From the editors: As we approach the beginning of a new academic year, Not Even Past is delighted to introduce an important new resource for the teaching of History. Learning from US History: A Fifth Grade Social Studies Curriculum was designed and developed by two UT Professors, Dr. Daina Ramey Berry and Dr. Jennifer Keys Adair, and a doctoral student: Erin Green, MA.
This fifth grade U.S. history curriculum is built upon primary sources and is an alternative to textbooks that are often one-sided or politicized. This curriculum is one example of how historians and educators can work together to de-center a singular perspective and to offer elementary social studies with greater historical accuracy. This is a work-in-progress curriculum that will change as new primary sources emerge and historical interpretations shift.
The full curriculum can be accessed here.
Unit One: Native American and Indigenous Conceptions and Care for the Land now known as the United States of America (4 Weeks)
Unit Two: Native American Nation/Community Research Project (2 Weeks)
Unit Three: Freedom in Central and West Africa and the entrance of White Supremacy (2 Weeks)
Unit Four: American Colonies Past and Present (2 weeks)
Unit Five: The Transatlantic Slave Trade (3 weeks)
Unit Six: The American Revolution (3 weeks)
Unit Seven: The Constitution (3 weeks)
Unit Eight: Resistance to Enslavement (3 weeks)
Unit Nine: The Civil War (3 weeks)
Unit Ten: Moving People and Shifting Boundaries (5 weeks)
Unit Eleven: Im/migration (4 Weeks)
Special Unit: Elections (1 week)
Special Unit: Thanksgiving
Lesson Plan Example
Daina Ramey Berry, PhD • Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor • Chair, Department of History (UT Austin). Professor Berry is one of the most sought-after speakers and consultants for public-facing projects offered by museums, historical sites, K-12 educational initiatives, news media, and television including NBC, PBS News Hour, NPR, New York Times and The Atlantic. She has authored many award-winning books including, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh (Beacon, 2017) and A Black Women’s History of the United States co-authored with Kali Nicole Gross (Beacon, 2020).
Jennifer Keys Adair, PhD • Assoc. Prof. of Curriculum and Instruction • Director, AYCRC (UT Austin). Dr. Adair’s teaching and research is focused on improving children’s learning experiences at school. Her work has been published and cited in a wide range of journals including Harvard Educational Review and Teachers College Record as well as 40+ media outlets including NPR, Washington Post and CNN. She is the co-author with Kiyomi Sánchez-Suzuki Colegrove of Segregation by Experience: Agency, Racism and Early Learning (University of Chicago Press, 2021).
Erin Green, M.A. • Erin Green is a doctoral researcher in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on Social Studies Education. Her growing research interests include critical elementary social studies, critical literacy, and civic education. She is a former fifth grade teacher and is passionate about critical, anti-racist social studies education for young learners.