Elementary students, armed with great imaginations and deep curiosity, are excellent time travelers. They enjoy the “great lessons,” which invite them to contemplate long ago events: the birth of the Universe, the formation of the planet Earth, the coming of life, the origin of writing, and the history of numbers. The tools they need to build a timeline of human history are presented early and nurtured throughout the Elementary years. Using a variety of clocks, timelines and matrices, students learn how to organize events over big and small lengths of time. As an introduction to history research, students use a fundamental human needs framework to learn how all people, both ancient and modern, have met their physical and spiritual needs. This allows students to recognize the unifying traits of humans of all places and all times, while also appreciating their rich cultural differences.
In the Upper Elementary years, students examine human progress more closely through studies of early human cultures, the rise of civilization, and American history. In addition to the fundamental needs framework, students brainstorm and categorize their own research questions to examine the geography, daily lives, culture, and political and economic systems of both ancient and modern cultures. Research projects become more extensive and include written reports, presentations and collaborative projects to showcase their findings. The organization of the history curriculum over three years enables students to build valuable historical perspective and to learn from the past.