Rod and Staff Social Studies

The proper study of history begins with a firm belief in the authoritative Word of God. Social culture, history, and geography can be evaluated correctly only when the design and purpose of God is considered. Rod and Staff's texts seek to honor God and view man and his actions in Biblical perspective.

In keeping with a Biblical perspective, these textbooks center on the place of God's people in history, instead of idealizing military heroes and super-power nations. We want to guide our students to a better understanding of God's unfolding plan for mankind rather than following man's pursuits, achievements, and culture from a humanistic perspective.

Many archaeological findings have proven the accuracy of the Biblical record. But whether or not available historical material exists to prove the Bible, every event happened just as the Bible says it did. We do not have to prove the Bible correct; it is true regardless of what men believe. This is a guiding principle in the study of history, especially ancient history.

It is our prayer that these texts may be used to the glory of God by enabling all who use them to clearly see the hand of Almighty God in history.


Understanding God's World Series

  Grade 2
Our Father's World
Grade 3
Understanding Our Community
Grade 4
Homelands Around the World
Grade 5
Homelands of North America
Grade 6
Understanding Latin America
Grade 7
Understanding the Old World
Grade 8
Understanding North American History
Grade 9
Understanding the Past Five Centuries
Grade 10
Understanding World Geography

Terms for surface features, such as: hills, mountains, prairies, valleys, deserts, rivers, lakes, current, oasis

Native animals and plants

Raw materials


Geography studies of a rural community in the United States

Primary, secondary, and interstate road systems

The role of agriculture and raw materials in providing things for stores to sell

Climate and geographical terms: tundra, sea level, reef, altitude, typhoon, plateau, tide, tsunami, geothermal heat

Geography, wildlife, and climate of at least one country (or area) from every continent: Antarctica, Australia, Ecuador, Greenland, Japan, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, northwestern Europe, the United States and Canada

Climate and geographical terms: growing season, sphere, precipitation, drought, chinook, tropics

Climate zones

U.S. regions and 50 states

Canadian regions, provinces, and territories

Major rivers and mountain ranges of North America

Climate and geographical terms: rain shadow, erosion, isthmus, pampas, rain forest, hurricane, trade winds, basin

Geography, natural resources, climate, native vegetation, and wildlife of every country in Latin America

Major rivers and mountains

The Panama Canal and the Pan-American Highway

Climate and geographical terms: monsoon, Great Rift Valley, taiga, fossils, coniferous forests, desertification, straits, Mediterranean climate

Geography and climate of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

Major rivers, mountains, mountain passes and ranges, North Atlantic Drift

Natural resources and crops such as petroleum, gold, rice, sesame, bamboo

Climate and geographical terms: prairie, Continental Divide, delta, Fall Line, Piedmont, Great Lakes, the Grand Banks, fault, estuary, tributary, tidewater, permafrost, peninsula

Geography, climate, wildlife, and some national parks of the United States and Canada

Major rivers and mountains of North America

Natural resources such as petroleum, gold, coal, lumber, furs, hardwood forests

Historical background for modern cultures

China's Forbidden City, Russia's Trans-Siberian Railroad, the Strait of Gibraltar, the U.N. headquarters in New York City

Suggestions for geography research projects: European canals, the Sahara, Taj Mahal, Vatican City, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa

Terms: alluvial plain, aquifer, arable, archipelago, atoll, bight, bog, breakwater, butte, confluence, desalination, desertification, doldrums, ecosystem, El Niño, erg, escarpment, flood plain, head waters, horse latitudes, invasive species, jet stream, lagoon, landlocked, loess, massif, muskeg, shelterbelt, spit, St. Lawrence Seaway, storm surge, tectonic plate, virgin territory, wadi, watershed

Major rivers, mountains, waterfalls, rainfall patterns, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, ocean and wind currents. Climate, flora and fauna; natural resources, such as petroleum, gold, diamonds, potash, forests, fertile soil, biomass fuel, oil shale, peat, renewable energy

Map Skills

Globe; atlas



North Pole, South Pole

Countries, states, provinces

Naming and locating continents and oceans

Four directions

Coloring maps neatly

Map symbols

Compass rose and finding directions

Globe versus road map

Identifying primary, secondary, and interstate road systems

Map indexes and location guide

Map symbols for land features and travel services

Road maps that show a small community or a county

Sizes of cities

The earth's axis

The Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

Tropical, Temperate, and Frigid (climate) zones

Map legends

Tracing and labeling maps

Placing capital (and other) cities and geographical features

Colors used on a political map

Rivers as part of a boundary


Tracing maps

Defining and labeling map areas

Placing settlements and cities

Drawing rivers and mountains

Travel routes

Time zones

Latitude and longitude, map scale, altitude maps, International Date Line and the prime meridian introduced and worked with

Tracing, coloring, and labeling maps; making time lines; working with graphs and statistical information

Latin America, Anglo-America, Middle America, West Indies, Central America, and South America, and their locations

Distortion in maps (some different map projections mentioned)

Great Circle Route

Small- and large-scale maps

Finding elevations

Types of maps: physical relief, political, and special purpose

Map grids in atlases; using degrees and minutes in finding locations (seconds mentioned, but not used)

Tracing, coloring, and labeling maps

Working with time lines

The United States and Canada

North American neighbors

Labeling maps, placing capital (and other) cities and geographical features

Identification and location of Indian tribes

Routes of European explorers

Westward expansion—routes and settlement patterns

Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, and South America at various periods

Conquests and growth of nations

Effects of wars and political changes

Matching countries with letters on outline maps

Mennonite settlements in Europe and Russia

Calculating latitude and longitude; contour interval, contour line, coordinates, labeling maps, map projections, time zones



Occasional references to community life one or two generations ago

Descriptions of Christians being persecuted for their faith: Menno Simons, Felix Manz, and Russian Christians

Brief history or description given of: growth of Kobe, Japan (port city); lands along the Rhine River; settlement of Australia; foreign influences

Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press

European explorers to America

French and Indian War

Colonization of America

American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Constitution

Civil War

Westward expansion and settlement

World Wars I and II

Cold War

Maya, Aztec, and Inca empires

Spanish and Portugese exploration and trade routes

Spanish conquest and exploration of the New World

Spanish colonial government and Catholic Church involvement

Latin American colonies gain independence

Democracy, dictators, revolutions, anarchy, trade and boundary disputes; the Monroe Doctrine

Creation, the Flood, early Mesopotamia, Egypt

The Hittite, neo-Babylonian, Assyrian, Persion, Greek, and Roman empires

The history of the Hebrews, Asia (China, India, Japan), Europe, and some African nations

Vikings, barbarians, church and state conflicts, the Middle Ages

The Crusades, Renaissance, Reformation, and the rise of modern nations

"Turning ponts in history", wars

Indian history, before and after arrival of Europeans

European explorers, settlements, and colonies; formation of states

Gold rushes, Industrial Revolution

United States and Canadian governments; the U.S. Constitution

Major wars, their causes and effects

The Cold War


Reconstruction, the Great Depression

U.S. presidents and their policies

Types of transportation

World history from the time of Christ to the present time—empires, revolutions, dictatorships, democracies

Trade and boundary disputes, religious and secular wars, peace efforts, treaties

African history, trade, and tribal life; European involvement

Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Japanese history, trade, ways of life, and European involvement

Trade organizations such as NATO, SEATO, OPEC

Amnesty, balance of trade, Chernobyl, coalition, customs union, euro, European Union, exclave, exclusive economic zone, federation, foreign investment, free trade agreement, gross domestic product, impeachment, Iron Curtain, megalopolis, neutrality, industries (primary, secondary, tertiary), judicial review, Mafia, subsidies, suburbs, unemployment rate, urbanization, urban renewal


Cities, village

Life styles of children in 6 countries
Methods of working

The place of the family and the church in a community

The value of farms, grocery stores, hardware stores, banks, service stations, roads, air and rail travel, doctors, dentists, hospitals, emergency responders, police officers, funeral homes, the postal system, electricity, telephones, recycling, and garbage disposal services to a community

Churches: State, Catholic, Swiss Brethren (Anabaptist), Protestant

The Muslim religion

Cultural traditions

Natural resources and exports of the countries studied

Governments of the United States and Canada

Dams used for generating electricity and for irrigation

Indian tribes of America

Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, Anabaptists


Industral Revolution




Christian life in modern society

Conscientious objectors

Different classes in Latin American society, oppression

Guerrilla warfare, refugees

Diseases, such as yellow fever, malaria, and cholera

Religion: Indian beliefs; the Catholic Inquisition and mission efforts, mission endeavors by other churches

Education and the literacy rate

Subsistence and commercial farming; one-crop economy

Cradles of civilization; the cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Far East, and Africa

Growth and influence of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shintoism, asceticism, Greek philosophy, and heathenism

Persecution, sanitation, the bubonic plague, exploration, African sleeping sickness, languages, printing press, industry, trade

Feudalism, communism, humanism, nationalism, tourism

Separation of church and state, Christianity in America, Islam, socialism, pacifism, humanism, communism, Darwinism

Colonial and frontier life, missions, occupations, and cultural traditions

Monopolies, free enterprise system, capitalism, unions, supply and demand, mass production, and important inventions

Foreign policies, tariffs, federal vs. state rights, the space race

Slavery, the civil rights movement

Some great disasters and epidemics

Different religions—effect on history

The dedicated Christian's response to the world around him

Terrorism, persecution, oppression, slavery, anarchy, fascism, refugees

Imperialism, nationalism, deism, the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, the New Age Movement, Pietism

Industrial Revolution and modern technology

Emergence of Third World countries

Capital city, GDP per capita for each nation, land area, major religion(s), official language(s), population, and population density

Animism, apartheid, biological and geographical races, birth and death rates, cannibalism, cast system, cultures, ethnic background, ethnic cleansing, genocide, illegal immigrants, indigenous peopel, melting pot, racism, underground church, uniformitarianism, Zionism

Purchase these books from the
Social Studies Textbooks at Milestone Books

Click on a course to see an overview and sample lessons.

Our Father's World is a simple course that introduces and explains basic geographical terms—continent, ocean, lake, city, state, province, and country. Basic surface features are discussed—mountains, hills, deserts, valleys, and plains. The purpose and structure of globes and maps are taught. Twelve of the 30 lessons are stories about children around the world. Each story is cast in the setting of a child's surroundings and activities on a March day.

Understanding Our Community gives the student an introduction to the community and shows how various organizations and public services operate. The goal is to foster an appreciation for the services offered and to help the student to act responsibly. Most lessons are presented in story form so that the student learns through the eyes of the main character as he observes his community. The pupil's book has color pictures where color is important.

Homelands Around the World gives Grade 4 pupils a glimpse of the world's geography, cultures, and wildlife from a Biblical perspective. It is both a storybook and a textbook. As a storybook, it portrays the lives of children in various lands and cultures. As a textbook, it explains some of the underlying reasons for differences in people's lives.

Homelands of North America gives Grade 5 pupils a glimpse of the geography, history, and economics of the United States and Canada. There are 78 lessons including the reviews at the end of each chapter.

This book contains many maps, illustrations, and photographs. "Study Exercises" provide a basic review for each lesson. The classes that have more time or the students who ne d extra work will find extra material in "Further Study." These questions are often excellent for class discussion.

Understanding Latin America teaches the geography and history of Latin America from a Biblical viewpoint. By gaining a better understanding of the earth and its people in relation to God's dealings, pupils can be better fitted for the service of God.

Understanding the Old World covers the geography and history of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East from a Biblical perspective. The story of God's Old Testament people, the Jews, and His New Testament people, the faithful Christians, is woven into the history chapters.

Understanding North American History tells how Europeans discovered, explored, and settled North America; describes the people who lived here when Europeans came; and explains how economic and cultural change took place. In addition to United States history, this course includes an overview of Canadian history and of United States and Canadian geography.

Understanding the Past Five Centuries covers the last five centuries of world history from a Biblical perspective. Students will learn about different types of governments, and about the effects of enocomics and trade. Influential worldly religions, philosophies, and economic systems are explained, such as Islam, Hinduism, deism, communism, democracy, socialism, fascism, imperialism, and capitalism.

Understanding World Geography discusses God's home for man from a Biblical perspective. The hardcover textbook is divided into nine units, each with 2 to 4 chapters, for a total of 27 chapters. The first two units consider general themes about the physical earth and man's life on it. The other seven units each cover a major region of the earth. Each chapter has review exercises.

Click on a course to see an overview and sample lessons.

Purchase these books from the
Social Studies Textbooks at Milestone Books

This site is operated by Milestone Books. We are an independent vendor of materials by Rod and Staff Publishers of Crockett, KY.
The samples on this site are taken from copyrighted materials, and are shown for information purposes only.