Behavioral Sciences
 K-2  3-5  6-8  9-12
  Understand the changing nature of society.
Society is constantly changing because people are constantly changing. Individuals grow and change due to factors such as the environment, economy and technology. These individual changes affect society because society is made up of the people within it. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify and describes people who make up the society in which they live.
  • Explain that as people change, the society they live in also changes.
  • Explain that as the world changes, people also change.
  Understand all people have individual traits.
People have individual traits, personalities, interests, talents, and challenges that impact their behavior. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify and understands various individual traits.
  • Explain that traits combine to form an individual’s personality.
  • Identify individuals who have various interests, challenges and talents.
  Understand interactions between self and the peer group.
Society consists of individuals who form groups. All the actions of the individual as well as interactions with the group affect the success of the society. Including but not limited to:
  • Recognizes that people have a responsibility to their group/society.
  • Understands that a peer group is composed of those with whom a person lives, works or plays.
  • Explains how an individual’s actions will affect a group.
  • Gives examples of how working collectively is more powerful than working individually and allows a group’s strengths to overcome challenges.
  Understand the relationship of the individual to the components of society and culture.
Society is created by individuals who live, work and play together. Individuals in society are members of families, neighborhoods and communities. In addition, society is affected by a broad range of cultural elements such as religion, media and language. Including but not limited to:
  • Compare how families, neighborhoods, and communities vary both locally and around the world.
  • Identify specific characteristics of various families, neighborhoods, and communities.
  • Describe how an individual makes choices based on individual, family, neighborhood, and community perspectives.
  Understand the changing nature of society.
Society is constantly changing. Individuals grow and change due to factors such as the environment, economy and technology. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain how “acceptable” human behavior varies from one culture to another over time.
  • Explain why some behaviors are “unacceptable” in almost all cultures.
  • Describe the impact of new technologies on society.
  • Describe how change affects people’s perceptions and interactions.
  Understand the influences on individual and group behavior and group decision making.
Components of culture such as religion, media and language impact and help shape individuals, group behavior and decisions regarding society. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe, compare and contrast various types of societies and cultural groups.
  • Explain how and why the expression of differing points of view can lead to compromise.
  • Demonstrate that one person’s exercise of freedom may conflict with the freedom of others.
  • Show how rules can help resolve conflict.
  • Summarize how individuals impact groups and groups impact individuals.
  Understand how personality and socialization impact the individual.
Personality is an individual's broad, long-lasting pattern of behavior. This pattern is partially influenced by components of a person’s culture. Including but not limited to:
  • Present examples of how internalizing culture begins at birth and is a complex lifelong process.
  • Understand that language, stories, folktales, music and artistic creations are expressions of culture.
  • Compare different types of personalities.
  • Demonstrate how various factors contribute to the shaping of a person’s identity.
  Understand the process of how humans develop, learn, adapt to the environment, and internalize their culture.
Learning and adaptation are continuous throughout life. These processes are central to understanding human development. As humans develop, learn and adapt to their environment, they absorb cultural aspects. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain how perspective reflects personal beliefs, experiences, and attitudes.
  • Illustrate/demonstrate how human beings tend to repeat behaviors that feel good or have pleasant consequences and avoid behaviors that feel bad or have unpleasant consequences.
  • Describe how people adopt and learn about culture.
  Understand current social issues to determine how the individual formulates opinions and responds to issues.
Social issues are matters which directly or indirectly affect many or all members of a society and are viewed as problems. They tend to be controversial and are typically related to moral values. Each person, as a member of a community, needs to understand the context in which a social problem develops and how it is experienced on an individual basis. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify current social issues and formulates a personal position.
  • Compare the social and historical context of specific issues.
  • Describe how global issues affect the United States.
  • Recognize how historical events impact personal development and belief systems.
  Understand how to evaluate social research and information.
Social scientists study how people behave, interact and experience their social environment. They use specific research processes and tools to address research questions. Studies attempt to provide accurate information rather than to establish what is “right” or “wrong.” Including but not limited to:
  • Apply appropriate research procedures and skills to investigate an issue.
  • Identify primary and secondary sources.
  • Evaluate the power of utilizing various resources including the Internet.
  Understand the changing nature of society.
Society is dynamic. It evolves in response to changes in attitudes, perceptions, values, etc. Attempts to understand cultural factors within a changing society led to the development of sociology as a distinct field of study. Many attempts to understand and predict human behavior occurred prior to our modern day study of psychology. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the impact of economic, historical and political forces on society and social behavior.
  • Describe how world cultures impact local cultures.
  • Explain how humans behave in various social contexts.
  • Describe the impact of changing technology on society.
  Understand how personality and socialization impact the individual.
Personality is an individual's broad, long-lasting pattern of behavior. This pattern is partially influenced by components of a person’s culture. Including but not limited to:
  • Present examples of how internalizing culture begins at birth and is a complex lifelong process.
  • Describe major agents of socialization and the role each plays in development of self, social norms, values, and beliefs. (Agents of socialization include people or institutions that socialize or teach members of society the values, norms and social expectations).
  • Compare different types of personalities.
  • Analyze various factors that contribute to the shaping of a person’s identity.
  Understand the influences on individual and group behavior and group decision making.
Components of culture such as religion, media and language impact and help shape individuals, group behavior and decisions regarding society. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe how individuals impact groups and groups impact individuals.
  • Describe, compare and contrast various types of societies and cultural groups.
  • Examine the role of values and beliefs in establishing the norms of society.
  Understand the process of how humans develop, learn, adapt to the environment, and internalize their culture.
Learning and adaptation are continuous throughout life. These processes are central to understanding human development. As humans develop, learn and adapt to their environment, they absorb cultural aspects. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain how perspective reflects personal beliefs, experiences, and attitudes.
  • Describe how people adopt and learn about culture.
  • Analyze how socialization is initiated by and continued through agents of socialization (Agents of socialization include people or institutions that socialize or teach members of society the values, norms and social expectations).
  Understand current social issues to determine how the individual is able to formulate opinions and respond to those issues.
Social issues are matters which directly or indirectly affect many or all members of a society and are viewed as problems. They tend to be controversial and are typically related to moral values. Each person, as a member of a community needs to understand the context in which a social problem develops and how it is experienced on an individual basis. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify current social issues and formulates a personal position.
  • Analyze the social and historical context of specific issues.
  • Recognize the interplay between politics, economics, history and social issues on a national and an international level.
  • Analyze the role of values and beliefs in the development of social issues.
  • Understand that historical events can impact an individual’s personality development.
  Understand how to evaluate social research and information.
Social scientists study how people behave, interact and experience their social environment. They use specific research processes and tools to address research questions. Studies attempt to provide accurate information rather than to establish what is “right” or “wrong.” Including but not limited to:
  • Use appropriate research procedures and skills to investigate an issue.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of various research strategies.
  • Identify and utilize primary and secondary sources.
  • Evaluate Internet sources for quality, reliability and validity.
  • Identify and evaluate the ethical issues in conducting research with humans and animals.
  Understand the historical development of the behavioral sciences and the changing nature of society.
Attempts to understand cultural factors within a radically changing society led to the development of sociology as a distinct field of study. Many attempts to understand and predict human behavior occurred prior to our modern day study of psychology. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand the impact of economic, historic and political forces on society and social behavior.
  • Analyze how the growth of cities creates social problems.
  • Analyze ideas about democracy and political rights and how these impacted the development of the study of society.
  • Summarize as well as compares and contrasts the major frameworks or approaches used to study and understand people and society.
  • Summarize and analyzes early attempts to understand human behavior.
  Understand the influences on individual and group behavior and group decision making.
Components of culture impact and help shape individuals and their culture. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe how individuals participate in groups and analyzes how individuals can be impacted by the group and vice versa.
  • Describe, compare and contrast the various types of societies and cultural groups.
  • Examine the role of values and beliefs in establishing the norms of a society.
  • Understand the various theories of the development of the self and personality and the interplay between society and individual.
  Understand the appropriate research procedures and skills of the behavioral scientist.
Social scientists study how people behave, interact and experience their social environment. They use specific research processes and tools to address research questions. Studies attempt to provide accurate information rather than to establish what is “right” or “wrong.” Including but not limited to:
  • Align the best research method available to the research question or social issue under investigation.
  • Identify, utilizes and evaluates a variety of sources for quality, reliability and validity.
  • Understand and applies the ethical issues in conducting research with humans and animals.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of various research strategies.
  Understand current social issues to determine how the individual formulates opinions and responds to those issues.
Social issues are matters which directly or indirectly affect many or all members of a society and are viewed as problems. They tend to be controversial and are typically related to moral values. Each person, as a member of a community needs to understand the context in which a social problem develops and how it is experienced on an individual basis. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify current social issues as well as arguments from both sides and formulates a personal opinion or position regarding those issues.
  • Understand the social and historical context of specific social issues.
  • Illustrate the interplay between politics, economics, history and social issues on a national and international level.
  • Analyze the role of values and beliefs in the development of social issues.
  • Analyze how historical events can impact an individual’s personality development.
  Understand how social status, social groups, social change, and social institutions influence individual and group behaviors.
Social status is a way of defining where individuals fit in society and how they relate to others in society. Social groups are clusters of individuals that have a common unity or purpose. Social institutions are persistent patterns of interactions serving a function for society. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe how one’s social status impacts his/her relationships with others and how the bonds one creates influence his/her behaviors.
  • Analyze the factors that can influence an individual’s life chances.
  • Explore how every individual in society participates in groups and therefore society.
  • Identify and analyzes the major features of social groups.
  • Identify major social institutions and evaluates their roles in society.
  • Analyze and predicts how institutions shift and adapt to a changing society and global world.
  Understand the process of how humans develop, learn, adapt to their environment, and internalize their culture.
Most often, when we think of learning, we think of the formal type that occurs in school. Learning, however, takes place continuously, every day. As newborns develop and learn from their environment, they adapt to their surroundings. This process is central to understanding human development. Simultaneously, as humans develop, learn and adapt to their environment, they are also absorbing cultural aspects as well. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the stages of human development.
  • Understand that we develop in physical, moral and intellectual areas in a sequential fashion and provides examples that illustrate this.
  • Analyze the process of internalizing culture as it begins at birth and continues through a complex lifelong process.
  • Understand that socialization is initiated by and continued through agents of socialization.
  Understand how personality and agents of socialization impact the individual.
Personality is viewed as a person’s broad, long-lasting patterns of behavior. These patterns of behavior are shaped by components of a person’s culture, such as parents, siblings, time period, institutions, etc. Including but not limited to:
  • Articulate the nature/nurture debate with pros and cons of each position.
  • Analyze the process of internalizing culture as it begins at birth and continues through a complex lifelong process.
  • Understand that socialization is initiated by and continued through agents of socialization.
  • Analyze major agents of socialization and the role each plays in development of self, social norms, values, and beliefs.
  • Analyze various factors that contribute to the shaping of a person’s identity.
  Economics
Economics addresses the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The concept of scarcity is understood to mean that available resources are insufficient to satisfy the wants and needs of everyone. Economics is therefore founded upon the alternative use of available resources and the study of choices.
 K-2  3-5  6-8  9-12
  Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people’s lives.
Scarcity and economic trade offs are essential to all economic activity. They affect resources, spending, prices, income and production decisions made by households, businesses and countries in today’s global economy. The unequal distribution of resources locally and throughout the world creates economic conditions of wealth and poverty which in turn have an impact on how people live. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify and describe types of resources and that they are limited.
  • Identify the economic trade-offs that individuals and households weigh when making decisions involving the use of limited resources.
  Understand that the basic nature of economics is an exchange of resources.
Individuals in a society need to purchase many items for their daily lives. These include things such as shelter, food, clothing, etc. Money is usually exchanged for items that people need or want. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand that fulfilling needs and wants requires economic resources.
  • Describe how people exchange money for the resources they need.
  • Explain why an individual may in some situations exchange goods for other goods rather than exchanging money for goods.
  Understand how governments throughout the world influence economic behavior.
Government policies influence the economy. The government regulates certain businesses and economic processes. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore how government provides relief in emergencies.
  • Describe the purpose of taxes.
  Understand people in all parts of the world trade with one another.
People trade within communities, across the nation and around the world. Goods and services in one area can be provided to people in other parts of the nation and the world. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand why industries which produce goods and services vary from place to place.
  • Explain how and why people trade with others in various places for many reasons, including a lack of local resources and price differences.
  • Explain how goods are transported locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
  Understand that changes in technology impact individuals and society.
Technology directly impacts peoples’ lives. As technological changes occur, the way individuals work and live changes as well. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand the concept of technology as the tools that we create and use to fulfill our needs and wants.
  • Identify the technology individuals use in their daily lives.
  • Explore how technology impacts the economy and society.
  Understand the universal economic concept of needs and wants.
Needs are the essentials, the basics of life that we cannot live without. Wants are items, activities or services that are not necessary for survival. Including but not limited to:
  • Define the concepts of wants and needs.
  • Identify universal human needs.
  • Explain how needs and wants impact the quality of an individual’s life.
  Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people’s lives.
Scarcity and economic trade-offs are essential to all economic activity. They affect resources, spending, prices, income and production decisions made by households, businesses, and countries in today’s global economy. The unequal distribution of resources locally and throughout the world creates economic conditions of wealth and poverty which in turn have an impact on how people live. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain that choices usually involve tradeoffs: people can give up buying or doing one thing in order to buy or do something else.
  • Summarize the wide disparities between the “haves” and “have-nots” of the world in terms of economic well being.
  • Identify the goods and services that the local school and community provide and the people who provide them.
  Understand the functions of economic institutions.
Institutions evolve in economies to help individuals and groups accomplish their goals. Banks, corporations, legal systems, and not-for-profit organizations are examples of important institutions. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify the economic roles of various institutions, including households, businesses, and government.
  • Identify the various ways in which money is exchanged in the economy.
  • Describe and explain the role of money, banking, and savings in everyday life.
  Understand how governments throughout the world influence economic behavior.
Government policies influence the economy. Citizens evaluate the impact of economic policies and how they affect the individual on the local, state, national, and international levels. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain the purpose of taxes.
  • Understand the concept of capitalism.
  • Identify goods and services provided by the government.
  Understand factors that create patterns of interdependence in the world economy.
The increasing influence of globalization on America’s economy impacts global trade and interdependence including exports, imports, balance of trade, and exchange rates. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand how the exchange of goods and services by individuals, groups and nations create economic interdependence and change.
  • Explain and illustrate how values and beliefs influence various economic decisions.
  • Explain the concept of interstate commerce.
  • Describe the concept of resource wealth and resource scarcity.
  Understand that advancing technologies impact the global economy.
Modern technologies transform the speed and scope of economic activity. They allow ideas, innovations, goods and services to be exchanged rapidly and efficiently. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe changes in local, regional and world economies that have resulted from the use of new technology.
  • Describe how personal decisions regarding the economy can affect people’s lives locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Describe the issues associated with global climate change and Iowa’s role in both the problems and the solutions.
  Understand that all economies throughout the world rely upon universal concepts.
The concepts of needs and wants, supply and demand, production, distribution, consumption, and labor and wages are the basis on which economies function. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand the concepts of supply and demand.
  • Compare and contrast needs and wants in various types of economies.
  • Identify local goods and services that are part of the global economy.
  Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people’s lives.
Scarcity and economic trade-offs are essential to all economic activity. They affect resources, spending, prices, income and production decisions made by households, businesses, and countries in today’s global economy. Including but not limited to:
  • Compare the wide disparities that exist across the globe in terms of economic assets and choices.
  • Justify good judgment in making personal choices related to spending and saving. Predicts short-term and long-term financial consequences based on current choices.
  • Identify and explains examples of ways goods and services are produced and distributed
  • Identify the differences between producers and consumers in a market economy.
  Understand the functions of economic institutions.
Institutions evolve in economies to help individuals and groups accomplish their goals. Banks, labor unions, corporations, individual entrepreneurs, legal systems, and not-for-profit organizations are examples of important institutions. Understanding economic institutions and the purposes they serve will help students use institutions more effectively and help them evaluate change. Including but not limited to:
  • Distinguish between for-profit corporations and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Examine the impact labor unions have had on working conditions over time.
  • Analyze the role of banks and other financial institutions in channeling funds from savers to borrowers and investors.
  Understand how governments throughout the world influence economic behavior.
Government policies influence the economy. Citizens evaluate the economic trade-offs of policies and how they affect the economy at the individual, local, state, national, and international levels. Including but not limited to:
  • Distinguish between a free market and a market economy.
  • Evaluate the use of taxes at the local, state and national levels.
  • Analyze how government institutions regulate the economy.
  • Propose alternatives or modifications to the way government currently collects revenue.
  Understand factors that create patterns of interdependence in the world economy.
The increasing importance of the global economy on America’s economy makes it essential for students to be well versed in the factors that influence global trade. These can include exports and imports, balance of trade, exchange rates, tariffs, other trade barriers, and free-trade agreements. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify the geographic origins of the raw materials that go into everyday items.
  • Evaluate the merits of common currencies across national borders.
  • Evaluate existing barriers to trade that impact global markets.
  • Explore how global economic actions affect regional, national, and global markets.
  Understand the impact of advancing technologies on the global economy.
Modern technologies are transforming the speed and scope of business in the world today. It is imperative that students understand and have the ability to use technology for success in the global economy. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze how technology evolved over time.
  • Describe how personal decisions regarding the economy and natural resources can affect people’s lives locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Describe the development of green technologies.
  Understand how universal economic concepts present themselves in various types of economies throughout the world.
Understanding how economic concepts function within different economies is essential to understanding and participating in today’s global market. Economic concepts and systems develop to determine what goods and services will be produced, how they will be produced, for whom they will be produced, and at what price they will be sold. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze cost of living and wage data across geographic regions.
  • Analyze the impact of printing more or less money on an economy.
  • Evaluate how economic concepts are expressed in various regions of the world.
  Understand the function of common financial instruments.
Financial success in today’s world requires a competency with the tools that are used such as bank accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, stock markets, and tax forms. Including but not limited to:
  • Evaluate various investment strategies.
  • Understand the benefits of incentives to spend and incentives to save.
  • Describe the characteristics of traditional command market, and mixed economies.
  Understand the function of common financial instruments.
Financial success in today’s world requires a competency with the tools that are used such as bank accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, stock markets, and tax forms. This bedrock must be formed early to help ensure financial stability in the future. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand the purpose and function of borrowing within a market economy.
  • Analyze how interest rates impact various segments of the economy.
  • Define the characteristics and functions of common financial instruments such as bank accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, stock markets, and tax forms.
  Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people’s lives.
Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the relationship between economic goals and the allocation of scarce resources.
  • Evaluate how economic incentives influence the economic choices made by individuals, households, businesses, governments, and societies to use scarce human capital and natural resources more efficiently to meet their economic goals.
  Understand the functions of economic institutions.
Institutions evolve in economies to help individuals and groups accomplish their goals. Banks, labor unions, corporations, individual entrepreneurs, legal systems, and not-for-profit organizations are examples of important institutions. Understanding economic institutions and the purposes they serve will help students use institutions more effectively and help them evaluate change. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the role of banks and other financial institutions in channeling funds from savers to borrowers and investors.
  • Evaluate labor unions, using collective bargaining, to negotiate for workers with corporations on the issues of wages, fringe benefits, and work place conditions.
  • Identify not-for-profit organizations and their purposes and explains the rationale for tax exemption.
  • Explain how businesses, including entrepreneurs, partnerships, corporations, and franchises, are organized and financed.
  • Understand the economic impact of credit on the U.S. economy.
  Understand how governments influence economic behavior.
Government policies influence the economy. Citizens should evaluate the economic trade-offs of policies and how they affect the economy at the individual, local, state, national, and international levels. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain the value of various government services on the U.S. economy.
  • Compare and contrast government services to delivery of the same services by the private sector.
  • Analyze and evaluate how government institutions regulate the economy.
  • Understand the allocation of money in the federal budget and critiques how it influences the economy at the individual, household, and business levels.
  • Evaluate the use of taxes at the local, state and national levels.
  Understand how universal economic concepts present themselves in various types of economies throughout the world.
Understanding how economic concepts function within different economies is essential to understanding and participating in the economies of today’s global market. Economic concepts and systems develop to determine what goods and services will be produced, how they will be produced, for whom they will be produced, and at what price they will be sold. Universal economic concepts can include supply and demand, production, distribution, consumption, labor, capital, inflation, and deflation. The different types of economies are traditional, command, market, and mixed. Including but not limited to:
  • Illustrate, compare, and contrast the characteristics of universal economic concepts.
  • Evaluate how different economic systems use various means to produce, distribute, and exchange goods and service.
  • Identify how economic concepts influence economic decisions that individuals, businesses, and governments make.
  Understand the local, state, regional, national, and international factors that create patterns of interdependence in the global economy.
The increasing importance of the global economy on America’s economy makes it essential for students to be well versed in the factors that influence global trade. These can include exports and imports, balance of trade, exchange rates, tariffs, other trade barriers, and free-trade agreements. Students will evaluate how global economic actions affect regional, national, and global markets. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify the characteristics that influence global trade.
  • Investigate global economic interdependence at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
  • Evaluate the balance of trade between the United States and other countries and how it affects the economy.
  • Evaluate trade restrictions and how they influence the global economy.
  • Appraise the impact of free-trade agreements on the economy.
  Understand the impact of advancing technologies on the global economy.
Modern technologies are transforming the speed and scope of business in the world today. It is imperative that students understand and have the ability to use technology for success in the global economy. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify and evaluates the impact of advancing and current technologies as they are used in the global economy.
  • Understand how technology evolves and responds to economic factors over time.
  • Analyze how technologies have impacted the global economy at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
  • Evaluate the impact of technology on business decisions.
  • Understand the development of and evaluates the impact of “green” technologies.
  Geography
Geography is the study of the interaction between people and their environments. Geography therefore looks at the world through the concepts of location, place, human-environmental interaction, movement, and region.
 K-2  3-5  6-8  9-12
  Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.
Some of the tools geographers use to make sense of the world include maps, globes, and photographs. These tools are needed to look at and understand people and the places they live. Including but not limited to:
  • Distinguish between the different types of maps.
  • Label the basic parts of a map.
  • Understand that a globe represents the world.
  • Recognize the United States and Iowa on a map.
  Understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions.
The basic unit of geographic study is the region, an area that has common characteristics. Regions help us understand and study the various types of land, the people who live there, and their cultures. Including but not limited to:
  • Classify the various kinds of regions.
  • Identify where Iowa is located in the United States.
  • Compare and contrast Iowa’s characteristics to other places in the United States.
  • Compare and contrast Iowa’s characteristics to other regions in the world.
  Understand how human factors and the distribution of resources affect the development of communities and the movement of populations.
Physical and human characteristics of places help us learn how people work and live within their environment. Some characteristics can cause people to move to or away from a place. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain the reasons people choose for living where they do.
  • Compare and contrast the differences between a neighborhood, town, city, state and country.
  Understand how geographic processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
The environment provides basic needs of life, such as air, water, food, and other natural resources. Environmental changes impact people and people impact the environment. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain how people interact with the environment and how those interactions have consequences.
  • Explain ways in which people care for the environment.
  • Describe how weather impacts an environment.
  Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.
Some of the tools geographers use to make sense of the world include maps, globes, photographs, and geospatial technologies. These tools are essential to portraying, analyzing, evaluating and predicting human and physical patterns and processes on the Earth’s surface. These tools also play a critical role in helping people make sense of a complex world from a spatial perspective. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify and describe the detailed elements of a map.
  • Use atlases, databases, grid systems, charts, graphs, and/or maps to gather information about the local community, Iowa, the United States, and the world.
  • Construct maps, showing the location of major land masses, bodies of water, and/or mountain regions.
  Understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions.
A basic unit of geographic study is the region, an area that displays common characteristics. Regions may be defined by criteria such as language, religion, culture, and other geographic characteristics. A region serves as a tool to examine, define, describe, explain and analyze the human and physical environment. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe ways in which people interact with the physical environment, including use of land, locations of communities, methods of construction, and design of shelters.
  • Compare political, economic, and social differences among regions.
  • Use selected criteria to identify geographic regions on maps.
  • Explain how the local physical environment has affected the way people live in the community.
  Understand how human factors and the distribution of resources affect the development society and the movement of populations.
Physical and human characteristics of places provide keys to identifying and interpreting the simple to complex interactions and interrelations between people and their environments. Some characteristics include population distribution, economic resources (capital, power supplies, labor, information, air quality, water and land) and the movement among them. Including but not limited to:
  • Give examples of how the location of an area has affected the culture of the people.
  • Identify examples of physical and cultural barriers to population movement and migration.
  • Locate specific human features such as cities, capitals, and roads on a map of North America.
  • Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment such as their use of land, building of cities, and their impact on ecosystems.
  Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
To understand the spatial patterns and processes distributed across the Earth’s surface, it is essential to know that places may be distinguished by their physical and human characteristics. Physical processes create natural landscapes and environments. Human actions modify these natural processes, landscapes and the ecosystems. Examples of natural physical features include landforms, soils, water bodies, vegetation, animal life, seasons, weather and climate. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe the social and economic effects of environmental changes as well as crises arising from phenomena such as floods, storms and droughts.
  • Give examples of human alterations of the physical environment that have produced positive and negative consequences.
  • Analyze how changes in the weather affect people.
  Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.
Some of the tools geographers use to make sense of the world include maps, globes, photographs, and geospatial technologies. These tools are essential to portraying, analyzing, evaluating and predicting human as well as physical patterns and processes on the Earth’s surface. These tools also play a critical role in helping people make sense of a complex world from a spatial perspective. Including but not limited to:
  • Use a variety of print, geospatial technologies and other geographic tools to create and interpret information from charts, graphs, and maps
  • Demonstrate an understanding of longitude and latitude.
  • Investigate how various landforms and geographic features determine different ecosystems and land usage.
  • Construct maps that demonstrate an understanding of location, direction, size and shape of local, regional or global areas.
  • Analyze areas of population density and scarcity to determine factors that influence where people live.
  Understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions.
The basic unit of geographic study is the region, an area that displays common characteristics. Regions may be defined by criteria such as language, culture, and other geographic characteristics. They provide a context for studying current events and for seeing the earth as an integrated system of regions. Including but not limited to:
  • Examine how human and environmental interactions influence events in local, regional and global settings.
  • Analyze how cultural beliefs and experiences define a region and influence perceptions of a region.
  • Summarize how regions define both convenient and manageable units upon which to build knowledge of the world.
  • Analyze how regions provide a context for studying current events and for seeing the earth as an integrated system of regions.
  Understand how human factors and the distribution of resources affect the development society and the movement of populations.
Characteristics of places provide keys to identifying and interpreting interactions between people and their environment. Some characteristics include population distribution, economic resources and the movement among them. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze how natural resources impact where people choose to live.
  • Examine how economic resources impact where people choose to live and work.
  • Identify economic resources including capital, power supplies, labor, information, air quality, water and land and analyzes the criteria that make them resources.
  • Demonstrate how rivers contribute to the development of societies.
  Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
It is essential to know that places may be distinguished by their physical and human characteristics. Physical processes create natural landscapes and environments. Examples of natural physical features include landforms, soils, water bodies, vegetation, animal life, seasons, weather and climate. Including but not limited to:
  • Illustrate how the physical features of a location impact population density.
  • Compare the weather, climate, natural landscapes, and types of vegetation and animals between two diverse locations.
  • Compare and contrasts the basic needs of people living in two or more diverse environments.
  Understand the use of geographic tools to locate and analyze information about people, places, and environments.
Some of the tools geographers use to make sense of the world include maps, globes, photographs, and geospatial technologies. These tools are essential to portraying, analyzing, evaluating and predicting human and physical patterns and processes on the Earth’s surface. These tools also play a critical role in helping people make sense of a complex world from a spatial perspective. Including but not limited to:
  • Select appropriate maps, map projections, and other graphic representations to analyze geographic problems.
  • Construct a map of locales, regions, or the world that demonstrates an understanding of relative location, direction, sizes and shapes, and draws a map that shows major physical and human features.
  • Analyze factors that influence people’s preferences about where to live.
  Understand how physical and human characteristics create and define regions.
The basic unit of geographic study is the region, an area that displays common characteristics. There are many ways to define meaningful regions depending on the criteria being considered. Regions serve as tools to examine, define, describe, explain and analyze the human and physical environment. They define both convenient and manageable units upon which to build our knowledge of the world. They provide a context for studying current events and for seeing the earth as an integrated system of regions (e.g., nations, climate zone, cities, corn belt, airports etc.). Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the concept of region, the process of regionalization and how and why people define regions.
  • Analyze how cultural beliefs and experiences shape the character of a region and influence perceptions of places and regions.
  • Analyze the ways in which places and regions reflect cultural change.
  Understand how human factors and the distribution of resources affect the development of society and the movement of populations.
Physical and human characteristics of places provide keys to identifying and interpreting the simple to complex interactions and interrelations between people and their environments. Some characteristics include population distribution, economic resources (capital, power supplies, labor, information, air quality, water and land) and the movement among them. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the physical and cultural impact of human migration.
  • Analyze patterns of economic resource distribution and the arrangement of settlements.
  • Develop maps to illustrate how population density varies in relation to resources such as water and types of land use.
  • Evaluate the physical and human factors that have led to famines and large-scale refugee movements.
  • Analyze world population trends and patterns.
  Understand how physical and human processes shape the Earth's surface and major ecosystems.
To understand the spatial patterns and processes distributed across the Earth’s surface, it is essential to know that places may be distinguished by their physical and human characteristics. Physical processes create natural landscapes and environments. Human actions modify these natural processes, landscapes and the viability of ecosystems. Examples of natural physical features include landforms, soils, water bodies, vegetation, animal life, seasons, weather and climate. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the attributes of the importance of ecosystems in understanding the environment.
  • Analyze how extreme physical conditions such as floods and droughts affect human settlements and animal populations in different regions.
  Understand how human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
Changing the landscape is a signature of human use of the Earth. The environment offers opportunities and restraints for human activity. The ability to evaluate how humans change the environment and how the environment influences humans, plays a significant role in shaping economic, social and political conditions from the local to global levels. Including but not limited to:
  • Explain how human settlements and structures become part of the Earth’s surface, and evaluates the positive and negative impacts of such changes.
  • Evaluate how competition for control of the Earth’s surface can have a positive or negative effect on the planet and its inhabitants.
  • Evaluate how different environments have forced humans to adapt to unique physical conditions.
  Understand how culture affects the interaction of human populations through time and space.
Culture can be described as the social structure, languages, belief systems, institutions, technology, art, foods, and traditions of particular groups of humans. Cultural perception of all places and regions depends upon personal experiences and individual characteristics. People continue to modify or adapt to natural settings in ways that reveal their values, economic and political circumstances, conflicts and technological abilities. The geographic study of human populations focuses on location, movement, and the dynamics of size. Including but not limited to:
  • Illustrate how technology and human mobility have changed various cultural landscapes.
  • Understand how physical geography affects the routes, flows and destinations of migration.
  • Identify the push-pull factors that resulted in the migration of human population over time and examines and evaluates the impact of changes in these factors.
  Understand how cultural factors influence the design of human communities.
Cultural factors, such as human needs, values, ideals, and public policies influence the design of places. These can include urban centers, industrial parks, neighborhoods, and public projects. Including but not limited to:
  • Develop and defend hypotheses about how the spatial distribution of a population may change in response to environmental changes.
  • Analyze the impact of changing global patterns of trade and commerce on the local community, and predict the future impact of these patterns.
  • Use primary sources, historical records, and literature to describe and chart land-use changes over time.
  • Describe some major environmental changes taking place.
  • Analyze competition for and conflict over natural resources.
  History
History is the study and analysis of the past. Built upon a foundation of historical knowledge, history seeks to analyze the past in order to describe the relationship between historical facts, concepts, and generalizations. History draws upon cause and effect relationships within multiple social narratives to help explain complex human interactions. Understanding the past provides context for the present and implications for the future.
 K-2  3-5  6-8  9-12
  Understand people construct knowledge of the past from multiple and various types of sources.
Students use many sources and types of information to understand history. Various skills help students make sense of this information about the past. As they build skills and encounter numerous types of information, students construct increasingly complex understandings of history. Including but not limited to:
  • Read and interpret historical narratives – fiction and non-fiction.
  • Study and analyze primary sources (such as letters, newspapers, diaries, physical artifacts, video and photographs).
  • Combine various sources into a narrative understanding of past events and topics.
  Understand how and why people create and participate in governance.
Governing systems begin with the family unit and expand through local, national and international organizations and institutions. Government has played a role in many events of the past, and people have influenced that role. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore change over time through the lens of evolving government services, such as the postal service and community infrastructure such as sewer systems, roads, water systems, schools, etc.).
  • Explore how government has reacted to problems in the past, such as social, environmental, political and/or economic issues and how the government’s actions affected individuals.
  • Explore how individuals influenced government actions in past events.
  Understand culture and cultural diffusion affects the development and maintenance of societies.
Culture plays a crucial role in the development of societies across time. Culture influences the interactions of various social groups as well as economic and political decisions. Culture provides the means for expressing individual or collective beliefs which can include religious practices, literature, music, and art. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore change over time through the lens of evolving culture, such as religious practices, literature, food, dance, music, and art.
  • Describe the methods by which a society transmits culture across time, such as storytelling, songs, religious services, food, clothing, holiday customs, etc.
  • Compare and contrasts the culture of the politically and economically dominant groups with the culture of minority groups.
  • Survey the ways in which a society dealt with the introduction or influence of another society’s culture.
  Understand individuals and groups within a society may promote change or the status quo.
History is often shaped by highly visible movements and major events or tensions among various groups. The actions of a group or even one individual can change the course of history. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify specific individuals who affected historical development in positive or negative ways.
  • Explore how the actions and motivations of individuals and groups affected the development of an historical event.
  Understand economic needs and wants affect individual and group decisions.
Economic needs and wants have influenced political, social, and cultural structures throughout time. As technology has become more complex the ability of individuals or groups to control economic resources has affected the environment and society. Including but not limited to:
  • View change over time through the lens of major technological developments.
  • Explore how the nature of work has changed over time.
  • Explain the ways in which economic factors influence the movement of people.
  Understand relationships between geography and historical events.
Throughout time, history and geography have been intertwined. To fully understand one, there must be a solid foundation of knowledge regarding the other. Geography has provided the context in which history has occurred and therefore has impacted historical events. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore how societies throughout time have evolved in or migrated into specific places, and have both affected and been affected by those places.
  • Explore how throughout time industries such as mining, agriculture and logging have both affected and been affected by the places in which they occur.
  Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.
History can provide opportunities for students to develop analysis and critical reasoning skills. Understanding cause and effect relationships is the foundation of historical analysis. Students use critical thinking skills to question and explore historical events and issues. Including but not limited to:
  • Use writings, images, artifacts and other records to describe life in the past.
  • Determine cause and effect in historic events.
  • Compare and contrast different experiences, beliefs, motives, traditions, hopes, and fears of people from various groups and backgrounds and at various times to analyze how these factors influenced behaviors.
  • Generate questions about a historical document, artifact, photo and historical site, to acquire information concerning it.
  • Brainstorm alternative proposals for dealing with historic problems and analyzes the decisions.
  Understand historical patterns, periods of time, and the relationships among these elements.
Students describe the historical events that define a period in history. In exploring change over time, students explore how a society or culture evolves. Including but not limited to:
  • Compare and contrast various civilizations within a time period.
  • Explain the idea of cause and effect of events and actions within a period.
  • Describe the historical development of a region.
  Understand how and why people create, maintain, or change systems of power, authority, and governance.
Governance systems begin with the family unit and expand through local, national and international organizations and institutions. Students understand the role government has played in past events and how people have influenced that role. Every group creates governing systems to meet their needs. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze how structures of power affect various groups in different ways.
  • Examine why governments change, how they change and the role individuals play in bringing about change.
  • Compare and contrast the development of various governmental systems.
  Understand the role of culture and cultural diffusion on the development and maintenance of societies.
Culture plays a crucial role in the development of societies across time. Culture influences the interactions of various social groups as well as economic and political decisions. Culture provides the means for expressing individual or collective beliefs which can include religious practices, literature, music, and art. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe and analyze the influence of culture on the interactions of various groups over time.
  • Analyze the methods by which a society transmits culture across time.
  • Assess the effect of culture on the decisions of a society, group, or individual.
  Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
History is often shaped by highly visible movements and major events or tensions among various groups. The actions however of a group or even one individual can change the course of history. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify and evaluate the contributions of leaders in various eras and locations.
  • Identify significant individuals who have impacted history in a positive or negative way and analyze how their contributions impacted the world.
  Understand the effect of economic needs and wants on individual and group decisions.
Economic needs and wants have influenced political, social, and cultural structures throughout time. As technology has become more complex the ability of individuals or groups to control economic resources has affected the environment and society. Including but not limited to:
  • Examine the ways in which various societies meet their economic needs and wants.
  • Analyze the role of economic factors in conflicts and in decisions to use military force.
  • Explain the ways economic factors influence the movement of people.
  • Describe the movement of economic goods and the trade networks that connect suppliers and consumers.
  Understand the effects of geographic factors on historical events.
Throughout time, history and geography have been inter-twined. To fully understand one, there must be a solid foundation of knowledge regarding the other. Geography has provided the context in which history has occurred over time, and therefore has impacted historical events. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify the impact of geographic systems (physical and human) on historical events.
  • Trace the major land and water routes of explorers throughout the world.
  • Identify the role that geography has played during historical events.
  • Explain how and why a region was settled and developed and compare this early development to the region today
  Understand the role of innovation on the development and interaction of societies.
Innovations range from the development and application of new technologies to the establishment of new social, political or economic structures. These elements influenced the way societies developed and interacted throughout history. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify major technological advancements and evaluates their impact on social, political, and historical events.
  • Analyze why some technologies have been adopted while others have not.
  Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.
History can provide opportunities for students to develop analysis and critical reasoning skills. Understanding cause and effect relationships is the foundation of historical analysis. Students must use critical thinking skills to actively question and explore historical events and issues. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify important events and movements that changed life in various regions of the world in the past.
  • Determine the validity and accuracy of primary sources and secondary sources and evaluates them for bias.
  • Use historical events to explain and understand contemporary issues.
  Understand historical patterns, periods of time, and the relationships among these elements.
Students describe the historical events that define a period in history. In exploring change over time, students explore and evaluate how a society or culture evolves. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify similarities within and among periods of time.
  • Compare and contrast various civilizations within a time period.
  • Use cause and effect, evaluate why a period begins and why a period ends.
  • Explain how periods can be used to understand historical patterns.
  • Describe and interpret the major events that occurred during a time period.
  Understand how and why people create, maintain, or change systems of power, authority, and governance.
Government, power and authority are fundamental to the advancement of societies and cultures. These systems begin with the family unit and expand through local, national and international organizations and institutions. Most groups create governing systems to meet the needs of society. Students understand the process of political change and how transfer of power occurs. Including but not limited to:
  • Evaluate how structures of power affect various groups in different ways.
  • Define and analyze systems of justice throughout the world.
  • Analyze why governments change, how they change and the roles individuals play in causing a change.
  • Explore the development of major political systems in the world.
  Understand the role of culture and cultural diffusion on the development and maintenance of societies. Culture plays a crucial role in the development of societies across time. Just as culture influences the interactions of various social groups, it also affects individual and institutional economic and political decisions. Culture provides the means for expressing individual or collective beliefs, which can include religious practices, literature, music, and art. Therefore any assessment or evaluation of historical change must consider the influence of culture.
In addition, examination of cultural diffusion can demonstrate the ways in which societies interact through adopting, adapting, modifying, or resisting cultural aspects of another society. This process of negotiating the “middle ground” between two or more societies has greatly influenced historical development. Including but not limited to:
  • Examine and evaluate the influence of culture on the interactions of various groups.
  • Assess the effect of culture on a society, group, or individual’s decisions and actions.
  • Compare and contrast the culture of majority groups with the culture of minority groups.
  • Analyze the methods by which culture is spread from one society to another.
  Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
History is often shaped by highly visible movements, large-scale processes, major events or tensions among various groups. However, the actions of a group or even one individual can change the course of history. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the actions of individuals and groups in the development of historical events.
  • Identify significant individuals who have impacted history in a positive or negative way and analyze how their contributions impacted world events.
  Understand the effect of economic needs and wants on individual and group decisions.
Economic needs and wants have influenced political, social, and cultural structures throughout time. As human societies have become more complex, the need or desire of individuals or groups to control economic resources has played an enormous role in the decisions and actions of various societies. Including but not limited to:
  • Evaluate the ability of various economic systems to meet the needs and wants of various groups in a given society over time.
  • Analyze the development of economic institutions.
  • Analyze and evaluate the role of economic factors in conflicts and in decisions to use military force.
  • Compare the power of various groups within a given economic system.
  Understand the effects of geographic factors on historical events.
Throughout time, history and geography have been inter-twined. To fully understand one, there must be a solid foundation of knowledge regarding the other. Students need to be able to understand how geography has provided the context in which history has occurred over time, and therefore has impacted historical events. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify the impact of geographic systems (physical and human) on historical events.
  • Identify and analyze the role geography has played during historical events.
  • Predict the role of geography on current social, political, and historical events.
  Understand the role of innovation on the development and interaction of societies.
Innovations range from the development and application of new technologies to the establishment of new social, political or economic structures. These elements influenced the way societies developed and interacted throughout history. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify major technological advancements and evaluate their impact on social, political, and historical events.
  • Analyze why some technologies have been adopted while others have not.
  • Predict the impact of new technologies on contemporary societies.
  Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.
Some of the historical thinking skills include consideration of multiple perspectives, analysis of historical narrative, and construction of historical hypotheses. By interpreting and analyzing the decisions of past societies, students gain the ability to evaluate current events, issues, and decisions. Including but not limited to:
  • Interpret, analyze, and evaluate historical issues.
  • Determine the validity and accuracy of primary sources and secondary sources and evaluates them for bias.
  • Analyze cause and effect to explain why events occurred and the impact on future events.
  • Analyze changes over time.
  Understand historical patterns, periods of time, and the relationships among these elements.
Historians use periodization and pattern to describe the narrative of human experience. Students will be able to explain why historical periodization was created and describe the historical events that define a period. In exploring change over time, students will evaluate how a society or culture evolves. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify similarities and differences within and among time periods that are used to create periodization.
  • Understand why historians create periodization.
  • Analyze patterns historians use to create periodization
  • Identify and interpret the major events that occurred during a time period.
  Understand how and why people create, maintain, or change systems of power, authority, and governance.
Government, power and authority are fundamental to the successful advancement of societies and cultures. These systems begin with the family unit and expand through local, national and international organizations and institutions. Every group creates governing systems to meet the needs of society. Students will understand the process of political change and how the transfer of power may occur. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore change over time through the lens of evolving government services, such as the postal service and community infrastructure such as sewer systems, roads, water systems, schools, etc.).
  • Explore how government has reacted to problems in the past, such as social, environmental, political and/or economic issues and how the government’s actions affected individuals.
  • Evaluate how individuals influenced government actions in past events.
  Understand the role of culture and cultural diffusion on the development and maintenance of societies.
Culture plays a crucial role in the development of societies across time. Just as culture influences the interactions of various social groups, it also affects individual and institutional economic and political decisions. Culture provides the means for expressing individual or collective beliefs which can include religious practices, literature, music, and art. Therefore any assessment or evaluation of historical change must consider the influence of culture. In addition, examination of cultural diffusion can demonstrate the ways in which societies interact through adopting, adapting, modifying, or resisting cultural aspects of another society. This process of negotiating the “middle ground” between two or more societies has greatly influenced historical development. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the methods by which a society transmits culture across time.
  • Compare and contrast the culture of the politically and economically dominant groups with the culture of minority groups.
  • Analyze and evaluate the ways in which a society deals with the introduction or influence of another society’s culture.
  Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
History is often shaped by highly visible movements, large-scale processes, major events or tensions among various groups. However, the actions of a group or even one individual can change the course of history. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the actions of individuals and groups in the development of historical events.
  • Identify significant individuals who have affected historical development in positive or negative ways.
  Understand the effect of economic needs and wants on individual and group decisions.
Economic needs and wants have influenced political, social, and cultural structures throughout time. As human societies have become more complex, the need or desire of individuals or groups to control economic resources has played an enormous role in the decisions and actions of various societies. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the ways various societies have met their economic needs and wants over time.
  • Assess and analyze the development of various economic systems.
  • Analyze the role of economic factors in conflicts and in decisions to use military force.
  • Explain the ways in which economic factors have influenced the movement of people.
  Understand the effects of geographic factors on historical events.
Throughout time, history and geography have been inter-twined. To fully understand one, there must be a solid foundation of knowledge regarding the other. Students need to be able to understand how geography has provided the context in which history has occurred over time, and therefore has impacted historical events. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the impact of geographic systems (physical and human) on historical events.
  • Identify and analyze the role geography has played during historical events.
  • Predict and analyze the role of geography on current social, political, and historical events.
  Understand the role of innovation on the development and interaction of societies.
Innovations range from the development and application of new technologies to the establishment of new social, political or economic structures. These elements influenced the way societies developed and interacted throughout history. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify major technological advancements and evaluates their impact on social, political, and historical events.
  • Analyze why some technologies have been adopted while others have not.
  • Evaluate the impact of new technologies on societies.
  Understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.
Some of the historical thinking skills include consideration of multiple perspectives, analysis of historical narrative, and construction of historical hypotheses. By interpreting and analyzing the decisions of past societies, students gain the ability to evaluate current events, issues, and decisions. Including but not limited to:
  • Interpret actions taken, analyze impact experienced, and evaluate decisions made in history in the context in which they occurred.
  • Determine the validity and accuracy of primary sources and secondary sources and evaluate them for bias.
  • Predict how different decisions might have impacted the outcome of an event.
  Political Science/Civic Literacy
NOTE: The Essential Concepts and Skills listed in Social Studies - Political Science/Civic Literacy are the same as the Essential Concepts and Skills listed in 21st Century - Civic Literacy
 K-2  3-5  6-8  9-12
  Understand the basic concepts of government and democracy and that the U.S. Constitution defines the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Governments provide organizational structure for human activities. The principles of democracy allow people to participate in the government and choose their leaders. The Constitution provides the rules for the United States and defines the rights of U.S. citizens. Including but not limited to:
  • Provide examples of how each person in a democracy can contribute to the decisions that affect the whole group.
  • Understand that the Constitution provides the rules for the United States and define the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens.
  • Describe the relationship between rights and responsibilities.
  • Explore ways people contribute to their communities.
  Understand how government affects citizens and how citizens affect government.
Government performs various services and organizing duties for its citizens. Citizens may influence the government through civic activities such as voting, petitioning, lobbying, and serving in public office. Free elections provide the fair means for citizens in the democracy to participate in local, state and national governments. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore ways groups and individuals influence government action.
  • Explore ways government affects the lives of citizens.
  • Analyze the election process and how it affects individuals’ lives.
  Understand the United States has a role in current world affairs.
The United States’ role in world affairs is varied and influenced by many factors. Awareness of these factors enhances understanding of the United States and the world. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore ways the United States interacts with other nations in the world.
  • Know examples of world conflict and/or cooperation.
  Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action.
The U.S. Constitution defines the rights of citizens. Civic action is the responsibility of all. From childhood through adulthood, this responsibility is a realized choice based on experiences with other citizens which shape personal beliefs. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify examples of citizens’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Examine social contexts and identifies appropriate and effective civic action.
  • Define and provide examples of civic virtues.
  • Participate in civic life in ways appropriate for young people at local, state, national and global levels.
  Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy and republicanism.
The opening statement of the United States Constitution, “We the people,” embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy on which our republic was established. This statement puts the citizen at the forefront of the government which honors individual rights and responsibilities, appropriate ways to exercise those rights and respect for others’ rights. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe the origins and explore the continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law at local, state, national and global levels.
  • Know the role the U.S. Constitution plays in governance of the United States and stay informed about how it impacts day-to-day life.
  • Know the basic purposes of government in the United States and demonstrate the rights and obligations of citizenship for young people at a local, state, national and global level.
  • Are informed about and explore life in a democracy compared with life under other forms of government.
  Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the U.S. Constitution.
Each of the three branches of government has a defined function as provided by the U.S. Constitution. These functions are limited by a system of checks and balances. The relationship between these branches is dynamic and changes over time. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify basic principles and responsibilities associated with each branch of government and explores how citizens become involved in each.
  • Explore historical and contemporary examples of how the branches of government have checked each other and the impact of those examples.
  Understand the differences among local, state, and national government.
The American government is a complex institution organized at the local, state and national levels. Each level of government has inherent, implied and expressed powers that are used to define its role. The ultimate power however, resides with the people through constitutional authority. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe various kinds and levels of elections.
  • Analyze the major roles of government at the local, state, national and international levels.
  Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs.
The United States’ role in world affairs is complex and impacted by historical, economic, political and social factors. Studying the interactions of the United States with other nations and international and nongovernmental organizations aids in understanding world affairs. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze how U.S. economic aid affects other nations’ views of the United States and actions of its government.
  • Compare the value of acting individually (as a nation) vs. acting collectively (groups of nations) to solve problems.
  • Recognize that international factors such as exchange rates and child labor affect relations between and among nations.
  • Compare realities of life in the United States with perceptions held by people from other countries.
  Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action.
Civic action is the responsibility of all. This responsibility permeates citizens at every age with appropriate levels of responsibility placed upon them. From childhood through adulthood, this responsibility is a realized choice based on experiences with other citizens which shape personal beliefs. Including but not limited to:
  • Establish a link between enumerated constitutional rights and civic responsibilities at local, state, national and global levels.
  • Establish a pathway for political action on an issue of personal importance.
  Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the principles of democracy.
The opening statement of the United States Constitution, “We the people,” embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy on which our republic was established. This statement puts the citizen at the forefront of our government which honors individual rights and responsibilities, appropriate ways to exercise those rights and respect for others’ rights. Including but not limited to:
  • Compare the purposes of the Declaration of Independence with the purposes of the Constitution and understands how civic actions exemplify ideas imbedded in each document.
  • Analyze founding documents of other nations to determine the principles in those systems.
  • Identify similarities and differences between the founding documents of other nations and the founding documents of the United States.
  Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the U.S. Constitution.
The three branches of government each have a defined function as provided by the Constitution. These functions are limited by a system of checks and balances. The relationship between these branches is dynamic, changing over time. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze past abuses of power when branches exceeded or did not meet their constitutional functions and how it impacted citizens.
  • Develop and participate in a structure for school/classroom governance that maintains separation of powers and checks and balances.
  Understand the similarities and differences among the complex levels of local, state, and national government.
The American government is a complex institution, organized at the local, state and national levels. Each level of government has inherent, implied and expressed powers that are used to define their roles. However, the ultimate power resides with the people through Constitutional authority. Including but not limited to:
  • Explore how citizens participate in each level of government as young people and as adults.
  • Examine candidates’ promises and how they align with the offices they seek.
  Understand strategies for effective political action that impacts local, state, and national governance.
Within the federalist model of American government, effective political action needs to be targeted at the appropriate level of authority. Citizens should be aware of the jurisdiction of each level of government and how these levels function interdependently. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe and critique strategies of groups who are seeking action on an issue.
  • Develop and carry out an action plan for political action at the appropriate level.
  Understand how laws are established at the local, state, and national levels.
To protect the rights of individuals, the path from concept to policy or law is a necessarily complex process. Few proposed pieces of legislation actually end up as law. Many internal and external factors influence the fate of proposed legislation. In most cases, significant compromises are necessary in order for proposals to be approved and enacted. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify a proposal and simulate the process of moving it through the legislative process at each level.
  • Explore the various ways citizens stay informed and debate the influence of media and interest groups on proposed legislation.
  Understand how various political systems throughout the world define the rights and responsibilities of the individual.
Governments exist throughout the world to organize humans and human behavior. These governments view and treat members of society in various ways by protecting and/or restricting individual rights. The relationship between government and the individual is based on rights designated in statues or deemed inherent. Including but not limited to:
  • Compare national and international human rights documents and evaluate how the differences have impacted relations between two nations.
  • Examine how events and individuals from the past have influenced various nations’ contemporary views of human rights.
  Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs.
The United States’ role in world affairs is complex and impacted by historical, economic, political and social factors. Studying the interactions of the United States with other nations and international and nongovernmental organizations aids in understanding world affairs. Including but not limited to:
  • Develop and express an informed opinion about America’s involvement in a global issue.
  • Analyze how the United State’s role in world affairs has changed over time in various areas of the world.
  Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action.
Civic action is the responsibility of all. This responsibility permeates citizens at every age with appropriate levels of responsibility placed upon them. From childhood through adulthood, this responsibility is a realized choice based on experiences with other citizens which shape personal beliefs. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand and can name civic responsibilities.
  • Identify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Examine social contexts and are able to identify appropriate and effective civic action.
  • Understand the Bill of Rights and can create contexts to appropriately use each of the rights identified in the Bill of Rights.
  Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy and republicanism.
The opening statement of the United States Constitution, “We the people,” embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy on which our republic was established. This statement puts the citizen at the forefront of our government which honors individual rights and responsibilities, appropriate ways to exercise those rights and respect for others’ rights. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe the origins and evaluates the continuing influence of key ideals of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law at local, state, national and global levels.
  • Know the role the U.S. Constitution plays in governance of the United States and stays informed about how it impacts day-to-day life.
  Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution.
The three branches of government each have a defined function as provided by the Constitution. These functions are limited by a system of checks and balances. The relationship between these branches is dynamic, changing over time. Including but not limited to:
  • Identify basic principles and responsibilities associated with each branch of government and describe citizens’ involvement in each.
  • Explore historical and contemporary examples of how the branches of government have checked each other and the impact of those examples.
  • Predict how life might be different without the concept of checks and balances.
  • Participate in civic life in appropriate ways.
  Understand the differences among the complex levels of local, state and national government and their inherent, expressed, and implied powers.
The American government is a complex institution, organized at the local, state and national levels. Each level of government has inherent, implied and expressed powers that are used to define their roles. However, the ultimate power resides with the people through Constitutional authority. Including but not limited to:
  • Distinguish between implied and expressed powers and analyzes examples of each and their impact on citizens.
  • Interpret charts and diagrams of the structures of various forms of government and explore ways that citizens participate in governments as young people and as adults.
  • Explore and analyze various legal cases arising over issues of jurisdiction.
  • Recognize that within each level of government complex layers exist, and that it is the responsibility of citizens to keep informed about how to navigate the layers.
  Understand strategies for effective political action that impact local, state, and national governance.
Within the federalist model of American government, effective political action needs to be targeted at the appropriate level of authority. Citizens should be aware of the jurisdiction of each level of government and how these levels function interdependently. Including but not limited to:
  • Understand jurisdiction among the local, state, and national levels of government.
  • Identify how and which levels of government overlap in order to provide public services (e.g., public safety, public works, education).
  • Illustrate viable pathways for individual and collective political action.
  Understand how law and public policy are established at the local, state, and national levels.
To protect the rights of individuals, the path from concept to policy or law is a necessarily complex process. Few proposed pieces of legislation actually become law. Many internal and external factors influence the fate of proposed legislation. In most cases, significant compromises are necessary in order for proposals to be approved and enacted. Including but not limited to:
  • Analyze the path a bill travels to become law and how the fate of a bill is influenced by party politics, House and Senate action, public opinion, individual citizens and lobbyists.
  • Explore historical examples of compromise necessary to pass significant legislation and how citizens were impacted at the local, state, national and international levels.
  • Explore the various ways citizens stay informed and debate the influence of media and interest groups on proposed legislation.
  Understand how various political systems throughout the world define the rights and responsibilities of the individual.
Governments exist throughout the world to organize humans and human behavior. These governments view and treat members of society in various ways by protecting and/or restricting individual rights. The relationship between government and the individual is based on rights designated in statues or deemed inherent. Including but not limited to:
  • Assess how the individual citizen is treated differently dependent upon the type of government under which he or she lives and how citizens participate in civic life under various governments.
  • Survey the specific protection of civil liberties in various governments and evaluate how they influence the government’s treatment of its citizens.
  • Analyze the roles of international institutions and how they protect or limit civil liberties in a nation.
  • Analyze how governments’ taxing policies organize individuals into economic groups with inferred rights and responsibilities.
  • Evaluate how a free media and press may affect how a government interacts with its citizens.
  Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs.
The United States’ role in world affairs is complex and impacted by historical, economic, political, and social factors. Studying the interactions of the United States with other nations and international and nongovernmental organizations aids in understanding world affairs. Including but not limited to:
  • Describe and evaluate the United State’s role in helping to solve geopolitical problems in various regions of the world.
  • Describe and evaluate the roles of international organizations and how those organizations represent member nations’ views and affect the views and policies of members and nonmembers.
  • Survey how international agreements affect current United States policies and how they might affect future policies.
  • Examine and evaluate how international economic agreements affect relations between nations in economic and noneconomic areas.