Elementary History


The human world into which our children are born is bewilderingly complex. It boasts countless and often conflicting institutions, ever-evolving technologies, and contradictory norms and practices. This is a world that most adults struggle to understand — partially in virtue of the approach to history and civics in most schools, which doesn’t typically provide a helpful framework for thinking about the dynamic human world.

But even elementary-aged children want and need to start to make sense this cacophony, to understand the world they live in, to learn to appreciate it, and, ultimately, to be empowered with the knowledge needed to participate in it, affect it, change it.

The critical key for understanding for a student to understand, appreciate, and change the culture of their world — in all of aspects — is history. Conversely, the key learning outcome of history is the ability to understand, appreciate, and ultimately change their world.

Students in our elementary history program learn, across the six years of elementary, the unbroken chronology of Western history, from early civilizations through the present.

Program Elements

  • The Great Lessons

    The Great Lessons are big-picture history lessons that serve as the integrating and framing context for the entire elementary curriculum. They are given every year, in both lower and upper elementary (with older students who have mastered the lessons assisting in their final years).

  • Civilizations
  • Western History


Lower Elementary

Great Stories
The Coming of Human Beings
Timelines of Human History and Progress
Fundamental Needs of Humans

Natural History
Context for Human History
Earth's Eons and Eras

Human Life on Earth
Broad Scope of Human History
Timeline of Discoveries and Inventions
History of Artifacts
Fundamental Needs of Humans

Exploring History
First History Research
Constructing a Timeline
The Calendar
Analysis of Civilizations

Globes and Maps
Working with Maps
Continent, Country, State, and Ocean Names
Cardinal Directions and Compass Rose Map Features

Land and Water Forms
Models of Geographic Features
Connection to Physical Geography and Ecology

Costs and Benefits
Goods and Services
Consumers and Producers
Function of a Bank

Human Interdependencies
Where Do We Get Our Food?
The Farmer Flow of Goods
The Collection Bowl

My Local Community
Characteristics of Urban, Suburban, Rural Communities
General Principles of Democracy in Communities
Function of Community Rules and Laws
Connection Between Geography and Resources

Upper Elementary

Research and Timelines
Timeline and Research into the History of Humanity

Human Life on Earth
Three Phases of History: Nomadic, Agricultural, Urban/Industrial
Interest Research
Connection to Ecology: Spread of Vegetation
Connection to Ecology: Climate Zones
Location of Cities Near Resources

Migrations of People
The Story of Humans Migrating
Drying of the Deserts, Movement of Glaciers
The Hunt: Following the Herd
Billiard Ball Movement
Nomadic Horde
Infiltration and Fusion
Clearing of the Forest
Seaborne Migration

World History
Creation of Timeline with Important Dates, Events, People, Patterns, and Maps for Early Societies and Civilizations:
Indus Valley
Yellow River (Hwang-Ho)
Ancient Greece
Medieval Europe
Renaissance - Exploration

United States History
Creation of Timeline with Important Dates, Events, People, Patterns, and Maps for:
Indigenous Americans
European Exploration
Colonial Times
Independence and Expansion

Geographic Features
Fluency with Maps (including Informational, Topographic, and Digital)
Memorization of Continents, Oceans, Major Countries, States
3D Models of Geographic Features and their Formation

My Own State
Historical Periods
Government of State
Chronological Context and Timeline
Further Research from Student Interest

Producers and Consumers
Goods and Services
World Trade and the Flow of Money
Interest Rates
Inflation and Deflation
Human Capital

Major Political Systems of the World
Concepts of Rights and Freedoms
Processes, Rules, and Laws
Branches and General Structure of the US Government
Research Based on Student Interest