Elementary social studies provides the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for young students to become empowered, informed, and socially responsible citizens. Through the study of history, geography, economics, and civics, students learn to interact with, and contribute to the world in which they live. Learning how to evaluate sources of information, craft arguments based on evidence, and take informed action helps students develop their civic identity and voice. Additionally, elementary social studies prepares students to meet the challenge of secondary social studies content and supports literacy development across subject areas. The elementary framework is designed to highlight opportunities in which the English language arts reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards can be integrated into the social studies class. In grades PreK - 3, content is organized within units of study that introduce and reinforce knowledge of the six Maryland State Social Studies Standards. In grades 4 -5, the state social studies standards are integrated into an overview of the history of the United States, using Maryland’s key figures and events as a lens into the national story. The framework broadens the historical narrative by including marginalized groups and encourages students to learn more about all members of their communities through the inquiry process.