Educators are in the process of moving away from content-based to competency-based curricula. I investigated social studies courses of the competency-based Education program and its assessment in the U.S. state of Ohio in order to provide suggestions for elementary school social studies education in Japan. In the 1970s, Ohio and other U.S. states faced questions concerning how to provide students with the knowledge, abilities and skills that they needed to safeguard the future of society. In the CBE social studies program, the education goals focused on method knowledge, content knowledge, and generic skills. The curriculum content was developed using the concept of strands so that students might learn topics deeply over a long period of time, and they might make a clear progress in understanding course content from year to year. This program used three types of measures to assess the strands and their related knowledge and skills. One of them was performance assessment to gauge whether children could utilize what they acquired in a real context in which they socially participated as intellectual citizens. Consequently, the CBE social studies program can provide effective suggestions for elementary school social studies education in Japan in curriculum content and assessment.