4th Social Studies Standards

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In fourth grade, students begin the formal study of United States history. At this grade, the four strands of history, geography, civics, and economics are fully integrated.  Students begin their study of United States history with thedevelopment of Native 

American cultures and conclude with the antebellum period ending in 1860. The geography strand emphasizes the influence of geography on early U. S. history. The civics strand emphasizes concepts and rights development during the formation of our 

government. The economics strand uses material from the historical strand to further understanding of economic concepts. 


Historical Understandings 

SS4H1 The student will describe how early Native American cultures developed in North America. 

a. Locate where the American Indians settled with emphasis on Arctic (Inuit), Northwest (Kwakiutl), Plateau (Nez Perce), Southwest (Hopi), Plains (Pawnee), and Southeastern (Seminole). 
b. Describe how the American Indians used their environment to obtain food, clothing, and shelter. 


SS4H2 The student will describe European exploration in North America. 

a. Describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Nunez Balboa, Juan Ponce de Leon, Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson, and Jacques Cartier. 
b. Describe examples of cooperation and conflict between Europeans and Native Americans. 


SS4H3 The student will explain the factors that shaped British colonial America. 

a. Compare and contrast life in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies. 
b. Describe colonial life in America as experienced by various people, including large landowners, farmers, artisans, women, indentured servants, slaves, and Native Americans. 


SS4H4 The student will explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution. 

a. Trace the events that shaped the revolutionary movement in America, including the French and Indian War, British Imperial Policy that led to the 1765 Stamp Act, the slogan “no taxation without representation,” the activitiesof the Sons of Liberty, and the Boston Tea Party. 
b. Explain the writing of the Declaration of Independence; include who wrote it, how it was written, why it was necessary, and how it was a response to tyranny and the abuse of power. 
c. Describe the major events of the Revolution and explain the factors leading to American victory and British defeat; include the Battles of Lexington and Concord and Yorktown. 
d. Describe key individuals in the American Revolution with emphasis on King George III, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Benedict Arnold, Patrick Henry, and John Adams. 


SS4H5 The student will analyze the challenges faced by the new nation. 

a. Identify the weaknesses of the government established by the Articles of Confederation. 
b. Identify the major leaders of the Constitutional Convention (James Madison and Benjamin Franklin) and describe the major issues they debated, including the rights of states, the Great Compromise, and slavery. 
c. Identify the three branches of the U. S. government as outlined by the Constitution, describe what they do, how they relate to each other (checks and balances and separation of power), and how they relate to the states. 
d. Identify and explain the rights in the Bill of Rights, describe how the Bill of Rights places limits on the power of government, and explain the reasons for its inclusion in the Constitution in 1791. 
e. Describe the causes of the War of 1812; include burning of the Capitol and the White House. 


SS4H6 The student will explain westward expansion of America between 1801 and 1861. 

a. Describe territorial expansion with emphasis on the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the acquisitions of Texas (the Alamo and independence), Oregon (Oregon Trail), and California (Gold Rush and the development of mining towns). 
b. Describe the impact of the steamboat, the steam locomotive, and the telegraph on life in America. 


SS4H7 The student will examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements

a. Discuss biographies of Harriet Tubman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 
b. Explain the significance of Sojourner Truth’s address (“Ain’t I a Woman?” 1851) to the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention. 



Geographic Understandings 

SS4G1 The student will be able to locate important physical and man-made features in the United States. 

a. Locate major physical features of the United States; include the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Great Plains, Continental Divide, the Great Basin, Death Valley, Gulf of Mexico, St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes. 
b. Locate major man-made features; include New York City, NY; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; and the Erie Canal. 


SS4G2 The student will describe how physical systems affect human systems. 

a. Explain why each of the native American groups (SS4H1a) occupied the areas they did, with emphasis on why some developed permanent villages and others did not. 
b. Describe how the early explorers (SS4H2a) adapted, or failed to adapt, to the various physical environments in which they traveled. 
c. Explain how the physical geography of each colony helped determine economic activities practiced therein. 
d. Explain how each force (American and British) attempted to use the physical geography of each battle site to its benefit (SS4H4c). 
e. Describe physical barriers that hindered and physical gateways that benefited territorial expansion from 1801 to 1861 (SS4H6a). 


Government/Civic Understandings 

SS4CG1 The student will describe the meaning of 

a. Natural rights as found in the Declaration of Independence (the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). 
b. “We the people” from the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution as a reflection of consent of the governed or popular sovereignty. 
c. The federal system of government in the U.S. 


SS4CG2 The student will explain the importance of freedom of expression as written in the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. 


SS4CG3 The student will describe the functions of government. 

a. Explain the process for making and enforcing laws. 
b. Explain managing conflicts and protecting rights. 
c. Describe providing for the defense of the nation. 
d. Explain limiting the power of people in authority. 
e. Explain the fiscal responsibility of government. 


SS4CG4 The student will explain the importance of Americans sharing certain central democratic beliefs and principles, both personal and civic. 

a. Explain the necessity of respecting the rights of others and promoting the common good. 
b. Explain the necessity of obeying reasonable laws/rules voluntarily, and explain why it is important for citizens in a democratic society to participate in public (civic) life (staying informed, voting, volunteering, communicating with public 


SS4CG5 The student will name positive character traits of key historic figures and government leaders (honesty, patriotism, courage, trustworthiness). 



Economic Understandings 

SS4E1 The student will use the basic economic concepts of trade, opportunity cost, specialization, voluntary exchange, productivity, and price incentives to illustrate historical events

a. Describe opportunity costs and their relationship to decision-making across time (such as decisions to send expeditions to the New World). 
b. Explain how price incentives affect people’s behavior and choices (such as colonial decisions about what crops to grow and products to produce). 
c. Describe how specialization improves standards of living (such as how specific economies in the three colonial regions developed). 
d. Explain how voluntary exchange helps both buyers and sellers (such as prehistoric and colonial trade in North America). 
e. Describe how trade promotes economic activity (such as how trade activities in the early nation were managed differently under the Articles of Confederation and 
the Constitution). 
f. Give examples of technological advancements and their impact on business productivity during the development of the United States. 


SS4E2 The student will identify the elements of a personal budget and explain why personal spending and saving decisions are important.