HISTORY & SOCIAL STUDIES
At Heritage School the area of social studies encompasses a wide range of activities. Children study other countries and cultures, both past and present, within the context of a class theme, or during an individual study. We believe students need to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the many cultures that are a part of our local, state, national, and world communities. Each year students present an International Festival, sharing results of their studies of a variety of countries through art, writing, skits, and puppetry. The entire school literally becomes transformed into a global village!
Our studies of Ancient Civilizations culminate in a celebration that sometimes includes a reenactment of an encounter between these cultures, complete with costumes, dramatizations, debate, etc. This role play can even involve parents as villagers on an island where ships from Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, and maybe even Mesopotamia have somehow been tempest tossed upon its shore. These visitors to the island attempt to impress the awe-struck villagers with their varied cultural treasures, such as the knowledge of medicine, the ability to write hieroglyphs, farming methods, science and technology (aqueducts, bridges, and indoor toilets!).
United States History lessons provide in depth understanding of our nation’s past. Fascinated by explorations of history unfettered by dry textbooks, students delve into literature, primary sources, and lively activities designed to make history come alive. Older students participate in ongoing history lessons, rotating through a cycle that provides both a panoramic view of US history from pre-Columbian to modern times, as well as in depth immersion in focused topics, such as slavery and the Underground Railroad; the Civil War; Westward Expansion; etc.
All students have the opportunity from time to time to explore history during thematic studies. For example, a study of Colonial America might culminate in a transformation of the school into a colonial village. One large room includes a wigmaker’s shop, an apothecary, and a blacksmith’s shop. Wandering peddlers offer their wares to parent visitors. In the art room, visitors find a warm reception into a Colonial home where they can sample homemade bread and freshly churned butter. The science room, transformed into a colonial schoolroom, allows visitors to sit in on a classroom scene depicting education in early America. Visitors may try writing with quill pens. When students become immersed in their history studies, lasting impressions form, solid comprehension develops, and they view history as relevant to issues we face today.