History & Social Studies

Introduction to an Ever-Expanding World

Our Lower School history/social studies program seeks to broaden each boy’s awareness and knowledge of the world in which he lives. In a developmentally appropriate fashion, as students’ understanding of themselves and others grows, they are introduced to an ever-expanding world. Starting locally and reaching beyond the community’s borders, Lower Schoolers learn to identify and examine problems, formulate opinions, and make decisions. Lessons across grade levels are enhanced by related field trips, assemblies, and experiential learning.

In the primary years, students explore their own identities and learn more about their relatives and ancestors. They learn how to be a valued classmate, teammate, and friend, in addition to learning about their surrounding communities. Boys research important people in history and are introduced to a wide variety of cultural traditions and holidays around the world. Lessons and activities designed to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven across the curriculum and promote a sense of belonging and appreciation for differences.

In the intermediate years, students dive deeper into current events, important figures, geography, and early American history. They begin to understand there are multiple perspectives to explore when learning about the past and other cultures. In third grade, students look forward to an ever-popular pioneering adventure along the Oregon Trail, and then in fourth grade, the boys embark on a time-honored culminating experience as they come together to create and reenact a bustling town in Colonial America, circa 1764.

An essential element of the Lower School experience is our focus on the Brunswick Trust, where the foundational work of character development occurs across grade levels. Students engage in lessons centered on the school motto of courage, honor and truth, in addition to targeted lessons in social emotional learning, where they discover valued traits such as respect, responsibility, kindness, humility, grit, and adaptability. In addition to these activities, students benefit from the school’s strong commitment to service learning throughout their Pre and Lower School years.