Preschool Social Studies
As Little Lukes preschoolers venture into their community, we teach them to appreciate the uniqueness of the people they meet (i.e., their teachers and friends). When they are very young, children begin to understand their role within their families. As they mature, their social circle enlarges to include extended family, friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, and community helpers. Children soon realize that with new people come new rules, expectations, and ways of interacting. Our preschoolers learn the expectations and rules that help promote a safe and fun classroom.
Social studies is understanding one's role within the family, classroom, or community, but also understanding others' roles. At the preschool age, we focus on sharing, taking turns, and practicing being followers and leaders. Leaders in the community such as police officers, firefighters, and dentists visit our preschoolers. These "community helpers" teach students about their jobs and roles within the community. Students receive an authentic learning experience as they meet and interact with these community helpers. Students can learn about the equipment they use to help with their jobs.
Other areas of study traditionally associated with "social studies" are applicable to preschool as well. History provides a sense of time, including the changes that take place over the course of their day, week, or year. To preschoolers, this may mean comparing their fall self-portraits to their spring self-portraits. How are the portraits different? What occurred over the course of the school year to explain the difference? This exercise can promote children's grasp of the concept of "then" and "now" but also connect past events to present and future activities.