Social Studies

  • The NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES (NCSS) defines social studies: The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. 

     The Upper Darby School District supports that mission and strives daily to achieve those goals for all of our students.


    UDSD Scope and Sequence:

     Elementary: Grades 1-5

    The Upper Darby School District uses the Social Studies Alive! curriculum in Grades 1-5. Social Studies Alive! is developed and published by Teacher's Curriculum Institute (TCI). The TCI curriculum has theory and research-based active instruction, standards-based content, multiple intelligence teaching strategies, and considerate text. The curriculum is spiral in nature. First graders consider the child's School and Family*, second grade focuses on Community, and third-grade targets Community and Beyond. In the fourth grade, students are introduced to United States geography and economics in Regions of Our Country. By fifth grade, the students are ready for United States history from colonial life to the post-Civil War era in America's Past. 

    Middle School: Grades 6-8

    The School District recently adopted National Geographic as the curriculum provider at our two middle schools. Students will access a 100% online curriculum through Chromebooks in each Social Studies classroom. Textbooks are also provided for variety and flexibility. Sixth-grade students examine World Cultures and Geography. Seventh graders focus on World History: Great Civilizations. Eighth grade is reintroduced to American history with American Stories: Beginnings to 1877. The material is rigorous and engaging while promoting active learning and effective writing.

    *Textbook titles

    High School: Grades 9-12

    At the high school level, students engage in more sophisticated analysis and reconstruction of the past, examining its relationship to the present and its implications for the future. Ninth graders study U.S. History from 1890 to the present. An alternative to this survey course is the study of American history together with American literature and culture in American StudiesTenth-grade Global Studies considers the history, culture, economy, and geography of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. This can be done as an area study or by theme.  Eleventh Grade picks up the birth of our nation, the Constitution, and democracy at work in Government and Law.   Social Studies electives include European History, Economics, Psychology, Race and Ethnicity, Women in World History, Sports in World History, Global Conflicts in World History, and Films in United States History. Advanced Placement courses are offered in World History, United States History, Government and Politics, and European History for college credit.


    By the end of high school, Upper Darby students will better understand events, trends, personalities, and movements in local, state, national and world history. They will know local, state, and national world geography. They will grasp how the concepts of social studies can help interpret human actions and prepare them for careers and lifelong learning.


    The Upper Darby School District Social Studies program grades 1 -12 is aligned to Pennsylvania Social Studies standards and benchmarks as well as the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies. The program has as its goal civic competence for Upper Darby students and the integration of history, geography, economics, and civics within the curriculum. Those fields of endeavor are interrelated and interdisciplinary in the Upper Darby program.