Social Studies

Students build their own understanding of the past and present.

In social studies classrooms, students build critical thinking, problem-solving, reading, and writing skills. 

Students better understand our world by sharing their stories and learning the stories of others. Students build citizenship skills to make choices about themselves and the world around them.

Portrait of a Graduate

The Portrait of a Graduate guides social studies instruction for all students. Through social studies classes, students develop the Portrait of Graduate skills such as

  • Communicator
  • Collaborator
  • Ethical and Global Citizen
  • Creative and Critical Thinker
  • Goal-Directed and Resilient

Developing Thinking Skills

Student learning focuses on thinking activities that are important in other subjects. Students have chances to apply skills across the curriculum. These skills include:

  • Wondering and asking questions
  • Including multiple experiences and stories
  • Making original connections
  • Using problem solving 
  • Reasoning based on evidence
  • Monitoring and self-directed learning

Program of Studies

The curriculum taught in FCPS aligns with the Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning (SOL).
Virginia Department of Education: History and Social Science Information


Kindergarten - Grade 3

Students in kindergarten through grade 3 are introduced to a study of history, geography, civics, and economics. Students learn:

  • basic concepts of chronological time
  • physical and human geography
  • citizenship education
  • economic choices

Grades 4 - 6

The content studied in grades 4, 5, and 6 are divided into three different curriculums:

  • Virginia Studies
  • World History
  • United States History to 1865.


Design Principles for Cultural Responsiveness

FCPS is committed to creating a curriculum where all students:

  • See themselves
  • Notice their identities are affirmed 
  • Receive the resources they need to reach their fullest potential

Disciplinary Literacy

In social studies, students learn reading and writing practices for nonfiction texts.

Balanced Assessment

Social studies classrooms provide many opportunities that help students show what they can do with what they know, including:

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer
  • Discussion
  • Debates
  • Writing
  • Tests 
  • Exams 
  • Projects
  • Portfolios

FCPS in the News