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Checking In: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Sharon's Elementary Social Studies Curriculum

Part 1

My name is Karen Woods. I am both a Sharon resident and the K-5 Social Studies and Science Curriculum Coordinator for the Sharon Public Schools. I am passionate about education of the whole child and the integration of teaching social justice into all content areas.

Despite the challenges that COVID has brought to the Sharon Elementary Schools this year, the entire elementary staff has worked hard in the area of social studies, and across curriculum areas, to be reflective and responsive in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Here are some of the highlights I am excited to share.

Implementation of Grade 1 Inquiry: Family Diversity

First grade students explored family diversity by reading engaging books on the topic such as: A Family, Is a Family, Is a Family by Sara O’Leary. They also used books featuring characters of many races and ethnicities to explore family structure, what families do together, and what family members do for one another. Some of the texts used were: Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima, A Big Bed for Little Snow, by Grace Li

n, and Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thomkins-Bigelow. The main questions this inquiry was exploring were: what does your family look like? What do members of your family do for one another? What special things does your family do together?

Implementation of a unit from Primary Source Cornerstones in 5th Grade: Enslavement and Resistance in the Colonies

Fifth grade students learned about Colonial Time from a different perspective this year. Using a module developed by Primary Source, called Cornerstones: Enslavement and Resistance in the Colonies, as a key part of the unit, students tackled difficult topics on enslavement, race, power, and equity. One of the texts used is called: My Name is James Madison Hemings. Through reading this book the fifth graders engaged in conversation about how one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, could have both enslaved people, and been the father of enslaved children, all the while participating in the writing of the line, “All Men are Created Equal.”

Be sure to keep your eyes out for part two of this blog post to learn more about the commitment to incorporating more lessons around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the curriculum in the Sharon elementary schools.


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