AM   Subscribe

In general, which elementary school grades cover prehistory? American colonial history?
posted by Elsie to Education (11 answers total)
The answer is very, very, very state specific.

For me, American colonial history was 4th grade. But I grew up in Virginia, where American colonial history is more or less Virginia history.

Pre-history is what ? European history ? Not covered at all in elementary school.
posted by k5.user at 11:26 AM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes, I didn't see any World History until high school, ninth grade to be precise.
posted by kindall at 11:29 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

K5.user's response is very similar to what I was going to say. We did major US history modules in 5th and 7th grades (Louisiana).

I'm fairly sure we didn't cover "prehistory" in any real sense before high school, at all. That said, I have an anthropology background, so my concept of "learning about prehistory" is probably pretty different from most people's.

We learned about Native American cultures in 5th grade American History.

I don't recall us ever covering prehistoric non-Native American cultures at all.

In 4th grade in lieu of "history" per se we had a more Social Studies oriented thing, and I think we might have covered a smidge of pre-historical social science foundations there?

I think human evolution was a part of biology, but probably not before high school.
posted by Sara C. at 11:38 AM on February 27, 2014

4th grade was California history when I went to school in CA so that jives with k5's experience as well. (I remember making a rancho out of sugar cubes)

We did "American History" in 5th (I remember having to give a speech as a John Quincy Adams and make a diorama about indians) and "World Geography" in 6th (not quite history specific but I remember learning about Swaziland).

I don't really remember Jr. High (probably because of the lack of dioramas). 9th Grade was World History, 10th Grade was American History, For some reason I can't remember 11th grade. And 12th grade was US Government and Economics.
posted by magnetsphere at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2014

We did American colonial history in 4th grade and prehistory (aka human evolution-Ancient Greece) in 6th grade. This was in a private school in Maryland. But we didn't really do any Maryland-specific history, which is quite different than most schools.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:03 PM on February 27, 2014

I went to private K-8 in CA and then public HS. California history in 4th, US history in 5th and 8th, and US again in 10th.
posted by radioamy at 12:04 PM on February 27, 2014

California resident here. I vaguely remember 1st and 3rd grade being colonial through American Revolution, but presented in very general and sanitized terms that left out a LOT of the less-PC and more "adult" details one would find in middle and high school US History classes. 2nd grade was more focused on Native American tribes and development of the West Coast states.

4th grade, as mentioned by magnetsphere and k5, was California history (which in itself also involved some European history re: Spanish explorers).

5th grade was American Revolution to Reconstruction...? I want to say World War II but that might be more leftover from individual reading I'd done at the time (read: the Molly subset of American Girls). Also lots of emphasis on states and capitals.

After that, it was World History in 6th (prehistory to Rome) and 7th (everything after), US history (much LESS sanitized) in 8th. No history for 9th, world history again for 10th, US again in 11th (Revolution to WWII) and Government/Economics in 12th.
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 12:09 PM on February 27, 2014

My daughter's in fifth grade right now, and this is the first year she's really had a history course instead of a generic social studies course. This year's history course basically started with the colonization of North America. Last year, if I remember, she studied state history. The year before I think it was sort of generic geography stuff--land formations, etc.

If I remember correctly, I had a world history (very general overview kind of thing) in about seventh grade, and then a more in-depth course in high school. My high school only offered world history and American history. World history was basically the UK and Europe from maybe the Renaissance onward; American history addressed the US from colonization on.
posted by MeghanC at 12:12 PM on February 27, 2014

From many long years ago:

3rd and 4th: "Social Studies" - a mix of simple geography and simple history
5th: US History
6th: World History

Middle School:
7th: US History, emphasizing our state and region
8th: Egypt, Greece, and Rome
9th: European History after Rome

High School:
10: "Western Civilization" - a mix of US and European history
11: "Nonwestern Civilization" - a mix of geography and World History
12: No actual history courses
posted by tyllwin at 12:28 PM on February 27, 2014

From what I recall from my time in school in Florida it's that for K-3, there were mostly generic "social studies" type courses. 4th grade was Florida History, 5th did a basic, watered-down version US/World history through about WWII. I remember studying the Titanic, and there was definitely some other generalized American History.

My mother did middle/high school history for a very long time, and it was: 6th grade was a general geography course, 7th grade was World History, and 8th was American History, from the Revolution though to the Civil War/WWI and II. (I remember spending way too much time on the Revolutionary War.)

In high school, in 9th grade, there was a social studies/life skills course, with World History in 10th grade, American History in 11th grade, and Economics/Government for 12th grade.
posted by PearlRose at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2014

In Texas in the lates 90s through 2008:
1st-3rd grades were general "Social Studies"- I think we did a little bit of local history in 3rd, learning about the people who settled our town and visiting a local history museum/farm.
4th was Texas history, which included learning about Native American groups in Texas.
5th was US History.
6th was a geography style social studies class, covering political systems, world religions, and memorizing country names.
7th and 8th were TX/US history again.
9th was geography, 10th was world history, 11th was US, and 12th was economics/government for most people.
posted by MadamM at 2:27 PM on February 27, 2014

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