Category Archives: social studies

Primary studies South Africa

In Primary, we began our exploration of Africa, with our first country being South Africa. We discussed environment, climate, wildlife, music, art, currency, and traditions. We don’t delve into issues of apartheid at this age, but we do say that … Continue reading

Posted in guest speakers, McGuffey, Primary, social studies

The Upper Unit Learns about the Ancient Maya

The Upper Unit is wrapping up its tour of the ancient world in early Mesoamerica. We have spent the last few weeks learning about the Maya. The students had the opportunity to learn about Mayan hieroglyphs and created “glyph blocks” … Continue reading

Posted in social studies, upper unit

Learning about the Great Pyramids of Egypt in the Upper Unit

The Upper Unit students are examining who built the pyramids in Egypt and putting all the skills they have learned this year to the test. They are looking through several documents, learning from primary sources, evaluating the evidence, corroborating the … Continue reading

Posted in language arts, social studies, upper unit

Making Personal Timelines in Lower Elementary

Students in Lower Elementary recently completed work on their Personal Timeline projects. This project is part of our History curriculum and aims to help students learn more about how time unfolds and how they can begin to view their own life in … Continue reading

Posted in Lower Elementary, social studies

Making Gelato in Primary

Last week, Primary made gelato. They poured the ingredients for Italy’s tasty take on ice cream into the machine at morning meeting. By the time afternoon enrichment rolled around, their gelato was ready. While they enjoyed their taste of gelato, they invented different floors of gelato—some … Continue reading

Posted in cooking, Primary, social studies

Primary Studies the United Kingdom

Primary recently moved their exploration of the continents to Europe! Their first country in Europe was the United Kingdom. This can be a confusing region because it is actually made up of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The children have been busy … Continue reading

Posted in Primary, social studies

Lower Elementary Learns About Hanukkah

Before leaving for winter break last month, students in Lower Elementary were given a presentation about Hanukkah from Ayelet Yariv, a frequent substitute teacher in our classrooms and an Extended Day staff member here at McGuffey. Ayelet, who is from … Continue reading

Posted in guest speakers, Lower Elementary, social studies

Ancient Writing in Upper Elementary

In Upper Elementary our journey through the ancient world has led us to the Fertile Crescent and the Sumerian people. This is the birthplace of writing; the Sumerians used clay tablets and cut reeds to create the writing system known … Continue reading

Posted in social studies, Upper Elementary

Casting Votes in the Upper Unit

The Upper Unit students have been getting ready for the upcoming United States presidential election by studying the electoral process in the US. They have compared party platforms, learned about the electoral college, studied the candidates’ positions, learned about several minor parties, and are … Continue reading

Posted in Middle School, social studies, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Snapshot Autobiographies

This year in the Social Studies component of the Upper Unit’s Humanities program, we are learning about World History. History is the study of what happened in the past. To introduce our students to this concept, we began by looking … Continue reading

Posted in Middle School, social studies, Upper Elementary, upper unit