Mr Swingle's 4th Grade Social Studies


My name is Mr. Swingle and I am going to be your Social Studies teacher this school year.  I look forward to working with all of you as we explore a wide variety of topics about New York State.  My primary goal for all of you is to become critical thinkers.  Critical thinking benefits us not only academically, but also socially.  Critical thinking allows us to think about situations from multiple different perspectives and see other people's viewpoints.  Everything we learn is important, but critical thinking is certainly on the top of the list!

Critical Thinking in real life is about being able to use your creative abilities, analytical skills, and responsiveness to find a solution that will result in an outcome that will work.  In school, we use it to think about situations from multiple perspectives and to find the answer to difficult problems.  Together, we will develop as critical thinkers to become the most well equipped for life as we can be. 

Other Important Skills: Communication, Respect, Hardworking:

  • Communication skills allow students to work with others in a way in which everyone's voice is heard. 
  • Respect is something that needs to be earned.  Respect allows students to communicate, disagree, and accept the fact that two people might not have the same opinion. 
  • Working Hard is the best way to get things that matter.  If students learn to work hard for what they want, they will achieve any goal that they set their minds to. 

This year we will cover six main units:

  • Unit 1: New York Geography
  • Unit 2: The Manhatten Purchase
  • Unit 3: Government and Citizens
  • Unit 4: Call for Change
  • Unit 5: Industrialization
  • Unit 6: Immigration


As we progress through the year, I want you all to keep some questions in mind: 

  • Does where you live matter and make a difference?
  • How does ones’ own perspective impact their view of others?
  • Is change important and does it impact me?
  • How has immigration affected us in our daily lives and as a culture?
  • Is government important?
  • Do we as citizens play a role in impacting government?
  • How do conflicts impact us and lead to change?
  • How do we overcome inequality?


Assignments: We will have many assignments throughout the school year and they will fall into 5 main categories. There will be one test for every unit (a total of 6). We will have many different activities and projects in class that will help you learn how your local history is still impacting us today.  We will also be writing an essay, but don't worry, we will work on it together. Quizzes are going to be once a week and I will usually let you know when they will be.  Homework will be assigned in class and will be due the next day.  Last, but certainly not least is "Participation and Behavior ".  I would like everyone to get involved in the class as often as possible.  This is only possible if everyone respects each other when others are talking (including me). 

  • Tests = 40 %
  • Projects/Essays = 20 %
  • Quizzes = 15 %
  • Homework = 15 %
  • Participation and Behavior = 10%


Grading Scale:

A = 100 — 90

B = 89 — 80  

C = 79—70

D = 69-65

F = < 65


Homework Policy: Homework is due the following day.  Late work will not be accepted!  Depending on the day, it will either be collected immediately or we will go over it together.  Homework is about the effort just as much as it is about the correct answer.  As rewards throughout the school year, I will award students with “Homework Passes”.  A “Homework Pass” can be used by a student when they did not complete their homework.  Hand the pass to me and the missing homework will be forgotten and it will NOT impact your grade.


Classroom Policy:

  • Be kind to everyone
  • Do not disrupt other students or the teacher
  • Be responsible
  • Raise your hand
  • Come prepared to class
  • Ask the teacher before leaving the classroom
  • No eating in the classroom without permission (Please Ask)
  • No Cheating! (Please read the syllabus and the schools code of conduct)