3rd Social Studies Standards

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OUR DEMOCRATIC HERITAGE 

In third grade, students conclude their introduction to United States history by studying the origins of American democracy. The historical strand compares ancient Greek democracy in Athens with that of the United States and introduces selected Americans 

who have been important in ensuring our rights. The geography strand relates primarily to the people discussed in the history strand. In the government strand students begin the 

study of the foundations of a republican form of government. The economics strand continues the introduction of basic economics concepts. 

 

Historical Understandings 

SS3H1 The student will explain the political roots of our modern democracy in the United States of America

a. Identify the influence of Greek architecture (Parthenon, U. S. Supreme Court building), law, and the Olympic Games on the present. 
b. Explain the ancient Athenians’ idea that a community should choose its own leaders. 
c. Compare and contrast Athens as a direct democracy with the United States as a representative democracy. 

 

SS3H2 The student will discuss the lives of Americans who expanded people’s rights and freedoms in a democracy. 

a. Paul Revere (independence), Frederick Douglass (civil rights), Susan B. Anthony (women’s rights), Mary McLeod Bethune (education), Franklin D. Roosevelt (New Deal and World War II), Eleanor Roosevelt (United Nations and human rights), Thurgood Marshall (civil rights), Lyndon B. Johnson (Great Society and voting rights), and Cesar Chavez (workers’ rights). 
b. Explain social barriers, restrictions, and obstacles that these historical figures had to overcome and describe how they overcame them. 

 

Geographic Understandings 

SS3G1 The student will locate major topographical features of the United States of America. 

a. Identify major rivers of the United States of America: Mississippi, Ohio, Rio Grande, Colorado, Hudson. 
b. Identify major mountain ranges of the United States of America: Appalachian, Rocky. 
c. Locate the equator, prime meridian, and lines of latitude and longitude on a globe. 
d. Locate Greece on a world map. 

 

SS3G2 The student will describe the cultural and geographic systems associated with the historical figures in SS3H2a

a. Identify on a political map specific locations significant to the life and times of these historic figures. 
b. Describe how place (physical and human characteristics) had an impact on the lives of these historic figures. 
c. Describe how each of these historic figures adapted to and was influenced by his/her environment. 
d. Trace examples of travel and movement of these historic figures and their ideas across time. 
e. Describe how the region in which these historic figures lived affected their lives and had an impact on their cultural identification. 

 

 

Government/Civic Understandings 

SS3CG1 The student will explain the importance of the basic principles that provide the foundation of a republican form of government. 

a. Explain why in the United States there is a separation of power between branches of government and levels of government. 
b. Name the three levels of government (national, state, local) and the three branches in each (executive, legislative, judicial), including the names of the legislative branch (Congress, General Assembly, city commission or city council). 
c. State an example of the responsibilities of each level and branch of government. 

 

SS3CG2 The student will describe how the historical figures in SS3H2a display positive character traits of cooperation, diligence, liberty, justice, tolerance, freedom of conscience and expression, and respect for and acceptance of authority. 

 

Economic Understandings 

SS3E1 The student will describe the four types of productive resources: 

a. Natural (land) 
b. Human (labor) 
c. Capital (capital goods) 
d. Entrepreneurship (used to create goods and services) 

 

SS3E2 The student will explain that governments provide certain types of goods and services in a market economy and pay for these through taxes and will describe services such as schools, libraries, roads, police/fire protection, and military. 

 

SS3E3 The student will give examples of interdependence and trade and will explain how voluntary exchange benefits both parties. 

a. Describe the interdependence of consumers and producers of goods and services. 
b. Describe how goods and services are allocated by price in the marketplace. 
c. Explain that some things are made locally, some elsewhere in the country, and some in other countries. 
d. Explain that most countries create their own currency for use as money. 

 

SS3E4 The student will describe the costs and benefits of personal spending and saving choices.