There is a reason that US History is not a kindergarten social studies standard.
We learned about holidays that are specific to the United States yesterday, including Independence Day and Presidents’ Day.
One child kept raising his hand, scratching his head and saying things like, “Wow, I never knew that the 4th of July was America’s birthday!” I don’t remember his other “I never knew” comments, but he for sure had a few others. Finally I told him, “Well, I’m sure glad you came to school today! You sure are learning a lot of new information!” to which he said, “Yeah, I sure am!’
The other children though, I’m not sure what they walked away with. Their questions and comments included things like…
- Washington. Like Wash!
- Miss K, you are like the president of our class!
- Hey, George Washington is on the dollar!
- Hey, Lincoln is the on the dollar!
- But I thought Barack Obama was the president.
- So… Lincoln and Washington are friends? brothers?
- I’m not scared of him! (looking at a picture of Lincoln)
- Miss K, when we are all grown ups, you are going to be an old woman!
Although, I was impressed when today we were using pennies and a child recognized Lincoln on it. She had no idea of his name, but she knew his face!
While we are not historians, perhaps geography is where our strength lies. Several children, when given a coloring page with the United States on it, colored Minnesota a different color than the rest of the country. My little geography geniuses.