Social Studies 4 - State History

Famous People and Events Come to Life

Compare the Graphs & Census Data of States

Projects & Activities

Explore Multimedia, Images, Maps, and Videos

Virtual Field Trips to Early America

Knowledge Checks with Leveled Questions

Back in Time: Jews in Early America

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Social Studies 4 – State History


Melamed Academy’s Elementary Social Studies curriculum is designed to give students a comprehensive overview of all key concepts in an exciting and experience-based learning environment.

Core curricular standards are covered in weekly installments. Text-based lessons include audio support to support developing readers. As the student reads, he answers quick comprehension-check questions and scores points in his “game” and earns prizes.

Multimedia, pictures, maps, and videos round out the instructional part of the lesson. Next, the students participate in activities and projects related to the units. Virtual field trips zoom the students to the site of the action, as they explore virtual exhibits, museums, and faraway locations.

Units include:

Week 1 – New Jersey Geography and Climate

Students will use a word scramble to learn about New Jersey’s neighboring states. They will consider New Jersey’s location in relation to the rest of the world. Students will also distinguish between climate and weather. They will learn about the technology used by forecasters to predict weather patterns.

  • Let’s Learn About New Jersey This Year!
  • Hurricanes: An “Eyeful” of Information
  • Where in the World is New Jersey?
  • It All Begins With You!
  • Is the Earth getting hotter?
  • The Bobcat
  • How do Forecasters Predict Weather?
  • New Jersey Counties and County Seats

Week 2 – Regions

Students will study New Jersey’s four physical regions. They will identify characteristics and landmarks of each region. Students will also study the six tourist regions of New Jersey. They will learn about historic sites that can be found in each region.

  • Geographically Speaking. . .
  • New Jersey Tourist Regions
  • What is Democracy?
  • Journal of your travels
  • Where is the tallest mountain in the world?
  • Exchanging Goods and Services
  • Pine Barrens Tree Frog

Week 3 – Ancient New Jersey

Students will study the animals and wildlife of New Jersey before it was inhabited by the Native Americans and European Settlers.

  • Philanthropy and Values
  • Citizenship at Home
  • Why does oil come from the ground?
  • The Hummingbird
  • Adam Smith

Week 4 – Native Americans Defining Culture

Students will learn about New Jersey’s original people. They will study the Algonquian tribe. Using a picture, students will identify various aspects of Shawnee culture. They will learn about features such as wigwams, the types of game hunted, and how the American Indians crafted baskets, canoes, and bows and arrows.

  • New Jersey’s Original People
  • Algonquians of New Jersey
  • Citizen in the Classroom
  • The Sachem
  • What is a powwow
  • Productive Resources
  • The Wolf
  • Algonquian? Algonkian? Algonkin?

Week 5 – Early Explorers

Students will learn that many of the early European explorers came to American in search of the Northwest Passage. They will study Dutch explorer Henry Hudson and his major explorations. They will also learn about Dutch explorer Cornelius J. Mey and his navigation in the Northeast United States.

  • Explorers Look for the Northwest Passage
  • Become a History Explorer
  • Explorers Come to New Jersey
  • Citizen in the School
  • The Quadrant
  • What is Hardtrack?
  • Canada Goose
  • Supply and Demand

Week 6 – European Settlers

Students will learn about Swedish infuence on the early settlements of New Jersey. Students will learn about the role of Johan Printz in establishing the colony of New Sweden. They will learn about the conficts between Printz and Queen Christina of Sweden, which made life in the new settlement difficult.

  • New Netherland Ousts the Swedes and Finns
  • The Nobel Prize
  • Lady Deborah Moody, a Dangerous Woman?
  • Tobacco and Silkworms From New Jersey?
  • Citizen in the Community
  • Who wants worms?
  • Scarcity
  • Beaver

Week 7 – Farmers and Fur Traders

Students will learn that the fur trade fueled competition between European explorers. Students will lean about the relationship that developed between the American Indians and Europeans because of the fur trade. They will learn how the beaver became a symbol of North America through the fur trade.

  • European Powers Compete for Fur Trade
  • Furry Friends May Land Behind Bars
  • Fur Trade and the American Indians
  • Bartering
  • Citizen in the Community
  • Beaver Fur Hats
  • Who dined on rattlesnakes?
  • Mink

Week 8 – Slavery and the Slave Trade

Students will learn when, how and why slaves were brought to New Jersey. They will learn the process of the slave market in New Jersey. They will also learn how slaves were abducted from their homes and forced into a harsh journey to North America and other parts of the world.

  • Slavery Comes to New Jersey
  • Amistad Replica Tours Former Slave Ports
  • Money
  • Elections
  • Slave Route
  • Who was Henry “Box” Brown?
  • Jack – in – the – pulpit

Week 9 – Colonial New Jersey

Students will learn about the struggles of the associated with the colony of New Amsterdam. They will learn about the various conflicts that separated the colony into East and West Jersey. They will also learn about the role of the Quakers in West Jersey.

  • Peg – Leg Pete Surrenders to the English!
  • Calling All Colonists
  • East and West Jersey
  • Quakers of West Jersey
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Elected and Appointed Leaders
  • Queen Anne
  • Can crickets tell the temperature?
  • East Bluebird

Week 10 – The English Take Over New Jersey

Students will learn that Dutch life was maintained despite British rule of New Jersey. They will learn about the type of education, celebrations and chores of the colonists. Students will also learn about the types of transportation and the various taverns of the early New Jersey colony.

  • Colonial Life in New Jersey
  • Crazy Colonial Laws
  • Red Lions & Green Dragons
  • What is Profit?
  • What is a Citizen?
  • Colonial Sports
  • What is a whispering rod?
  • American Cranberry
  • Vitus Bering and Russian Colonies in Alaska
  • Who Wore Wigs?

Week 11 – Education in New Jersey

Students will study the types of books used in early New Jersey schools. They will learn about one-room schoolhouses. Students will also learn about the games played by the children of early New Jersey schools.

  • Education Becomes Very Important in the Colonies
  • Education? He’s the Mann!
  • Two Colleges for New Jersey
  • Early Schools
  • Learning the Old Fashioned Way
  • The Role of Prices
  • U.S. Residents
  • What is a Hornbook?
  • Barred Owl

Week 12 – Colonial Unrest

Students will learn that colonial unrest began with a series of laws that the colonists resented. They will learn that nine of the colonies joined together to discuss their stance on British rule. Students will learn about the Sons of Liberty and one of the first conficts between the British and Colonists on Golden Hill. They will also study the Boston Massacre, the Stamp and Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party as major events preceding the Revolutionary War.

  • Colonial Unrest on the Rise
  • The French and Indian Wars…Again?
  • Patriotism Develops
  • Budgeting
  • Becoming a U.S. Citizen
  • How did George Washington meet Benjamin Franklin?
  • Eastern White Pine

Week 13 – War for Independence

Students will study the First Continental Congress as a response to further laws and taxes enacted by the British. They will learn about the Battles of Lexington and Concord. They will also learn about the differing opinions held by colonists regarding British rule. Students will study the Second Continental Congress and the creation of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Blows Must Decide!
  • A Census Full of Treasure
  • The First Filipino Settlement in America
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Who’s side are you on?
  • How Government Works
  • Credit and Debt
  • Who wants a turkey for the national bird?
  • Indigo Bunting

Week 14 – New Jersey Battles

Students will learn about New Jersey’s role in the war for independence. They will learn about the battles of Trenton, Princeton and Monmouth. Students will also learn about the British’s surrender at Yorktown.

  • Were Our Founding Fathers Rich?
  • Banks
  • Local Government
  • Mob Rule
  • Were there cowboys in the colonies?
  • Dragons & Damsels
  • New Jersey Goes to War!
  • War for Independence

Week 15 – Effects of the Revolutionary War

Students will study the Second Continental Congress and Articles of Confederation. They will also learn about the conflicts that arose among the colonists during the Constitutional Convention. Students will use images to learn how the Constitution changed the United States.

  • Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown
  • Scientists Debate About the Destruction of Smallpox
  • Bank Services
  • Effects of the Revolutionary War
  • How the Constitution Changed the United States
  • County Government
  • Bill of Rights
  • What is a Chinese sedan chair?
  • River Otter

Week 16 – New Jersey as a New State

Students will study New Jersey’s statehood. They will learn about various New Jersey emblems. Students will also learn about the Bill of Rights and the rights it provides for citizens.

  • New Jersey Becomes a State!
  • New Jersey Emblems
  • Bill of Rights
  • Making Money
  • Write a Letter
  • What has been around for several millennia can be held in your hand and can even be tossed around? A rock!
  • Striped Skunk

Week 17 – Federal Government and States Rights

Students will study the powers that are provided to the national government by the Constitution. They will learn about the roles and responsibilities of each of the three branches of government. Students will use a bingo game to learn about various aspects of New Jersey’s government. They will also study the process of passing a bill into law.

  • The Three Branches of New Jersey Government
  • Solving the Income Inequality Problem
  • Taxes
  • Governor
  • Legislative Districts
  • What’s the difference between “capitol” and “capital”
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Federal Government and States’ Rights

Week 18 – Slavery Abolished

Students will use a timeline to study the history of slavery. They will learn about February as Black History Month. They will learn about African Americans who have acted as abolitionists and have contributed to American culture. They will learn about Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

  • New Jersey Abolishes Slavery
  • Statue Honors Black Civil War Veterans
  • Black History
  • International Trade
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • What is Kwanzaa
  • Eastern Box Turtle

Week 19 – Women’s Rights

Students will study the suffragist movement in the United States and will learn that women’s roles in the abolitionist movement inspired their skills in this new movement. They will study the convention at Seneca Falls as a turning point for women’s suffrage. Students will emphasize the roles of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony in the fight for women’s suffrage.

  • Women’s Voices Are Heard!
  • League of Women Voters
  • Margaret “Molly” Corbin
  • Women’s Suffrage
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • How to Become President
  • Amelia Bloomer
  • What are bloomers?
  • Snowshoe Hare

Week 20 – Early Industry in New Jersey

Students will consider the negative and positive effects of the Industrial Revolution. They will study the role of immigration and child labor in relation to the America’s workforce. They will learn that the National Child Labor Committee helped put an end to child labor. Students will also learn about industries in New Jersey during this time, such as textile mills and shipbuilding.

  • Industrial Revolution – Good or Bad?
  • What is Hydraulic Fracturing?
  • Early Industry in New Jersey
  • New Jersey Industrializatoin and the Trusts
  • Regulating Trade
  • Presidential Veto
  • Children in the Workplace
  • What is a Crystal Palace?
  • Black Walnut Tree

Week 21 – Inventors and Inventions

Students will study New Jersey’s many inventors and their inventions. Students will consider how the ideas for new inventions are conceived. They will learn about the invention of the Erector Set by A.C. Gilbert and the National Toy Hall of Fame.

  • New Jersey Boasts Many Inventors!
  • Inventors and Inventions
  • Menlo Park
  • Starting a Small Business
  • Impeachment
  • Can You Make an Invention?
  • What is a Penny farthing?
  • Worm Snake

Week 22 – Transportation in New Jersey

Students will consider the features that made transportation during 19th century more efficient, such as affordability and ease of maintaining. They will learn about improvements in transportation in New Jersey. They will learn about the value of the horse in early transportation.

  • Better Transportation Changes America
  • Turnpikes Teach History
  • Steam Railroads
  • Transportation in New Jersey
  • The Wonderful Horse
  • A Business Plan
  • Checks and Balances
  • John L. Stevens
  • Why did Tom Thumb race a horse?
  • Northern Bayberry

Week 23 – Immigration and Migration

Students will study the motivations for the rise in immigration to the United States. They will consider the attitudes of Americans towards the influx of immigrants and the contributions these immigrants provided to American culture. Students will study Ellis Island and its pivotal role in U.S. immigration. They will learn about the harsh living and working conditions of these immigrants and will learn that labor unions sought to improve these conditions.

  • Millions Immigrate to America
  • Find Your Roots at Ellis Island
  • Ethics: President Coolidge Rebuilds a Bridge of Broken Trust
  • Immigration and Migration
  • Immigrants Suffer Poor Living Conditions
  • Your Growing Business
  • Symbols of Our Country
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Who was Sam Ellis?
  • Gray Squirrel

Week 24 – New Jersey Reform

Students will learn about the rise of big business in New Jersey and the reform the followed. They will also learn about the two main political parties of the United States. They will learn the values of both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

  • New Jerseyans Ready for Reform
  • Who’s in Statuary Hall?
  • Political Parties
  • Political “Bosses” Brought Down
  • The Stock Market
  • Liberty
  • Two Parties
  • Who is Uncle Sam?
  • White – Tailed Deer

Week 25 – New Jersey in War and Peace

Students will study New Jersey’s roles in World War I and World War II. They will learn that New Jersey contributed many supplies, such as ships and munitions. Students will study other major events of this time, such as Prohibition and the Great Depression. They will learn about the ration system of WWII.

  • New Jersey in War and Peace
  • Good Times, Bad Times
  • World War I to World War II
  • Economics Competition
  • World Organizations
  • Homefront Heroines
  • What is a Victory Garden?
  • Beluga Whales

Week 26 – Economy and Industry Today

Students will learn about the major industries of New Jersey’s economy. They will also learn about conservationism in New Jersey. Students will learn about the burdens placed on the environment by industry and heavily populated areas. They will learn ways they can help reduce pollution and protect the environment.

  • New Jersey Today
  • Boom to Bust and Back Again
  • Protecting Our Environment
  • Free Enterprise
  • United Nations and Preamble
  • Who’s painting New Jersey blue?
  • Eastern Mole
  • Pinelands Reserve

Week 27 – Leisure and Arts in New Jersey

Students will learn about the various institutions for visual and performing arts in New Jersey. They will also learn about New Jersey’s major museums, including the Liberty Science Center. Students will learn about various other attractions in New Jersey that are great for children.

  • New Jersey as a Cultural Center
  • More Over, Brothers Grimm – New Fairy Tales Found
  • Clarity of Expression: FDR and the Four Freedoms
  • New Jersey Arts and Leisure
  • New Jersey for Kids
  • Market Competition and Entrepreneurship
  • Treaties
  • Where is the diner capital of the world?
  • Sassafras

Week 28 – End of Year Review and Quizzes

Students will use a series of puzzles and quizzes to review the material they have covered this year.

  • Economics Review
  • Farewell Fun!