Every student should have the opportunity to learn the social studies of their community. Yet many students know very little about their local history, geography or politics. This is a social studies unit on the city of New Haven for elementary school age children grades 3-5. The unit will address two questions. What makes New Haven unique as a city? And how has New Haven changed through the course of its history? The students will be asked to address two questions also. What is my family ethnicity? And what is my family history?
New Haven is a city rich in culture and diversity. It is a center for transportation, commercial, financial and manufacturing industries. It is also an educational center, home for several universities including Yale, the second oldest in the United States. New Haven is a center for museums, art galleries, theaters, entertainment and sporting events. Despite its social ills, New Haven can be a marvelous city to grow up in. It is a city worthy of our attention, and deserves to be the subject of academic pursuit.
Founded in 1638 by English Puritans, New Haven has been the home for many famous people and historical events. New Haven has been home to patriots, writers, inventors, and four United States Presidents. During the Revolutionary War, the town was raided and partially burned by British forces. Aided by enormous immigration throughout the 19
century, and a great natural harbor, New Haven became an important manufacturing and shipping hub. In the 20
century, large numbers of Black Americans and Hispanics migrated to the city. And great changes in the demographics of New Haven and its surrounding suburbs have occurred since the time of its Puritan founders.
It is essential that all students learn of their family heritage and local history. This curriculum will allow students to learn of and appreciate the New Haven community. At the same time the students will be asked to find how their families fit into this community. The unit should address New Haven history, economics, geography, and politics. This unit is written for students in the fourth grade, therefore it will be multidisciplinary and multicultural in its approach to Social Studies.