Grade 1 Social Studies Unit 1

Individual Development and Cultural Identity

Unit description: In this unit the students will learn to identify character traits of a family and share traits, habits and values. They will define traditions and examine their importance in passing information from one generation to another. The students will examine the varying ethnic and cultural groups in the community and state. They will identify, examine and understand how ancestors affect cultures and identity of the following generations. The students will examine symbols and how they represent a culture and are all unique.


  • Standard 1: U.S. & N.Y. History
  • Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship and Gov’t

Essential Questions and Big Ideas

  • Big idea of the unit
    • There are specific traditions, beliefs, individuals and historical events that help shape family and American cultural identity.
  • What are the character traits of a family?
    • Families share many traits, habits and values.
  • What are traditions and why are they important?
    • Traditions are long-established customs or beliefs that have been passed on from one generation to another.
    • Traditions are important to pass information and values from one generation to another.
  • What are varying cultural groups in my community/state?
    • There are many different cultural grounds in my community and my state.
  • How do people in history affect my culture/identity?
    • Ancestors affect cultures and identity of following generations.
    • People who have lived in a community establish a culture and identity that is passed to those who live there after.
  • Are there symbols that represent my culture and identity?
    • There are many symbols that can represent a culture and they are all unique.

Download the complete Grade 1 Social Studies – Individual Development and Cultural Identity framework to customize for your own planning.