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5/6 Social Studies Ms. Krakauer

Welcome to Social Studies with Ms. Krakauer!

I am so glad to have you in class. This is my 15th year teaching at Innovation Academy and I'm looking forward to getting to know some new faces this year. Here are some fun facts about me:

1. In addition to being a teacher, I also work part time as a freelance balloon twister.

2. I love to travel, and I have a blog all about global education:                    


3. A few years ago, I hiked into the crater of a volcano in Indonesia.

What are some fun facts about you? Email me with yours! skrakauer@innovationcharter.org

What's happening today?  

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What will we study this year?

Discovering Early America

Just like the explorers and settlers who discovered early America, students will get a chance to “discover” the motivation behind, and the effects of, European life in the New World. Students will try to figure out “who really discovered America?”  They will study Native American civilizations in both North and South America.  From the early Maya, Aztec, and Incan people to the Wampanoag of Massachusetts, how did Native Americans interact with the land?  

As they learn about some early explorers, students will reflect upon the goals of those journeying to a new land, and how they treated the Native Americans.  Students will decide if Columbus was really the hero he is made out to be in many history books, or if the Taino Native Americans were actually the victims of Columbus and his men as they came to the New World.  Students will create a board game that demonstrates their knowledge of early explorers and the impact on the Native American people. Students will also learn about how settlers found success (or hardship) in the new colonies.  They will research the thirteen original colonies and learn about life for European settlers.  Through a study of slavery, students will learn how life in the Southern colonies differed from life in the North.  Students will write and present original poems and music about the life of a colonist or slave character. In addition, after studying principles of economics, students will take a test and create a business plan to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts. 

Holy C.O.W. (Cultures of the World)

In this project, students will explore how they can become true global citizens.  Through this lens, we will study world geography, religion, and culture.  This year, the geographical regions that students will focus on are Asia, Europe, and Oceania.  Throughout the quarter, students will research one country and one of  the five major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or Judaism.  Becoming experts on a single country, they will prepare a self-directed study about an aspect of life in that place.  Products will be created based on the guiding themes of geography: location, place, human environment interaction, movement, and region.

What will we study next year?
Reaction, Revolution, Reform
We will be exploring our nation's government, and how change happens in our country. Then we will go back in time to explore how our nation developed this system. We will explore three major questions during our study of the American Revolution: How did colonists react to the British crown? How did a revolution end up taking place? How did Americans reform society to create a government? As we learn about these topics, we'll explore how change happens in a society, and dive into the role of the individual in making those changes. Students will be taking on a role of a historical fiction character and they will create a scrapbook detailing that person's experience living through this tumultuous time in history. We'll also be learning about modern day changes, such as our presidential election and other current political movements. Students will get a chance to write to a current-day politician to fight for a change they believe in.

Global Citizenship Project
We will study world geography, focused on Central and South America, and Africa. We will focus in on several countries and learn about the resources people find and create there. This unit teaches students about current events happening around the world, culture, and how people are shaped by where they live. Students will get an opportunity to create a thematic map which allows them to compare the statistical data of various countries based on a topic of their choice. They will also research major exports and how different countries are shaped by the resources they have. Finally, students will work with a team to plan a trip itinerary to a country that they would like to visit. All of these activities will help them to better be active global citizens who give back to their world. 

Overview of Our Curriculum:

5th and 6th Grade Social Studies Two Year Cycle

2015-2016 Quarters 1-2: Discovering Early America ~ U.S. History I

Native Americans, Early Explorers, Economics, African American history, and the Thirteen Colonies

2015-2016  Quarters 3-4: Holy C.O.W. (Cultures of the World) ~ World Geography & Culture II

Religion and Culture, Focus on Europe, Asia, and Oceania

2016-2017 Quarters 1-2: Reaction, Revolution, Reform ~ U.S. History II

The American Revolution – Causes, Battles, Key Players, Early Government

2016-2017 Quarters 3-4: The Global Action Project ~ World Geography & Culture I

International Development and Change, Focus on Central & South America, and Africa

For more information, get in touch!

Sara Krakauer


General 5/6 Social Studies Web Docs