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Elementary School | Social Studies | History

Understand events, trends, individuals and movements shaping the history of the United States and other nations. George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." In a broader sense, students who can examine and analyze the events of the past have a powerful tool for understanding the events of today and the future. They develop an understanding of how people, nations, actions and interactions have led to today's realities. In the process, they can better define their own roles as participating citizens.

Learning Objectives Grades K-2

Apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation:

  • Explain the difference between past, present and future time; place themselves in time.
  • Ask historical questions and seek out answers from historical sources (e.g., myths, biographies, stories, old photographs, artwork, other visual or electronic sources).
  • Describe how people in different times and places viewed the world in different ways.

Understand the development of significant political events:

  • Identify key individuals and events in the development of the local community (e.g., Founders days, names of parks, streets, public buildings).
  • Explain why individuals, groups, issues and events are celebrated with local, state or national holidays or days of recognition (e.g., Lincoln’s Birthday, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Pulaski Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving).
  • Explain the contributions of individuals and groups who are featured in biographies, legends, folklore and traditions.

Understand the development of economic systems:

  • Describe how Native American people in local communities engaged in economic activities with other tribes and traders in the region prior to the Black Hawk War.
  • Explain how the economy of the students’ local community has changed over time.
  • Identify how people and groups in the past made economic choices (e.g., crops to plant, products to make, products to trade) to survive and improve their lives.
  • Explain how trade among people brought an exchange of ideas, technology and language.

Understand United States and world social history:

  • Describe key figures and organizations (e.g., fraternal/civic organizations, public service groups, community leaders) in the social history of the local community.
  • Identify how customs and traditions from around the world influence the local community.

Understand United States and world environmental history:

  • Describe how the local environment has changed over time.
  • Compare depictions of the natural environment that are found in myths, legends, folklore and traditions.

Learning Objectives Grades 3-5

Apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation:

  • Read historical stories and determine events which influenced their writing.
  • Compare different stories about a historical figure or event and analyze differences in the portrayals and perspectives they present.
  • Ask questions and seek answers by collecting and analyzing data from historic documents, images and other literary and non-literary sources.

Understand the development of significant political events:

  • Describe how the European colonies in North America developed politically.
  • Identify major causes of the American Revolution and describe the consequences of the Revolution through the early national period, including the roles of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
  • Identify presidential elections that were pivotal in the formation of modern political parties.
  • Identify major political events and leaders within the United States historical eras since the adoption of the Constitution, including the westward expansion, Louisiana Purchase, Civil War, and 20th century wars as well as the roles of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Describe the historical development of monarchies, oligarchies and city-states in ancient civilizations.
  • Describe the origins of Western political ideas and institutions (e.g. Greek democracy, Roman republic, Magna Carta and Common Law, the Enlightenment).

Understand the development of economic systems:

  • Describe how slavery and indentured servitude influenced the early economy of the United States.
  • Explain how individuals, including John Deere, Thomas Edison, Robert McCormack, George Washington Carver and Henry Ford, contributed to economic change through ideas, inventions and entrepreneurship.
  • Describe significant economic events including industrialization, immigration, the Great Depression, the shift to a service economy and the rise of technology that influenced history from the industrial development era to the present.
  • Describe the economic consequences of the first agricultural revolution, 4000 BCE-1000 BCE.
  • Describe the basic economic systems of the world’s great civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Aegean/Mediterranean and Asian civilizations, 1000 BCE - 500 CE.
  • Describe basic economic changes that led to and resulted from the manorial agricultural system, the industrial revolution, the rise of the capitalism and the information/communication revolution.

Understand United States and world social history:

  • Describe the various individual motives for settling in colonial America.
  • Describe the ways in which participation in the westward movement affected families and communities.
  • Describe the influence of key individuals and groups, including Susan B. Anthony/suffrage and Martin Luther King, Jr./civil rights, in the historical eras of the United States.
  • Describe the various roles of men, women and children in the family, at work, and in the community in various time periods and places (e.g., ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, ancient China, Sub-Saharan Africa).

Understand United States and world environmental history:

  • Identify environmental factors that drew settlers to the state and region.
  • Identify individuals and events in the development of the conservation movement including John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and the creation of the National Park System.
  • Describe environmental factors that influenced the development of transportation and trade.
  • Describe how people in hunting and gathering and early pastoral societies adapted to their respective environments.
  • Identify individuals and their inventions (e.g., Watt/steam engine, Nobel/TNT, Edison/electric light) which influenced world environmental history.

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