Brunswick School Department
Social Studies
Curriculum Framework


2013-2016 Curriculum Review Team

Brunswick High School
Pam Wagner
Luke Potter
Brunswick Junior High School
Russ Pierson
Brigette Brescia
Carla Shaw
Wendy Arzate
Harriet Beecher Stowe School
Ann Vellella
Beth Wilson
Lou Sullivan
Nancy Bennoch
Andrea Wilson
Christine Copabianco
Robert P.T. Coffin School
Jeanne Stinson
Cheryl Crockett
Eric Funderburk
Shannon Erb
Curriculum Coordinators
John Paige (Secondary level)
Cheryl White (Elementary level)

Mission Statement:

The Social Studies curriculum is founded on the premise that democracy demands citizens who are informed, interested in the welfare of individuals and society, and committed to the success of democratic processes and values.

Our Social Studies curriculum is:

  • A study of US history and geography that includes a thorough understanding of our founding principles.
  • A study of world history and geography that includes the basic ideas of both western and non-western cultures.
  • An emphasis on the study of fundamental democratic principles, civic values and ethical understandings.
  • A thematic and conceptual approach that organizes content around “big ideas and essential understandings” through practices.
  • A purposeful linking of past and present that draws parallels among civilizations.
  • A balanced presentation of controversial issues that emphasizes reasonable evidence, not bias or emotion.
  • A variety of teaching and learning activities that promote rigor, relevance and relationships.

Instructional strands:

These 6 strands form the core around which we build “what all students should know and be able to do.” These strands are supplemented for some students by an array of elective and AP courses but in order to certify proficiency in Social Studies for all graduating students, our focus rests on these six.

  1. Geography
  2. US History
  3. World History
  4. Maine Studies
  5. Civics
  6. Economics

Social Studies Practices:

These Social Studies Practices represent the social science and historical thinking skills that students should develop throughout their K-12 education in order to be prepared for civic participation, college and careers.

  1. Chronological reasoning and causation.
  2. Comparison and contextualization.
  3. Geographic reasoning.
  4. Gathering, using and interpreting evidence.
  5. Role of the individual in social and political participation.

Maine Learning Results:

Since 1997, Maine has had the Maine Learning Results as its State standards for eight content areas and periodically updates them to ensure they are aligned with the evolving expectations of colleges and careers in the 21st century. The Maine Learning Results were most recently updated in 2011 to include Common Core as the college and career readiness standards for English language arts and math, better preparing our students for success in college, career and civic life by creating deeper, more rigorous and clearer expectations for learning.

The updated standards, adopted after a public process in 2011 and fully implemented in the 2013-14 school year, emphasize more complex content and concepts and the development of needed real-world skills like problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. These skills are imperative for Maine students to succeed and our state to thrive. The strengthened standards set a high bar for all Maine students, no matter their school. These standards are addressed and incorporated into the BSD Social Studies Curriculum.

National Council for the Social Studies ten themes:

 These themes cut across all the social sciences. Teaching these themes emphasizes inquiry and thinking. The Brunswick Public Schools’ Social Studies program will align with these themes where and when appropriate. The ten themes are:

  1. Culture
  2. Time, continuity and change
  3. People, places and environments
  4. Individual development and identity
  5. Individuals, groups and institutions
  6. Power, authority and governance
  7. Production, distribution and consumption
  8. Science, technology and society
  9. Global connections
  10. Civic ideals and practices

K-5 Social Studies Adopted May 11, 2016

Grade K Family
Grade K-1-2 Community Citizenship

Grade 1:
Grade 1 American Families Now and Then

Grade 2:
Grade 2 Maps and Globes
Grade 2 Cultures Around the World
Grade 2 Wabanaki

Grade 3:
Grade 3 Brunswick History
Grade 3 Brunswick Town Government
Grade 3 Economics
Grade 3 United States Geography

Grade 4:
Grade 4 Democratic Government
Grade 4 Geography
Grade 4 International Studies
Grade 4 Maine Studies

Grade 5:
Grade 5 Historical Inquiry: Colonization
Grade 5 Historical Inquiry: Age of Exploration
Grade 5 Historical Inquiry: Revolution

Grade 6:
Geography and Map Skills
Fertile Crescent
Ancient Egypt
Mesoamerican Civilizations

Grade 7:
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Maine’s Historic Tribes/Wabanaki Federation
Revolutionary Era 1754-1783
Nation Building 1783-1815
The Expanding Nation 1815-1850

Grade 8:
Road to the Civil War
Civil War
Maine Studies Today
American Biography
20th Century Civil rights
20th Century Thematic Unit
Current Events

MULTIGRADE ONGOING: Current Events and Issues (6-8)

SOCIAL STUDIES PRACTICES REFLECTED WITHIN THE CONTENT STRANDS: These Social Studies Practices represent the social science and historical thinking skills that students should develop throughout their K-12 education in order to be prepared for civic participation, college, and careers.
1.  Chronological reasoning and causation
2.  Contextualization and comparison
3.  Geographic reasoning
4.  Gathering, interpreting, and using evidence
5.  Role of the individual in social and political participation
(Brunswick School Department Social Studies Curriculum Framework)

Grades 9-12 Social Studies Curricula: These units are being piloted during the 2016-2017 school year as part of the BSD curricula review cycle.

Required Courses
Grade 9: World Studies I
Academic World Studies I
Basic World Studies I
Honors World Studies I
Preparatory World Studies

Grade 10: World Studies II

Grade 10: European History
Unit 1: Italian Renaissance

Unit 2: Protestant Reformation
Unit 3: Age of Exploration
Unit 4: Colonial Age
Unit 5: Age of Reason
Unit 6: Rise of Absolutism
Unit 7: Age of Imperialism
Unit 8: French Revolution
Unit 9: Industrial Revolution
Unit 10: Springtime of Nations
Unit 11: Age of Progress
Unit 12: Causes of World War I
Unit 13: Russian Revolution
Unit 14: Origins of the Second World War

Grade 11: U.S. History & Government
Unit 1 – The American Revolution
Unit 2 – Constitution and Voting
Unit 3 – The New Nation
Unit 4- Civil War
Unit 5 – America Expands
Unit 6 – Changing America
Unit 7 – America In WWII
Unit 8 – Cold War and Beyond

Unit 1. The Renaissance, Rise of Nation-States, and Age of Exploration
Unit 2. The Reformation and Religious Wars
Unit 3. The Age of Absolutism and Constitutionalism
Unit 4. Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment, and Economics
Unit 5. The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Unit 6. The Industrial Revolution Era
Unit 7. Social and Political Developments from 1814 to 1848 – The Springtime of Nations
Unit 8. Unification, the Age of Mass Politics, and Imperialism
Unit 9. The Great War and Interwar Period
Unit 10. The Rise of Dictatorships and Second World War
Unit 11. Post-War Europe, Cold War, and Demise of the Soviet Union
Unit 12. AP European History Review
Unit 1: Founding the New Nation
Unit 2: The Difficult Business of Nation Building
Unit 3: The New Nation in Crisis
Unit 4: The Rise of American Industry
Unit 5: The Progressive Impulse; Seeking Justice at Home and Abroad
Unit 6: Modern America 1945 to the Present
Grades 10-12: Women in American History
The following two curricula are pilot 2019-2020:
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